Manufacturing and/or selling products presents certain risks, and some of those risks can last long after a product leaves the factory or store. Massachusetts businesses in this line of work generally can help protect themselves by purchasing product liability insurance.
Product liability insurance is specialized commercial insurance for product-related risks. As is true with most commercial liability insurances, the coverage normally provides assistance with attorney fees, court fees and settlements when there’s a covered claim.
The majority of businesses that produce, handle and/or sell products can likely benefit from product liability coverage. The following businesses are merely some examples of operations that might be found liable for product-related claims, and therefore want coverage:
Any Massachusetts business that’s unsure whether this coverage is appropriate should speak with an insurance agent who knows product liability policies well. A knowledgeable agent will be able to review a business’ particular situation and make an informed recommendation regarding coverage. If coverage is needed, the agent can also make sure that a chosen policy is well-designed for the specific situation.
What products are included within a product liability policy’s protections depends on the policy, as each one has its own terms, conditions and exceptions. Broadly speaking, policies are often available for everything from dollar-store trinkets to high-end specialty goods.
Again, an insurance agent who’s familiar with the coverage can help businesses find policies that will extend protection to certain product categories.
Restaurants, caterers and food trucks might not manufacture goods in the same way that a factory does, nor do they sell shelved goods the same way that a retailer does. These foodservice businesses do make and/or sell food products -- and thus probably should consider purchasing product liability coverage.
In the foodservice space, product liability coverage may guard against foodborne illness, choking or other potential harm that a sold item could cause. An insurance agent can review exactly what scenarios a given policy would probably cover.
General liability primarily protects against common accidents and defamation lawsuits, but some policies also include coverage for product-related injuries and property damage. General liability policies that cover product-related claims often only provide limited protection, though.
Because general liability policies usually provide no or limited product liability claim coverage, purchasing a separate product liability policy is frequently advisable. Product liability policies tend to have much better protection against product-related claims than general liability policies do.
Product liability coverage may be purchased on its own, but most businesses also need other coverages and bundle product liability with some of those coverages. Commercial package policies are highly customizable, and many offer product liability. Business owners' policies tend to be more basic, but some might make product liability coverage an option.
Premiums for product liability coverage vary, partly because they extend coverage to different products and can be bundled with different coverages. In most cases, however, the coverage can be had at an affordable premium. The premium almost certainly will be less than what a major claim could cost.
For help finding product liability insurance in Massachusetts, contact the independent insurance agents at Roger Keith & Sons Insurance. Our agents can obtain customized product liability quotes from multiple companies in the state, and we have the expertise necessary to help you decide which quote best meets your business’ needs.