3 Reasons Businesses Fail and How to Protect Yourself with Liability Insurance
Business owners have enough to worry about besides uncontrollable threats that prevent success. Business liability insurance is one way to help prepare for and protect your business from the biggest risks you face.
Top Business Risks in 2016
A recent study done by Allianz concluded that the following three risks are considered by business owners to be among the most significant business risks for 2016:
You can protect your business from these threats with a variety of business insurance policies, including business liability insurance—specifically cyber liability insurance and employment practices liability insurance.
Protect Against the Top 3 Risks with Liability Insurance for Your Business
Liability claims are among the most expensive business insurance claims. Without appropriate liability coverage, one lawsuit or unexpected event can force you to close your doors. Business liability insurance can help you protect your business from the 3 top risks named in the survey.
In order to protect your business from cyber incidents, PR disasters, and the impact of new technologies, you need:
General business liability insurance also known as Commercial general liability insurance (CGL) is the most basic form of business liability insurance.
General liability insurance definition: A contract that protects a business against claims due to injuries, accidents, and negligence. It can protect your business from costs related to bodily injury, property damage, medical expenses, legal costs, judgments, and personal injury claims such as libel and slander. To protect your business from more specific types of emerging threats, you may need to purchase additional liability policies.
Cyber liability insurance is important for any business that uses electronic information. If you are sued because of a data breach or other cybercrime, your business could be responsible for paying legal fees, court-ordered judgments or settlements, and any other court-mandated costs. Your general liability policy may not appropriately cover these costs.
Cyber liability claims are also extremely costly in terms of fines, public relations costs, and other expenses you must pay on behalf of your affected customers.
While cyber liability policies continue to evolve because of the ever-changing nature of the threats, most cyber liability insurance policies protect your business assets by covering your legal defense costs, as well as any settlements and judgments that you are ordered to pay. Cyber liability insurance also helps businesses repair their reputations and damage to their brands in these situations by providing coverage for PR and other related expenses.
Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) is another form of liability insurance for your business that is becoming more important as technology changes. EPLI provides protection from claims and lawsuits brought against a business, its officers or directors, or its employees and managers for discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment, and other employment-related allegations.
In addition, EPLI covers claims related to employee benefits mismanagement. In today’s interconnected society, it’s not hard to imagine a scenario in which new technology makes it possible for an employee’s benefits enrollment or personal health information to be made public inadvertently. EPLI insurance would protect you in such a circumstance.
Other Kinds of Business Liability Insurance to Consider
In addition to the risks named in the Allianz study, most businesses face a variety of other threats that could lead to a liability claim. Depending on your type of business, you may need to consider a number of additional business liability policies to protect your assets.
Errors and omissions (E&O) insurance: Also referred to as professional liability insurance, this policy will protect you from loss or damage arising from poor or misleading advice, or an act of negligence that leads to a client's financial loss.
Liquor liability insurance: Coverage that protects any business that sells or serves alcoholic beverages, including restaurants, nightclubs, and bars, that can be held liable for damages or injuries caused by intoxicated patrons.
Product liability insurance: If your product causes any form of injury or damage, product liability insurance will cover compensation and possible legal fees if you are sued.
Environmental impairment liability (EIL) insurance: A specialty insurance policy created for companies and contractors who engage in jobs or production that have toxic by-products. EIL insurance will cover many of the costs related to spills, leakage, or contamination, including fines and cleanup costs.
Pollution liability insurance: A business insurance policy that covers the costs associated with pollution cleanup, as well as liability claims for pollution-related injuries, illnesses, or deaths.
Event liability insurance: Standard personal or commercial liability policies will not cover the varied exposures related to special events. Event liability policies can be tailored to your specific event, from small, one-time events to large, elaborate affairs.
How to Know if Your Insurance Policy is Right for You
Business liability insurance—in all of its forms—is essential to the long-term success of your business. Every business liability policy must be tailored to your unique business, or you face having limited or no coverage when you really need it.
Consulting with an independent agent who represents multiple insurance companies is the best way to ensure that you can find the best basic and specialized commercial liability insurance to address all of the insurable risks inherent in your business. Working with your local independent agent, you will determine the type and amount of coverage you need based on:
Business size, type and value
Type of work you do
Type of risks
Level of liability
Your agent can seek out the best coverage—from multiple insurance companies—to meet your needs and budget.
How to Find the Right Commercial Liability Insurance Agent
Your insurance agent is one of your most trusted business advisors—no different from your accountant, lawyer, or banker. Don’t trust your business to just anyone. Choose an independent insurance agent who will be as invested in protecting your business as you are. Whether you need small business liability or corporate liability insurance your agent can help you evaluate specific business risks and the various liability risks your company faces.
To get help choosing the right business liability coverage, contact an independent agent in the Trusted Choice® network. These agents represent multiple insurance companies, providing you with a broad range of options to meet your needs. Find an agent in your community today and start addressing your top business risks.