Liebeck v. McDonald - After suffering third degree burns from spilling her McDonald’s coffee on her lap, 80-year old Stella Liebeck decides to sue McDonald’s, and rightfully so. Turns out, the temperature of McDonald’s coffee was between 180 to 190 degrees… 40 degrees hotter than most other restaurants. So, Stella won her case and received $2.7 million for her spilled cup of joe. A few skin grafts later she is good as new and sitting pretty on a pile of cash.
Could your business be vulnerable in a similar situation? Consider liability insurance.
If the fast-food tycoon McDonald’s can suffer a hefty lawsuit, there is no reason to believe your business is invincible. As a business owner, you are always at risk. Whether you are selling dainty handcrafted necklaces online, or supplying heavy-duty machinery to construction companies... something could go wrong, and next thing you know you are knee-deep in a lawsuit and really wishing you had liability protection.
Luckily, insurance coverage is available for the infinite risks you face as a business owner. You just need to know what type best fits your business!
Let’s Start with the Basics: General Liability Insurance.
General liability insurance covers legal hassles brought on by accidents, injuries, and claims of negligence. With general liability insurance policies, you are protected against an array of payments, such as bodily injury, medical expenses, property damage, libel, slander, the expenses for defending lawsuits, as well as settlement bonds or judgments required during an appeal.
Perhaps Product Liability Insurance, too?
Remember when we discussed those handcrafted necklaces earlier? Well, say one of those nifty necklaces has a defect and cuts a customer with a wound that may leave a scar?, Next thing you know, you’re getting a call from an attorney.
If your business deals with manufacturing, wholesales, distribution, and retail for a product then product liability insurance should be your best friend. In the event that your product causes injury or bodily harm, product liability insurance will protect you against financial loss. Of course, the cost for this insurance varies depending on the type of product you are selling and its potential for risk. A company selling power tools is at a far higher risk than a company selling Christmas sweaters.
Selling Services? Professional Liability Insurance is your Guy.
If you are in the business of providing services, not products, then professional liability insurance is something to strongly consider. Also known as, “errors and omissions insurance”, professional liability insurance protects your business against malpractice, errors, and negligence. Based on your profession, this type of insurance may be a state requirement.
Oh no, the Office Burned Down? Hope you Have Commercial Property Insurance…
Property insurance is a must if your business is operating out of a commercial office. In the event that there is damage caused by fire, smoke, wind, hail storms, civil disobedience, or vandalism, property insurance has you covered. The term “property” includes lost income, business interruption, buildings, computers, company papers, and money.
There are two basic types of property insurance: All-risk policies & Peril-specific policies.
- All-risk policies cover a wide-range of incidents and perils except those noted in the policy.
- Peril-Specific policies cover losses from only those perils listed in the policy.
Home Sweet Home-Based Business Insurance
If you are running a business out of your home, then do not assume your business is covered by your homeowners’ insurance policy. You might want to add riders to your homeowners’ policy to cover typical business risks like property damage. Depending on the risk of your business, you may need to purchase additional policies as well.
Still questioning whether liability insurance is for you? Call Darr Schackow Insurance today at 888-337-9322 and we’d be happy to discuss all of your options.