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General liability insurance

Commercial general liability (CGL) coverage is a type of insurance that protects the insured against liability claims made by third parties. It’s commonly used to protect company owners engaged in business activities that involve other people, such as construction, businesses with employees, retail establishments and nonprofit organizations.

CGL insurance provides coverage for bodily injury or property damage caused to a third party by the business’s operations, products or injuries sustained on the business’s premises. Some policies also extend coverage to cover violations of employee rights.

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Industries that should purchase general liability insurance

All industries have an exposure to which Commercial General liability insurance would respond.  The exposure differs depending on the industry, but coverage under a Commercial General Liability policy extends to provide coverage for such things as; expenses such as legal fees, medical bills, third party property damage, injury to a third party and more.

Some more common industries include:

  • Construction companies
  • Food services
  • Hospitals
  • Hotels and resorts
  • Laboratories
  • Manufacturing businesses
  • Medical offices or clinics
  • Restaurants, cafeterias, and coffee shops
  • Retail stores (including product manufacturers)
  • Schools and educational institutions (including public schools)

Generally, all industries should purchase this type of insurance. If you’re bringing clients into your office, making repairs, manufacturing products, or selling products, then you need to cover your liability exposure.

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What Commercial General liability insurance does for you

Ask yourself how you’ll cover all the potential expenses involved if someone decides to sue your business. This insurance helps protect your assets and manages the risk involved with running any type of business.

It’s easy to dismiss the need for this insurance, because of course you are running an upstanding business with health and safety in mind. However, you can’t control all situations or even employee actions that arise during the normal course of running your company. 

General liability insurance protects individuals and businesses from lawsuits for damages to others  property, injury, or death. The policy's broad coverage includes not only property damage and bodily injury  but also legal expenses arising from an accident.

There are very few businesses that can cover hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in costs that might arise from a lawsuit, which is why it’s so important to put this coverage in place immediately.

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What general liability insurance covers in Alberta

General liability insurance covers a variety of incidents that could happen to your company. It protects against various damages - including legal, public relations, third party damage to property as well as bodily injury to a third party.

In addition, the policy may cover libel and slander lawsuits as well as defamation suits brought by business partners or other people harmed by an advertisement or product in a way that is not covered under property damage.

For example, if a customer sues over something mentioned in a company’s latest marketing newsletter and the customer's attorney presents material published without authorization of their client, general liability insurance would typically cover the legal costs and if a judgement payout is determined for the customer.

What general liability insurance does not cover in Alberta

General liability insurance covers all claims that might arise from an injury sustained by a third party while the insured is engaged with regular business activity.

The most notable exceptions include:

  • Intentional professional misconduct
  • Willful or malicious acts of the insured

Insurance companies that we work with to find you the best general liability insurance:

The cost of general liability insurance in Alberta

The cost of general liability insurance will vary depending on the size of your business, the industry in which you operate, and how many claims you’ve had filed against you.

Too many factors exist to provide ballpark figures for your CGL insurance cost. For this reason, we encourage you to contact one of our brokers. We’ll gather all pertinent details and provide a free quote that tells you exactly how much general liability insurance will cost for your particular company’s situation.

Factors that increase the cost of general liability insurance

The cost of general liability insurance increases based on three main factors: the amount of risk involved, revenue, and limits of insurance required. .

Higher revenue brings higher insurance costs. As a company grows in size, the company typically has more employees, more product generated and possibly an increased number of  locations.

Factors that decrease the cost of general liability insurance

Everything we’ve discussed above regarding factors leading to higher insurance costs works in reverse when looking for lower premiums. 

If your business comes in with a lower risk exposure profile, then you can expect lower costs. For example, some industries might receive lower risk profiles when rating for general liability insurance, including service-related industries, non-profit organizations, and premises only exposures.

Lower revenue indicates a company who has less exposure which would result in lower premiums.

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Submitting a general liability insurance claim with Knight Archer

If you need to make a claim, that means you’re going through a stressful situation. Working with a trusted broker can help you keep a level head throughout the entire claims process. 

Once you are aware of a loss, or an incident which could result in a loss, contact your Knight Archer Commercial Account Executive.  They will be able to advise on the steps needed to mitigate potential further loss, as well as collect the pertinent informatio that will be needed by your insurance company to begin your claim process. 

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Get a general liability insurance quote

The bottom line is that every business owner needs to have general liability insurance to protect against any potential lawsuits. 

Our brokers will take the time to answer all your questions, make sure you understand your exposures and provide a quote that is tailored to the needs of your company specifically. 

In the end, you’ll have the commercial general liability policy in place that can become the difference between staying in business or seeing your company go under. 

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If you prefer in-person or over the phone, you can always chat with one of our account executives. 

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General Liability Insurance FAQs

What is the difference between general liability insurance and professional liability insurance?

General liability insurance works for anyone operating as a commercial company or providing a service of some sort. Professional liability insurance pertains to businesspeople such as engineers, doctors, lawyers, or consultants (anybody providing an opinion or an analysis of something and puts their professional stamp or name behind it).

Another way to internalize the difference is this—CGL covers loss due to a companies operations and professional insurance covers any flawed consultation or advice provided by a professional.

What is an example of a high-risk business?

Any company conducting business in a manner that brings with it a higher risk of physical damage on-site to an employee or customer.

High-risk examples include mining or construction.

Does general liability insurance cover stolen tools?

A CGL policy won’t provide this type of coverage. However, you can add tools and equipment coverage to your policy under a Property extension of coverage.

Is my general liability insurance premium tax deductible?

Yes, typically, these premiums can get deducted from your tax return. Consult your tax accountant for those details.

Is general liability insurance required in my province?

It’s a common requirement in all provinces. However, it’s essential to talk with your broker to determine the coverage needed.  Depending on your industry, there may be limits required under contracts you’ve entered into (ie. landlord, work site, etc.) 

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