Every business needs general liability protections. This is obvious for most companies, but this type of insurance is often misunderstood and underappreciated until it’s too late. Without general liability coverage, a person could sue you if they get hurt at your place of business, without having to prove that you did anything wrong—which means they’d win by default. So what happens when you don’t have general liability coverage? Here are 10 signs that you need general liability insurance.
11 Signs You Need General Liability Insurance
1. You Don’t Have Any Now
If you’re a business owner, it’s in your best interest to have the necessary protections. This type of insurance protects you from lawsuits if someone gets hurt while on your business site. Even if you’re not at fault, you could still be sued if someone gets injured. If you don’t have this insurance now, you could end up in a lot of trouble that could cost you serious money. That’s why it’s so important to be protected under general liability.
Here are the types of situations it can protect you against:
- Bodily injury that occurs on your place of business
- Property damage caused by your business
- Reputational harm resulting from slander or privacy violation
- Medical costs caused by someone harmed while visiting your place of business
- Damage caused by an act of nature
2. Your Current Insurance Is Overdue or Cancelled
Although not required by law, this type of insurance is essential for any business, whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been in business for years. It protects you from so many situations and can help your business stay afloat in the case of lawsuits. If you don’t currently have general liability insurance, or if your policy is overdue or canceled, it’s time to get it. Most importantly, it can help you avoid financial disaster.
Remember, this type of insurance can assist financially with the following situations:
- Medical expenses caused by someone harmed while visiting your place of business
- Repair costs to a customer’s home caused by one of your employees
- Lawsuit costs to pay for your defense
- Lawsuit costs related to judgments and settlements
3. Your Business Has Cash Flow Issues
Many businesses struggle with cash flow. This means you’re unable to keep up with your payments. If you’re having trouble paying your bills, it may be time to protect yourself. You can be sued for not paying your bills in a timely manner or for not paying them at all. It doesn’t matter what the circumstances might be for this scenario.
As this insurance protects you primarily from 3rd party lawsuits, it can insure you against financial hardship in case you’re unable to keep up with your financial commitments. It can also help cover the costs of any legal fees and damages that you may have to pay as a result of a financial lawsuit. This can be a lifesaver for businesses that are struggling financially by providing that necessary peace of mind.
4. You Work in a Hazardous Environment
Working in a hazardous environment is dangerous and can lead to serious injury. If you’re not sure if your workplace is hazardous, here are some signals to look out for:
- You work with dangerous chemicals
- You work with dangerous equipment
- You work in a high-risk industry
If your workplace meets any of these criteria, it’s important to have the necessary protections. If you’re in the construction industry, it’s especially important to have this type of insurance. Construction is a high-risk industry, and accidents can happen easily. Without general liability coverage, you could be responsible for paying for any damages that occur as a result of an accident on your job site.
5. You Operate Heavy Equipment
Operating heavy equipment can be dangerous if you’re not properly trained. And even if you are properly trained, there are still risks associated with using this type of equipment. That’s why it’s important to have liability protection for this scenario. This type of insurance will protect you from any potential lawsuits that may come up as a result of accidents incurred onsite while operating heavy equipment.
This type of insurance can also protect you from lawsuits if someone is injured on the job at your company site through some other means. Again, it doesn’t matter who is liable or the reason for the circumstance. This type of insurance is used against 3rd party lawsuits, which can come up for many reasons related to operating heavy equipment. If this is a requirement of your business, it’s time to protect yourself.
6. Safety Training is Not Provided
The safety of your employees needs to be top of mind. You must ensure your employees are properly trained in all required safety procedures. If they’re not, you could be liable for any injuries that they may sustain while on the job, regardless of who’s at fault.
It’s important to have a safety training program in place that covers all the hazards your employees may face. And your safety training program should include emergency procedures so your employees know what to do in case of an emergency. Make sure you’re providing your employees with adequate safety training. This will help keep them safe and protect you from lawsuits if they’re injured on the job.
7. You’re Not Current on the Laws of Municipality
When you’re running a business, it’s important that you’re up to date on the laws and regulations of your municipality. Municipal law is any law specific to a specific county or city (“municipality”). It also encompasses the government bodies within those cities or counties. A municipality issue could potentially include everything from run-ins with the police, zoning restrictions, and property taxes.
If you’re not current on your local laws, you could end up getting into trouble. This type of insurance can help protect you from these types of lawsuits. Make sure you’re familiar with the laws of your municipality and that your business is up to date on them. This will help ensure that you stay out of trouble and avoid any costly and unnecessary legal fees.
8. You Provide Services to the Public
If you provide services to the public, you’ll need to protect yourself against potential liability against them, regardless of whether they’re active customers of your products and services. The general public may not be aware of your normal business policies and procedures. If you don’t have this insurance and you’re sued, you could end up losing a lot of money. This can help protect you from costly lawsuits and ensure that your business remains operational no matter what.
9. Public Access Is Granted Outside Normal Business Hours
This type of insurance also protects you when the public is granted access to your place of business outside of normal business hours. This means that people who are not associated with the company are able to enter the building and/or access your resources. There are a couple of reasons why an insurance policy is necessary for these conditions. One is to ensure the company can operate in a secure environment. A second reason is to protect the company from possible lawsuits.
By having public access outside of normal business hours, your company can reduce its risk of being sued. Remember that you’re planning for unplanned situations. The general public might be exposed to potentially risky conditions such as broken staircases, uncovered holes in floors, a slippery floor under rainy conditions, and other hazards where people could get hurt. If any of these scenarios are realistic, you should purchase this kind of protection.
10. You’re About to Enter a Contractual Agreement
When you’re about to enter into a contractual agreement, it’s important to have the necessary protections in place. This provides insurance against the unknown. If something goes wrong related to the contract, this type of insurance will help to protect your business financially against the uncertain. In addition, some customers require that this insurance is in place before moving together in a partnership.
11. Concerns Have Been Raised or Someone Has Already Sued You
One of the most obvious signs that you need this insurance is if someone has already sued you. This can happen for several reasons, but usually, it’s because someone was injured on your property or as a result of your business activities.
If you don’t have this type of insurance and you’re sued, you could end up losing your financial security—and in some cases, you could even lose your business. If concerns have been raised against your business, that’s another reason to consider purchasing additional protection.
Not sure if you need general liability coverage? Keep these protections in mind as you grow your business. As general liability concerns change, this type of insurance will be there to protect you—and it’s worth every penny! Contact ISU Armac today and we’ll help you stay protected. Our goal is to create valued relationships with each of our clients for years to come. We’d love the chance to earn your business!