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 PROFESSIONAL SPEECH WRITING BUSINESS
Example 1: While visiting your office, a client slips on some wet flooring in the restroom, breaks an arm in the resulting fall, and decides to sue your business for failing to mark the wet floor. General liability insurance would pay for your legal defense and any required settlement.
Example 2: During a meeting in a client’s home to discuss the speech you wrote for her, you trip over the client’s dog, fall into her entertainment center, and smash a large television. General liability insurance would pay to replace the client’s damaged property.
Example 3: A competitor files a lawsuit against your company, claiming you slandered his business. While you disagree with the claim, you know you need an attorney right away. General liability insurance would pay for your legal defense.
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.
On average, professional speech writing businesses 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.
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 professional speech writing businesses should obtain:
Professional Liability Insurance
While you strive to provide quality speech writing services for your clients, there’s always a chance someone might decide you made a mistake or failed to perform. If a client sues your business for negligence, professional liability insurance would cover your legal fees and any required settlement.
Product Liability Insurance
The speeches you write are the products you sell. While you strive to produce well-written speeches for your clients, there’s always a chance someone might decide your product caused them harm. In the event of a lawsuit, product liability insurance would cover your legal fees and any required settlement.
In addition to the policies outlined above, there are a few other types of coverage your professional speech writing business 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.
Home-Based Business Insurance
If you run your business from your home, you may need this insurance to safeguard the equipment and space in your home devoted to your business. A typical homeowners insurance policy may not cover business-related items or client injuries on your property if you don’t disclose you use your home for business purposes.
You can typically purchase this coverage as part of a business owners policy (BOP).
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.
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.
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.