Commercial General Liability (CGL)

Whether you own/operate a small or large business it's important that you make sure you have coverage in place to deal with the unexpected. Commercial General Liability (CGL) insurance will protect you against uncertainty and will cover liability claims made against your business if your Company is ever held liable for third party property damage, injuries, or death caused by your business operations, services, or employees.

Why business insurance is important?

Without a commercial general liability policy you expose your business to these claims and make your company vulnerable to large financial loss. The severity of these losses can vary greatly depending on the nature of your business. A common example of a liability loss may be for slip and fall, where the business may owe a duty of care to visitors of their property but failed to meet this requirement, they may be found legally responsible to pay for their injuries.


Bodily Injury & Property Damage Liability

If your company, products, employees, or your services are held responsible for causing physical injury, or damages their property or belongings, to another party this coverage may respond. If found legally responsible, you may be compelled by law to pay compensatory damages, which essentially are damages to compensate the third party for their losses.

Your policy is designed to pay for these compensatory damages. This coverage specifically excludes certain perils, which include but are not limited to: punitive damages (when a court issues these damages to punish wrongdoing), exemplary damages, intentional injury (to another person or their property), injury or damage caused by your commercial automobile, injuries to your employees or their property, or damage to property you own, rent or otherwise occupy.

Personal Injury Liability

In the insurance policy this coverage responds to the injury of another person's character, reputation, and position or image within their respective community. Examples of these damage are known as slander (or verbal defamation), libel (written or printed defamation), false arrest, malicious prosecution, and other actions which may inflict emotional pain and suffering. This policy is designed to cover should you be accused these perils. However, this coverage has exclusions. One example of exclusion is that you are not covered if you knowingly say about someone, or their product or service, which you know to be false.

Medical Payments

This is a 'Good Will' coverage. It pays for a third party's medical expenses should they be accidentally injured while on your business premises, or as result of your company's operations. Even if you may not be legally responsible for a claim this coverage may be used to mitigate the event of a lawsuit to recoup medical expenses. This coverage excludes everyone who was already excluded from Bodily Injury & Property Damage. As an example, if a customer visits your restaurant and breaks their leg after a slip and fall on a wet floor you may opt to cover the third party's medical expenses through this portion of your policy, without the time and expense of going to through a court to resolve.


Tenants' Legal Liability

If you, as a tenant, cause property damage to your landlord's property, you may be legally responsible for damages of which are covered under this portion of the policy. This coverage only applies to the property damage to premises owned by others rented to you or occupied by you. As an example, if there was a fire in your unit caused by equipment you are using, this portion of the policy would indemnify the landlord for damage to their property (but not your own, this is covered under separate insurance).

This breakdown of coverage is simplistic and not designed to be a complete resource of information for a Commercial General Liability policy. It is used to demonstrate the importance of carrying this coverage and provide examples of the coverage it provides. Please consult with your broker when shopping for a CGL policy as depending on your industry various exclusions will apply.

Professional Liability - Errors & Omissions (E&O)

This insurance covers liability arising out of negligent acts in rendering, or failing to render, professional services protects business professionals whose clients could claim damages as a result of the business professional’s faulty performance. Faulty performance may be because of a negligent act, error, or omission by the professional; hence, the name of the insurance.

Errors and omissions insurance, also known as ‘E&O’, protects the business professional by shielding his or her assets and paying for his or her defense if a client makes a claim. It protects the professional’s clients by ensuring that there will be adequate funds to pay for damages incurred if the professional’s services are deemed to be faulty.

In Ontario, errors and omissions insurance is mandatory for professionals such as Estate Planners and Financial Consultants.

If you provide professional services that involve getting paid for advice, you should check to see whether or not provincial legislation requires you to carry errors and omissions insurance.

Other types of business professionals who might need errors and omissions insurance include computer consultants, software developers, planners, architects, accountants. In other words, if your clients might sue you for damages resulting from faulty performance of your services, you should consider carrying errors and omissions insurance.

There are no standard policy wordings for E&O insurance. A doctor has different exposures from an accountant who has different exposures from a computer programmer.

Most E&O policies will cover judgments, settlements and defense costs. Many are also written on a “claims made” basis which means the claim must be made and/or reported within the policy period. E&O policies have a retroactive date which is usually the effective date of your first E&O policy, assuming you have not cancelled your E&O policy.

If a claim arises out of acts that have occurred prior to the retroactive date, there is no coverage. In a sense, the farther back the retroactive date, the more coverage you have. It is important to note that if you cancel your E&O policy, and purchase a new E&O policy at a later date, your retroactive date will be the effective date of the new policy.

Some E&O policies have a discovery period. A discovery period is a provision that allow the insured a certain period of time after cancellation of the policy to report losses that occurred during the policy period.

An example would be a consultant who has retired and has let the policy lapse. If the discovery period provision in the policy is 1 year, the consultant may report losses after retirement that occurred during the policy period. Depending on the business, industry, or profession, the length of the discovery period varies and there may or may not be an additional cost.

E&O costs vary greatly depending on the size of the business, the exposure, and the limits required. Limits can range from $100,000 to $5,000,000 or higher. E&O quoting usually involves an application, supplementary questions if necessary, resumes of the principals, and sample contracts.

Errors & Omissions should not be confused with general liability (Commercial General Liability) which covers property damage and bodily injury to third parties as a result of your negligence. A slip and fall would be a common example of a claim that would fall under a general liability policy.

Always consult with your insurance broker as this insurance can vary greatly among industries and professionals.

Manufacturers Insurance

Manufacturing Business Insurance is designed to provide comprehensive coverage to manufacturing business owners. This insurance is tailored specifically to manufacturers needs as opposed to standard commercial business insurance. Manufacturers are exposed to a wide variety of risks that are just not seen with any other business type, which is why manufacturing business insurance is oftentimes important to safeguard against each of these unique risks. The following will provide an in-depth look at what manufacturing business insurance entails.

In general, there are many different risks associated with owning and running a manufacturing business, both serious risks that have a high possibility of occurring at one time or another or smaller risks that have a small potential of happening and may need to be protected against, but aren't quite as pressing as others. The three areas of protection that manufacturing business insurance often covers includes public and product liability, business interruption insurance and coverage that extends to plant, machinery, stock and trade contents. There are times when extra coverage is available as well. This coverage can include something like employer's liability.

When looking at the three primary types of coverage, it's important to know what these coverage's will protect against in order to ascertain if they are needed. Public and products liability is designed specifically to protect against all third party grievances that can occur with employees, customers, suppliers and even the community, as well as all third party property. In essence, this coverage protects against being brought to court if someone is injured on company premises or due to the products that were sold to them.

Business interruption insurance is, as the name implies, a type of insurance meant to cover the general loss of income that builds up after a disaster that forces a company to cease doing business for a period of time. This type of coverage also extends to any relocation that is necessary following the disaster. The coverage for plant, machinery, stock and trade contents is basically designed to protect against damage to any objects or contents of the company premises, such as machinery and on-site stock.

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