What is Business Liability Insurance and Why is it Important?

Business liability insurance is something every business should have whether large is small. It is similar to third party car insurance in that it covers your business for damage done to a third party or their property. It is often called public liability insurance or personal liability insurance if you are a sole trader. In layman’s terms, if you injure someone or cause financial loss to their property whilst on the job then your insurance company will cover you as part of your liability insurance property. In some countries and industries, the cover for a third party (i.e. a person) is compulsory whether it is a bystander or someone working on the job.

Liability insurance is not only a good idea, it is often required by either law or by the people hiring you. Many construction companies will not contract a sole trader or a business unless they have liability insurance and the government will usually insist in it for any government contracts. Medical practices are often required to have liability insurance in case of damage to a patient. And an angry patient on the end of an accidental medical stuff up could successfully sue you for million; this is where their medical liability insurance kicks in.

When getting business insurance quotes, you will almost always need to contact an insurance company or broker. The insurer will need to chat to you in order to understand what the risks of your business are and to ascertain how much your insurance premium will be. With business insurance, there is not a 1 size fits all type of system where an instant quote can be given.

A tree lopper for instance, would have a much higher insurance premium than an IT developer. One is indoors all day working on code, the other is flinging ropes around branches, using chainsaws at 10 meters high and chopping branches that would crush a small car let alone a afternoon jogger who didn’t see the stand clear signs. Don’t think it doesn’t happen, you hear similar stories every day, someone has to compensate and be compensated for – this is where the trusty old insurance company comes in to play.

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In addition to business, public or personal liability insurance is just plain old business insurance which covers your business’s items much like comprehensive car insurance covers you for damage to your car. So if your business owns a building, computers, photocopiers, cranes, tractors or any possessions of value that need to be covered for damage then you’ll have to get additional insurance on top of your liability cover. You should be able to get a package if you get them from the same insurer.

Business liability insurance is something all business should have and which many must obtain. If you continue business without it then you could see yourself in serious financial trouble and even bankruptcy if an accident as a result of your or your business’s actions. Ask yourself, could you afford to be sued for hundreds of thousands of dollars including paying all the legal fees?

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