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 PET FISH STORE
Example 1: An employee is helping a customer find a few plants for their fish tank when they accidentally spill some water on the floor. As the customer heads to the cashier, they slip and fall, breaking their wrist and sustaining a concussion. Your general liability insurance policy will likely cover their medical costs and your legal fees in any potential lawsuit.
Example 2: You’re setting up a new display when one of the delivery drivers accidentally trips over an extension cord and crashes into it. The accident leaves the driver with a very serious head injury. General liability insurance will likely pay for the driver’s medical bills and replace the damaged merchandise as well.
Example 3: After opening a second retail location, you’ve decided to revamp your logo and start running new advertisements in the local papers and on TV. A few weeks after the campaign launches, you receive a call from your lawyer stating that a competitor is threatening to sue your business because your logo infringes on their copyright. General liability insurance will likely cover your legal fees and any subsequent settlement payouts.
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, pet fish stores in America spend between $400 - $700 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:
Several factors will determine the price of your policy. These include your:
- 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.
Other Types Of Coverage Pet Fish Stores 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 pet fish stores should obtain:
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Workers ‘compensation coverage is designed to help pay for medical expenses, disability benefits, and even death benefits if your employees are injured in a work-related accident. Most states require businesses with employees to carry this coverage.
Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial property insurance will help cover the cost of replacing or repairing owned real estate, equipment, or inventory that is damaged in a covered event such as a fire, storm, or act of vandalism.
Types Of Coverage Some Pet Fish Stores May Need
In addition to the policies outlined above, there are a few other types of coverage your pet fish store 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.
Business Interruption Insurance
If you ever have to shut down regular business operations following a fire or other incident, you may find it difficult to keep your business afloat due to the loss of income. Business interruption insurance will help make up for some of this loss. This coverage is typically available as part of a business owner’s policy.
Data Breach Insurance
It’s common practice nowadays for many retail businesses to offer a rewards program for their loyal customers. When your customers sign up, they often provide sensitive private information like phone numbers, personal addresses, and even credit card information. If your business falls victim to a cyber attack, data breach insurance can help to cover any related costs from a lawsuit.
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.
Steps After Getting Business Insurance
Depending on where you are in your business building process, here are some other actions you may need to take before getting started:
- If you’re just starting, finding the best name for your business is a great first step. Check out TRUiC’s Business Name Generator.
- After finding the perfect name, get a logo with our Logo Generator.
- Every business needs a website. Using a website builder like the GoDaddy Website Builder or Wix makes building a website simple and fast! Check out our review of the Best Website Builder.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is included in a business owner’s policy?
A typical business owner's policy includes general liability, business interruption, and property insurance. However, BOPs are often customizable, so your agent may recommend adding professional liability, commercial auto, or other types of coverage to your package depending on your company's needs.
What is the difference between business insurance and general liability insurance?
"Business insurance" is a generic term used to describe many different types of coverage a business may need. General liability insurance, on the other hand, is a specific type of coverage that business owners need to protect their assets.
Do I need insurance before I start a business?
You should invest in coverage for your business before your first interaction with a customer. Although the cost of insurance may seem high for a brand new business, it's best to be proactive when it comes to protecting your assets. After all, you can't buy insurance to cover a loss that has already occurred.
Will insurance protect my business from everything?
Not necessarily. Certain exceptions may be written directly into your policy, and some perils may be entirely uninsurable. Be sure to discuss the scope of your policy in-depth with your agent to avoid being blindsided by holes in your coverage.