Small Business General Liability Insurance Overview: A Quick Beginner’s Guide to Policy

Every business has its own needs, but you still want to make sure you’re covered, no matter how small your business is. Basically, small business general liability insurance usually covers things like personal liability for members and the consequences of third party property damage/injury claims. You can add additional personal injury claims for yourself and damage to your own property.

When you look at the CGL policy, you will see terms like “Global Total Limit”. This refers to advertising or personal injury, medical payments and/or fire damage. “Business coverage” refers to basic coverage for property damage and bodily injury resulting from your or an employee’s negligence.

You may also see “Limit on products and completed operations,” depending on your industry. This coverage includes protection for those who manufacture or sell a particular product, or are contractors providing services. If damage occurs and your product or negligent service may be responsible, you will of course face a lawsuit. This is sort of a separate aggregated limit and the claims by their nature will not lower the general aggregated limit, although they are still subject to limits such as “Limit Per Occurrence” for each claim.

General liability insurance for limits and claims for small businesses

The “Limit Per Occurrence” refers to the maximum amount the policy will pay for a single claim arising out of your personal or advertising loss/operations/products and completed operations. Each of these claims WILL lower the individual total limit.

A few other terms you’ll find include personal injury and injury from advertising, fire damage, medical payments, bodily injury, and third-party property damage, all of which are self-explanatory.

Your industry will also play a role in the exact type of coverage you need. When looking for general liability insurance for small businesses, check to see if custom insurance is available. Choose a company that specializes in businesses like yours and get coverage tailored to the risks that exist in your particular field. Consider the risks you are likely to face that may not be covered by a GCL or Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) and include those risks in your coverage.

Another very important thing to look for is claims responsiveness. Only get small business general liability insurance from a company that has a lot of positive reviews, especially regarding the response time to claims. Claims must be easy and quick to process. One provider in particular to start with is Hiscox Business Insurance. Rates are fare, the claims process is fast, and Hiscox offers free, instant quotes on its website.