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.


Example 1: While setting up the Christmas lights in a client’s home, the technician activates the wrong wire and causes an electrical fire. General liability insurance will likely cover any property damage that may result from the accident.

Example 2: A technician accidentally leaves a bucket of tools in the middle of an outdoor walkway during the unveiling of a client’s light installation. This obstruction causes the client to trip, fall, and break their wrist. General liability insurance would likely cover the injuries and follow-up appointments.

Example 3: A local competitor believes that your logo too closely resembles their own. They sue you for copyright infringement as well as lost income. General liability will likely help cover the cost of either fighting the claim in court or settling outside of it.

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, christmas lights installation business 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:

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 Christmas Lights Installation Business 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 Christmas lights installation business should obtain:

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance is there in case you or your employees make a mistake or skip a step while on the job. No matter how skilled your technicians are, light installations will always be a hazardous line of work. This coverage is an extension of general liability insurance and provides specific coverage should your employees’ work cause major damage or physical injury to your clients.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Employees using their vehicles to get back and forth to clients’ homes will need commercial auto insurance to protect themselves, the vehicle, and other people on the road. Commercial auto insurance is likely to cover an at-fault accident, repairing any vehicles or property that may have been damaged. It will also cover the cost of treating bodily injuries.

Types Of Coverage Some Christmas Lights Installation Business May Need

In addition to the policies outlined above, there are a few other types of coverage your Christmas lights installation 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.

Home-Based Insurance

Because Christmas lights are a seasonal business, many owners will operate their business from their homes. Should a work-related accident or injury occur on the premises, homeowner’s or renter’s insurance might not cover the damages.

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.