Both Commercial General Liability (CGL) and property insurance are crucial components of a comprehensive business insurance strategy. They help safeguard the financial stability of a business against a range of risks and liabilities.

Your business may have many assets — building, office space, equipment, inventory — just to name a few. Make sure they’re properly protected with a policy designed just for you.
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What Is Commercial General Liability and Property Insurance?

Commercial general liability, or CGL, and property insurance policies help protect you from a broad range of risks and liabilities. Every business is unique, but these are the main coverage types we recommend businesses consider.

Commercial Property Insurance

Commercial property insurance is designed to cover the physical assets of a business, such as buildings, factories, and offices, against loss or damage. This type of insurance is crucial for businesses that own substantial physical assets. It can provide coverage for damages resulting from fire, explosions, storms, theft, and other covered events. The aim is to ensure that your business can recover and rebuild without bearing the full financial burden of such losses.

Contents Insurance

While property insurance covers the building itself, contents insurance is focused on what’s inside it. This includes furniture, equipment, inventory, and other business property. It's particularly important for businesses that lease their premises, as the landlord’s policy rarely covers the contents belonging to tenants. 

For home-based businesses, a separate policy is often required to adequately cover business-related assets. A standard homeowner's insurance policy may not cover your business assets, so it’s important to have the right type of insurance if you have a home business.

Business Interruption Insurance

Unforeseen events can sometimes force a business to halt operations temporarily. Business interruption insurance compensates for lost income during these periods, helping businesses cover expenses like rent, salaries, and loans until they can resume normal operations. This coverage is invaluable in maintaining financial stability and ensuring business continuity in the face of disasters.

Crime Insurance

Crime insurance is designed to protect businesses from losses related to criminal activities, such as employee theft, fraud, and robbery. This coverage is particularly important for businesses that handle cash or valuable goods.

Liability Insurance

Liability insurance encompasses several policies that protect against the financial fallout of legal claims and lawsuits, including:

General Liability Insurance

Protects against a broad range of liabilities, including accidents and injuries that occur on your business premises or because of your operations.

Premises Liability

Offers specific coverage for injuries that happen on your property, ensuring that you can handle medical costs or legal fees arising from such incidents.

Product Liability

Essential for businesses that manufacture or sell products, as it covers damages caused by defective or harmful products.

Professional Liability Insurance (Errors and Omissions)

Critical for service-oriented businesses, this insurance covers legal defense and settlement costs if you're accused of negligence, making errors, or omissions in the services you provided.

What Does Commercial General Liability and Property Insurance Cover?

As every business is unique, so are CGL and property insurance policies. But they can protect businesses from:

  • Damage to your property
  • Libel, slander, or advertising injury
  • Third party bodily injury
  • Product liability
  • Third party property damage
  • Accidents or acts of nature
  • Theft or other third party crime

If a client sues you, CGL insurance can cover your attorney fees, court costs, administrative costs, and any settlements you might have to pay. You may incur legal fees even if you are found not liable, so it’s important to have a policy in place to protect your business.

Additionally, CGL insurance does not cover:

  • Commercial or fleet auto accidents
  • Data breaches or cyber attacks
  • Purposefully illegal or malicious acts

Does Your Company Need Commercial General Liability and Property Insurance?

Yes, any business that owns physical assets or provides professional services or products should have CGL and property insurance. Not having insurance puts your entire business at risk, and may cost you your business should the worst happen. 

How Much Does Commercial General Liability and Property Insurance Cost?

Every policy is different, whether you operate in just Ontario or throughout Canada. The cost of your insurance depends on:

  • Your industry
  • Risk exposure
  • Number of employees
  • How long you’ve been in business
  • Number of physical assets
  • Coverage limits
  • Claims history

An important consideration is not only where your business is located but also where you provide services or ship products to. To get an accurate quote, it's important to speak with one of our qualified brokers to understand your needs. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is not covered by commercial general liability and property insurance?

Commercial vehicles and fleets are not covered by CGL or property insurance. If your business owns vehicles and needs commercial auto insurance, you may need to add fleet insurance to your overall insurance plan.

CGL insurance also does not cover professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions, or workers’ compensation claims. 

Do I need commercial general liability insurance in Canada?

There is no legal requirement for Canadian businesses to have commercial general liability insurance. However, depending on your industry, people or companies may require you to have a policy prior to doing work with you.

Do I have to have commercial property insurance in Canada?

There is also no legal requirement for Canadian businesses to have commercial property insurance. However, like general liability insurance, some companies or providers may not work with you if you do not have property insurance. Not to mention, not having a policy in place opens you up to risk and financial loss should something happen. 

What is the difference between commercial general liability and professional liability insurance?

CGL insurance covers your business assets, such as your inventory or equipment. It protects you against injury and property damage that occurs during the routine operations of your business.

Professional liability insurance protects you if a client sues you for errors, omissions, or negligence when performing professional services. It can be part of your CGL policy, and is highly recommended for anyone who provides professional advice as a service.