Watch Out For General Liability Coverage Gaps
Your general liability coverage protects you when you are legally liable for damages to a customer, whether bodily injury or property damage, but there are some areas not automatically covered by your general liability policy. Contact Cooper’s Insurance right away if any of the following apply to you and we will use our expertise to make sure you have the protection you need for your business.
Valet parking and delivery:
Your general liability policy does not protect you for the operation of a vehicle that is not owned by your business. You could be held liable for damage to a customer’s vehicle if you employ valets, run a full service car wash, or any other time your employees operate customers’ cars. You could also be liable if your employee causes an accident while using their own vehicle to deliver goods or services for you. Note that these coverage concerns apply to use of vehicles by your employees, not independent contractors you hire. There are other steps to take to make sure you are protected for the actions of contractors, which are addressed in the "additional insureds" article in this newsletter.
If your establishment serves liquor you have a legal obligation to make sure you do not serve intoxicated persons or minors. If those customers cause an accident, away from your establishment, you could be held liable for a portion of the damages for serving them. Make sure your servers are trained to properly check ID and to recognize the signs of intoxication. Also make sure your liability policy includes Liquor Liability coverage. Contact us if you have any questions. We are happy to be of service.
Employment practice liability:
Your general liability policy provides protection if you are liable for injury to a 3rd party, a customer for instance, but does not provide protection if an employee or customer sues for discrimination, harassment, ADA violation, etc. To be properly covered every business owner should have employment practice liability insurance. We have special access to all the companies for these policies. Please contact us and we will be glad to provide a quote.
Your general liability policy provides protection for you and your employees. At times you may also hire independent contractors to enter your premises to do work or perform services for you. A valet parking company or janitorial service are good examples. While these are not "employees" of your business, you still may bear some legal liability for their actions when they are working on your behalf. There are steps you can take to make sure you are protected when you use independent contractors.
Make sure they have insurance:
Require all independent contractors that enter your premises to have a liability policy in place. We strongly recommend requiring limits of no less than $1,000,000 per occurrence.
Make sure you are covered by their policy:
Require that your business be named as additional insured on the liability policy of the contractor. Additional insured simply means that your business is covered by the contractor’s policy when the contractor is on your premises doing work for you.
Make sure you have proof:
Require the contractor to provide you with a certificate of insurance showing both their limits and that your business is an additional insured. A certificate of insurance is proof that coverage is in force and meets certain conditions. It can be obtained from the contractor’s insurance agent or company.
We’re happy to review and verify a certificate for you. Just send it to our office!
Contact us if you have any questions.