As an insurance agent, you may already know a great deal about general liability insurance coverage for individuals and businesses. But if you’re just moving into this area of the business, a comprehensive FAQ is provided below. This is also a great resource to share with your own clients, who may not be well-versed in this type of coverage and why they might need it.
What Is General Liability Insurance Coverage?
In the world of business insurance, general liability coverage is the policy that covers expenses related to customer injuries or damages in certain situations. For example, if a customer falls on a company’s property and is hurt, this policy may kick in to cover medical expenses. Likewise, if staff members are installing equipment as part of a company’s normal business operation in the customer’s home and the client’s property is damaged as a result, general liability insurance may help cover those costs.
The purpose of these policies is to protect a business. Without coverage, the business or the owner (in the case of a sole proprietorship and some other business structures) may have to cover the expenses for any losses themselves.
Who Needs General Liability Insurance Coverage?
Most businesses require some form of commercial general liability insurance. How much coverage and the type of policy required depend on the type of company, the assets of both the company and the owners and what types of risks may be involved. Agents can work directly with their clients to understand all these details and ensure an appropriate, cost-effective general liability insurance policy is purchased.
Agents may want to let their clients know why this type of coverage is important. First, having a policy can provide peace of mind for a company’s customers. They know there’s a mechanism in place to compensate them if an issue occurs. Second, a general liability insurance policy helps buffer the business and owners against the costs associated with lawsuits or claims if an injury or damage does occur. Without this coverage, businesses could face costs that force them into bankruptcy. Finally, to get a lease on commercial property, a business might be required to have general liability coverage.
Here are some potential signs your client might need a general liability policy:
• They have a local store, office or other environment that the public visits.
• They install items or complete work on customer property, including in customer homes, cars or boats.
• They handle customer property, such as taking in appliances or computers for repair or sizing jewelry.
• They sell anything to customers or rent out space to people.
• They have an online or social media presence and need to protect their brand.
What Is Covered by Commercial General Liability Insurance?
What a plan covers depends on the specifics of the policy, but commercial general liability insurance is typically designed to protect businesses from common types of lawsuits that might be filed against them. Those include:
• Nonemployee injuries on the property. Employee injuries are typically covered by workers’ compensation.
• Damage caused to property belonging to someone else. This might include damage caused by an accident on your property or when working on someone else’s property. It doesn’t, however, always cover specific professional errors. (
• Damage to someone’s reputation caused by libel or slander. This is why businesses with an online presence should have coverage.
Agents can work with clients to ensure they understand what is covered by a specific policy before a contract is signed. You may need to help your client find a comprehensive policy or purchase more than one type of insurance to ensure they are fully covered.
What Business Insurance Is Required by Law?
Legally, businesses aren’t required to have general liability insurance. They may be required to have specific coverage for their profession (such as medical malpractice insurance) or coverage for vehicles, though. In most cases, these types of requirements are mandated at an industry or state level and don’t apply to general liability.
Even without a legal requirement, your clients may find they can’t continue to do business easily without general liability coverage. Many landlords require this coverage as a condition of each lease, and other business partners may require coverage before they will sign a contract with your client.
The Application and Process of Buying Coverage
American European Insurance Group makes it as easy as possible for agents to find coverage options for their clients. You can log into the agent portal on our website to get quotes for clients or peruse our many product lines to understand all that we offer.
We write many lines of business with the exception of workers’ compensation, and we insure more than 500 types of businesses, ensuring that agents can find a policy that’s right for each of their clients.
American European Insurance Group also makes it easy for agents to reach out to underwriters. They’re only a phone call away, so you can work with them to clarify information about a client and ensure a quote is finely tweaked to meet your client’s needs.
The Claims Process for Insurance Companies
Stellar service doesn’t end once the contract is signed. We continue to serve your client with the same attention to detail and excellence once they become an American European Insurance Group policyholder. Policyholders can log into the insured portal to manage their account and policy at any time.
If the need arises to make a claim, policyholders have numerous options for contacting a Claims First Reporting representative. They can contact us via our online form or call the customer service department at 800-222-3058 and select option 2 to report a claim.
Agents can let their clients know that having certain information on hand when reporting a claim can speed up the process. That information includes the policy number and name of the insured, contact information for the person making the claim, the date and time of loss, a brief description of the loss and a list of the names and addresses of anyone involved. It’s also a good idea to have a list of any witnesses with contact numbers if possible.