Will General Liability Insurance Cover Customer’s Broken Belongings After an Accident

insurance signA person walks into a business, falls, and damages his expensive watch. Is the business responsible for that loss? This is a common example of a general liability insurance claim. In many cases, business owners need to have this type of financial protection in place to limit any type of loss they have just by opening their doors. Take a closer look at when damaged property may be covered on your policy.

Does General Liability Insurance Cover Property Damage?

General liability insurance aims to help business owners avoid the financial burden of paying for losses their customers, clients or third-party visitors experience. There is the expectation that your business will be safe for a person to walk into and use.

Yet, problems can happen many times over, even as you try to avoid them. Proving that there is negligence happening is more complex, however.

Let’s say that someone does suffer a loss on your property. Will your insurance help you? In most cases, the answer is yes.

If the person is able to file a general liability insurance claim for the incident, then any losses he or she had during that period may have coverage. For example, if someone enters the property and slips on a wet floor, he or she may damage their watch, a laptop, or any other item they are carrying with them. If the claim applies to any injuries they suffer, it may cover the property damage, too.

Proving Negligence Is Complex

That’s not to say that anyone can file a claim though. What if the person walking in tripped over a table because he was not paying attention to where he was going? What if there was a clearly marked wet floor sign and someone was working on cleaning it up? The good news is that the individual has to prove that the business was negligent in the situation. That may not be as easy as it seems.

In a situation like this, your first step is to contact your insurance agent. Report the claim. Then, an adjuster will work with the person filing the claim to determine what happened and what type of loss they suffered. It is best to try to refrain from providing any promises to the individual, though. Let the agent handle all of these inquiries for you instead. It can help alleviate the frustrations involved.

How to Choose a General Liability Plan if You Work with Your Client’s Equipment

As a business owner, having proper general liability insurance is critical. It image of man with toolshelps ensure your business remains protected from a variety of risks. One key risk occurs when you maintain your customer or client’s equipment or other possessions. In this case, having enough liability insurance is important. How much you maintain depends on a variety of factors.

Why You Need More Coverage

Let’s say you are a mechanic. You store numerous vehicles on your lot for your customers. To make repairs, those vehicles sit in garages or on lifts. Mistakes can happen at any time. If your customer’s property has any damage to it, you could be responsible for it.

Or, perhaps your business repairs equipment for other companies. If you take possession of that equipment, even for a small amount of time, you may be responsible for its well-being. If an accident happens, and the owner’s property suffers damage, you could be responsible for the repairs or replacements.

In both of these situations, the correct liability insurance is paramount. You’ll usually need at least a property damage liability policy in these cases.

What to Do to Protect Your Company

Property damage incidents can occur to any business. Any time you take possession of your customer’s belongings, you should take a careful look at your liability insurance. Does it include property damage coverage? Be sure it is enough to cover these assets from risks. Here are a few examples.

  • Employees may cause damage to the property. You may be responsible for repairs.
  • Damage can occur to the property due to weather events, which might still be your responsibility to repair.
  • Another customer may cause damage to the property.
  • Someone may steal the customer’s property.

There are many ways that damage can occur. It is up to you to have enough liability insurance in place to minimize those risks from costing you. General liability insurance can cover many of these damages. You can file a claim with the insurer who will handle the entire process for you. This includes working with the customer to ensure they have the financial recourses owed.

Keep in mind, though that you should work with your business insurance agent to establish the right policy. Be sure you carry enough liability insurance. It should be enough to cover the valuables and other property you maintain for your clients. Also, remember that you might need additional specialty liability coverage, based on the services you provide.

Consider the value of the property on your location now. Do you have enough liability insurance in place to protect you from claims related to damage to it? If not, give us a call at 800.475.0001.

Your Professional Liability Insurance May Not Cover These Five Things

commercial liability insurance oklahoma

If you’re shopping for a professional liability insurance policy, you should know the limits first. While your commercial coverage can protect you from client claims, injuries and product malfunctions, it might not save you from false advertising, patent infringement and several other commercial dangers. Exclusions will almost always apply.

Below, we’re covering five claims your professional liability policy might not cover. If you’re expecting to face them, you might need more coverage.

One: False Advertising

A professional liability policy won’t protect you from false advertising. If a campaign represents your business in a false way, the responsibility is yours. If customers sue because you’ve failed to be honest, you may have to pay expenses out of pocket. Dishonesty is not an insurable trait.

Two: Patent Infringement

In most cases, patent infringement involves another vendor. Thus, your professional liability policy likely can’t protect you from it. Professional liability insurance isn’t designed for these claims. This said, you can get a patent insurance policy. Patent insurance will protect your intellectual property, and it can protect you if you face losses.

Three: Employment Disputes

While professional liability insurance policy will protect you from employee mistakes, it won’t protect you from disputes. Here’s an example. If you’re hiring a consultant, your policy will often protect you if they make a mistake when providing services. It won’t, however, protect you if another employee sues you due to age discrimination. Purchase employment practices liability insurance to fill the gap.

Four: Workplace Abuse

General liability insurance policies have come a long way. Even so, modern professional liability insurance doesn’t cover costs arising from workplace abuse. A comprehensive policy can protect you from allegations of abuse, but professional liability insurance can’t offer blanket protection in these cases. Again, an employment practices policy might prove beneficial in these cases.

Five: Intentional Wrongdoing

Intentional wrongdoing—or causing damage to a customer, client or employee on purpose—is excluded from most professional liability policies. If history proves you meant to cause harm to a client, your policy won’t protect you. Harm itself, isn’t so black and white. It can include:

  • Habitually missing an important client meeting
  • Giving incomplete advice
  • Giving professional instructions known to cause fiscal, or physical, damage
  • Bodily harm, such as physical or sexual assault. Criminal actions will almost never have protection.

While it might seem like professional liability insurance has a lot of gaps, it doesn’t fail in serving its purpose. A professional liability policy protects you from workplace errors and omissions. If you’ve made an honest mistake, your policy will protect you. By understanding your policy’s boundaries, you can be a better policyholder, business owner and partner. You can call one of our insurance professionals at 800.475.0001 to help you complete and/or verify your coverage.