Does General Liability Insurance Cover Falls on Sidewalks?

| October 13, 2017
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Business owners should recognize the importance of general liability insurance. This type of insurance reduces your risk as a business owner.

If someone files a claim against you, it works to provide financial compensation. This can reduce any need for you to pay out of pocket for such risks. Sidewalks may be a part of the risks your business faces. Speak to your business insurance agent for clarification on this specific risk. Your policy may differ.

Liability on Sidewalks

Anyone filing a claim against your business must prove you were negligent. To do this, he or she must show you knew a risk existed. And, they must prove you took no steps to reduce that risk. How does that apply to a sidewalk, though?

Where is the sidewalk? The first question is this. Sidewalks on your property leading up to the business door, are the property of the business. It is no different than the walkways inside your building, to a point. Many state laws limit negligence in parking lots. This then extends to sidewalks as well. Public sidewalks, such as those on a nearby street, may not fall under the liability risks. It all comes down to who maintains them.

Who Is Negligent?

A person filing a claim often must prove negligence occurred. As discussed, this is two steps.

  • You knew a problem existed.
  • You did nothing to fix the problem.

They must prove this occurred. That is not easy to do. Most companies do everything they can to minimize these risks. You do what you can to keep your customers happy. If there is a slippery floor present, you put up a sign. You then work to clean it up right away. Outdoors, the same rules apply. Someone falls on a sidewalk. You learn of it. You put up a sign. You put up a barrier. Then, you fix it. If you fail to take action, a negligence claim may apply.

Yet, outdoor rules do not always apply in the same way. Speak to your local city and state officials to determine which laws may apply here. General liability insurance can help when claims do occur. And, your business insurance agent will work with you. They can help you know if this is your responsibility. They defend you in court, too. If the claim sticks, they will also pay the settlement. This is up to the amount of coverage on your policy.

Let Safe Insurance Group help. Call us at 305-264-8964 for a Miami general liability insurance quote.

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