Problem: Your client slips on an unattended wet floor in your office space, resulting in a sprained ankle.
Outcome: The client successfully sues your business for bodily injury. Your Public Liability policy could cover the legal expenses and medical fees, totaling $20,000.
Problem:A child cuts themself on a sharp kitchen knife left in the dining area of your restaurant.
Outcome:You’re successfully sued for bodily injury by the child’s parents. Your Public Liability policy could cover the medical expenses and legal fees, totaling $15,000.
Problem:You are hired to paint a living room and accidentally spill paint all over your client’s new carpet.
Outcome: Your Public Liability policy could cover the cost to repair the carpet, totaling $10,000 in damages.
Public Liability Insurance, Explained.
What is Public Liability Insurance?
Public Liability Insurance, also known as Commercial General Liability, protects your business against the day-to-day risks of running a business.
Public Liability Insurance typically covers the lawsuits and payments of claims related to third-party bodily injury (e.g., slip-and-fall) or third-party property damage.
What does it cover?
Public Liability Insurance typically includes coverage for legal costs and damages related to the following coverage areas:
Bodily Injury Liability: Injuries or damage to a third-party person or property resulting from your business operations.
Product Liability: Property damage or bodily injury caused by a product you sell or supply.
Tenant’s Legal Liability: Costs to repair or replace others’ property that you rent or occupy.
Personal and Advertising Injury Liability: Allegations of defamation, libel, slander, or false advertising.
Your business may also require additional insurance coverage. Read “What is not covered by Public Liability Insurance?” to learn what’s not covered and the other coverages available.
What does it not cover?
Public Liability Insurance only provides coverage for accidental injuries and property damage to third parties.
Here are some circumstances where you would not be covered under this coverage.
Damages to yourself or your employees;
Intentional criminal acts;
Errors and omissions (you’ll need Professional Liability Insurance);
Your personal property (look into Contents Coverage or Equipment Breakdown Coverage);
A product you manufacture or sell (Product Liability would generally offer coverage); or,
Third-party damage or bodily injury due to an alcohol-related incident (you should have Liquor Liability Insurance if you serve alcohol).
How much does it cost?
For a small to medium-sized business, you can anticipate spending $450.00 annually on a basic Public Liability Insurance policy with a $2M limit.
As every business is different, we’ll give you a quote that provides the right coverage for you. Below are the following factors are typically taken into consideration when determining the cost of your premium:
Years of Experience
Annual and Projected Gross Revenue
Number of Employees
Previous Insurance Claims
We’ve partnered with over fifty insurance providers to offer you different options that suit your business needs at the best price.
Who needs this coverage?
Public Liability Coverage is important coverage for most business owners. It may cover the financial costs of unforeseen events such as lawsuits due to third-party injury or property damage.
You need Public Liability Insurance if:
Your clients visit your office space or your home.
You visit your client’s office space or their home.
You have staff who conduct business off-site.
Can you get 1-day Public Liability Insurance?
If you’re hosting a one-time event, such as a wedding or a fundraiser, you may only need insurance for a limited timeframe. With specific insurance companies, you can purchase short-term public liability insurance for a set number of days or weeks. Please note, if you are hosting several events over a period of time (for example, if you’re an event organizer), it will probably be more cost-effective to purchase insurance that covers the entire time frame.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between Public liability and Commercial General Liability?Zensurance
There is no difference between the two in Canada. Public Liability Insurance is a term that is more popular in other countries, especially in the UK and US. In Canada, the same coverage is provided by Commercial General Liability, often simply referred to as General Liability Insurance, CGL, or Liability Insurance.
Does Public Liability provide coverage for errors and omissions?Zensurance
No, Public Liability Insurance only provides coverage for accidental injuries and property damage to third parties. Errors and omissions in service are covered under a separate policy called Professional Liability Insurance, often referred to as Errors and Omissions Insurance. If a client were to be injured due to a service you provided, you would require Professional Liability Insurance to cover you in such a scenario.
Does Public Liability provide coverage for damage to my business’s property?Zensurance
No, Public Liability Insurance is designed to protect you in claims from third-party injuries or property damage. Your property is not covered under this policy. If you own expensive property and equipment and require coverage, discuss with your broker to get Contents Coverage or Equipment Breakdown Coverage.
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