General Liability claim examples: What’s covered by insurance?

Read four scenarios where general liability insurance could insulate a small business from expenses and liability.

Matt Crawford
By Matt Crawford
Published Oct 16, 2023
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Accidents can happen no matter how much professional experience you have or how careful you are.

Luckily, a little thing called general liability insurance offers big benefits for small businesses and self-employed workers.

Read on to learn:

What does General Liability insurance cover?

The short answer: General liability can provide financial help if your business is involved in an accident involving:

  • An injury to someone who is not an employee
  • Damage to property that doesn’t belong to you
  • Accusations of advertising copyright infringement, libel or slander

Visit our general liability coverage page if you’d like to dive deeper into the details.

Four potential general liability claim examples

If your business is involved in an accident, it’s important to contact your insurance company immediately.

If you have a policy with NEXT, you’ll work with a claims advocate who can help sort out all of the details and resolve the claim as soon as possible (learn more about NEXT’s claims process).

Here are some examples of what a general liability claim might look like for different types of businesses.

1. Someone gets hurt and wants you to pay for medical bills

You set a few things down on the sidewalk while loading your car at your office. A jogger doesn’t see your stuff, trips and breaks an arm.

In this case, you could be sued for medical costs. If you don’t have general liability insurance, you would need to pay out of pocket to cover any related expenses to defend yourself.

If you have insurance, your coverage could help pay for expenses up to your policy limits.

2. Someone says you damaged their property

Let’s imagine you own the hottest beauty salon in town.

A beautician you just hired is giving a client a manicure and drops the entire bottle of nail polish. It smashes on the floor and “Moody Blue” is now all over the client’s expensive handbag. She’s seeing red and wants you to pay up for a replacement.

Since it’s a legit accident that happened at your business (it’s ok, these things happen), general liability could help to cover the expense.

3. Someone says you invaded their privacy

Now let’s pretend your social accounts are blowing up because you have the magic touch when it comes to turning drab closets into well-organized sanctuaries of fashion.

Your home decor business is blowing up — and you’re getting paid!

After renovating a client’s dusty old wardrobe, you take some photos and share them online as an example of your work. Your client sees the images and becomes unglued. They sue you for breaching their privacy by using photos of their home without permission.

Your general liability insurance could help cover legal costs and judgments.

4. Someone accuses you of advertising copyright infringement

Now let’s say you’re a personal trainer and everyone wants to pay you to help them get rock-hard abs for the summer. In fact, all of your clients start calling you “The Rocker.”

The nickname sticks and you decide to post a bunch of ads online with your image and a photo of a famous celebrity who has a similar name.

The only problem is you didn’t clear it with his management or the photographer who owns the rights and they sue you for damages.

Your business insurance would help cover related costs up to your policy limit.

How NEXT makes General Liability insurance quick and easy

As you can see, general liability covers some of the most basic risks many businesses face. If you’re ready to look into options for your business, you can get an instant quote in just a few minutes with NEXT.

Answers a few simple questions online, and we’ll provide the options you need to protect yourself from financial losses. Since we only work with small businesses and self-employed workers, we can customize packages to fit your risks.

Our licensed, U.S.-based advisors are standing by to help if you have any questions.

Start a free instant quote today.

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Matt Crawford
About the author

Matt Crawford leads NEXT's content team. He's a small business insurance specialist and has worked with business owners throughout his career as a community journalist and content marketer.

You can find him at one of his many favorite local restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area when he's not at work.

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Issuance of coverage is subject to underwriting. Not available in all states. Please see the policy for full terms, conditions and exclusions. Coverage examples are for illustrative purposes only. Your policy documents govern, terms and exclusions apply. Coverage is dependent on actual facts and circumstances giving rise to a claim. Next Insurance, Inc. and/or its affiliates is an insurance agency licensed to sell certain insurance products and may receive compensation from insurance companies for such sales. Policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the issuing insurance company. Refer to Legal Notices section for additional information.

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