What Does Contractor General Liability Insurance Cover?

Accidents happen.

This is true in every line of work but even more so in the high-risk industry of construction.

And with this higher risk of accidents comes the very unpleasant possibility of getting sued.

It is not uncommon for contractor businesses to be on the receiving end of a lawsuit. Whether perceived or real, clients will not hesitate to take you to court if they feel your business is at fault for damages or injuries they have suffered.

If this should happen to your contractor business, could you afford it?

According to claims data from The Hartford, just one slip-and-fall incident costs an average of $20,000. Add in court costs and a single slip could cost you $75,000 or more.

With contractor general liability insurance, you won’t have to foot the bill on your own.

What Does a Contractor General Liability Claim Look Like?

Think it won’t happen to you? Examples of some incidents that could be covered by contractor general liability include:

  • A client on a job site trips over a piece of equipment one of your employees leaves lying out.
  • You accidentally copy an ad by a competitor.
  • One of your employees insults a client on social media.
  • You accidentally back your work truck into a clients garage door.

Regardless of the type of accident, a third-party could end up taking you to court for injury or damages. And the resulting costs – including court costs, settlement fees, medical bills, and work time lost – can add up quickly.
 

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What Does Contractor General Liability Insurance Cover?

Helping to cover damages and/ or injuries to clients, people you do business with (aside from employees), other businesses, and complete strangers, contractor general liability helps pay for costs resulting from an accident, regardless of who is at fault.

Contractor general liability can help cover:

Bodily Injury

A particularly risky line of work, the contractor business is not for the faint-of-heart. Even more dangerous for an untrained visitor, a construction site can easily be the scene of a third-party accident. Should an accident occur, contractor general liability can help cover claims for medical costs and work time missed, as well as legal fees and resulting judgments should the injured party file a lawsuit.

Property Damage

If someone claims that you are responsible for damage to their property, you could be facing a lawsuit. Whether you are actually at fault or not, defending your business in a court battle can get very expensive, very quickly. Contractor general liability insurance can help cover the costs for court-related expenses in a property damage case.

Completed Product Claims

Contractor general liability insurance can help protect your business against claims related to products that you’ve installed or work that you have completed. If a client is hurt due to something you installed in their house a year ago, your policy may help cover the costs for any work time missed, medical fees, or court costs resulting from their injury.

Reputation Injury

If someone who works for your contractor business says or writes something negative about a competitor or client, you could be in hot water. Lawsuits for injured reputation are common and costly. The third party could bring the suit – warranted or not – for:

Libel: a written defamatory statement
Slander: a spoken defamatory statement.

Contractor general liability can help cover the costs of lawyer fees, court costs, and possible court-awarded compensation.

Copyright Infringement

In the instance that someone feels an advertisement or other business material you’ve used for marketing closely resembles their original design, you could be facing a copyright infringement lawsuit.

Be sure that you have the proper permissions for the content, writing, images, videos, and music that you use for business purposes. Contractor general liability can help cover the legal fees associated with a copyright infringement lawsuit.

Regardless of the reason, lawsuits that are brought against your contractor business can have a lasting effect on your finances. General liability coverage helps you rest easy with the knowledge that, should a suit be brought against you for any of the above reason, your policy can help cover the costs.

Contractor general liability insurance can help pay for third-party lawsuit costs, including:

  • Lawyer’s fees
  • Evidence expenses
  • Judgments
  • Court fees
  • Settlements
     

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What Contractor General Liability Doesn’t Cover

While contractor general liability insurance has your back under in many instances, there are situations where coverage doesn’t apply, including:

  • Intentional damage
  • Damage to your own property
  • Illness or injury to your employees
  • Financial losses to a third party
  • Cyber attacks or identity theft
  • Excessive damages that exceed your policy limits

Don’t pay the high costs of a legal battle, fees and judgments, medical bills, and missed work time on your own.

When you are deciding what kind of contractor insurance you need, remember that contractor general liability has your back if you inadvertently damage client property, have a client get hurt on a job-site, accidentally commit copyright infringement, or are accused of injuring someone’s reputation.

 

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