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 EXPERT WITNESS SERVICE

Example 1: While visiting your place of business, a potential client slips while walking up the stairs to your office, breaks a wrist as she falls, and demands you pay for her medical treatment. General liability insurance would cover her medical care.

Example 2: The owner of a competing expert witness service files a lawsuit against your business, claiming you libeled his company. While you disagree with the claim, you want to hire a lawyer right away. General liability insurance would cover your legal defense costs.

Example 3: During a meeting at a client’s business, you accidentally spill your coffee on her high-end laptop. General liability insurance would pay to replace the client’s damaged laptop.

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, expert witness services in America spend between $350 - $650 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 Expert Witness Services 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 expert witness services should obtain:

Professional Liability Insurance

While you provide reliable, high-quality expert witnesses, there’s always a chance someone might claim your professional services caused them harm. If a client sues your business, claiming you made a mistake or failed to perform, professional liability insurance would cover your legal fees and any required settlement.

Commercial Property Insurance

You made a major investment to establish your business. In the event of a fire, theft, or natural disaster, commercial property insurance would cover the cost of repairing or replacing your business-related property. This includes structural damage to your office as well as the business equipment, supplies, and furniture stored there.

Types Of Coverage Some Expert Witness Services May Need

In addition to the policies outlined above, there are a few other types of coverage your expert witness service 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.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Most states require businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their part-time and full-time employees. 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.

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.

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.