Property damage and third-party bodily injury may not be a common issue with your small business (and if it is, we should chat), but that doesn’t mean that it couldn’t happen! General liability insurance can help cover your business from any out-of-the-ordinary disasters.
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General Liability Insurance for Self-Employed Individuals
There are many different kinds of coverage for small business owners and independent contractors. General liability is a good place to start. This gives you basic protection if you find yourself responsible for injuring or damaging the property of a third-party individual, like a client, customer, or just a person who comes into contact with you or your business. Your general liability policy helps cover things like their medical bills, repair bills, and potential legal fees if they sue for something they think you’re responsible for.
Common Questions About General Liability Insurance Insurance
Paying for General Liability Insurance
General Liability Insurance for the Self-Employed
General Liability Insurance Coverage
General Liability Insurance Combined With Other Types of Insurance Policies
Common Types of General Liability Insurance Claims
COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE
WHAT IS GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE?
You’ve put a lot of work into growing your own business, so you should do what you can to protect it. General liability insurance helps safeguard your business if you are sued for third-party property damage, third-party bodily injury, or reputational harm during the course of your work. Being sued may seem improbable, but it’s not a risk worth taking. One lawsuit could quickly drain you and your business of funds.
WHAT IS THE BEST TYPE OF GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE?
Every small business is different and has different needs. That’s why the best type of general liability insurance is the one that meets the individual needs of you and your small business.
GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE, ALSO KNOWN AS BUSINESS LIABILITY INSURANCE
At its core, general liability insurance can protect you from the most common risks you face as a small business owner. Whether you are just starting your career or are a 30-year veteran, anyone is at risk of causing a third-party injury or even just being accused of doing so.
General liability insurance can help protect you from liability when it comes to third-property injuries and claims that arise as a result, such as medical costs.
PAYING FOR GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE COVERAGE
HOW MUCH IS GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE FOR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS OR SMALL BUSINESSES?
General liability insurance for self-employed workers varies in cost depending on a number of factors, such as:
Your business’ risk: Some businesses (such as those that deliver or install equipment) are more likely to become involved in property damage or bodily injury simply because of the nature of the work. It’s important to note that some businesses you work with may require that you, as an independent contractor or consultant, carry a certain dollar amount of coverage if you are going to work for them.
Your business’ location: Each state and city has different rates. You can typically expect to pay a higher premium if you operate a business in a highly populated area.
Your employee count: Simply put, the more employees you have, the more you will pay in premiums.
Alright, are you ready to safeguard your business? Request a quote for general liability insurance today and one of our representatives will break down exactly what you need.
HOW CAN I GET A GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE QUOTE?
You can get a quote for general liability insurance by calling (888) 633-5229 and selecting option 2 or by filling out the form here so an expert insurance agent can call you back at a time that is convenient for you.
HOW IS GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE CALCULATED?
General liability insurance is calculated based on your business's risk, location, and the number of employees.
HOW MUCH GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE DO I NEED?
The amount of general liability insurance you need depends on your risk. And if you don’t know how much coverage you need, our expert team at Woligo is here to help you figure it out.
Coverage for independent contractors.
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GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE FOR THE SELF-EMPLOYED
WHY DO INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS NEED GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE?
Many independent contractors believe liability insurance is not a necessity. Perhaps they don’t work in a traditional office or storefront, so they assume they are not at risk of getting sued for third-party bodily injury. Then, they see the words “property damage” and think “I’m never going to intentionally damage someone else’s property. I don’t need liability insurance.”
You’re probably right when you say you won’t intentionally cause damage, but you could unintentionally damage someone else’s property while on the clock. Property damage could include anything from backing into a business’ sign on their exterior to accidentally damaging a computer monitor. And as for not having a physical office, you’d be surprised to learn that your home office might count. You may well be legally liable if a third party has a mishap in your home office.
GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE FOR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS
The truth is, even as an independent contractor, you are at risk of being sued, which could result in you owing thousands of dollars in medical and legal fees for the injured party. That’s why many businesses require independent contractors and consultants to have their own general liability policy. It’s best to be prepared and get a policy that can help protect your business. Some commercial property owners also require that independent workers have liability insurance before signing a lease.
Small business owners, particularly those who have a physical building customers and clients can visit, absolutely need general liability insurance in order to protect their business and livelihood.
WHAT DOES GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE COVER FOR INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS?
General liability insurance can help cover independent contractors from third-party liability claims, whether it be personal injury, property damage, or more.
DO I NEED GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE FOR MY LLC?
Yes. While an LLC provides some protection from personal liability for members, your business can still be sued. General liability insurance helps to step in and protect your small business from the consequences of third-party claims for injury or property damage.
GENERAL LIABILITY COVERAGE
WHAT DOES GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE COVER?
General liability insurance can help cover lawsuits that may emerge from normal business operations. This includes third-party bodily injury, third-party property damage, and reputational harm. When we say third-party, we are usually referring to a customer or client, or else someone else outside of your business who interacts with your business.
Third-party bodily injury is defined as someone being injured on your business property. Your general liability insurance may cover the cost of the lawsuit and medical bills that result from an accident on your premises or because of your operations as an independent contractor. Your small business can be liable regardless of fault.
Third-party property damage is defined as damage to another person’s property caused by you or one of your employees. Property damage can occur on residential property or commercial property.
Reputational harm is defined as damage to an individual’s reputation due to slander or libel.
A general liability insurance policy may cover:
- Legal fees and teams to represent your business in court
- Witness fees
- Evidence costs
- Judgements or settlements that may be imposed on your business
GENERAL LIABILITY AND MARKETING
As a small business owner, what you and your employees say, write, and do matters, especially when it involves other businesses and people. Marketing mistakes, often called "advertising injuries" in the insurance world, is an umbrella term that includes:
Copyright infringement (i.e., when you publish copyrighted content without permission)
Slander or libel (i.e., when you say or write defamatory statements about another person or entity)
Misappropriation (i.e., when you use someone's words or image to endorse your business without their consent)
False advertising (i.e., when you make misleading statements about your products or services)
Example: A follower on social media uses your business's hashtag to show off something they bought from you, and you decide to repost the image and use it to promote your business. If you repost the photo without the user's consent, the user could decide to sue you for the misappropriation of their image to endorse your business without their consent.
GENERAL LIABILITY AND PROPERTY DAMAGE
Third-property property damage covered by general liability insurance can include:
- Losing a piece of tangible property
- Damaging or destroying a part of tangible property
- Rendering property temporarily unusable through damage
- Rendering property temporarily unusable without damage
Example: A client brings their laptop to a computer repair store. While a technician is working on the computer, they accidentally knock it off the counter, shattering it on the floor. A general liability policy would cover the cost of replacing the computer, as long as it falls within the policy limits.
IF I DON’T HAVE A PHYSICAL OFFICE, WHY DO I NEED GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE?
A slip and fall by a customer at your place of business is not the only type of liability that general liability insurance can help protect you against. It can also cover property you damage as a contractor in a client’s home and more.
GENERAL LIABILITY AND MEDICAL PAYMENTS
General liability offers no-fault coverage for bodily injury, designed primarily to protect you against lawsuits for negligence even if you aren’t at fault. It is intended to offer goodwill and prevent a lawsuit from occurring.
Example: A client trips over power cords while visiting your office for a meeting. They break a leg, which leads to expensive medical bills. The client sues your business to recover the costs. In addition to helping cover the medical expenses, your general liability insurance policy can help cover the costs associated with a lawsuit.
DOES GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE COVER THEFT OF EQUIPMENT FROM MY OFFICE?
No, general liability insurance does not cover theft because it is meant to offer protection in instances where you could be held liable, such as property damage, bodily injury, or advertising injury. If you want to protect office equipment, you’ll also want to get commercial property insurance.
DOES GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE COVER PROFESSIONAL MISTAKES?
No, general liability insurance only provides coverage if you are responsible for injuring or damaging the property of a third-party individual, like a client or customer. In contrast, professional liability insurance offers protection if a client sues you for claims of error, omission, breach of contract, or negligence.
AM I ABLE TO INCREASE MY GENERAL LIABILITY COVERAGE LATER?
You sure can! As your small business grows and changes, so do your insurance needs.
WHAT DOES GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE NOT COVER?
General liability insurance does not cover employee injuries, auto accidents, professional mistakes, or theft. Luckily, Woligo has all of the business solutions you need to ensure your business is appropriately protected.
Woligo’s licensed agents
are here to help
your questions about
general liability insurance.
GENERAL LIABILITY COMBINED WITH OTHER TYPES OF INSURANCE POLICIES
GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE VS. PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE
The biggest difference between general liability insurance and professional liability insurance is the types of risks they cover. Professional liability insurance covers more abstract risks, such as mistakes, advice, and errors and omissions. On the other hand, general liability insurance cover more tangible risks, such as bodily injuries and property damage.
WHY DO I NEED GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE IF I HAVE PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE?
As a small business owner, you might need general liability insurance AND professional liability insurance because they cover different risks.
DO I NEED GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE IF I HAVE A BUSINESS OWNER’S POLICY?
If you have a business owner's policy, then you already have general liability insurance! A business owner's policy is a combination of general liability insurance and commercial property insurance.
BUNDLE GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE AND COMMERCIAL PROPERTY INSURANCE TO SAVE MONEY
General liability insurance gives you protection if you are responsible for injuring or damaging the property of a third-party individual, like a client or customer. But, it doesn’t help protect or repair your damaged property. That’s where commercial property insurance comes in.
Whether you're leasing office space or working from home, commercial property insurance can help protect your business from disasters large and small. Suppose your work building or the equipment inside it is damaged (think fire, natural disasters, theft, etc.). In that case, commercial property insurance helps purchase replacement parts and helps cover income lost while making repairs.
Business property insurance + business liability insurance = business owner’s policy (BOP) insurance. And bundling the two can save you money!
COMMON TYPES OF GENERAL LIABILITY CLAIMS
WHAT ARE SOME COMMON GENERAL LIABILITY CLAIMS?
Common types of general liability claims depend on your industry and business. For example, if you are a realtor, you might have heard of a colleague accidentally tripping in a client’s home during an open house and damaging an expensive piece of artwork. Or, an experienced electrical contractor installs lighting at a local business but is later blamed for an electrical fire that caused the business to go up in smoke.
WHAT IS DEFAMATION?
Defamation is defined as a false statement presented as a fact in a public setting. Successful defamation lawsuits generally prove that the statements made against someone are false, presented as fact, and caused injury.
HOW CAN GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE HELP ME IF I AM ACCUSED OF DEFAMATION?
A general liability insurance policy can cover your legal defense costs, judgements, and fees if you are accused of defamation.
ARE THERE DIFFERENT TYPES OF DEFAMATION?
There are two different types of defamation – libel and slander.
WHAT IS LIBEL?
Libel is a form of defamation that is put into writing. As a small business owner or freelancer, this might come from a social media post you made about a competitor, written advertising materials, or an email that is made public.
WHAT IS SLANDER?
Slander is a form of defamation through spoken words. To be considered defamation, the message generally needs to reach a wider audience, such as on radio, television, or internet broadcasts. A public speech or presentation could also qualify for slander.
HOW CAN I PROTECT MY BUSINESS FROM LIBEL OR SLANDER CLAIMS?
You can protect your business from libel or slander claims by making sure you and your employees speak carefully about others. If you do speak publicly, use social media regularly, or advertise your business, ask yourself two questions to make sure you are not putting yourself at risk of libel and slander accusations. First, is the statement fact or opinion? If the statement is an opinion, be safe and keep it to yourself. Second, is the statement true and provable? If the statement is not true and provable, then again, be safe and keep it to yourself.
IS GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE REQUIRED BY LAW?
While general liability insurance is not required by law, it’s important because other businesses may not want to work with you without proof of insurance coverage.