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.

Example 1:  While reaching toward the back of a shelf, a customer cuts themself on a concealed rusty nail. The customer doesn't have a current tetanus shot and requires medical care. General liability insurance would normally cover legal liabilities associated with the incident.

Example 2:  An elderly patron trips on the steps leading up to your store and sustains a fractured pelvis in the fall. General liability insurance would normally cover injuries resulting from the fall.

Example 3:  While restocking supplies in the back storeroom, a vendor bumps into a shelving unit. The unit falls on them, and they suffer multiple injuries from the incident. General liability insurance would probably cover medical care required for the injuries.

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 stationery shop in America spends between $400-$700 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 Stationery Shops 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 stationery shops should obtain:

Commercial Property Insurance

Stationery shops that own the building they operate out of should protect their building with commercial property insurance. Additionally, shops may want this insurance for their inventory depending on how much they keep in stock.

This insurance is available through a business owners policy (BOPs).

Product Liability Insurance

Product liability insurance helps protect businesses from risks that come with selling products. While the likelihood of paper causing significant damage or injury, stationery shops should still consider getting coverage. If a child were to choke on a pen cap or something else tragic happens, a potentially expensive lawsuit could follow.

This insurance is available through package policies and as a standalone policy.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

If your stationery shop has employees, it undoubtedly needs workers’ compensation insurance. Most businesses that have employees are required to carry the coverage, which protects against injuries that are job-related.

Types Of Coverage Some Stationery Shops May Need

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

Professional Liability Insurance

If your stationery shop has its own line of greeting cards or other stationery, you might want professional liability insurance. This insurance protects against errors that skilled workers make in their work, and copyright infringement is commonly included in the list of covered errors. If an artist sues alleging copyright infringement on some stationery, this insurance would likely cover the legal costs.

Professional liability insurance is available through package policies and as a standalone 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.