The Many Faces of Commercial Liability Insurance

If you've recently started your own business in Texas, you probably took out some degree of commercial liability insurance. But do you know whether you actually provided yourself with the right kinds of liability insurance to suit your Austin restaurant, San Antonio professional office or Houston factory facility? Commercial liability insurance comes in many different forms of coverage, the omission of any of which could leave you with an enormous -- and potentially costly -- gap in your business's protection. Here are some different types of commercial liability insurance your particular enterprise may need.

Commercial General Liability Insurance

The Many Faces of Commercial Liability Insurance

Commercial general liability insurance covers a good deal of ground, protecting your company against claims of property damage, bodily injury and even slander or false advertising (which fall under the category of personal injury). This category includes two distinct coverage lines: "premises/operations" coverage, which applies to incidents that occur on your property, and "products/complete operations" coverage for incidents occurring off-site. If you're a Texas sole proprietor, this coverage can save not just your business, but also your personal finances.

Criminal Liability Insurance

Insuring yourself against accidents is one thing; insuring yourself against intentional injuries or damages is quite another. No matter how fondly you view your workforce, it only makes sense to take out criminal liability coverage, just in case a bad apple slips through your human resources department.

Directors and Officers Liability Insurance

Sometimes the damaging actions occur at the top of your personnel list, either intentionally or through accidental but critical mismanagement of the company by directors or officers. Coverage against this potential problem can help you avoid major lawsuits from aggrieved parties.

Product Liability Insurance

You may have covered your operations and property, but have you covered your business against the financial impact of a defective product that might injure or even kill someone? If you make any kind of product, you need product liability insurance.

Professional Liability Insurance

Could errors or omissions in your professional services cause damages that might lead to lawsuits? Instead of waiting to find out, you'll want to cover your service providers and offerings with professional liability insurance.

Key Man Insurance

Technically, key man insurance is a life insurance policy which can be taken out in the name of a critical key employee, with the business named as the beneficiary. That way, if your star player in the organization dies, you have the necessary funding to mount a search for his replacement or take other strategic actions to avoid ruin.

Contents Coverage

If, say, your Dallas grocery store is destroyed in a natural disaster, you haven't just lost a building; you may also have lost all the contents in that building -- some of which may have been leased instead of owned by you. Meanwhile, the destruction of your equipment caused the spoilage of all your cold goods. Contents coverage pays the value of all these essentials so you can get back on your feet.

Workers' Compensation Insurance

Currently Texas is the only state that doesn't require businesses to maintain workers' compensation insurance. But if you opt out of this coverage, and an employee blames you for an on-the-job injury, you could be facing a massive lawsuit that you could have totally prevented simply by covering your company properly.

The good news is that you can get these and other forms of commercial liability insurance in one convenient bundled package. You can even purchase an umbrella policy to provide additional coverage once your other policies max out. So get smart -- and get insured!