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 LIVE STREAMER
Example 1: As you prepare to host a collaboration with a fellow streamer, your guest trips over a loose extension cord when they bring equipment into your studio. During the resulting fall, your guest breaks a wrist as well as their expensive equipment. General liability insurance would cover the guest’s medical bills and equipment repairs if they decide to sue.
Example 2: You host several fans in your studio for a tour after they win a promotional contest. During the tour, one fan separates from the group to examine your cameras. As the fan reaches for a heavy camera on a top shelf, they slip and knock the shelf down on their head. If the fan decides to sue for damages, your general liability coverage would cover your legal costs and any settlement payouts.
Example 3: During a delivery of sound equipment to your studio, the delivery driver backs into the loading area and accidentally hits a security gate. The crash rips off the delivery van’s rear bumper and damages its back door. General liability insurance would cover any vehicle repairs and legal costs associated with the incident.
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, live streamers in America spend between $300 - $600 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 Live Streamers 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 live streamers should obtain:
Commercial Property Insurance
You’ve made major investments in your video equipment, game consoles, lighting systems, networking components, and other streaming tools. If a fire or natural disaster impacts your studio, replacing this specialized equipment would be extremely costly. Commercial property insurance protects your equipment and other business property in the event of an accident.
Business Interruption Insurance
If a fire, burglary, or other incident forces you to temporarily close your studio for repairs, it’s not always easy to take your equipment and film elsewhere. Business interruption insurance would cover your financial losses until you can reopen your studio.
Types of Coverage Some Live Streamers May Need
In addition to the policies outlined above, there are a few other types of coverage your live streamer 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 Coverage
Even the most responsible business owners can sometimes face a lawsuit that threatens to exhaust the limits of their primary insurance coverage. Commercial umbrella insurance protects you from paying out-of-pocket for any legal fees and awarded damages that exceed your primary policy.
Data Breach Insurance
As part of today’s online world, your business is vulnerable to cyber attacks. Whether you’re dealing with an angry fan or someone seeking to usurp you on the top streaming websites, consider data breach insurance to protect both your personal and business information.
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.
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.