What Coverages Does a General Liability Policy Usually Provide?
While exact protections can vary from policy to policy, there are a few coverages that most general liability policies provide. They are:
- Bodily Injury Coverage, which may help protect a business if someone is injured on company property
- Property Damage Coverage, which might help protect a business if the business is held responsible for damaging a person's or another organization’s property
- Personal Advertising Injury Coverage, which may help protect a business if it’s accused of slander, libel, or false advertising
Some general liability policies include additional protections, such as liquor liability coverage or product liability coverage. These other coverages aren’t found in all policies, though, and policies that do have these coverages may not offer enough protection for all businesses. For these reasons, many businesses supplement their general liability policy with other, more specialized liability policies.
Does General Liability Coverage Protect Against Claims Filed by Owners or Employees?
General liability coverage is primarily designed to protect against lawsuits and claims filed by third parties. Third parties are normally people and organizations that aren’t directly connected with a business. They may be competitors, vendors, customers, or other people or organizations.
Owners and employees usually aren’t considered third parties. Therefore, claims filed by them usually aren’t covered by general liability coverage. These claims may be covered by another insurance policy, depending on the specifics of a claim and policies that a business has.
Do Professionals Need a General Liability Policy?
General liability policies shouldn’t be confused with professional liability policies, for the two types of insurance offer significantly different protections.
Professional liability policies normally provide coverage for mistakes related to a professional’s work. For example, a policy might cover a mathematical error than an accountant makes or poor advice that an investment advisor offers. These policies usually don’t offer bodily injury, property damage, or false advertising liability coverage, though.
Therefore, most professionals should have a general liability policy in addition to any professional liability insurance they carry. The coverages that a general liability provides offer complementary, rather than overlapping, protection.
How Can Businesses Obtain General Liability Insurance?
There are several ways businesses may acquire general liability protection. Most businesses can purchase it:
- As a stand-alone policy
- Through a business owners policy
- Through a commercial package policy
To find out which of these options is best for their particular business, business owners should contact an independent insurance agent who serves their state. An independent agent can request quotes for each of these options from several insurance companies. Then, they can help business owners decide which of the available options offers the best general liability insurance and is most suitable for their business.