Anyone that runs a business knows that there are a lot of balls to keep juggling in the air to operate reliably and profitably. But there’s always one issue that can upend plans without warning, that’s a lawsuit. Liability is an ever-present risk for American businesses, and with new threats to consider, such as an ongoing global pandemic, things are more uncertain than ever before.
That’s why many businesses consider protecting themselves with general liability insurance, but what is this, and how can it protect you?
Whether it’s a commercial or residential property, you have a legal obligation to maintain a reasonably safe environment for visitors if you own it. For homeowners, this means taking precautions such as locking up dogs that may be aggressive to visitors. For commercial properties, it could mean maintaining amusement park rides to ensure visitors have a safe experience.
Any property owner who fails to provide a safe environment and then has a visitor injured due to the neglect is now vulnerable to premises or product liability. This means the injured visitor may sue the property owner for the injury received.
Premises liability relies on the accident victim being able to prove negligence in the trial. This means that evidence indicates a property owner was aware of a possible risk to visitors but, despite that awareness, chose to ignore the threat. A homeowner that leaves a loaded gun on a coffee table while children are visiting and insists, “It’s fine” would be an example of negligence.
In a commercial setting, it might be something like a burnt-out light bulb in a stairwell with no windows that are not quickly replaced; then, someone falls while attempting to use those stairs.
General liability insurance is a specific policy designed to assist businesses in the event of a premises liability lawsuit. The United States is a very litigious nation compared to other countries, and cases continue to rise.
For any business, the financial impact of a premises liability lawsuit can be a big negative, but for medium and small companies, sometimes this can be enough to shut down operations entirely. Insurance coverage against this unpredictable outcome can provide a lot of peace of mind.
If you run a business and you’d like to have more coverage against contingencies such as premises liability, we can help. Contact our team of experts from Panorama Insurance Agency to take a look at your operations and determine what kind of general liability insurance will give you the protection you need.