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Does your business have a general liability insurance policy? If not, it’s critical to get coverage as soon as possible. Accidents can happen unexpectedly. If you’re unprepared, you will pay profoundly.
Expenses covered by general liability insurance usually include bodily injury, property damage, medical payments, and legal expenses. However, each business insurance policy varies and you’ll need to find one that’s right for you. If you’re running a business and have yet to become insured, here’s why you need to obtain coverage as soon as possible.
1. You’re Liable for Damages Even Without an Office
Are you still trying to find an office space to work from? Are you handling your operations out of your living room? Anyone injured while conducting business with you can sue, even if the interactions took place online.
Your business is liable for damages caused by anyone handling business on your behalf. You do not need physical location to be held responsible.
Remember, you are still liable for damages whether you’re running your business online or out of your home. For example, if you’re a massage therapist and clients come to your home for treatment, you are legally responsible for damages that arise while conducting business, whether caused by the treatment given or a random accident at your house.
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2. Property Damage Is Always an Unfortunate Possibility
You never know when you’ll experience property damage. However, it’s fairly common. Whether it’s graffiti, intentional destruction, a broken window, or damage caused by an angry customer. General liability insurance will cover most property damage situations.
Unfortunately, we live in a world where intentional damage occurs all too often. It’s important to understand how to handle vandalism and destruction of property.
If you’ve never had to replace a broken window before, don’t wait until it happens to realize your windows happen to be the most expensive style on the market. Get small business insurance immediately to eliminate your risk.
3. General Liability Insurance Covers Legal Expenses
General liability insurance policies usually cover legal fees associated with common business lawsuits, like advertising liabilities and intellectual property lawsuits. Facing a lawsuit is difficult and it’s even harder when you can’t afford legal counsel.
4. Don’t Face an Intellectual Property Lawsuit Uninsured
An intellectual property lawsuit is one of the worst types of lawsuits your business could face in court. Copyright and trademark infringements are federal crimes. This just one example of why general liability insurance is important to have.
The problem with undergoing a federal lawsuit is the cost. It’s expensive to get a lawyer to represent you in federal court. Even if you’re innocent, a lawsuit could still bankrupt your business.
Copyright infringement verdicts aren’t cheap. For instance, a Houston school district was ordered to pay $9.2 million in damages for copying training materials without permission. If someone sues you for trademark or copyright infringement, you’ll likely be offered an opportunity to settle before the case goes to trial. However, the settlement agreement is in their favor.
The other party might believe you’re guilty, even if you can prove your innocence. They’ll probably offer to settle the case if you pay them a sum of money. If you don’t agree to pay the sum of money, the case will proceed to trial.
If your case proceeds to trial, you’ll need to pay a lawyer to defend you, which will probably cost more than the settlement offer you rejected. Worse, if you try to represent yourself, you could agitate the judge by holding up the proceedings by not filing the proper motions out of ignorance.
If you have general liability insurance that covers common lawsuits, your policy will likely cover the legal expenses you incur. The policy might even cover paying the settlement amount, or your lawyer may advise you to proceed to trial because they’re confident you’ll win.
5. General Liability Insurance Protects You From Professional Errors
Small business insurance policies will usually cover professional errors. For example, a real estate agent sells a house stating the countertops are marble. After the buyer moves into the home, they discover the countertops are actually a composite material that imitate marble. If the new homeowner files a lawsuit, a general insurance policy can help cover the real estate agent’s legal costs.
One Lawsuit Could Bankrupt Your Business
You worked hard to build your business and there’s no reason to let it fall apart over one lawsuit. Unfortunately, that’s a possibility when you’re uninsured. It’s important to protect your business from lawsuits, legal fees, and the settlements that could come. Get insured today.
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