Does general liability cover theft?

It’s common small business insurance, but general liability usually won’t cover business property theft.

Amy Beardsley
By Amy Beardsley
Published Nov 14, 2023
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Imagine arriving at your business and finding the door unlocked, things missing and broken glass and strewn papers on the floor. It may take a moment to process, but your next thought might turn toward insurance. Does general liability cover theft?

General liability insurance is essential for small business owners, but it probably won’t cover theft of your business property.

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Does general liability insurance cover business theft?

Theft is usually not covered by general liability coverage. However, other types of insurance can offer financial protection if you experience business theft.

If you want coverage for theft or damages from theft on your business property, you typically need commercial property insurance (sometimes referred to as business theft insurance).

Commercial property coverage can help protect a business from the financial loss of stolen inventory, equipment and other property your business owns.

If a criminal breaks in and steals from your business, you can file a claim on your commercial property policy. You may be able to get reimbursed for stolen or damaged property through your insurance.

Commercial property insurance can also help protect your business assets from other covered risks, such as water leaks or structural damage.

In many cases, the property limits covering theft are equal to the value of your business property (minus the deductible). For example, If you report that your business property is worth $300,000 when you buy the policy, then the insurance limit could be up to $300,000.

Be sure to read your policy details and keep your insurance coverage plan up to date.

The BOP bundle: Commercial Property coverage and General Liability

A Business Owner’s Policy (also called BOP insurance) is another option for business theft coverage. It’s popular because it bundles commercial property insurance and general liability insurance together into a single policy.

Very often combining the two offers broader protection and it can help reduce the monthly premium of two individual policies.

What does General Liability insurance cover?

General liability insurance can cover many potential risks for small businesses, including:

  • Physical injuries to customers, visitors or other third parties.
  • Property damage you (or your employee) cause in the course of business.
  • Legal fees and defense costs, including lawsuits.
  • Copyright infringement and other advertising injuries.

General liability costs can vary. Use our general liability insurance calculator to learn how much your premium might be.

Cyber insurance can help with digital business theft

To help protect your business from the loss of digital theft like data breaches or ransomware attacks, consider cyber insurance.

Cyber liability insurance can help provide:

  • A suite of free cyber security tools to help monitor and protect your communication and transactions.
  • 24/7 expert response to help you immediately after a cyber attack.
  • Protection for physical hardware in the event of a virus or malware.
  • Financial help after phishing scams, data breaches and ransomware attacks.
  • Recovery or replacement funds lost due to wire fraud.

Note: NEXT partners with Coalition to provide this type of coverage.

How NEXT helps keep small business owners safe

NEXT has business insurance tailored to meet the unique needs of small business owners like you.

Review your coverage options, get a quote and secure business coverage in under 10 minutes.

You’ll have instant access to your certificate of insurance as soon as your payment is processed.

And if you have questions, our U.S.-based insurance experts are here to help.

Start a free online quote with NEXT today.

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Amy Beardsley
About the author

Amy Beardsley, insurance expert and contributing writer at NEXT Insurance, is a content marketing writer who specializes in small business coverage. Leveraging her background in the legal field, Amy brings a deep understanding of laws, regulations, and compliance requirements to her work. As a content marketing writer since 2016, she has contributed to publications like Legal & General, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance, Insurify, and NerdWallet. Her work has also appeared in CNBC, Kiplinger, and US News. When she’s not writing, Amy enjoys playing cards with her family and experimenting with new recipes.

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