Craft brewers, graphic designers, ecommerce entrepreneurs, retail shop and food truck owners … you may be in different industries and have vastly different business models, but you all have one thing in common: a desire to protect your business.
There’s an easy way to protect your business from the threats you’re most likely to face as a business owner, no matter what your niche may be.
General Liability Insurance to the Rescue
Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance addresses the most common risks which could threaten your business. It’s the one insurance policy that just about every business owner can benefit from.
CGL protects you from the likelihood of a costly lawsuit or claim in the event of injury or damage to another person or their property.
Not sure if you could benefit from that sort of coverage for your business? Here are ten times general liability coverage would likely save the day (and your business).
1. Clumsy Clients
Do you regularly have clients visit your office? Whether they’re walking through the door to sign papers, or cruising in for a sandwich on their lunch break, every client who comes to your office or shop is a potential liability.
Imagine if a client came in to your office and tripped over a loose bit of carpet. If the client's fall resulted in an injury, you could be responsible for the cost of the injuries.
2. Dangerous Floors
Keeping the floors of your store clean is a risk-reducing safety measure. But what if you had to mop the floors during business hours? If a customer slipped on a wet floor and broke a leg, your business could be liable for medical bills and more.
3. Home Based Mis-steps
Got a home-based business? Even if you don’t have customers or clients coming to your home office, you could still be responsible if someone was injured because of your business activities.
For example, if a delivery person was carrying a large box of supplies for your home based business and tripped on your doorstep, their injuries could be your problem.
4. Customers Who Can’t Handle the Heat
If you’ve finally realized your dream of owning a food truck, you may have more to consider than just your seasonal menu items. Imagine a crisp, fall day and a long line of customers waiting to try your new five-alarm chili.
But if you serve up a smoking bowl of too-hot-to-handle beans to a customer who burns their mouth on your offering, you could be liable for the injury.
5. Fired Up Landlords
Renting an office space has a lot of perks when you’re running a business. But it also comes with a certain amount of responsibility, as well. And if your laptop overheats in the middle of the night and causes a fire in the office, you may be responsible for the damage to your landlord’s property.
6. Soggy Neighbors
Let’s say you’ve just finished putting the finishing touches in a yard that you’ve been hired to landscape. You instruct your employee to give the freshly planted shrubs a good watering, and you head out to meet with your next client.
Your employee turns the water on, packs up his tools and equipment, and drives away without realizing the water is still running. In fact, no one notices the water is still running until the next day when the next door neighbor’s basement begins to take on water. One small mistake by your business could mean one big bill for cleanup and damage.
7. Music You Love (But Didn’t Buy)
You’re branching out and trying new things to market your business - like using Facebook ads and even putting videos on YouTube.
Your amateur video skills are commendable, but you didn’t realize that you could get in trouble for using unlicensed music. So you are completely surprised when you are facing a lawsuit for copyright infringement for using a popular song by a trending music artist.
8. Branding That’s Too Close for Comfort
You may have heard the saying “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” Imitation may be flattering to some, but if you’ve branded your business a bit too similar to your competition’s, imitation may land you in hot water.
If another business feels your logo, website, or branding is a bit too close to the same look and feel as theirs, you could be faced with a copyright
infringement lawsuit -- and the high price tag that it brings.
9. Swiped Photos vs Stock Photos
The risks of marketing your business are everywhere, right down to the posts you write for your business blog. You know that images are an important part of your blog. But you don’t have the budget to spend on stock photos or the time (and equipment) to go out and take your own.
If you’ve made the mistake of using images you’ve found on the internet to liven up your blog— beware. Using unlicensed images without permission is one more way you can end up on the wrong end of a copyright infringement lawsuit.
10. Unfavorable Tweets
You know that you provide a superior service for your customers. In fact, you’ve heard so many horror stories about your competitor down the street -- it seems like the whole town knows he’s a hack.
Taking to Twitter to let the world know that you’re in a class above “that guy” in 140-characters (or less!) seems like no big deal. But if your competition feels like you’re damaging his reputation, look out. Defending yourself against a libel suit can be a serious (and expensive) fight in court.
How Commercial General Liability Can Cover ALL These Things - and More
Customer injuries, client accidents, damage to your landlords (or someone else’s) property, and even lawsuits for copyright infringement and reputation damage can cost your business big time.
From medical bills to repairs and the high price tag of defending yourself in court, these types of scenarios can be devastating to your business. Luckily, these are just the types of things generally covered by a CGL policy. You work hard to build your business. Liability insurance works hard to protect it.