General liability insurance, otherwise known as commercial general liability insurance, is a valuable tool to keep your business protected. Many costly and unforeseen situations arise for business owners, so having the protection that general liability insurance can offer removes an enormous weight from their shoulders.
However, there are several things to consider when choosing a policy, so keep reading to learn what is and isn't covered by general liability insurance.
What Does General Liability Insurance Cover?
Liability insurance is designed for business owners who are looking to protect themselves from bodily injury or property damage claims. Therefore, it is essential to understand what your liability policy covers so you can implement it if a claim is submitted.
These are the type of claims general liability insurance typically covers:
Third-party bodily injury claims This refers to if a customer gets injured on your business property. General liability insurance is designed to pay for the injured party's medical bills.
Third-party property damage claims If damage occurs to someone else's property due to your business or employees, that person can sue for property damage. General liability insurance is meant to cover the cost of replacing or repairing the damage done.
Reputational harm claims Your business can be sued for the slander of a third-party based on statements you or your employee allegedly made. General liability insurance typically covers the legal fees for a reputational harm claim.
Copyright infringement claims This includes any claims made against your business for copyright infringement. Your general liability insurance may cover the legal fees required to pursue this claim.
While liability insurance is likely a critical resource for protecting your business, there are several claims it often does not cover. These claims include employee injury or illness, property damage to your business, and intentional criminal acts.
Does General Liability Insurance Cover Theft?
No. General liability insurance does not cover against theft, which is defined as an intentional criminal act. Other acts not covered in a general liability policy include vandalism, fire, damage due to acts of nature, and loss of income.
I want to protect myself from theft. What type of insurance policy can help with that?
There are several paths you can take if you're looking to protect your business and your assets from criminal theft. The policy you choose to pursue depends on what you want to protect, so you should contact your insurance agent to learn more. They can answer your questions and guide you toward the policy that will best fit your needs.
While general liability insurance is not designed to cover thefts, many available policies are intended to extend protection to your property, including:
Commercial Property Coverage for Business Theft
Commercial property insurance is designed to cover your business' buildings and personal property. Claims include theft, fire and smoke, vandalism, and weather-related damages.
Homeowners Insurance for Personal Property Theft
Homeowners insurance typically covers the theft of personal items. Homeowners' policies are designed to cover claims such as theft, vandalism, damage resulting from fire and smoke, or severe weather.
Car Insurance for Auto Theft
Comprehensive coverage typically covers the cost of replacing or repairing a stolen vehicle. Comprehensive policies are also designed to cover claims relating to damages that occur outside of collisions, such as vandalism, flooding, tree damage, fire damage, and animal damage. Your comprehensive coverage is likely to cover theft, as well as break-in damage, such as repairs for a broken window.
Tips to Reduce the Risk of Theft
While having an insurance policy that covers any theft claims you may have to make will provide peace of mind, there are a few things you can do to avoid it from happening in the first place.
If you're worried about theft occurring at your place of business, you can try the following techniques:
- Conduct background checks before hiring new employees.
- Utilize a surveillance system -- and don't keep it a secret!
- Audit your inventory regularly.
- Follow your company's disciplinary action when thefts do occur. Please report them to the police and your insurance company immediately.
- Keep track of the keys to your building, including all copies you give out.
- Understand common theft tactics.
- Identify and track high-theft items.
- Leverage your customer service as prevention.
- Install mirrors to any blind spots in your building.
- Train your employees on what to do when theft occurs.
General liability insurance policies are designed to protect your business from specific claims made against you so you can operate from a place of peace, comfort, and confidence. For example, this coverage may protect you from third-party bodily injury, third-party property damages, reputational harm claims, and copyright infringement claims.
While this type of policy does not cover damages and loss from theft, you can pursue alternate insurance policies that do.
So, if you're looking to reap the benefits of a general liability insurance policy or want to learn more about protecting your business from theft through the power of coverage, contact your insurance agent to discuss the best path for you!