What Does a Commercial Liability Policy Protect Against?
Whether you are the owner, manager or customer of a business, you should want the company to be protected by a commercial liability policy. These insurance policies protect businesses against claims for personal injury and property damage caused by a company’s operations or products. Bodily injuries that take place on the premises are also covered. Commercial liability policies are not all the same and don’t cover every single risk that companies face, but they do protect them from a number of claims and lawsuits and the financial devastation they might bring. If you are ever harmed while at a business or because you used their products, your lawyer can help you get a fair insurance settlement.
Types of Coverage
The basic types of business liability coverage are claims-made and occurrence policies. When a business has claims-made coverage, the insurance company pays on claims that range from errors in financial statements to employee discrimination to customer injury. Under this type of policy, coverage depends on when the claim is filed and not when the incident occurred. If a company has an active policy in June but the incident occurred in February, it is covered.
Occurrence policies don’t offer a business the same degree of protection because they pay claims that occur within the actual coverage period. If a company has an active policy during 2019, the injury and/or damages from an incident are covered for that period. If the incident occurred before a policy was active, the company will have no coverage.
Commercial Liability Exclusions
Commercial General Liability or CGL policies do exclude certain types of claims, including worker’s compensation, professional liability and corporate directors and officers liability. Liability for operating a car or truck for business purposes is also excluded, as well as coverage for pollution resulting from hazardous materials such as gasoline or fertilizer. Businesses that store and/or transport these materials need an environmental policy to protect their interests. Fortunately, most potential liabilities can be covered by other special policies.
You have probably been involved in a few product recalls during your life. When you buy a food item or other product that is then recalled, the manufacturer should be covered by a special liability policy; otherwise, they won’t be able to cover the massive cost of a recall of items such as children’s car seats, certain vehicle models or even romaine lettuce.
Unfortunately, businesses can easily violate state and federal regulations even when they try to follow the rules. General liability policies do not cover contract disputes and action by government agencies against a business. That situation requires another type of insurance. Businesses will need multiple policies to keep them protected from the majority of liability claims.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
Commercial liability coverage is not just for big corporations. Businesses of all sizes need these insurance policies to protect against claims of negligence that resulted in harm to their customers. If the insurance company does not reach a settlement with the injured party, they may choose to file a lawsuit. In that instance, the plaintiff needs to establish three main items to be victorious:
- Duty of Care- the responsibility of a business to provide a safe environment.
- Breach of Duty of Care- failure to provide that environment through negligence.
- Harm- injury caused by the Duty of Care breach.
For instance, you can be injured in a retail store due to broken or otherwise faulty staircases and elevators, poor parking lot lighting, falling merchandise, and rough-edged shelves. One of the main claims against a business’s general liability insurance is for slip and fall accidents caused by wet floors. A business has a responsibility to maintain their property so that a customer exercising reasonable care can safely do business there.
In addition to protecting the business from claims, commercial liability policies protect the consumer. If you are injured, through no fault of your own, you may be due a financial settlement. Without commercial liability coverage, many businesses, particularly small companies, would be unable to pay large claims made by those who suffered injuries as a result of the company’s negligence. In those cases, filing a lawsuit would be pointless because no money could be recovered. These commercial liability policies protect the company, employees and consumers.
Companies without enough insurance are gambling that they won’t face a major settlement demand or lawsuit. That is a bet they are destined to lose. Even small businesses making around $1,000,000 annually spend $20,000 as a result of lawsuits. Paying for liability insurance is just the cost of doing business in the United States.
Whiteside & Goldberg
The Chicago area is home to many large corporations and small businesses. Having the right type of commercial liability coverage is essential to their continued growth. Plus, all citizens deserve to be protected from harm caused by a company’s facilities or products. This insurance protects you financially If a business fails to provide a safe environment through negligence and you are injured as a result. If you are harmed or your property damaged at a commercial facility, contact Whiteside & Goldberg. Their expert attorneys are experts at business liability law.
The attorneys at Whiteside & Goldberg have the expertise to get you the settlement you deserve through negotiations with the insurance companies or by taking the case to court. Take advantage of their free consultation offer to learn more about their services. You will pay nothing until Whiteside & Goldberg secures a settlement for you. For more information about commercial liability, call 312-334-6875 for the Whiteside & Goldberg Michigan Avenue location and 815-730-7535 for their Shorewood office. Only personal injury experts can give you the legal help you need when it comes to commercial liability issues.
The content of this blog is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute or establish an attorney-client relationship, nor constitute legal advice. If you wish to discuss any further aspect of the material contained herein, please contact an attorney at Whiteside & Goldberg, Ltd.