An unexpected slip-and-fall can cost your small business a lot – in the form of a costly lawsuit. According to Statistics Canada, slips, trips, and falls are a leading cause of bodily injury in Canada. Lawsuits stemming from these injuries can be filed against small business owners like yourself, and they’re something that you need to be prepared for. That’s why having commercial general liability (CGL) insurance and establishing best practices for preventing and reacting to accidents can help you keep your business running.
CGL insurance is designed to help protect you and your small business if you’re found legally liable for bodily injuries to a third party. Put simply, if someone gets injured on your business’ property and decides to sue you, your CGL insurance policy can help with legal costs and damages associated with the lawsuit.
For example, if a customer slips on a wet floor and falls, they could sue you for a lot of money! But with CGL insurance, you have the coverage to help protect your business from a costly lawsuit.
CGL insurance can also help protect your business if an injury occurs on a jobsite. If you’re a contractor renovating a customer’s kitchen, and the customer trips over your contracting equipment, CGL insurance can help protect you and your business. Customers aren’t the only ones that could injure themselves. Couriers, vendors, subcontractors, and other unassuming individuals could hurt themselves on your business’ property.
These are all reasons to include CGL coverage in your small business’ insurance portfolio.
How can you minimize slips, trips, and falls?
It’s always good to try to prevent an accident before it happens. Here are some best practices you should use to protect your small business from slips, trips, and falls:
- Clean up spills on walking surfaces: Ensure all floors and steps are clean and dry.
- Put up warning signs: Make sure to put up a caution sign to warn about any wet surfaces.
- Shovel your property: Make sure all entrances and outdoor surfaces are clear of snow and ice. You can even keep a winter maintenance log to track when and where you’ve shoveled.
- Watch out for sloped walking surfaces: Make sure any surfaces on an incline or decline are properly marked, have a handrail, and have floor grip, if possible.
- Flatten any loose or unsecured mats: Make sure any loose mats or floor pads are secured and flush with walking surfaces.
- Secure any exposed cords: Organize any dangling or bunched electrical cords.
- Clean your clutter: Make sure your space is clean and easy to navigate.
- Keep your store well-lit: All areas of your business or workspace should have adequate lighting.
- Avoid uneven walkways: Make sure any uneven surfaces are marked and fix them if possible.
Here’s some real grown-up talk from TruShield’s Coverage Coach: when someone gets hurt on your business property or jobsite, your business could suffer a game-changing injury. Have best practices in place to proactively protect your business from getting bruised.
What should you do if an accident happens?
Being proactive should be part of your business’ safety plan, but sometimes accidents happen that are out of your control. If you do experience an instance of third-party bodily injury, it’s equally important to have best practices in place on what to do after the event. A good place to start is with an incident report form that you can keep handy for all those involved to fill out. We’ve created a FREE easy-to-use template for you to get you started. This form will help you record key details that you can reference when you report the incident back to your insurance company. It’s very important to contact your insurance provider as soon as possible following an accident. They can walk you through the claims process and provide insight on important details, such as reducing your exposure to liability.
Accidents happen, and they could lead to someone injuring themselves in your store, on your business property, or on a jobsite. These accidents could result in costly lawsuits and damage to your business. Fortunately, CGL insurance can help you protect your business in the event of a bodily injury lawsuit.
Is CGL insurance right for you? Find out with a free quote!
This blog is provided for information only and is not a substitute for professional advice. We make no representations or warranties regarding the accuracy or completeness of the information and will not be responsible for any loss arising out of reliance on the information. Terms, conditions and exclusions apply to coverage. See policy for details.
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