Business Liability Insurance
How to protect your business from devastating liability costsYou've worked long, hard hours to build your business into a profitable enterprise. Now you need to protect it with general liability insurance that will cover such instances as the following: a customer trips on the carpet in your shop; a client injures herself using your product; an employee breaks a 17th century antique while on the job; or a coffeemaker left on overnight ignites a fire and damages your landlord's building and other tenants' property.
Here are three things you need to know:
- General liability insurance usually covers medical expenses, legal fees and damages when you're legally responsible.
- Umbrella liability insurance protects your business from liability claims above and beyond your general and auto liability limits.
- A business owner's policy, or BOP, is an affordable package that combines general liability and property coverage – perfect for small to medium-sized, low-risk businesses.
Surf the Web for the best deals
Decide what you needDepending on what industry you are in, your needs for various types of liability insurance will vary.
Check out the giantsDiscover what major insurance companies are offering. This gives you a base by which to compare all the others – and you may decide to stick to the tried-and-true companies.
Go with someone who knows your industry inside outIf you go to an insurance company that specializes in your field, you'll deal with agents who know exactly what the unique issues are in your area and be able to help you with niche problems. If you're in high-tech, buy from a company with high-tech experience.
- Pay attention to the time frame your policy covers. Not all mistakes will be discovered at the time they're made. It may be years before the effects of bad financial advice or a computer error surfaces.
- Trade associations such as the Chamber of Commerce often offer group rates.
- Scrutinize policy details to find out if and how much legal fees are covered.
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