General Liability Insurance: The Basics

General liability insurance, sometimes called commercial insurance, protects your business in the event of a third-party lawsuit. From liquor liability policies to errors and omissions coverage, hospitality businesses have plenty of insurance options, but a general liability plan tops the list of must-haves. It is the most basic—and the most essential—insurance policy for restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and cafes.

Why You Can’t Ignore the Most Important Business Owner’s Policy

In this litigious day and age, businesses bear a heavy legal responsibility. Over the past few decades, lawsuits have proliferated and rewards have skyrocketed. Some claims are valid. Others are not. In either case, an effective legal defense can cost a fortune. One protracted lawsuit can easily bankrupt a small- to medium-sized establishment. The only way to minimize the risk and save your business from ruin is to purchase general business liability insurance.

 

What Types of Businesses Can Benefit from General Liability Policies?

Every small business needs a general liability policy. Whether you work in an office or a boutique, whether you own a coffee shop or a tax consulting service, you should be covered in the event of a lawsuit. Insurance is particularly important for hospitality businesses that frequently:

  • Host high volumes of customers.
  • Handle property belonging to clients or customers.
  • Operate in fast-paced, high-risk environments.
  • Serve drinks and food to customers.
  • Experience spills and falling objects (e.g., silverware, plates)

 

What Sorts of Claims Do Insurance Plans Cover?

A critical part of any well-rounded insurance portfolio, general liability plans cover claims related to physical injury, reputational harm, and property damage. While it doesn’t mitigate exposure to every potential risk, it does cover the basics, such as injuries, illnesses, and property damage resulting from business operations.

Specifically, general liability shields businesses from claims related to:

Insurance Type Description Example
Bodily Injury
  • May protect your business if someone suffers or claims they suffer a bodily injury as a result of your products or services.
  • If someone slips and falls on a spilled drink, or if a patron gets hit with a falling plate.
Property Damage
  • May protect you if someone claims you or your employees damaged their personal property.
  • A waitress accidentally spills coffee on a customer’s laptop while serving them.
Rental Property Damage
  • May protect you if the property that you rent from a third party is damaged.
  • A fire damages a venue that you rented in order to host a party.
Reputational Risk
  • May protect you if someone sues you for libel, slander, malicious prosecution, false arrest, or privacy violations, etc.
  • An employee uses Twitter to disseminate false and damaging information about a competitor, and the other party sues.
Advertising Liability
  • May protect you if another party claims that you infringed on their copyrights or engaged in false or misleading advertising.
  • Another restaurant claims your logo is similar to theirs and subsequently sues you for copyright infringement.
Liquor Liability
  • Some policies include a basic liquor liability provision. Although not designed to deal with businesses that serve alcohol on a daily basis (for that, you need separate liquor liability insurance), it nonetheless may cover businesses who serve drinks every now and then.
  • Your business serves alcohol at a catered party and someone falls down after becoming inebriated.

 

Medical Payments
  • Helps cover the medical expenses of a personal injury case.
  •  A court determines that you have to pay for an emergency room visit and hospital stay after someone hits their head on a low-lying ceiling beam in your restaurant.

 

 

general liability insurance agreement

How Much Will Insurance Cost?

 

The cost of liability insurance depends on a number of factors, such as:

  • The size of your business
  • The type of business
  • Where your business is located
  • Your claims history
  • Your loss history

 

The good news is that basic liability coverage is typically affordable for the average small business owner. In general, you can expect to pay anywhere between $200 and $1,000 per year, although price can vary significantly based on the above factors. If you would like to receive a more accurate figure, fill out our questionnaire to get a FAST, personalized general liability insurance quote.

 

It’s Time to Protect Your Business

These days, businesses face an uphill battle. The risks have multiplied. Lawsuits have become commonplace. If you want to survive, you need to protect your assets from exposure. At the very least, that means purchasing general liability coverage.

Fortunately, Tabak Insurance Agency makes it easy to mount a proactive defense. We provide restaurants, bars, and nightclubs with comprehensive insurance at competitive rates. With in-depth industry knowledge, as well extensive risk exposure experience, we know how to provide the right coverage for every establishment. Contact us today to learn more about our general liability policies.