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What type of insurance do you need?
Business liability insurance protects your business from the costs associated with liability claims—or claims that you, your employees, or your products have caused harm to a third party. A commercial general liability (CGL) policy is an essential part of your business insurance portfolio, and is your first line of defense against costly lawsuits.
All businesses are at risk for liability claims and lawsuits. Even if a lawsuit is unfounded, you still have to defend yourself, which is costly no matter what the outcome is. A New York commercial general liability policy pays for your attorney fees, as well as any settlements or judgments that you have to pay if you are sued.
New York commercial liability insurance doesn’t only pay for claims that you have physically injured another person or damaged his or her property. It also provides coverage if an individual or a business claims you have caused financial damage due to libel, slander, copyright infringement, or false advertising.
While the New York CGL policy offers very broad coverage for a variety of liability exposures, there are some exclusions. You may still need additional policies or endorsements for any special liability risks that you have.
While customer slips and falls are some of the most common commercial liability claims, your business can be held responsible for faulty products, reputational harm, and a variety of other negligent behaviors that cause either physical or financial harm to a customer, vendor, or member of the general public.
The majority of insurance claims made by businesses are property claims (fire or weather damage, theft, etc.). Liability claims may happen less frequently, but are far more costly.
40% of small businesses are likely to experience a property or general liability claim in the next 10 years. Here are some examples of the most costly claims:
DAMAGE TO SOMEONE ELSE’S PROPERTY
SOMEONE ELSE’S MEDICAL BILLS
HARM TO A COMPETITOR’S REPUTATION
HARM CAUSED BY A PRODUCT
Your business likely faces numerous liability exposures, and not all of them are covered by your New York commercial general liability policy. In fact, standard CGL policies typically exclude certain types of liability risks (e.g., commercial auto liability) that are common for many businesses.
If you are at risk for claims and lawsuits that are not covered under your New York CGL policy (e.g., you own commercial vehicles), you may need to purchase an additional specialized liability policy or add a tailored endorsement to your CGL policy.
The size of your business, its location, and your industry all play a role in how much you will pay for business liability insurance in New York. You may also pay more or less than average depending on the coverage limits and deductibles that you select.
If you own a business that presents a greater risk to third parties (customers, suppliers, or the general public) than others, you can expect to pay more for your New York CGL policy. A restaurant owner in a busy entertainment district will pay far more for a CGL policy than a freelance marketing consultant. The restaurant owner faces risks from customer slips and falls and several other exposures, while the marketing consultant never has customers on its premises and does not produce a product that can cause physical harm.
New York commercial liability insurance is one of the basic building blocks of a comprehensive business insurance program. Without it, you could not defend your business from lawsuits and claims of negligence—whether or not the claims are appropriate. The costs of defending yourself in the face of a lawsuit can be overwhelming, especially for a small business. Wouldn’t you sleep better knowing that you’re protected?
Talk to an independent agent in New York. Independent agents will get to know you and your businesses. They can work with multiple insurance companies; they may even be able to find a carrier who specializes in your line of work.
National average burglary per businesses 1 in 10 business burglarized each year
Number of businesses in US 32.5 million
National average business liability cost $500 year