Top view of eight male hands assembling a colourful umbrella witYou incur many expenses when you run a business, and while it is important to be cost-conscious, it’s possible to self-sabotage in the pursuit of economy. Many business owners hear the word “insurance” and presume that the costs outweigh the benefits. However, general liability insurance for your business can be the levee that holds back the flood that has the potential to obliterate your business.

General liability insurance should be thought of as a first line of defense against the vagaries of running a business in a country that regulates the responsibilities of proprietors. It’s important to note that general liability policies do come with some exclusions, so make sure you understand your policy. In spite of that, there are many situations where they protect the assets of business owners. Here are four circumstances that will make you happy you invested in this protection:

1. A delivery person or repair person is injured in the course of duty on your property.

You’re in your office and you hear the thud of a person falling. Immediately your mind starts racing as you dash out to investigate. If the first thing you think about is getting sued instead of assisting, you might have your priorities out of alignment. Life is full of uncertainties and unfortunately mishaps befall us all. With a general liability insurance policy in place, you can feel confident that you won’t have to endure sleepless nights, worrying about “what if.” General liability provides coverage in the case of a lawsuit and is often referred to as a “slip and fall” policy.

2. Employee carelessness causes the injury of a customer or other member of the public.

Your assistant didn’t mean to leave that stack of boxes outside of the back entrance, but he was distracted and now a parent is insisting that his child was injured when the cartons fell on a strolling toddler. Or your delivery person handed a heavy item to a customer and now customer is complaining that this action caused her harm. In both cases neither employee intended any distress upon the sufferer, but stuff happens. A company with an adequate policy in force will not have to sweat a payout if it is found liable.

3. Your company gets sued for negligence or slander.

While negligence and slander can be difficult to prove in a court of law, there are a few instances where an action by an employee creates a sticky situation for your enterprise. Imagine: your enthusiastic employee shares false information about a competitor that damages the competitor’s business and the competitor catches wind of the tirade. Or your salesperson makes claims about the phenomenal results of that new product, but unfortunately those claims are not based in reality. In either case you company could be liable for damages for wrongdoing and general liability insurance will protect the interests of the firm.

4. An act by you or your employee results in damage to someone else’s property.

For many business owners, this may seem like an exceptional event, but as the saying goes, accidents will happen. It could be something as mundane as an employee damaging a precious artifact during a delivery or as dramatic as a staff member inadvertently causing a fire in a client’s breakroom. Unfortunately catastrophes occur when we least expect them. At least with a suitable policy in force, you can send a note of sympathy and then turn the matter over to your insurance carrier and get on with business.

These are just a few of the examples of why you should consider general liability insurance for your business. It’s better to have it and not need it than to wish you’d gotten it.

Sam Meenasian is the Operations Director of USA Business Insurance and BISU Insurance and an expert in commercial lines insurance products. With over 10 years of experience and knowledge in the commercial insurance industry, Meenasian contributes his level of expertise as a leader and an agent to educate and secure online business insurance for thousands of clients within the Insurance family.