Business managers and owners have a duty to care for their employees. It is the responsibility of management to provide a safe working environment by taking steps to keep the risk of accidents to a minimum. However, regardless of a business’ procedures, training and working practices, the element of risk can never completely be removed from the workplace. Without adequate liability insurance, a business could be liable for crippling legal costs.
Commercial General Liability
Commercial general liability insurance (CGL) is usually a business’ first line of defense against legal action. It is often an integral component of property insurance that is there to protect a business against claims for incidents that take place on work premises. A CGL policy will usually cover bodily injury, property damage, defamation and all the associated legal costs.
An employee who slips on a wet floor while at work could have the option of suing if the accident was the fault of a third party. This could involve a lengthy investigation, as well as legal defense. If the employee wins the case, punitive and actual damages could be awarded, and depending on the injuries sustained and the associated loss of income involved, these awards could easily top $100,000. Most small and medium-sized business will simply not be in a position to bear such costs, and they may not survive.
Business liability insurance will protect a business against expensive claims if employees suffer damage or injury in the workplace. This coverage is effective whether the incident occurred as a result of negligence on behalf of the company or its other employees.
What May Not Be Covered
While CGL provides coverage for most eventualities, it is vital that policyholders check the small print of their contract. Not everything is covered in a standard policy, and it may be necessary to purchase additional coverage. Personal and advertising injury covers circumstances such as copyright infringement and slander. Employment practices liability will cover the cost of a legal defense in the event of action being taken by an employee or an applicant, regardless of the outcome. Medical expenses coverage will pay the healthcare costs of injured employees if injuries are a direct result of an accident in the workplace. An experienced insurance agent can advise business owners on the level of coverage required. More importantly, an agent will be able to explain the complex terminology used by insurance providers in simple, practical terms.
By calling us at 415-512-2100, one of the Sweet & Baker Insurance Brokers will help you protect your business with San Francisco business insurance against future claims that could put it in jeopardy.