What is General Liability Insurance?
Many Massachusetts businesses are exposed to a range of common risks regardless of their industry or size. General liability insurance policies are so-named because they help protect businesses from several of the common risks they face.
General liability insurance is a foundational coverage of many businesses’ commercial insurance portfolios. While this one coverage often isn’t able to provide every protection that a business needs, the protections it does afford are often essential ones.
What Protections Do General Liability Policies Provide?
General liability coverage normally has a set of coverages within it that provide protection against specific liability claims and lawsuits which third parties could file against a business. Some of the coverages that are frequently included within general liability policies are:
- Property Damage Coverage, which may cover incidents where a business is found liable for damage sustained by another party’s property
- Bodily Injury Coverage, which may cover incidents where a business is found liable for injuries sustained by another party
- Personal Advertising Injury Coverage, which may cover incidents where a business is accused of false advertising, slander or libel
(As is true with many insurance coverages, the exact protections that a particular general liability policy provides can vary. They’ll be determined by the policy’s terms and conditions.)
Do General Liability Policies Include Product Liability Coverage?
Some general liability policies offer product liability coverage, but this coverage isn’t found in general liability policies as often as the above three coverages are. Additionally, the general liability policies that do offer product liability coverage frequently limit that amount of coverage they provide.
Thus, a few businesses may be able to find a general liability policy that provides the product liability coverage they need. Most businesses that need a significant amount of this coverage, however, will want to supplement a general liability policy with a policy that’s specifically for product liability coverage.
Do General Liability Policies Cover Employee Injuries?
Under their bodily injury coverage, most general liability policies cover a range of injuries that non-employees might suffer and a business could be held responsible for. This coverage is normally limited to third-parties, though, and employees typically aren’t considered third-parties.
Employee injuries that are sustained while working are usually covered by workers compensation insurance rather than general liability coverage. While workers compensation insurance is a different type of insurance and frequently has to be purchased separately, insurance agents who specialize in general liability policies are often also familiar with workers compensation policies.
What Massachusetts Businesses Need General Liability Policies?
Because general liability policies offer such foundational protections, this is a type of insurance that most Massachusetts businesses should have. No matter how large or small a business is, whether it’s a corporation or sole proprietorship, or what industry it’s in, it can likely benefit from the protections general liability coverage provides.
Do Professionals Need General Liability Policies?
In many cases, professionals are wise to purchase general liability policies for their practices. Many professionals have offices where clients and vendors can be injured, and almost any professional can be accused of false advertising, slander or libel. Incidents like these normally aren’t covered under professional liability insurance, so professionals are often left exposed to these risks unless they get a general liability policy that covers the risks.
How Can Massachusetts Businesses Get General Liability Policies?
While a foundational form of insurance, general liability insurance isn’t a simple type of insurance. There are many coverages to consider, and limits and exceptions also must be weighed in light of the specific risks that a business faces. Moreover, general liability coverage is available through stand-alone policies, business owners policies and commercial package policies.
To get help going through all the options that are available, Massachusetts business owners should talk with a general liability insurance specialist at Flavin and Flavin Insurance. An agent who’s familiar with general liability policies will be able to help a business owner select the policy that’s most suited for their business’ needs, and an independent agent won’t be restricted to just one insurer’s policies. They’ll be able to get business owners the best option regardless of what insurer is offering it.