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Insurance Basics

What is business or commercial liability insurance?

businesswoman stack of documents

All businesses face risks. No matter how careful you are, a customer could slip and fall on your property or you might accidently use a copyrighted photo in your advertisement. We live in a litigious society and a single lawsuit can have the potential to cripple your company and deplete your savings – which is why liability insurance is an essential part of any business insurance plan.

Here is a primer on the different kinds of commercial liability insurance available and how they can protect you and your business.


Types of liability insurance to consider

All businesses need liability insurance, but depending on the kind of business you operate, here are some specific types of liability coverage you may want to discuss with your insurance representative:

  • General liability
  • Management liability
  • Umbrella/Excess liability
  • Professional liability
  • Workers compensation


What is commercial general liability (CGL) insurance?

A CGL policy helps provide protection if someone accuses your business of causing physical damage to them or their property, or using copyrighted material without their permission. In today’s uncertain world, your liability risk today might differ from what it has been in the past, so it’s important to have a general liability policy in place that will evolve with you, covering new exposures as they are introduced.


What is management liability insurance?

Management liability insurance is a collection of coverages designed to help protect management teams and boards of directors from lawsuits alleging mismanagement. It can include directors & officers insurance; employment practices liability; commercial crime insurance; cyber insurance; and kidnap & ransom cover. 


What is umbrella or excess liability insurance?

Commercial umbrella insurance provides an extra layer of liability protection that can cover costs that exceed the limits of some of your primary liability insurance policies. It can help cover claims of bodily injury, such as an injured customer or employee; and damage your business causes to someone else’s property.


What is professional liability insurance?

If your business provides a service to others, you may need professional liability insurance, also known as Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance. Professional service firms, media organisations, public entities, consultants and staffing firms are just a few types of businesses that are constantly at risk of being sued over the services they perform and the information they disseminate. A professional liability policy can provide protection, even if the lawsuit is without merit.

Every business is different and has it's own unique liability risks so it's always important to review your coverage options with your agent or broker.

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