What does general liability cover? More than you think.
For those of us in the insurance industry, after a certain period of time, various lines of business, their abbreviations and the specific coverages provided by those lines become embedded into our brains. This occurs to the point where we begin to speak in a language that is completely foreign to anyone who is not associated with or familiar with the insurance industry. We also start to assume that everyone knows the ins-and-outs of the coverages on which we speak. So if you’ve been left wondering, what does general liability cover? You’re not alone.
Following is a typical statement that an agent or account manager might have with another individual in the insurance industry:
“Yesterday, I had a lawn and landscape contractor client submit a BI/PD claim on his CGL. Thankfully the injury wasn’t too bad.”
Here’s the first part of the statement translated: “Yesterday, I had a lawn and landscape contractor submit a bodily injury/property damage claim on his commercial general liability.”
Make more sense?
Part A of general liability insurance covers the cost of injury or property damage that happens to another party, as a result of your business operations. If they claim your company was liable for the injury or damage in some one, then you’ll either have to pay for their loss or pay to go to court to prove you weren’t liable.
This leads me to my next point; many business owners are vaguely familiar with New Hampshire general liability insurance, and most often, bodily injury and property damage coverage is the first thing they think of since those are typically the most common types of claims. However, did you know that commercial general liability covers more than bodily injury and property damage claims?
Coverage B on the commercial general liability form provides coverage against personal and advertising injury claims. Let’s clarify something; personal injury in this section is not the same as the bodily injury coverage we just reviewed. This can get confusing, especially when you encounter commercials for “personal injury attorneys.” However, personal injury in this sense means offenses such as libel, slander, using another’s advertising idea in your advertising, copyright infringement, etc.
Next, we have Coverage C on the commercial general liability form.
Coverage C is medical payments coverage. This particular insurance coverage pays for medical expenses sustained as a result of bodily injury that was caused by an accident at premises you own or rent, on ways next to premises you own or rent or because of your operations. The key component here is that the coverage can be paid out regardless of fault. One of the most common types of medical payments claims we see is slip-and-fall situations.
You might be wondering at this point why slip-and-fall claims aren’t covered under Coverage A (bodily injury and property damage liability). Coverage A losses apply to situations where the insured is legally liable for the loss. Someone who slips and falls or trips and falls might not have done so because of a condition where the insured is legally liable. Therefore, this coverage is more goodwill than anything else.
Hopefully, you learned something about general liability insurance, as that’s all we have time for this month. However, feel free to stop your insurance professional mid-sentence if they start rattling off abbreviations such as PAP, EPLI, or HO5 if you have no idea what they are talking about!
We believe that knowledge is power when it comes to protecting your business.
Knowledge about the risks that your business could face, methods for protecting against those risks and how insurance applies to the sustainable success of your business are all things that we impart on our commercial clients. Insurance shouldn’t just be a stack of papers that you keep at the bottom of some drawer. It should empower you to face the challenges that come with running a business – not just be a stack of papers that you knowing that you, your assets and your well-being are safeguarded by protection with Noyes Insurance.