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 AN AQUARIUM MAINTENANCE BUSINESS

Example 1: While performing aquarium maintenance in a client’s home, you trip over your vacuum cable and fall into the client’s entertainment center — smashing a large television and several other pieces of equipment. General liability insurance would cover the cost to repair the client’s damaged property.

Example 2: When your employee performs maintenance on an aquarium in an office building, he accidentally knocks over one of your client’s employees and causes her to break a wrist. She sues your business for her injuries. General liability insurance would cover your legal costs, including any settlement.

Example 3: A competitor claims your latest advertisement libeled his business and decides to sue. While you disagree with the accusation, you need to hire an attorney immediately. Your general liability policy will pay for your legal representation and any awarded settlement.

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, aquariam maintenance businesses in America spend between $300 - $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:

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 Aquarium Maintenance 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 aquarium maintenance businesses should obtain:

Professional Liability Insurance

While you strive to help your clients maintain complex marine ecosystems in their homes or businesses, there’s always a chance one might decide your professional services caused them harm. If a client files a lawsuit, professional liability insurance would cover your legal fees and any required settlement.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Any car or truck you use primarily for business requires commercial auto insurance to protect the vehicle, driver, and others on the road in the event of an accident. Be sure to select a policy that covers not only accident-related vehicle repair costs and medical treatment for anyone injured, but also sufficient protection for any business equipment and supplies you carry in your vehicle.

Types Of Coverage Some Aquarium Maintenance Businesses May Need

In addition to the policies outlined above, there are a few other types of coverage your aquarium maintenance 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 Umbrella Insurance

While your general liability insurance policy covers most claims, some accidents or lawsuits may be so catastrophic that they threaten to exhaust the limits of your primary coverage. Commercial umbrella insurance protects you from paying out-of-pocket for any legal fees and awarded damages that exceed your primary policy.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

If you have any employees, most states will require you to carry workers’ compensation insurance for both part-time and full-time workers. This coverage protects your employees if they become injured at work or fall ill after a work-related accident. It not only covers an employee’s medical bills and lost wages if they need time to recover, but also any disability or death benefits stemming from a work-related accident.

 

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) to protect your personal assets. (Refer to our guide for step-by-step instructions on how to form an LLC in your state.)
  • Streamline your business' internal processes. This will remove unnecessary variables from common tasks and create a safe, consistent environment for conducting business.