General Liability Insurance for Retail Businesses: Key Details
While shopping for a policy to protect your retail business from costly liability claims associated with bodily injury or property damage, be sure to ask your Insureon agent about creating a custom insurance policy for your business. Your General Liability coverage may protect your retail business against the following type of claims, depending on your policy limits.
Bodily Injury Claims
General Liability Insurance may shield retail business owners from one of the most prevalent and costly liability claims: bodily injuries. Accidents happen all the time in commercial establishments, no matter how prepared you are. For example, say a customer is reaching for an item above them. You may have warning signs in place that remind customers to ask for assistance reaching high-shelf items, but they reach anyway. As a result, an item falls and lands on their head. Such an accident is enough for a customer to sue your retail business for bodily harm. Even if the lawsuit is ultimately without merit, your retail business would still be responsible for attorney's fees and court costs if you don't have adequate General Liability coverage.
If a third party's injury or illness results in death, your General Liability policy may provide funds for medical costs, funeral expenses, and court-awarded compensation. Your own employees' on-the-job injuries or job-related illnesses, however, are not covered by this policy. Your retail business should consider Workers' Compensation Insurance for that protection.
Property Damage Claims
General Liability Insurance may also cover property damage liability claims. Say, for example, that one of your customers leaves a ring in the care of your jewelry business for cleaning and it's damaged in the process. Should that customer try to sue your jewelry business, your General Liability coverage may kick in to pay for the costs of a covered claim.
As retailer, you could be sued if a product you sell causes an injury to one of your customers. A toy store might sell a product that contains small pieces a child could choke on. A florist could sell a plant that causes a customer to break out in a nasty rash. For injuries and illnesses caused by your products, General Liability may cover your lawsuit costs. Most GL policies include products liability coverage for these risks, but always check with your insurance agent about the details of your coverage
Similar to products liability coverage, General Liability Insurance may also offer services liability coverage in case a customer is injured by a service you perform. For instance, a pool store may also offer pool cleaning and maintenance for their customers. If a customer got sick when the pool's chemistry failed to prevent bacteria growth, the store's General Liability Insurance may cover the lawsuit.
Personal and Advertising Injury Claims
Retail businesses that use advertising or promotional material to attract customers will be happy to know that General Liability Insurance may also protect your business from allegations of non-physical damages to another person or entity, including copyright infringement, libel, or slander.
Medical Expenses Claims
If a customer is injured on your retail business's premises, your General Liability Insurance may cover claims relating to their immediate medical expenses. Due to the high cost of medical care, this protection is invaluable to small-business owners who could be held responsible for paying the medical expenses if the accident occurred on their premises. As a general rule, if someone is injured on your business property, insurance companies prefer to cover the expenses of immediate medical attention rather than let the situation go unattended and have that person come back later and sue your business.