Lawsuits against businesses are both common and expensive. North Carolina General liability insurance provides important protection against claims of property damage, bodily injury and advertising injury. Without this essential coverage, your business could be at risk. Don’t take chances with the company you worked hard to build. Shield your business with general liability insurance.
North Carolina general liability insurance is a common type of commercial liability insurance coverage. Policies typically include coverage for bodily injury and property damage. Coverage is also available for advertising injury, which may include libel, slander and copyright issues. Coverage details vary, so it’s important to select the policy the best meets your company’s liability needs.
If your business is facing a covered lawsuit – which could be for bodily injury, property damage or advertising injury – your NC general liability insurance policy will typically cover legal defense costs as well as any awards or settlements up to the policy limit.
The policy may also provide coverage for medical bills without the need for litigation. This coverage applies to certain injuries suffered by third parties, such as customers.
Although North Carolina general liability insurance is an essential coverage, it does not provide every type of coverage that a business might need. In addition to NC general liability insurance, businesses will typically need commercial auto insurance, workers’ compensation and other key coverage types. Depending on the size and scope your business, you may also need directors and officers liability insurance, employee practices liability insurance, and additional coverage types. However, general liability insurance provides a fundamental layer of coverage that most businesses should not go without.
In order to simplify coverage and reduce your insurance costs, you may be able to purchase a Business Owners Policy (BOP). This insurance product combines general liability insurance with other commonly needed insurance types, such as property insurance and business interruption, and it is ideal for many small businesses.
NC General liability insurance is one of the most basic types of commercial liability insurance, and many different types of business need it.
Common industries that need general liability insurance coverage include the following:
However, this list is far from complete. To determine whether your business might need general liability business insurance, ask yourself the following questions:
Cost of Small Business General Liability Insurance Claim?
Most Common Claims
Percent of Business Owners with Claim
Average Claim Cost
Customer Slip & Fall
Customer Injury & Damage
According to The Hartford’s data, the average cost of a general liability claim that turns into a lawsuit is $75,000—and that doesn’t take into account the cost of time spent away from your business. Even a small claim can cost from $2,000 to $5,000 in settlement or defense costs—whether the claim is legitimate or frivolous. Without general liability insurance, these costs fall on your shoulders.
If you’ve never been sued before, you might believe that you’ll never have to deal with a lawsuit. This is a risky assumption.
Lawsuits are common, and they can be the result of either real or perceived injuries. If you are sued, whether or not the court finds that your company is liable, the defense costs can represent a major financial strain for your company. General liability insurance can cover these defense costs. And if your business is found liable, general liability insurance can also cover the damages that are awarded, up to your policy’s limit.
Instead of having to worry about how a lawsuit could damage your company, you can rest easy knowing that your business is protected. And if a lawsuit does occur, you’ll be able to back to business as usual as fast as possible, knowing that your legal costs are covered.
What Could Cause a General Liability Insurance Claim?
NC General liability insurance typically covers property damage, bodily injury and advertising injury. That’s a lot of essential coverage, and many common situations could trigger a covered claim.
For example, if your business is open to the public, and if clients, customers or vendors enter your property, you have liability risks. Slip-and-fall injuries are common, and they can lead to expensive medical bills and lawsuits. It doesn’t take much to set the stage for an injury, either. A torn piece of carpet, a small puddle of water or a poorly placed cord could create a tripping hazard. If someone falls as a result, your business could be held accountable. And this is just one common scenario – bodily injury can occur in many different ways.
With commercial general liability insurance, you’ll be covered. The policy may cover medical costs without the need for time-consuming and expensive lawsuits. If a lawsuit is filed, the commercial general liability insurance policy can cover the defense costs and damages, as well.
Even if you don’t have a physical location where clients, customers or vendors enter, you may still have many exposures that necessitate general liability insurance coverage. One common scenario involves workers who go to customers’ property. If your worker inadvertently injures someone or causes property damage, your business could be held liable. Once again, commercial general liability insurance can provide the protection you need to keep your business going strong.
Advertising is another possible source of claims. While advertising can be essential to attracting new customers and growing your business, it can also expose your business to risks. Someone might sue you over an advertisement, claiming that its use of an image or song represents copyright violation, or claiming that it contains libelous statements about competitors. Whether or not these claims are founded, the legal costs can make fighting them very expensive. Commercial generally liability insurance can provide protection against claims of this type of advertising injury.
Consider the possible scenarios:
Is My Business Required To Purchase North Carolina General Liability Insurance?
In some situations, a company may be required to purchase commercial NC general liability insurance. This requirement can come from local laws or contractual obligations.
Depending on where you live, city and state licensing requirements may require general liability insurance coverage. This may be especially common for certain types of industries, such as construction companies and salons.
The contracts that you sign for your business may also require general liability insurance. For example, if you sign a lease for your store or office, you may be required to purchase coverage. Large clients and vendors may also require insurance coverage before doing business with your company.
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Even if your business is not required to purchase general liability insurance, coverage is still a smart idea. Don’t leave your business vulnerable to common lawsuits. Get the coverage you need today.
Regulating Agency and References
New North Carolina Division of Insurance
This agency is responsible for regulating all insurance policies sold in the state, including commercial liability coverage.
North Carolina Department of Insurance
North Carolina Small Business Administration
The SBA is an independent agency of the federal government created to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns and maintains District Offices in Charlotte, Asheville and Cary. Get the link to the North Carolina SBA at www.sba.gov.
National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)
This is an organization of insurance regulators from the 50 states, District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories. NAIC provides a forum for the development of uniform policies when appropriate. It also offers an online form for filing complaints, reporting suspected insurance fraud and downloading key financial information about insurance carriers at www.naic.org.
Insurance Information Institute (III)
This organization’s mission is to improve public understanding of insurance – what it is and how it works. Visit III at www.iii.org.
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