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.
COMMON SITUATIONS THAT GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE WOULD COVER FOR A MOVING COMPANY
Learn more about the risks covered by general liability insurance.
Example 1: As employees are loading items onto a truck, a passerby trips over a box and sustains multiple injuries in the fall. General liability insurance would likely cover any legal costs and injuries associated with the incident.
Example 2: Employees drop an expensive couch down a flight of stairs. The couch and stairwell wall are both damaged, as is an original painting that was staged at the bottom of the stairs. General liability insurance would likely cover damage to customers’ property like this.
Example 3: While visiting your company’s office, a customer slips on a wet floor and falls. They sustain a sprained wrist and concussion in the fall. General liability insurance would probably cover the cost of necessary medical care.
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
The average moving company in America spends between $450-$1,000 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.
How much will the right insurance cost you?
Find what business insurance will cost for your business right now
Other Types Of Coverage Moving Companies 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 moving companies should obtain:
Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial vehicles, according to state law, must be insured with a commercial auto insurance policy. Your moving company will need each truck that the business owns insured. When selecting commercial auto coverage, make sure the insurance will cover the full value of your business’ moving trucks. Box trucks and semis often cost more to replace than sedans or other smaller cars do.
Commercial auto insurance can be purchased by itself or through a package policy.
Types Of Coverage Some Moving Companies May Need
In addition to the policies outlined above, there are a few other types of coverage your moving 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 Property Insurance
If your moving company owns an office, garage and/or expensive equipment, commercial property insurance is in order. This coverage helps protect buildings and items that are stored in them, such as equipment and inventory.
Commercial property insurance is generally purchased through a business owner’s policy (BOP).
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Workers’ compensation insurance is needed if your moving company employs workers. Workers’ compensation covers on-the-job injuries, which employees are at risk for when they’re loading and unloading heavy items. Each state requires businesses that employ workers to carry this insurance.
Make sure this coverage is in place for all of your company’s employees—including those who are hired only part-time and/or for a short duration. Not insuring packers, loaders, and unloaders who are paid a wage could leave your company exposed to risk and potential legal penalties.
Commercial Umbrella Insurance
Commercial umbrella insurance offers supplemental liability protection for large claims. If a liability lawsuit exceeds the limits of an underlying primary policy, this insurance can offer additional protection for legal costs, settlements, and judgments.
Should one of your company’s drivers cause a pile-up on the highway, the resulting damages and injuries could be significant. This risk alone justifies carrying commercial umbrella coverage, and there are many other risks where the additional protection may be helpful to have.
Commercial umbrella insurance is generally purchased by itself or through a package 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) 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.
Steps After Getting Business Insurance
Depending on where you are in your business building process, here are some other actions you may need to take before getting started:
- If you’re just starting, finding the best name for your business is a great first step. Check out TRUiC’s Business Name Generator.
- After finding the perfect name, get a logo with our Logo Generator.
- Every business needs a website. Using a website builder like the GoDaddy Website Builder or Wix makes building a website simple and fast! Check out our review of the Best Website Builder.
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.