Business liability insurance (commercial liability insurance) is a business insurance product that protects businesses of all sizes and their owners from financial losses in the event of employee injuries, need for litigation, or third-party claims. Florida’s commercial liability insurance provides coverage for businesses against financial liabilities and court costs that may result from lawsuits against the business. Additionally, it takes care of the medical costs of treating employees that sustain on-the-job injuries.
In Florida, three types of business liability insurance are available to business owners. These are:
General liability insurance: This offers protection against injuries to others or damages caused by an insured business to other people’s properties
Product liability insurance: This provides coverage against lawsuits that may result from wrongful death, bodily injury, damages to other people’s properties, and sickness caused by using the company’s products
Professional liability insurance: This covers an insured business against claims that may arise from injuries and damages due to errors, omissions, actions, or inactions on the part of professionals while working at their jobs
Business liability insurance, like other types of insurance in Florida, is under the regulation of the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation of the Florida Department of Financial Services.
Business liability insurance in Florida protects a business against expenses that may result from claims made against it. It covers bodily injuries and third-party property damages, and is useful for:
Paying medical costs for treatments of injuries sustained by clients and employees (on the job)
Repairing or replacing third-party damaged properties
Covering legal costs that come with litigation against the business
Paying claims that may result from product failure and data breach
The type of insurance that protects businesses and their owners from personal liabilities that may result from injuries to third parties or damages to their properties is considered business liability insurance in Florida. Business liability insurance covers direct injuries or damages that may result from the use of a company’s products or services. For instance, if a business manufactures hair care products and one of such products leads to hair burn, a customer may file a lawsuit, and business liability insurance will pay for legal representation. It will also pay the punitive cost if the proceedings do not favor the business.
Out of the nearly $26 billion spent on commercial insurance premiums annually in Florida, over $11 billion is dedicated to liability coverages.
|COMMERCIAL LIABILITY INSURANCE in FLORIDA
(at a glance)
|Type of Commercial Coverage||Most Notable Commercial Coverage||% of all Commercial P&C in FL|
|Commercial Liability||General Liability Insurance Policy||28%|
|Commercial Liability||Medical Professional Liability||3%|
|Commercial Liability||Product Liability||1%|
The types of business liability insurance in Florida are:
Commercial General Liability Insurance - This provides general liability coverage against third-party claims such as:
Bodily injury and property damage
Defamation claims against the business
Reputation harm resulting from malicious statements against a competitor
Damages to rented properties
Commercial general liability insurance policies are the most common types of liability coverage purchased by Florida's small business owners. General liability policy offers most commonly purchased liability coverages inside one insurance package.
Product Liability Insurance - Protects a business against claims that may result from injuries or damages sustained by using the company’s products or services. This business insurance most commonly covers medical expenses, damage of property, and legal fees.
Professional Liability Insurance - This liability coverage protects individuals against liabilities incurred by their actions or inactions. The types of professional liability insurance include:
Error and Omission (E&O) Insurance: This type of professional liability insurance provides coverage for professionals who mostly render advisory whose services
Directors and Officers Insurance shields high-ranking management executives from claims on injuries and damages that may result from their actions or inactions.
Medical Malpractice Insurance provides coverage for doctors and workers in the healthcare field against claims that may be due to mistakes they made while carrying out treatments or diagnoses.
Cyber Liability Insurance protects business from financial losses that may result from data breach, ransomware attacks, and email email compromise.businesses that store data online, or have online presence should have cyber liability insurance.
Contract Liability Insurance provides coverage to the businesses against financial consequences or liabilities that may occur when making contractual agreements.
Landlord Liability Insurance covers the properties against claims that may result from leasing the property to a business owner, these claims may result from injuries sustained by a third-party within the property
Employment Practice Liability Insurance (EPLI) protects businesses against lawsuits, or claims from employees who may claim that their rights have been violated. For instance, an employee may file a lawsuit against the employer for wrongful termination, EPLI will cover the legal expenses, as well as the claim award if the business is found guilty.
Commercial Umbrella Liability Insurance (or Excess Liability Insurance) provides businesses with extra coverage for claims that exceed the limit of their commercial liability policy. It supplements business liability insurance by paying for claims that business liability insurance will not cover because the business has reached its claim limit.
Specialized Liability Insurance meets specific needs of the insured business, entrepreneur, organization, or contractor. Specialized liability insurance offers additional coverage that is beyond that of the traditional business liability insurance.
Commercial Auto Liability Insurance protects the from claims and lawsuits that may result if its employee causes an accident that leads to injuries, damages, or death while driving the company’s vehicle.
With such a plethora of possible commercial liability coverages, every Florida business should work with a state-licensed agent of their choice to properly assess the needs of their business and then
Liabilities, injury and property damage can occur at any moment, and Florida business owners need to have the appropriate coverage, which will protect the business from hemorrhaging money out of pocket on costs such as:
Medical payments for the treatment of personal injuries,
Property damage costs,
Financial damage costs,
Legal defense costs and final judgment costs (upt to the limits of purchased coverage)
To assess your commercial liability insurance needs in Florida and to get a commercial insurance quote, speak with a knowledgeable state-licensed business insurance agent with access to multiple insurers and premium finance options.
Business owners need business liability insurance in Florida to protect their business against unexpected losses for which they are legally responsible. Business liability insurance can help an insured business cover the costs associated with third-party claims arising from bodily injuries, property damage, and financial damages due to the insured business’ professional advice. Though not mandatory, business liability is important because, without it, a business may be left with no option than to pay third-party claims from its working capital until it runs out.
In Florida, a business should obtain liability insurance for the following reasons:
To cover bills for medical treatment incurred from treating injuries sustained by third parties within the business premises or by employees while on the job
To pay for third-party property damage resulting from business activities
To protect insured professionals against claims resulting from claim their actions or inactions while providing services
To protect a business against copyright infringement claims when accused of replicating other people’s ideas or products
For protection against reputation harm, for example, if the representatives of a business are accused of making public derogatory statements against competitors
Getting professional advice from a Florida-licensed commercial insurance agent is vital when purchasing a business liability insurance policy. A knowledgeable agent understands what type of business liability insurance coverage is best for a business and can guide the business owner while getting one.
The amount of business liability insurance a business needs in Florida depends on the pertinent liability risks and the following:
The size of business -
The products or services offered
Business location and industry
Whether the business operates from a owned or leased property
Over 99% of 2.8 million business in Florida are small businesses:
|Top Industries in Florida||Portion of all industries in Florida|
|Professional, Scientific, Technical, and Other Services||24.6%|
|Administrative, Support, and Waste Management||11.7%|
|Transportation and Storage of Products||9.2%|
|Finance and Insurance||3.1%|
|Food and Lodging||2.6%|
The business must determine how much coverage would be enough to settle liability claims after considering the various factors affecting their business operations and the risks associated with their business. Generally, it may be difficult for a business owner to figure out how much business liability they need on their own. The best bet is to engage the services of a Florida-licensed commercial insurance agent. A knowledgeable agent will analyze the potential risks a business faces and come up with the right amount of liability coverage insurance required.
The type of liability insurance coverage a business needs in Florida depends on the risks it wants to mitigate, the nature of the business, business location, type of products or services sold/rendered, employees' professional experience, and property ownership status. A business that needs protection against claims on third-party bodily injury and property damages, defamation, and personal and advertising injury needs to get general liability insurance coverage. For instance, if a client or customer trips over a tool left on the floor within a business premises and sustains an injury, general liability coverage will cover the cost of treating such an injury and will cover legal defense costs if you are sued.
A business needs product liability coverage to protect it from litigation claims by a customer adversely affected by the company’s product. A claim arising from product usage does not only affect the manufacturer, but may include the retailer, distributor, and wholesaler. For a manufacturer, product liability coverage will also pay for claims relating to product design and manufacturing defects.
For individuals who earn a living from rendering professional services, professional liability insurance may be the best option for coverage against liability claims. Attorneys, accountants, medical personnel, investment advisors, and others whose opinion or advice may lead to third-party injuries or damage, professional liability insurance is a good option. In Florida, state law mandates nurses and doctors to have malpractice insurance (professional liability insurance).
Landlords or residential and commercial real estate get liability coverage to protect their investment while someone else is using it. Over 3.5 million of Florida’s residential dwelling units are for rent and their owners are considered small business owners, who usually get Landlord insurance, which covers not only the property itself, but also takes care of the liabilities.
Companies maintaining confidential data or processing credit card transactions are frequent targets for ransomware and cyber crimes that can breach customers’ data, leak confidential information, and damage network or contact devices. In the event of a data breach, cyber liability coverage will cover expenses for the major recovering process, including expenses for:
Legal fees in the event of lawsuits from clients and partners
Fines from a regulatory authority
Ransome in the event of extortion from the attackers
Expenses incurred due to the business going offline
Whatever type of business liability insurance a business may need, in order to purchase insurance coverage it is advisable for the business owner to consult with a knowledgeable Florida-licensed commercial insurance agent. An agent will assess a business coverage need and advise the business owner on the best business liability coverage to buy.
Businesses in Florida do not necessarily require business liability insurance. For example, no business is required to carry general liability insurance policy. However, depending on the specific business type, state law may require a business to have certain types of liability insurance. Some professional jobs require you to have professional liability (malpractice) insurance before you can practice. Doctors and nurses must show that they can pay for claims arising from their actions, inactions, errors, or omissions in the course of carrying out their duties. For example, nurses and doctors in Florida must show that they have malpractice insurance by filing financial responsibility forms as a condition for maintaining an active license.
Florida businesses that manufacture and/or sell alcohol are required to carry liquor liability insurance, to protect the business (and by extension the public) from the actions their intoxicated customers may commit. If alcohol is being sold during an event only, 1-day insurance may be purchased.
Any vehicle that is owned by a Florida business is required to carry commercial auto insurance for at least the minimum state-required liability coverage ($10,000 Personal Injury Protection and $10,000 Property Damage Liability)
Commercial liability insurance protects insured businesses from third-party claims up to their coverage limits. It protects them against third-party injuries and property damage and covers legal bills resulting from litigation. In Florida, business owners can purchase commercial liability insurance as a standalone policy or bundle it with a business owner’s policy (BOP) or commercial package policy (CPP). Depending on coverage needs, a commercial liability policy may not provide enough coverage, and the business may require additional liability insurance or umbrella insurance for more coverage. Insured businesses pay premiums to keep their policies active, and also pay deductibles in the event of a claim. Premium payments for commercial liability insurance may be monthly or yearly. Typically, insurers offer discounts for premiums paid upfront yearly. Businesses may also finance their insurance premiums using the services of premium financing companies.
If a client files a claim against an insured business, the business owner or representative will inform the insurance company. The insurance company has an obligation to cover all costs incurred up to the coverage limit as stated in the contract while the business pays deductibles where applicable. An insurer may increase the premium for business liability coverage in the subsequent terms after a payout. A business owner may engage a knowledgeable Florida-licensed commercial insurance agent to learn more on how commercial liability insurance works.
In Florida, business liability insurance covers:
Bodily injury to a third-party caused the business,
Damages to a third-party property,
Attorney fees and court costs resulting from lawsuits filed against the business,
Reputational damage if the business is sued for slanderous comments,
Advertising injuries resulting copyright infringement if the business use other people’s ideas or materials without their permission, and
Other expenses related to the liability claim against the business.
Commercial liability insurance in Florida is good for protecting businesses against liability claims from third parties. Without it, a business may be left with no choice than to bear such expenses using working capital. Liability claims against a business may result from injuries or damages due to a company’s normal activities.
Typical business liability insurance policy in Florida will cover defense costs as well as payment of court awards in the event of lawsuits against the business. Also, it includes coverage for error and omission and actions or inaction of a business’s employees that may lead to injuries, damages, financial loss, or even death, and other third-party claims resulting from copyright infringement, advertising injury, and reputation damage.
To purchase coverage with commercial liability insurance in Florida, it is best for a business owner to consult with a licensed commercial insurance agent. An agent can explain in clear terms what such a policy includes to avoid a situation where vital coverage is left out.
Commercial liability insurance in Florida covers an insured business and by extension anyone who may get hurt by the business’ actions: its customers, employees, and the business owners. Liability insurance settles the medical expenses of customers who sustain injuries while doing business with the company, and legal claims where a customer files a lawsuit against the company. It covers the employer if the employee gets hurt at work, hurts someone while on the job, or if the employee sues the business itself for violating their employment rights. In every situation, the main beneficiary of the coverage is the insured business.
Commercial liability insurance excludes coverage for certain risks and these are usually stated in the exclusion section of the contract document. Before purchasing a business liability insurance policy in Florida, a business owner should go over the fine print to determine what the policy excludes. A licensed business insurance agent is in the best position to interpret the terms of a policy document. Hence, it is best to engage one while purchasing a business liability policy in Florida.
In Florida, business liability insurance typically excludes:
Deliberate acts of negligence - If a third-party files a claim for injuries or damages that resulted from negligence on the part of employees, business liability insurance will not cover the claim
Product recall - Business liability insurance covers claims resulting from injuries and damages caused by a company's product. However, it excludes recall for faulty products
Worker’s compensation - Business liability insurance excludes claims for injuries sustained by employees while on official duties. For instance, the policy will not cover injuries inflicted on an employee by a coworker. Such claims are covered by workers compensation insurance
Pollution claim - Business liability insurance excludes claims for injuries or damages caused to third parties by pollution caused by an insured business activities. For instance, if a claimant got ill by inhaling smoke from a nearby factory, business liability insurance will not cover such claims. A company needs pollution insurance to cover legal, medical bills, and damage costs for third-party pollution related claims
Commercial liability insurance in Florida protects businesses and professionals against lawsuits and third-party claims. For instance, business liability insurance will pay if an insured business is sued by a dissatisfied customer or client for injuries or damages sustained after using the business’s products. Also, for professionals like doctors, accountants, and financial advisors, business liability insurance will provide protection against claims resulting from their actions or inactions. For instance, business liability insurance will provide coverage for a medical clinic if a patient or their family members files a lawsuit against the clinic for wrong treatment or diagnoses that led to injuries or death.
The most common use of business liability insurance in Florida is to provide coverage against claims that may occur in the course of normal business operations. There are different types of business liability insurance, and each may cover different types of risks and provide different levels of coverage. However, the purpose of all types of business liability insurance is to protect the insured business against third-party claims that may lead to heavy losses.
The most common use of business liability insurance in Florida is through:
Professional Liability, and
Most businesses in Florida typically get general liability insurance, but professional liability insurance is mostly for individuals or groups of persons rendering professional services. The two types of liability insurance are different and can not be substituted for each other.
General liability insurance provides coverage against:
Bodily injury and Property Damage - General liability insurance provides coverage against third-party injuries and property damage within the business premises. It also covers damages caused by using a company’s product
Personal and advertising injuries - General liability insurance covers claims that result from rights violations. These include libel, slander, and violation of privacy
Professional liability insurance covers claims resulting from:
Negligence - Professional liability insurance cover claims resulting from negligence that led to injuries, damages, or death
Wrong advice - Professional liability insurance provides coverage against claims arising from wrong advice given to a client
Malpractice - Professional liability insurance protects professionals against lawsuits filed by clients for malpractice or fines by their regulating bodies for breaching certain rules
Generally, commercial liability insurance protects the interest of the business owner against third-party claims. Alternatively, a bond protects clients and contractors where a business can not meet the financial agreement made with them. Unlike general liability insurance, which provides wide coverage, a bond covers specific obligations.
Speak to a Florida-licensed commercial insurance to get advice on getting a bond.
Although Florida law only requires a business owner to have employer liability and auto liability insurance, they also need business liability insurance to mitigate financial loss from claims against their business. Business liability insurance can help a company:
Gain clients' loyalty
Pay for the cost of damages to a leased business property
Secure their income by replacing other people’s damaged properties
Fulfill business licensing requirements
Sign commercial leases
The most common commercial liability insurance coverages in Florida are General Liability policy (GL) and Commercial Auto insurance liability. If the business has a concurrent need for commercial property insurance, the Business Owners Policy (BOP) package already conveniently includes General Liability coverage.
Discuss your insurance needs only with state-licensed insurance professionals.
Errors and omissions insurance is a form of professional liability insurance for businesses providing professional business services. As an engineer, accountant, doctor, financial adviser, or professional in jobs that offer advice to clients, E&O offers you protection against claims that may financially affect your business. E&O protects the insured against malpractice, errors, honest mistakes, and wrongful accusations.
This type of liability insurance protects lawyers, doctors, and people providing healthcare services from claims filed by patients or clients. Over 250,000 Florida’s health-related businesses need malpractice insurance. If a client or patient files a lawsuit, malpractice insurance will cover:
The attorney’s fee
Punitive and compensatory cost
To find the right malpractice insurance in Florida, consider the following:
The different types of malpractice insurance
If you prefer to sign an independent policy or an employer-provided plan
To learn more about the different types of malpractice insurance available contact a Florida-licensed commercial insurance agent with access to multiple insurers that offer malpractice coverage.
Any business with relatively large assets in Florida needs commercial umbrella insurance. As an additional insurance, commercial umbrella insurance provides additional protection for business, by paying out an extra amount if the main commercial liability insurance exceeds its limits. In most cases, this happens when a business is being sued for a large sum. Umbrella insurance may offer that extra coverage that makes a difference between solvency and insolvency.
Yes, you need business liability insurance even if you are self-employed. If you sell products or carry out activities that earn you a living, you need business liability insurance to protect you against liability claims. Florida law requires you to have employer liability insurance (Workers Comp) if you have one or more people working for you. Contact a knowledgeable Florida-licensed commercial insurance to recommend business liability insurance that will be best for your self-employed business.
Yes. You need business liability insurance if you work from home in Florida. Irrespective of where you work, you need business liability insurance to protect you against claims. If you are a consultant working from home, you may need errors and omissions (E&O) insurance to protect your business from claims that may result from mistakes made while providing remote service for clients. As an online retailer of homemade products, you need product liability insurance to protect you from claims that may result from injuries and damages caused by your products.
Yes, in Florida, a limited liability company (LLC) needs business liability insurance to protect it against claims that may affect its operations and lead to financial losses.
Yes, you need business liability insurance even if you do not have employees. Business liability does not base coverage on the size of your business. As an individual running a sole proprietorship, there is no legal separation between you and the business. You are exposed to claims against your business if your products or services lead to customers’ injuries or damage to their property. If you doubt what type of business liability insurance is suitable for your business as a sole proprietor, contact a knowledgeable Florida-licensed commercial insurance agent for advice.
Commercial liability coverage begins on the date when the policy is set to start. Unlike other insurance types, (like Flood insurance), liability insurance does not have a waiting period until the coverage begins. For instance, with some insurers, professional liability insurance coverage may commence almost as soon as the paperwork is completed and premium is paid (typically the following day).
In Florida, business owners can get business liability insurance. Running a business without business liability insurance will expose the business owner to out-of-pocket payments for liability claims against their business.
Any legal business registered in Florida that needs insurance coverage and can pay premiums qualifies for business liability insurance. If you are a doctor, an engineer, an accountant, a broker, or have a job that requires you to give informed advice to clients, patients, or customers, you qualify for professional liability insurance. Professional liability insurance will protect you from claims by dissatisfied clients or customers. Bars and restaurants qualify for liquor liability coverage. And if the business owns vehicles, it is required to to get commercial auto liability insurance.
Business owners and professionals in Florida who seek protection from third-party claims need commercial liability insurance. Essentially, they need commercial liability insurance to protect their businesses from:
Claims that may result from errors made by employees
Claims resulting from injuries and third-party property damage caused by business operations or its products
Claims by customers whose confidential data was exposed online by hackers
Wrongful treatment of employees
Loss of potential profits or revenue that would have been spent on settling claims, and
Resulting attorney fees
A Florida-licensed commercial insurance agent can help determine whether a business has the need for commercial liability insurance.
Business owners in Florida who desire protection against third-party claims that may lead to financial losses or reduction in profit should get business liability insurance. Without business liability insurance, a business is exposed to losses that may result from different types of claims and unintended errors.
Speak with a knowledgeable and state-licensed commercial insurance familiar with your type of business, who can go over your needs and provide a commercial liability insurance quote based on the needs of the business.
In Florida, business liability insurance comes with a lot of benefits. The benefits of business liability insurance include:
Protecting a business against potential claims that can lead to bankruptcy
Paying for costs incurred from treating third-party injuries and replacing their damaged properties
Saving money by minimizing losses due to third-party claims
Protecting a business from medical bills resulting from treating injuries sustained by its employees (the business’s most valuable asset) while doing their jobs
A Florida-licensed business insurance agent can help outline what a business stands to gain by purchasing business liability insurance and assist the business owner throughout the application process.
Although commercial liability insurance has many advantages to business owners in Florida, it also has some downsides:
Secures business capital and assets against third-party claims
Protects a business from legal expenses and court-awarded payments that may follow if found liable for third-party injuries and property damages
Gives a business credibility and strengthens its relationship with customers
Offers business owners the opportunity to tailor their policies to cover specific needs
Insurance costs take money away from other uses by the business. Small business owner, especially one just starting their business, should research the cost of required insurance ahead of time and include it in the start-up costs.
Not buying enough liability coverage can leave the company’s assets and possibly the personal assets of the business owners exposed to claims and lawsuits.
May have certain exclusions. Always read the exclusions section first. Consult with a knowledgeable and experienced commercial insurance agent for help.
Yes, commercial liability insurance is worth buying in Florida. Without commercial liability coverage, most businesses may be unable to handle third-party claims capable of eating into their working capital.
A business without commercial liability insurance risks losing its working capital and assets to claims filed by third parties against the uninsured business. For instance, a medical clinic is liable if its employee administers a wrong treatment or diagnoses a patient wrongly, leading to injuries or death. In the absence of commercial liability coverage, the medical clinic will have to satisfy the costs of lawsuits out of pocket, using the working capital funds. Besides the obvious, the clinic is now also out of state-mandated compliance.
Similarly, an uninsured financial advisor firm that gets sued by someone who loses money because of the advice they received from them. Without the Errors & Omissions (E&O) coverage in place, the FA firm’s pockets are fully exposed.
Liability insurance is usually the first coverage that gets purchased by small businesses when they start. Speak to a knowledgeable Florida-licensed commercial insurance agent, who can assess your business’ liability exposures and help you select the most optimal and cost effective coverage to meet those needs.
Commercial liability insurance transfers the risk of having to pay for claims and lawsuits against the business, from the insured business to the insurer. The coverage also pays punitive damages awarded against an insured business by the industry’s regulatory authority and the policy acts as a line of defense between the business assets and the third-party claims against it.
Like other types of insurance policies, an insured business has coverage as long as premiums are not missed. A business loses coverage once its liability insurance lapses, which is often due to non-payment of premiums. Commercial insurance is always paid for the whole term, so if the lapse occurs, it usually occurs due to non-renewal.
A business whose commercial liability insurance lapsed can engage a Florida-licensed commercial insurance agent to determine the possible ways of getting the coverage back on track. A knowledgeable state-licensed agent will assess your business needs to make sure that they are still in line with the coverage you are seeking, and will offer options of available coverages to meet those needs at the most affordable cost. They can also assist with the entire process.