About General Liability Insurance

All businesses, regardless of industry, face risks that should be covered by insurance. The most common and comprehensive type of policy business owners invest in is general liability insurance (or CGL).

Some of the risks CGL insurance covers are:

  • Bodily injury
  • Property damage
  • Medical payments
  • Legal defense and judgment
  • Personal and advertising injury

While businesses aren't legally required to carry general liability insurance, operating without it is extremely risky. If your business is sued, you could end up facing fees totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more). Having a sufficient CGL policy in place to help compensate for these damages is the only way to prevent this type of event from devastating your business.

Learn more about the risks covered by general liability insurance.

COMMON SITUATIONS THAT GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE WOULD COVER FOR A LANDSCAPE SUPPLY BUSINESS

Example 1: During a delivery to one of the local businesses, your employee loses an entire truckload of gravel, causing extensive damage to the client’s property. General liability insurance should pay to repair or replace the damage.

Example 2: A local competitor has brought a lawsuit against you, claiming your new ad campaign paints their business in a bad light and has caused them to lose business. A GL policy should cover your attorney’s fees and court-awarded damages.

Example 3: You are looking to add a second location and have applied for a loan. As part of the terms of the loan, the bank is requiring evidence of liability insurance.

Example 4: While visiting your office for a hiring interview, the interviewee trips on the welcome mat and breaks his wrist. Your general liability insurance should pay for his medical bills.

Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of perils a general liability insurance policy will cover, and some conditions may result in a particular peril not being covered. It's always best to talk to your agent in-depth about the specifics of your policy to avoid blind spots in coverage.

Cost Of General Liability Insurance

On average, landscape supply businesses in America spend between $500 - $1,500 per year for $1 million in general liability coverage.

Check out the chart below for a snapshot of average CGL expenditure across a variety of industries:

Graph showing average price of general liability insurance prices per industry

Several factors will determine the price of your policy. These include your:

  • Location
  • Deductible
  • Number of employees
  • Per-occurrence limit
  • General aggregate limit

You may be able to acquire general liability insurance at a discounted rate by purchasing it as part of a business owner's policy (BOP) rather than as a standalone policy. A BOP is a more comprehensive solution that includes multiple forms of coverage, such as business interruption and property insurance.

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Other Types Of Coverage Landscape Supply Businesses Need

While general liability is the most important type of insurance to have, there are several other forms of coverage you should be aware of. Below are some other types of insurance all landscape supply businesses should obtain:

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance is necessary for vehicles driven on public roadways for business purposes. When an accident occurs, the policy covers the cost to repair your damaged vehicle, as well as medical expenses, liability claims, and lost equipment. State-mandated minimum requirements should be discussed with an insurance professional, as these minimums leave many underinsured after a major loss.

Commercial auto insurance can be purchased as a standalone policy or as part of a business owner’s policy (BOP), depending upon the carrier.

Workers Compensation Insurance

State law requires that all businesses carry workers compensation on their employees. If an on-the-job injury is sustained, it would pay for the worker’s medical treatment and offer a portion of lost wages to employees with significant injuries.

Workers compensation is generally purchased as a standalone policy.

Types Of Coverage Some Landscape Supply Businesses May Need

In addition to the policies outlined above, there are a few other types of coverage your landscape supply business may require depending on certain aspects of your operations. Some of these might not apply to you, so be sure to ask your agent which policies are right for your business.

Commercial Property Insurance

Landscape suppliers should consider carrying a commercial property policy, which covers their business assets after an unexpected loss. It covers the cost to repair or replace business property, including owned buildings and business-owned property kept onsite.

Commercial property insurance can be purchased as part of a business owner’s policy (BOP).

Product Liability Insurance

Product liability insurance protects business owners who manufacture, supply, or sell products. If a customer claims they have been wronged due to a product you sell, you could be named in a lawsuit. A product liability policy offers legal protection and covers damages awarded by the courts.

This coverage is generally sold as part of a business owner's policy (BOP) and can be tailored to meet the specific needs of your organization.

Commercial Umbrella Liability Insurance

Modern business owners are exposed to a variety of liability risks out of their control. While general liability insurance is one of the first lines of defense in a major lawsuit, it is written with a policy limit. Once this coverage is exhausted, you could be held responsible financially. With a commercial umbrella policy in place, you have an added layer of protection, as this policy would pick up where the general liability policy leaves off.

Additional Steps To Protect Your Business

Although it’s easy (and essential) to invest in business insurance, it should not be your frontline defense. Yes, insurance will compensate for your business’ financial losses after an incident occurs, but it’s much better to avoid losses altogether.

With this in mind, here are three things you can do to better protect your business:

  • Use legally robust contracts and other business documents. (We offer free templates for some of the most common legal forms.)
  • Set up a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation to protect your personal assets. (Visit our step-by-step guides to learn how to form an LLC or corporation in your state.)
  • Stay up to date with business licensing.
  • Streamline your business’ internal processes. This will remove unnecessary variables from common tasks and create a safe, consistent environment for conducting business.