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.
COMMON SITUATIONS THAT GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE WOULD COVER FOR A BILLBOARD ADVERTISING COMPANY
Example 1: A client comes to your office to discuss advertising and trips over an extension cord, breaking her wrist. She asks you to pay her medical bills. Your general liability policy would likely cover the cost of treatment.
Example 2: One of your employees is putting up an advertisement on a billboard when he accidentally knocks off a container of adhesive. The adhesive falls onto a luxury automobile below. The general liability policy you carry would help pay for the cost of damages caused by your employee.
Example 3: An employee is hauling a load of supplies from a delivery truck to another vehicle in your parking lot when he loses control of his hand truck. The supplies slam into a customer’s car, tearing off the mirror and leaving a long gash down the side of the vehicle. The customer sues your company. Your general liability policy would cover your legal fees in the lawsuit.
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.
The average billboard advertising company in America spends between $450-$750 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.
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 billboard advertising companies should obtain:
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
The employees that help you install billboard advertisements will benefit from the protection provided by workers’ comp insurance. It will cover the cost of treating work-related injuries as well as help pay for lost wages for injured employees. Workers’ comp is required by law for employers in most states.
Commercial Auto Insurance
The trucks you use primarily for business should be covered by a commercial auto policy, both to meet state laws and to protect you, your employees, and others on the road. The policy will help pay for damages and medical treatment in the event of an accident. That way you can get your vehicle back on the road as quickly as possible.
In addition to the policies outlined above, there are a few other types of coverage your billboard advertising company 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
An umbrella insurance policy is designed to take care of costs that exceed the limits of your general liability policy. Once those limits are reached, the umbrella policy will start to pay until its limits are reached as well. An umbrella policy helps you avoid needing to pay out of pocket in the event of a big expense, such as a costly lawsuit.
Commercial Property Insurance
Your equipment and supplies for billboard advertisements would be expensive to replace if they were damaged or destroyed in and events like a fire or severe storm. With a commercial property insurance policy, you would have help paying for replacements, allowing you to resupply and get back to business as quickly as possible.
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.
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.