As a business owner, you can be held accountable for your negligent acts or those of your employees. General liability insurance protects you in the event that you are sued for negligence and covers events such as injury to a visitor. It also covers property damage caused in the course of your business, slander, libel and false or misleading advertising.
If your business manufactures and markets a product, product liability will protect you if a product defect causes injury to people or property. For example, if you operate a bakery and a customer becomes seriously ill from food poisoning caused by your negligence, your product liability coverage will pay for damages.
Professional liability is a special type of liability coverage that applies to professionals such as attorneys, physicians and insurance agents. Common forms of professional liability include errors and omissions coverage and malpractice insurance. In contrast to product liability, which covers damages caused by physical products, professional liability insurance relates to negligence from rendered services. A common example is a patient suing a physician due to a faulty diagnosis or improper treatment.
Commercial property insurance provides protection in the event of damage to your business property. For example, if you own a furniture store that is destroyed by fire, your property insurance will pay to replace the building as well as its contents as specified in the provisions of your policy. It also can help replace lost income if covered damages result in an interruption of your business activities.
If your business owns a vehicle, such as a delivery van, or if you have a fleet of vehicles on the road, you’ll need auto insurance separate from your personal policy. Commercial auto insurance will protect you in the event that you or one of your employees is involved in an accident or if the vehicle is vandalized or stolen. The liability portion of the policy will protect you if your company vehicle causes property damage or injuries to others.