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 PODCASTER
Example 1: As a guest star tours your studio, they trip over some cords linked to your equipment. Not only do they knock over several monitors, but they also hit their head and fracture their wrist. General liability insurance would cover your guest’s medical bills as well as the cost to repair your equipment.
Example 2: As a delivery vehicle drops off some special equipment, your ramp malfunctions. This pushes your new equipment and the delivery driver into the door of the delivery vehicle. The weight of the equipment crushes the delivery driver’s left arm and damages the door. General liability insurance would cover the driver’s medical bills and vehicle repair costs as well as any legal costs in the event of a lawsuit.
Example 3: After a meeting with potential sponsors, one sponsor stays after hours to see how you record live shows. As they reach to plug in a microphone, they receive an electric shock from a bare wire and sustain several injuries to their hands. The sponsor needs medical attention and sues everyone involved with the podcast. General liability coverage would pay for your legal costs, the sponsor’s medical bills and any other damages awarded to the injured party.
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, podcasters 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.
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Other Types Of Coverage Podcasters 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 podcasters should obtain:
Commercial Property Insurance
If you own your studio, you’ve likely made major investments to create an amazing recording space filled with the best equipment. Yet, fire or a severe weather event could easily damage your expensive equipment. Commercial property insurance can help replace your valuable podcasting tools and repair any damage to your studio so you can get back to work.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Whether you have one employee or 20, most states require businesses to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their part-time and full-time employees. If one of your employees becomes injured at work or falls ill as the result of a work-related accident, this insurance would cover their medical costs and, if appropriate, any disability benefits.
Types Of Coverage Some Podcasters May Need
In addition to the policies outlined above, there are a few other types of coverage your podcaster 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
Your business faces multiple risks that could jeopardize your career if you can’t pay for legal costs and damages stemming from a lawsuit. Even if you’ve already invested in comprehensive general liability insurance, legal fees can exhaust your primary policy limits in some cases. If you lose a lawsuit and the related costs exceed the terms of your other policies, umbrella insurance will prevent you from paying out-of-pocket.
Home-Based Business Insurance
Before you open your own studio, you’ll likely host your podcast from home. However, your regular home insurance policy will not cover any accidents related to your podcasting business. Home-based business insurance covers such situations, and you may purchase it as part of your comprehensive business owner’s policy or BOP.
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.