Women Businessowners and Liability Risks

Despite current economic conditions, nearly three in five (58 percent) women business owners predict their organizations’ revenues will grow in 2009 and nearly one-half (44 percent) do not expect difficulty in obtaining access to credit, according to a survey conducted by Chubb and the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO). However, the same activities that will help grow their businesses may also increase their companies’ exposure to liability risk. Small to medium-size firms with more limited resources may be particularly vulnerable to the costs associated with a liability lawsuit, Chubb said. It highlighted product liability, errors and omissions (E&O) and employment practices liability (EPL) as areas to watch. For example, economic conditions can have a negative impact on employment-related claims and lawsuits. Even though the majority of survey respondents (89 percent) indicated they are not concerned about EPL risk increasing in 2009, Chubb noted that when companies lay off employees or reduce employee benefits there is generally a resulting spike in EPL lawsuits as well as incidents of workplace violence.  Greater exposure to liability risks is probably a factor for all businesses right now. Check out the I.I.I. small businessowners’ guide to insurance and I.I.I. facts & stats on litigiousness for more information.

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