Common Liability Claims for Small Business Owners

When you are a business owner you know that accidents will happen. You must also be covered with liability insurance during these incidents. Liability insurance covers medical expenses for the injured or affected persons as well as other expenses associated with the claim. Below are the most common types of liability claims that small business owners face.

Slips and Falls – Customer Related

Slippery or wet floors can lead to the occasional customer-related slip and/or fall. Minor injuries can be sustained and should be attended to immediately. Ensuring that the customer is okay and getting them medical attention immediately are the first things that should be done. An incident report should be completed and both the liability insurance company and company attorney should be notified of the incident.

Defective Products

Products, even food items, can be defective and can cause minor medical events leading to customer complaints and damage claims. In this situation, it is ideal to contact the company attorney and insurance company for direction in dealing with the situation properly. If the product is found to be defective, it is vital that all of the products in the same batch be recalled. Liability insurance will help cover the costs of reimbursing customers and handling any of their medical expenses from the defective products.

Damaged Reputations

This may not seem so common, but when competing, small business owners can damage the reputations of others in a local community. Slander and defamation of character, as well as using false claims to deter customers from patronizing another business are all claims that can be covered with the proper business liability insurance coverage. It is important, however, to work with local businesses in your industry as they may offer something you don’t and vice versa, which leads to referrals and increased revenue for both companies.

Company-Owned Vehicle Accidents

Vehicle accidents happen, and sometimes it is a company driver’s fault. With liability insurance coverage on your business auto insurance plan, damages and medical bills can be covered. It is important for you, as the business owner, to examine the situation and decide what consequences, if any, the driver will face directly at work.

Customer Injury from Object

In any building, objects can fall and hit customers. Injuries from these accidents should be addressed swiftly and repairs to the building should also be made immediately. Take precautions to prevent additional injuries by quarantining off the dangerous portion of the building until repairs are complete. If you have business-type insurance coverage for both the building and personal damages, you may only have to pay a small amount out-of-pocket for deductibles and legal fees.

Bottom Line

These liability claims can hurt a small business financially if the proper types of insurance with ample coverage are not in place. A major injury or major damage may cause a small business to close without the proper liability insurance coverage. Most of these types of claims can be settled without a court battle. Small business owners should always be cooperative in these situations as his or her demeanor does reflect on the business as a whole.