Business insurance requirements tend to vary per state. The types and amount of coverage you are expected to have may depend on your business’ location as well as your industry.
As a rule, general liability insurance isn’t typically required by any state or federal law in order for a business to operate. This doesn’t mean that you won’t need general liability insurance or never be required to have it, however.
In some cases, you will be required to carry general liability insurance in order to operate in certain industries or obtain certain licenses. If you have a physical location, for example, you may be expected to carry general liability insurance in case someone is injured on your business’ property.
Be sure to ask your landlord or industry expert to see when you may need general liability insurance.
When Do I Need General Liability Insurance?
Even without a legal requirement, general liability insurance is crucial to have in place as soon as you are ready to open your doors.
General liability insurance can cover three main dangers facing your business:
Property Damage: Property damage liability covers damage to property a third party may suffer as a result of the business’ everyday activities.
Personal and Advertising Injury: Personal and advertising injury covers claims against the business concerning libel, slander, malicious persecution, copyright infringement, theft of an advertising idea and more.
Essentially every business can and should benefit from this insurance policy as it covers a range of general and common accidents a business may face on a day-to-day basis.
What Happens If You Don’t Have General Liability Insurance?
Without general liability insurance, you could fail to obtain or maintain certain necessary licenses. Aside from that, you will also be expected to pay for damages and injuries all out of pocket after an accident.
For example, if someone slips and falls on your business’ property and later sues for their injuries, you could be responsible for paying for the related legal costs, medical bills, settlement expenses and more. General liability insurance can help your business avoid a heavy financial hit caused by such an accident.
Be sure to speak with an insurance agent about the liability insurance your business may need.