Does Your Business Need Public Liability Insurance?

Tue, Mar 27, 2012


In a word: yes. Unless you work in a cloistered office where nobody ever comes or goes, it’s a pretty good bet that public liability insurance is a good idea for your business. But why? The reason is twofold. First, it protects you from accidents and injuries that occur at your business (to anyone who is not an employee). So if you have customers, clients, or vendors visit, you should definitely think about purchasing public liability insurance. The second reason is that it protects you when you visit other places of business on behalf of your own enterprise. So if you cause injury or damage to persons or property elsewhere you won’t end up paying out of pocket.

Suppose, for example, that a customer spills your hot coffee on her lap, scalding herself, and you don’t have adequate warning labels on your cups. What if someone slips on your recently-waxed lobby floor? What if a tree falls in your parking lot and lands on a client’s car? Or maybe you don’t have the equipment necessary for a vendor to unload his merchandise delivery and he ends up with a herniated disc from transferring boxes into your warehouse. The point is that accidents and injuries can occur within any place of business, and whether you have to pay for hospital bills or you end up in a lawsuit, you like don’t want to go out-of-pocket on what could be a major expense. Even if your facilities aren’t necessarily open to the public, you probably have all kinds of visitors that are not employed by your company and any of them could pose a threat if you aren’t properly insured.

The other side of the coin is that you are bound to stop in at other locales in the line of your work. You may need to visit partners, clients, vendors, or other businesses for any number of reasons, and if you should be at fault for personal injuries to others or property damages while away from your own business you could be held liable for medical costs, repairs, or even lawsuits. What if you back your work truck into the side of a building? Or suppose you are operating machinery at a partner facility and you don’t use proper safety measures, resulting in accident, injury, or even death of another person? You might think these scenarios sound farfetched, but the truth is that accidents happen all the time, which is why insurance companies exist in the first place.

Of course, when you start seeking business liability insurance quotes you’re bound to discover that like most insurance, it isn’t exactly free. But when you consider that it will cover not only payouts for settlements, but also legal fees and other expenses, you can start to see how worthwhile it is. In truth, you’ll only have to use it once and it will probably pay for itself and then some. You can certainly roll the dice and hope that an injury or accident never occurs on your property or that you aren’t inadvertently to blame for such an event elsewhere. But if you want your business to remain viable you need to protect it, and public liability insurance is a step in the right direction.

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