Just like life is full of a lot of risks and uncertainties, the business world is also very risky. A lot of ugly things could happen in the course of running your business which if not prepared for, could abruptly end your business and leave you with some debts.
A pharmaceutical company that has been producing a certain brand of baby teething mixture for several years was recently slammed with a law suit. Why? Some babies died and it was discovered that the teething mixture was directly responsible for the unfortunate death of those babies.
A very popular bottled drink manufacturing company was asked to pay several millions of dollars as compensation to some consumers who found dead insects in their drink. I am sure you must have heard cases of people falling down in eateries as a result of the floor being wet and slippery and were asked to pay damages to the victims of such accidents.
I could go on and on with hundreds of examples of such cases and the problem is, some of these compensations don’t come cheap. This is why it is very important to get commercial general liability insurance for your business regardless of the size of your business.
Whether you run a small sized business or a very large one, if you do not already have such insurance policy in place, you should really consider getting one when you are done reading this article. Before you decide that your business doesn’t need insurance, take a look at some of the things commercial general liability insurance covers for.
5 Important Areas Commercial General Liability Insurance Cover
a. Employee related practices-: You never know what you can get with your employees. If you suddenly decide that no longer the need the services of an employee maybe because you are overstaffed or because you feel he is not doing a good job, he may turn around and sue you and God help you if he has a better lawyer, you would be asked to pay for damages.
In another scenario, you may just decide to employ people and then you announce the vacancy, have people apply, conduct a screening and choose the candidate you consider most suitable. Do not be surprised if one of the candidates decides to sue you for wrongful refusal to employ or unlawful discrimination.
What of cases where employers decide to conduct background checks or private investigations on their employees just to be sure of the character of the person they are employing and then the employee finds out and sues the company for invasion of privacy?
We usually do not wish for these things to happen but they happen anyway and rather unexpectedly so the best thing you can do for yourself is to protect yourself through insurance so that if and when such happens, you would not only have enough funds to foot the legal bills, you would also have enough to compensate the victims if you are required to.
b. Professional liability insurance-: This is especially important if you are a professional in any field such as medicine, engineering etc. We all know what happened to Dr. Conrad Murray, Michael Jackson’s doctor; he was not only faced with a protracted legal battle which must have cost a fortune, he also had to go to jail for a few years which meant that his source of income was also affected. It doesn’t matter how careful you are or how knowledgeable you are in your field, it is important to protect yourself with professional liability insurance.
c. Premises liability-: You should also protect your business premises and all your equipment from fire and theft.
d. Medical Insurance-: Except you work with robots, expect that there would be one or two medical mishaps which may cost the company money but once you have medical insurance coverage for your staff, you wouldn’t have to worry about such expenses when they arise.
e. Products liability-: I mentioned several cases above about companies whose products endangered the lives of its consumers. I could bet my last cent that those companies never saw it coming but if they have commercial general insurance policy in place, it would cover for any claims and expenses.
These are just few of the risks which commercial general insurance liability covers for. Others include fire, motor vehicle, and director’s liability in case of debts, errors and omissions insurance as well as liquor liability insurance. To get a commercial general liability for your business, these are the steps you should take-:
How to Get Commercial General Liability Insurance for your Business in Five Steps
1. Assess your business risks-: First, you should take a good look at your company and the products or services you render to determine how much risk your business is exposed to. If you run a courier company for instance, you already know that you have to cover for the items you transport, the vehicles you use, your employees, the warehouse where you will store the items you transport and also any mistakes your employees may make with handling the packages. Each business has its own level of risk; while some may be largely exposed to risk, some might just be mildly exposed so the duty rests upon you as the business owner to assess your business risks or call upon someone to do it for you.
2. Decide on the types of insurance coverage your company needs-: The next step is to decide on the type of insurance policies that you would have to buy to cover for those risks that you are exposed to.
3. Select a broker or an insurance company-: You may decide to work directly with an insurance company or use an insurance broker instead. Whichever method you choose, you should ensure that the company you are buying your insurance policy from has a good reputation.
4. Get competitive quotes-: The next step is to get different quotes especially if you are using a broker. You may be able to save a couple of thousands this way.
5. Take a good look at what the company is offering-: Make sure you read the contract thoroughly and understand what the insurance policy is covering before you sign.
6. Sign the contract