The term “general liability” may lead you to believe that this coverage can handle all sorts of injuries and claims against your business, no matter the visitor. However, one type of frequent visitor – your employee – may not be covered by this policy. Let’s take a look at why your general liability insurance may not cover the injuries of employees and how you can keep your business protected in various situations.
What is general liability insurance?
A business’s general liability coverage is built to help you with expenses if your business is found responsible for an injury or incident. Depending on the specific commercial policy, general liability insurance can help you pay for things like:
- A visitor’s medical bills if they’re hurt on your property
- Accidental damage to a customer’s property by you or your employees
- Medical bills of a person injured by a product you manufacture or sell
- Copyright infringement
- Other legal fees associated with defending yourself in the above cases, whether you’re found to be at-fault or not
Overall, commercial general liability is built to manage the overall risks of doing business day after day – the not-so-regular or expected “oops” moments. Your employees may have these “oops” moments from time to time, but what happens when the resulting injury is from something work-related?
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Why doesn’t general liability insurance cover employee injuries?
The thing about having an employee injury covered is that it depends on how the incident happened.
For example, let’s say Employee A was trying to reach inventory on a high shelf. They then lost their footing on the ladder, fell, and broke their arm. The employee injured themselves on your property, and the injury was specifically related to doing their job.
Employee A’s injury happened due to a work-related risk, not your run-of-the-mill accident that could have happened to anyone that walked into your business. Therefore, your general liability insurance may not cover their medical bills or lost wages as they recover.
Employees are exposed to certain on-the-job risks that normal visitors to your company are not. Therefore, employees may need different coverage to handle those specific risks.
What is worker’s comp. insurance?
Workers compensation can help you pay for an employee’s medical bills and a portion of their lost wages while they’re out of work recovering. It usually doesn’t cover your business’s legal fees if an employee sues you for their injuries. However, employees with workers’ comp. coverage kind of waive their ability to sue your company because they’re already being taken care of. So, on top of typically being a state-mandated part of your business insurance, it can also be a win-win if an employee is injured at work.
Normally, the only prerequisite for an employee receiving workers’ comp insurance is proving that the injury happened at work or due to a work-related activity. For a general liability claim, the injured person would need to prove that the injury was due to you, an employee, or the business’s actions or lack thereof.
How can I lower my liability risk as a business?
There are tons of different types of business insurance that can help cover the costs of physical, mental, and financial damages to others. Still, there are some pretty easy ways to reduce the risks before insurance has to step in.
Reducing your property’s risk
- Take note of hazardous conditions and clean them up ASAP
- Keep an eye out for tripping hazards
- Keep your premises clean
- Keep proper signage and materials handy for dangerous conditions
- Make sure floors, steps, walkways, parking lots and other high-traffic areas well maintained
- Install an appropriate amount of lighting, both inside and outside
Reducing your employee risk
- Properly train your employees on business practices, safety, and emergency situations
- Minimize distractions in the workplace
- Create an ergonomic workplace
- Teach proper lifting and transport techniques to reduce bodily strain
- Investigate any accidents that do happen so that you can prevent them later
Reducing risk for your products and services
- Make sure all of your client and employee records are up-to-date
- Have high product quality and inspection standards
- Warn the public of unsafe products or conditions immediately
- Refrain from slander and gossip throughout your workplace
Even though workers compensation insurance may not be a part of a standard Business Owners’ Policy (BOP) bundle, it can still be worth it to include in your business insurance plan. That way, you can look out for the well-being of your employees while properly protecting your business from everyday accidents.
Our experts can even help you save money on whatever type of commercial insurance policies you need. We’ll partner with you to learn the ins and outs of your business, then use our expertise and insurance connections to get you the best rates on quality business insurance. To start your free, customized quotes, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with a specialist today!