The Advantages of Commercial General Liability Insurance in Florida

You are the owner and operator of a small business here in the Sunshine State. During your daily business routines you’ll likely interact with employees, contractors, clients, vendors, and others that serve your interests or purchase your products or services. If anyone one of them has a bad experience they could claim that your company was responsible for any injury or loss they may incur and take up some type of legal action against you. Whether this requires a defense against claims of property damage, bodily injury, libel, slander, or some other legal issue, a florida commercial general liability insurance policy can provide you with the coverage you need.

What is commercial liability insurance?

In the simplest terms, commercial general liability (CGL) insurance protects small business owners from a wide range of claims related to their business activities. The indemnity provided by a liability policy helps business owners cover the costs associated with mounting a legal defense as well as any settlement costs. In addition, many small business owners find that clients will require them to have this policy before they will sign a contract. They want the peace of mind associated with knowing that they’ll be protected if and when something does goes wrong.

Having the right coverage amounts in place can make a significant difference in your ability to negotiate with new clients and bring in additional revenue. A CGL insurance policy also helps protect a business by providing the financial resources necessary to keep it operational when unexpected events (such as an injury leading to a lawsuit) cause a possible financial strain on the business.

A CGL covers property damage as well

The fact remains that many companies become involved in a lawsuit at one time or another and even with everyone practicing safety and being alert as well as careful to take all the necessary precautions, it’s still possible that something bad could happen. It’s even worse when it results in damage to another person’s property. In any case, a florida commercial general liability insurance policy must be in place to compensate for any resulting physical damage to any person’s property.

Why Liquor Liability is an Essential Addition to Your Venue Insurance Policy

Alcohol and its resulting behavior remain a hot button issue, and despite growing awareness regarding drunk driving, people continue to get behind the wheel after leaving bars, nightclubs and other venues intoxicated, and as the business owner you could be held responsible. As a result, you want to make sure that you are adequately covered against lawsuits in your venue insurance policy.

How Are You Considered Responsible?

Many states possess laws that hold a business responsible for serving a visibly intoxicated individual. Additionally if that individual subsequently causes damage to others or himself, you are held accountable. This is true even after an individual has left the premises. Therefore, if he gets into a fight in a nearby park or causes a drunk driving accident on the way home, you are put on the line. While you may feel that you have adequately trained your employees, these events are extraordinarily common.

What Will You Need In Liquor Liability?

As you begin shopping for an appropriate liquor policy, you will want to make sure that all of your potential legal and liability costs taken care of. Make sure that it not only covers drunk drivers, but also assault and battery. In addition, to protecting you against physical damage claims, you will also want to look into a policy that addresses mental damages. Additionally, you will need defense coverage to address legal costs in the event of a trial, and finally you will want to make sure that your employees are covered in the event that they drink on the job. Finding a comprehensive venue insurance plan will help you avoid major issues down the road.

State Laws and Liability Dog Insurance Issues

There are certain laws that determine dog bite liability, and these of course vary from state to state. Dog owners need to know exactly what the liability issues are in whichever state they live. Basically, there are two kinds of laws: liability when the owner of the dog knows (or should know) that the dog might be prone to biting someone, and then there is liability regardless of what the owner knew or should have known. Having liability dog insurance helps pay for any damages.

”One Bite” laws work to the dog owners’ advantage

The “One Bite” law is applied in about 40% of the states in the US. Generally stated, it once meant that a dog was allowed “one excused bite” before its owner wound up in legal trouble. Now, however, the one bite rule doesn’t necessarily allow a dog to bite someone without consequence. If an owner knows the particular breed is dangerous, the owner could be liable for that first time that an incident occurs.

The owner simply must take necessary precautions, all the more true based on his or her knowledge of the animal. For example, a dog that is prone to snapping at people should always be restrained. The owner could also be held liable if someone approaches the dog, is not properly warned about the animal’s aggressive behavior, and is subsequently bitten.

The dog’s breed, how the owner went about training the dog, how the owner typically restrained the dog under necessary circumstances, and for what purpose the owner bought the dog, for example, protection, could all be used in determining if there is a viable case against the owner of the dog.

“Strict Liability” dog bite laws

The majority of states have enacted “dog bite” statutes that provide specific rules for dog bite liability cases. “Strict liability” means that the defendant is held liable in the event that a specific event occurs, and this may be regardless of whether or not the defendant could have done anything to prevent the event from occurring.

As the owner of a dog that may be prone to biting or attacking, you should carry sufficient liability dog insurance. Because, in a court of law, if the plaintiff did not provoke the dog in any way, and was within his right to be located where he was at the time of the attack, then the defendant would be liable for the dog biting this person.

Examples of Construction Manager at Risk

A Construction Manager (CM) project delivery system is based upon an owner’s agreement with a qualified construction firm to provide construction leadership and perform administration of the project as well as management within a defined scope of services. The construction management project delivery system is further refined by the amount of risk the CM assumes in performance of those services.

It takes a collaborative effort by the owner, architect and construction team to bring a project to a successful completion. This is the key to achieving the desired result for every construction project since each situation is unique unto itself. Projects often fail because of a lack of communication between the governing bodies, which brings up the subject of coverage for a construction manager at risk. The CM will often take the blame when a project undergoes lengthy delays.

The architect and the owner can also be responsible, due to poor planning or lacking the necessary funds to complete a project in a timely manner. When such issues present themselves, a good line of communication can often be a remedy to what might otherwise become a volatile situation. No one want to be considered at fault when they in fact had no control over certain events, but this often happens when one hand doesn’t know what the other hand is doing.

How conflicts expose flaws in the management process

When conflict between the owner versus either the contractor or architect exists, this is the type of situation that can ultimately affect project delivery. The alternative is construction manager at risk (CMR), a delivery method that is designed to align designer and builder to collaboratively serve the owner’s best interests.

With construction manager at risk, a contractor is under contract by the owner during the entire design process to assist in pre-construction project management services and then also to act as a general contractor during the construction process. The architect is on a separate, parallel contract with the owner, making sure that the product fits within any predetermined specifications.

In summary, the contractor is responsible for the execution and control of the work and subcontractors are bound by subcontracts to them. Examples of construction manager at risk would include performance and financial stability of subcontractors and vendors, fluctuations in material prices, schedule adherence, weather, construction means and materials, quality and other non-reimbursable general contractor delays. For questions and concerns, speak to an agent familiar with the inner workings of the construction industry.

Concerns Putting Construction Management at Risk

Construction management (CM) generally relates to some degree of responsibility for reviewing or overseeing construction services. CM services are performed in a variety of ways and the scope of the work performed can be tailored to meet the needs of different owners depending on the type of project and delivery method.

More design professionals are offering construction management services, but determining professional and contractor liabilities associated with these constantly evolving services can be difficult. Those in charge understand construction management at risk and are constantly looking at ways of managing those risks.

Acting as a CM advisor on projects

Most jobs rely on three distinct types of construction managers. A CM advisor’s duties include serving as an advisor to the owner throughout the course of the project, providing pre-construction services such as estimating, scheduling and construction reviews, and coordinating the work of one general contractor or several prime contractors.

Duties of a CM constructor

Primarily, the construction team has three primary players: owner, prime design professional and construction manager. The CM constructor’s duties typically include:

  • Holding all subcontracts for construction
  • Being responsible for tasks of management as well as construction
  • Taking responsibility for the entire construction project, from permits, to bids and the job itself
  • Promising the owner a guaranteed maximum price, and
  • Assuming the same risks as a general contractor, including safety on the jobsite

The role of the CM agent

The third type of construction manager is a CM agent. Because laws prohibit many public agencies from delegating fiscal responsibilities, CM agents are used almost exclusively in private sector projects.

General risks to consider

Several areas of liability occur when providing CM services. If bids exceed a construction manager’s estimates, there is substantial risk of a claim. Also, because some construction managers conduct design and construction reviews, they may (along with the architect or engineer of record) be subject to suits involving design error.

Construction managers have substantially greater risk of being cited for jobsite safety violations by OSHA. They generally assume responsibility for developing or reviewing jobsite safety programs or procedures of contractors, monitoring safety plans, training or other safety requirements.

They may also have exposures arising from the selection of construction materials and risks may also involve failure to identify long lead-time procurement items. There are many other issues that put construction management at risk, which illustrates the need to be properly insured against any and all risks.