What is General Liability Insurance?
Most businesses are exposed to certain common liability risks regardless of their size or the industry they operate in. General liability insurance helps businesses in Vermont protect themselves against some of these common perils.
General liability insurance is a widely used form of commercial insurance. Many businesses carry this insurance, and it’s available from most commercial insurance carriers.
What Businesses in Vermont Need General Liability Coverage?
There are a lot of Vermont businesses that can benefit from general liability coverage. Across most industries and throughout the state, most businesses should probably carry this coverage.
This broadly includes businesses of all sizes and of all legal structures. While incorporating as an LLC, S Corp, C Corp or other organization might offer some legal protections, incorporation normally isn’t a substitute for a good insurance policy. Sole proprietors usually should have coverage too, for they’re technically business owners and can be sued.
What Coverages Does a General Liability Policy Provide?
While the exact protections that a general liability policy affords are determined by that policy’s terms, conditions and exclusions, most general liability policies come with three primary protections:
- Bodily Injury Coverage, which normally protects against suits related to third-party injuries that a business is responsible for
- Property Damage Coverage, which normally protects against suits related to property damage that a business is responsible for
- Personal Advertising Injury Coverage, which normally protects against suits filed over false advertising, libel and slander claims
In the case of bodily injury coverage, coverage might be limited to a business’ premises or extend to activity that takes place off-site.
Sometimes, general liability policies supplement these three primary protections with additional coverages. For example, a general liability policy might offer some product liability coverage. When a supplemental coverage is offered, however, the scope and limit of the protection can be limited.
Because supplemental coverages aren’t always offered and can be limited in these policies, any business that intends to rely on a general liability policy for a supplemental coverage should speak with a knowledgeable insurance agent. A specialized agent can review a policy and example exactly what protections it provides, and they’ll also be able to help a business determine whether the policy truly does meet all of their coverage needs. Often, purchasing an additional commercial policy is wise when a lot of additional coverage is needed.
Are Employees’ Injuries Covered by a General Liability Policy?
Injuries that employees sustain during the course of their normal work duties typically aren’t covered by a general liability policy. While a policy may cover third-party injuries employees usually aren’t considered third parties and don’t receive protection.
Instead, most businesses that have employees need a workers compensation policy to guard against the risk of on-the-job injury. Workers compensation frequently pays a portion of lost wages and medical costs that are associated with a workplace injury.
Can General Liability Policies Be Combined with Other Commercial Policies?
Since the need for general liability coverage is nearly ubiquitous, these policies can be combined with a wide range of other commercial policies. Business owners policies are basic package policies that tend to come with general liability, commercial property and business interruption coverages (and sometimes a few others). Commercial package policies are typically more robust package policies that can include any number of available coverages.
How Can Businesses in Vermont Get General Liability Insurance?
For help finding general liability coverage, contact the independent insurance agents of T.S. Peck Insurance. Our Vermont agents are well-versed in this coverage, and they can help you find a general liability insurance policy that’s tailored to your business’ needs.