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 WALK-IN CLINIC
Example 1: When one of your customers enters your clinic, they slip on slush and ice that was tracked in by a previous customer. General liability insurance would cover the costs of their injuries from the fall.
Example 2: When unloading new equipment for your walk-in clinic in the parking lot, a staff member damages one of your customer’s cars. General liability insurance would cover the costs to fix the vehicle.
Example 3: One of your customers believes they were unfairly treated by your staff due to their ethnicity. General liability insurance would pay for the costs associated with protecting your reputation.
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, walk-in clinics in America spend between $350 - $750 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.
Other Types of Coverage walk-in clinics 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 walk-in clinics should obtain:
Commercial Property Insurance
If you own the space used for your walk-in clinic, you’ll need commercial property insurance to keep your grounds and equipment safe. This insurance typically covers your clinic from severe storms, theft or vandalism, and fire. From broken windows to water-damaged equipment, this insurance can compensate you for a variety of expenses.
Walk-in clinics are at risk of malpractice lawsuits in the same way that larger hospitals are. Malpractice covers expenses associated with mistakes made when assessing, advising, or treating a patient.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Workers’ compensation is necessary for all employees, whether they work full-time or part-time. Clinics can be a dangerous place to work due to the risk of cross-contamination. Workers’ compensation can cover sudden illnesses or accidents, as well as chronic injuries that stem from repetitive motion on the job (e.g., lifting boxes, sitting for long periods).
Business Interruption Insurance
If your walk-in clinic needs to close due to a covered event, such as a major storm or vandalism, business interruption insurance provides income to owners even when they can’t see patients.
Data Breach Insurance
Medical and insurance fraud are on the rise, so data breach insurance is critical for a walk-in clinic in case a hacker violates patient data in any way. This insurance will help cover the costs associated with identity or insurance theft.
Types of Coverage Some walk-in clinics May Need
In addition to the policies outlined above, there are a few other types of coverage your walk-in clinic 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 Liability Insurance
This insurance is available for medical practices in case a general liability policy reaches its maximum limits. When it comes to a healthcare business, lawsuits can become extremely expensive very quickly. A general liability policy may only cover a portion of the expenses (based on its policy limits), but umbrella insurance can cover additional expenses above and beyond those limits.
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.