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 NICHE WEBSITE

Example 1: Your niche website serves a specific type of reader by providing executive interviews and insights into your target industry. During an interview with an industry leader in your office, he trips over a box, breaks an arm in the resulting fall, and demands your company pay for his medical treatment. General liability insurance would cover his medical bills.

Example 2: As an employee conducts research at another business, she trips on a cable, falls into a stack of servers, and knocks them to the floor. General liability insurance would pay to replace the business owner’s damaged computer equipment.

Example 3: A competitor sues your business for libel. While you disagree with the claim, you know you need an attorney to prove your case. General liability insurance would pay for your legal defense and any required settlement.

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, niche websites in America spend between $350 - $900 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 Niche Websites 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 niche websites should obtain:

Professional Liability Insurance

While you strive to provide insights and advice that will benefit your readers, there’s always a chance someone might decide you made a mistake or an error that caused them harm. In the event of a lawsuit, professional liability insurance would cover your legal fees and any required settlement.

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 workplace accident.

Types Of Coverage Some Niche Websites May Need

In addition to the policies outlined above, there are a few other types of coverage your niche website 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.

Data Breach Insurance

This coverage — also known as cyber attack insurance — protects your business from liability if a cybercriminal hacks into your computer system, steals sensitive site visitor data, and your readers sue you for damages. In the event of such a lawsuit, data breach insurance would cover your legal fees and any settlement payouts.

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.