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Business Insurance Commercial General Liability Insurance

Commercial general liability insurance designed for your business

Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance is a vital type of protection for all types of businesses in Canada. As a business owner, you are predisposed to a variety of threats. Run a coffee shop? Have a business from home? Are you a freelance consultant? Do you operate any other type of small business? You need a CGL policy to protect your company from liability threats, or you could have a financial catastrophe.

Claims lawsuits could hurt business finances and negatively impact your brand reputation. Commercial general liability insurance can help you mitigate threats and protect your business. Our advisors will compare quotes and plans from the top insurers in Canada to find you the best coverage and rate.

Commercial general liability insurance highlights

  • Commercial general liability insurance is not mandatory, but recommended for all business types.
  • Commercial general liability protects against claims of personal injury and third-party property damage.
  • Basic CGL plans can start as low as $500 per year.

What is commercial general liability insurance?

Commercial general liability insurance (CGL) provides businesses with financial protection against loss. You are safeguarded against threats you face while running your business. If you face a lawsuit, CGL will help cover legal fees and damages awarded against you. Some insurers refer to this coverage as public liability insurance. It’s the most basic type of small business insurance.

All companies face a variety of threats. CGL provides coverage against two main threats:

  1. Claims of personal injury: This is an injury to a third party. This can happen on or off your property. Bodily injury can happen to customers, employees, delivery people, vendors, and anyone else. If you are found guilty, you could be forced to pay for medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering. It could be a significant financial loss.
  2. Property damage caused by your company, products, or employees: This is damage by your business or employers to a third-party location. You could have to repair the damage. You also will have to deal with the impact it could have on your brand reputation.

Who needs general liability insurance?

Man working in a factory

All businesses need liability insurance. Some owners question the need for general liability insurance. You may think you don’t require it because you are a small operation. You may have cost concerns or don’t think you’ll ever use it. No matter what size, type, or industry, you should have protection from potential loss.

Without CGL insurance, you would have to pay for a loss out of pocket if you are liable for damages. A lawsuit could force you to shut down operations. It helps cover these losses and protect your financial stability.

Here are some instances when you would require it:

  • You have an office or storefront.
  • You have client meetings at your home office.
  • You regularly go to your client's place of work.
  • You do work off-site at various locations.

Commercial general liability insurance claims examples

  • GGL Example 1 - slip and fall: A customer trips on a slippery floor at the entrance of your store and injures their arm. Insurance will help pay for the customer's medical costs.
  • CGL Example 2 - accidental damage to third-party property: You are working at a client's home and accidentally break a window. Insurance will pay to replace the damage.

What does commercial general liability insurance cover?

General liability insurance protects your business if found liable for injury or damage to a third party. Your premises, operations, and products are covered for:

  • Bodily injury: Claims related to personal injury to customers, visitors, employees and others on your business property.
  • Property damage : Damages to a third party’s property on or off your business land.
  • Personal and advertising injury: Protection against liability as a result of a variety of offenses. They include defamation, slander, libel, false statements, copyright infringement and more.
  • Legal costs: Get protection against lawsuits and legal fees associated with representation for a liability claim against your company.
  • Medical payments: Get compensation for medical expenses for non-employee injuries on your property.

What does commercial general liability insurance not cover?

GCL insurance does not cover you for all threats to your business. Here are some of the things not part of a GCL policy:

You will need to take out additional commercial insurance coverage for the above items.

How to get commercial general liability insurance

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We'll help you get the right commercial general liability insurance plan

Our advisors will get you the right plan, protecting your business, customers and employees against unforeseen threats. At ThinkInsure, here is what you get:

  • Risk assessment: Our experts are risk assessment specialists and will help you choose the right solution to protect your organization.
  • Get estimates from top insurers: We’ve partnered with the top insurers to give you more quote options.
  • Unbiased expert advice: Get expert advice and consultation. We’ll help you find the best protection for your business.
  • Save with the most affordable rates: Choose from a variety of affordable insurance options.

How much does commercial general liability insurance cost?

man working in a wood working factory

Commercial general liability policy costs start at about $500 annually for a basic plan. Premiums are calculated based on your type of business, policy limits and many other factors. Increasing limits can increase premiums.

Some of the factors that impact commercial general liability plans include:

  • Business type and industry
  • Business size and number of employees
  • Annual revenue and overall value
  • Product and service offerings
  • Risk exposure

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Commercial General Liability Insurance FAQs

Your insurance requirements will vary based on your business type, risk tolerance, and potential threats you need to protect against. It depends on your exposure, budget, and other factors. SMBs tend to have a minimum of a $2 million liability policy. You may need more or less. Speak with our experts to assess your coverage requirements.

No. You are not legally required to purchase CGL protection in Canada, but it is highly recommended. Due to industry regulations, some types of businesses and practitioners may be required to carry insurance. You will also require it to secure loans, get financing, create partnerships and win contracts.

Yes. All types of policies have limits. Always consider your coverage limits when comparing costs before you purchase your plan.

The calculation for CGL premiums varies by insurer. Insurers use various factors, such as revenue, payroll, location, industry type, and risk type, to calculate rates.

Yes. CGL provides protection if you, your business, or your employees cause property damage to a third party. It does not provide protection for damage to your business location. This is covered under commercial property insurance.

Commercial liability and umbrella coverage are similar but not the same. Umbrella liability insurance is optional protection, a separate policy that only applies if you exceed your commercial general policy limit.

There are a lot of situations where you may be asked to present a certificate of insurance. You need to show it to financial lenders to secure a loan. Prospective clients may also ask you to show proof of coverage. It's an important document that can help your business thrive.

Both commercial general and public liability refer to the same type of coverage. Commercial general liability is more commonly used in Canada, while the term public liability is used in other countries.

Woman working in a small business coffee shop

Get a quote for commercial general liability insurance

We know you want options when looking to purchase commercial general liability insurance. We’ve partnered with over 50 top insurers in Canada to find you the best rates and coverage.

Speak with a ThinkInsure advisor today. Call 1-855-550-5515 or request a quote online.

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