What is General Liability Business Insurance?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 February 2020
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General liability business insurance is a type of insurance coverage that provides companies with protection in the event that some type of property damage or injury is sustained as the result of something the company did or failed to do when engaged in the process of doing business. Companies of all sizes can benefit from securing and maintaining this type of general liability insurance, along with maintaining property insurance and worker’s compensation coverage. Together, these three types of business insurance help to protect the company and its assets from just about any type of event that has the potential to result in a lawsuit.

With general liability business insurance, the company is protected should injury or damage take place as a result of the actions of the company. For example, if an individual is injured while passing a construction site as the result of negligence on the part of an employee of the construction company, the general liability business insurance would typically cover medical costs and also possibly seek to arrange a settlement with the injured party. The goal in this instance is to avoid any type of legal action that could financially cripple the business and make it impossible to continue operations.


Like most types of insurance coverage, the scope of general liability business insurance will vary, depending on the level of protection that is required by the client. Most will offer the same basic components, with the difference being the amount of coverage provided with each component. This makes it important for a business to realistically consider each component and determine the amount needed to adequately protect the business from possible litigation arising from something the company did or did not do as related to damage to property or injury to an individual. The nature of the business operation will often provide valuable clues as to what types of issues could arise at some point, making it possible to secure higher levels of coverage for events that are more likely to take place.

While general liability business insurance can be expensive, it is important to note that a single incident can easily justify the premiums paid over a number of years. Since the coverage will normally include benefits that not only help to settle claims or judgments but also aid in managing legal fees and costs, maintaining the insurance coverage can often mean the difference between protecting the financial well being of the business and having to at least curtail part of the operation in order to settle judgments and awards made by a court as well as fees charged by attorneys to represent the business during a lawsuit. As with most types of insurance, the hope is that the coverage never has to be invoked even as a degree of peace of mind is achieved by purchasing and maintaining the general liability business insurance.



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