Many Massachusetts businesses are exposed to an array of common risks regardless of what industry they’re in. General liability insurance policies can provide a fundamental level of protection against several of these common risks.
General liability insurance policies are one of the most commonly needed types of commercial insurance. As such, they’re made widely available by insurance companies and purchased by lots of different businesses.
Most Massachusetts businesses, regardless of their sizes or legal structure, ought to consider purchasing general liability coverage. This includes sole proprietors, LLCs, S-Corporations and other entities, for these different legal formations don’t normally prevent people from suing a business. It also includes small businesses and large corporations. Small businesses frequently don’t have the resources to fight a major lawsuit, and large corporations are often more likely to be named in a suit.
General liability coverage typically comes with three main protections, each of which can have its own terms, conditions, exclusions and limits. These primary protections that most policies have are:
Bodily Injury Coverage, which normally covers common accidents where third parties are injured
Property Damage Coverage, which normally covers certain incidents where others’ property is damaged
Personal Advertising Injury Coverage, which normally covers slander, libel and false advertising lawsuits
Some general liability policies also include product liability coverage or other protections. Other coverages are less uniformly included, though, and the policies that do have them may place lower limits on these extra protections.
When a business is faced with a covered claim, general liability coverage will usually help with any legal defense fees, settlements or judgements that come out of the claim.
(Exact coverages may vary from one policy to the next, and a few general liability policies may not include these coverages.)
If an employee visits a business as a customer might be considered a third party. For example, a server who visits a restaurant where they work for a meal when they’re off the clock may be a third party during the particular visit. This is because they’re coming as a customer, rather than an employee.
Employees aren’t normally considered third parties when they’re working, however. Injuries that they sustain while working, therefore, frequently aren’t covered by a general liability policy’s bodily injury coverage. Instead, on-the-job injuries are usually under the purview of workers compensation insurance.
“Comprehensive general liability coverage” is mostly an antiquated term for what’s called “general liability coverage” today. Insurance companies have made the change in terminology to better reflect the protections offered by this coverage. These policies offer general and fundamental protections, but they don’t protect against every possible risk. That’s why there are other liability policies as well.
As mentioned, insurance companies make general liability coverage widely available. It’s often offered via stand-alone policies, business owners policies and commercial package policies. Which of these purchasing options makes the most sense for a specific business depends largely on what (if any) other coverages the business needs.
For help finding general liability insurance for your Massachusetts business, contact the independent insurance agents at The Feingold Companies. Our agents specialize in this and other forms of commercial insurance, so they can help you decide between a stand-alone policy, business owners policy or commercial package policy. They’re also independent, which lets them show you policies from several insurance companies. With their assistance, you’ll get a policy that offers solid protection.