General Liability Insurance for New York businesses
New York State is one of the most litigious places to do business. Everything’s bigger, including lawsuits and settlements even if you don’t go to trial. Between 2010-2014, the average slip-and-fall case settlement in New York state was $789,600; and the largest settlement was $16.5 million! What would that do to your bottom line if you don’t have insurance?
What is General Liability Insurance?
Also known as Commercial General Liability, this coverage protects your business from financial loss as a result of claims for injury, medical expenses and damage to property caused to others by you or your employees. Your risk lies in the unexpected: a customer trips and injures himself, an employee compromises your database, or a client sues you for slander. Even if you’re a consultant/freelancer, a client may ask you to provide a certificate of insurance in case you damage something at their office.
What kinds of businesses need General Liability?
The short answer: any business that interacts with the public or customers or has a location that is open to the public. But some industries are higher risk than others. For example, a retail shop open to the public has more risk exposure than an IT consultant working from home. General liability coverage for contractors can be more expensive because their work involves someone else’s property. And if you’re a chainsaw artist carving tree stumps in a public park, coverage could be hard to find.
We’ve worked with New York City businesses of all types, from retail and restaurant to contractor and architect.
Example professions include:
- Automobile Dealers/Service
- Landscape/Lawn Care (in NYC?)
- Real Estate
Why do I need a General Liability policy?
Running a business in New York City carries inherent risk. Accidents happen and your business could be held responsible, costing you millions. Clients want to know you’re financially stable and won’t go under if you’re sued. You’ve worked hard to build your business, you don’t want to lose it due to an outrageous lawsuit settlement. You need general liability if you or or your employees:
- Represent your company to the public.
- Interact with clients/customers face to face at your place of business or theirs.
- Access client equipment/property.
- Conduct business at third-party locations such as contractors/architects at a building site.
General liability coverage is also helpful if:
- Your customer/client requires you to have it before doing business with them.
- Your landlord/lease requires it.
- You’re applying for certain professional licenses that require it.