Insurance for Businesses Part 1 – The “Basic” Policies

If you own a business, there are different types of insurance you will want to consider purchasing: Commercial General Liability Insurance, Automobile Liability Insurance, Business Insurance, Workers Compensation Insurance and Employment Practices Liability Insurance, to name a few. It may sound like a lot of insurance, but you’ll want to consider the nature of your business and whether you have a need for one or more of these policies.

No one policy insures it all. Insurance policies are meant to “dovetail” each other. So, for example, what’s covered under one type of policy is generally not covered under another type of policy, and may even be expressly excluded under other policies. Therefore, if you are shopping for business insurance quotes for your business, you’ll want to consider exactly which coverages you need. Depending on the size and nature of your business, you may need to consider all of these coverages. In this article, we discuss the “basic” business liability insurance policies – Commercial General Liability and Automobile Liability insurance policies.

In the event that your company is sued, you will want to have insurance to cover the cost of the lawsuit and any judgment or settlement. However, before any such lawsuit is filed, you will need to obtain insurance. Therefore, now is the time to consider whether your business has the insurance it needs.

Does your business need commercial general liability insurance? Commercial general liability insurance generally covers “bodily injury” and “property damage” caused by an “occurrence.” Therefore, if conduct by your company causes another bodily harm or damage to another’s property, your company will be potentially covered under its commercial general liability policy. Commercial general liability policies (“CGL policies”) also cover “personal injury” and “advertising injury,” “personal and advertising injury” or “personal injury and advertising injury.” These coverages are defined as including a specific set of listed offenses, such as wrongful eviction and copyright infringement. Therefore, if your business commits certain business-type offenses specifically listed in your CGL policy, your business may be covered for those offenses. CGL insurance is a “business basic” – most businesses need this type of insurance.

Does your business need business automobile liability insurance? Business automobile liability insurance generally covers damages because of “bodily injury” or “property damage” caused by a specified class of vehicles. For example, maybe your company only owns one vehicle that is used for deliveries – you might only need to insure that vehicle. Or, perhaps your employees own their own vehicles that they use in their employment for your business – you may need to insure “any” vehicle. “Bodily injury” and “property damage” arising out of the use of an “auto” is expressly excluded in commercial general liability policies. Therefore, if vehicles are used in your business, you will want to consider purchasing business automobile liability insurance.

When considering what insurance your business needs, a good place to start is obtaining quotes for commercial general liability and automobile liability insurance. These types of liability insurance are “the basics” and are purchased by many businesses.


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