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What does general liability insurance cover for small businesses?

Commercial general liability insurance can help protect small business owners from financial ruin – get a personalized quote to secure your coverage today.

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As an entrepreneur, it’s important to understand the potential risks associated with running your small business, as well as how to mitigate those risks. Commercial general liability (CGL), also known as general liability insurance, is one of the most effective ways to protect your business from financial hardship. 

Commercial general liability insurance: what does it cover? 

CGL is a type of business insurance that covers the potential third-party liability claims your business may face. What this means is that you’ll be financially protected if anyone outside of your company files a lawsuit against your business for:

  • Bodily injury of a customer or client
  • Damage to a customer’s property
  • Advertising injury
  • Copyright infringement

General liability insurance will cover your legal defences associated with these claims, including the cost of hiring a lawyer and/or settlement payments. 

While often these claims result from issues relating to a business’ product, services, or operations, CGL will also cover you in the event that a lawsuit is frivolous and you’ve done nothing wrong.

General liability claims examples

No matter what type of business you run, if your clients injure themselves as a result of your product, service, or negligence, you can be held financially responsible for costly expenses. Here are a few examples of what this could look like for your business.

Slip and fall incidents

A client visits an interior decorator’s office. During the visit, the client accidentally slips and falls, injuring her arm. Since the injury took place on the business premises, the client now sues the interior decorator. Without the right CGL policy in place, this may leave the interior decorator financially responsible for the medical and legal expenses of the liability claim.

Property damage

After arriving at a client’s home, a photographer sets up his equipment. His assistant accidentally knocks over a light, which breaks the client’s 60-inch television. As a result, the client demands reimbursement for property damages. Without the right photography insurance policy in place – equipped with enough CGL coverage – the photographer will be responsible for the cost of replacing the television.

In the market for small business insurance?

In under five minutes, get a low-rate commercial general liability insurance quote, customized to the unique needs of your business operations.

What doesn’t general liability cover for small businesses?

While general liability insurance is an essential policy to help protect your business, there are a few important things to note that it does not include. For example, CGL will not cover claims resulting from:

  • Employee injury or illness
  • Auto accidents – you’ll need commercial auto insurance. 
  • Professional service mistakes – you’ll need professional liability insurance
  • Damaged or stolen company property – you’ll need contents insurance.
  • Errors made by directors and officers – you’ll need D&O insurance.

Fortunately, with a policy package like APOLLO’s small business insurance, you’ll have the ability to customize your coverage to meet the needs of your company. Product features of APOLLO’s small business insurance include:

  • Unlimited access to a legal helpline
  • Coverage for businesses with up to 20 employees
  • Flexible monthly and annual payment options
  • Errors and omissions coverage of up to $5M
  • Optional add-on packages to fit your business needs, such as:
    • Commercial general liability coverage up to $5M (includes $1M non-owned auto coverage)
    • Office contents coverage of up to $250K
    • Privacy breach expense coverage of up to $100K

APOLLO is making small business insurance effortless for entrepreneurs. As Canada’s leading online insurance company, we deliver a people-first buying experience through time-saving technology and a deep understanding of the communities we serve.

Buy online in minutes, and receive your policy and certificate of insurance in real-time directly to your email. Visit to learn more and get insured today.

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