Business liability insurance coverage is something most business simply must have, so it is essential that you understand what it does and doesn't cover.
Here are some general liability insurance coverage rules of thumb. To be sure about your specific business needs, be sure to consult with a qualified business insurance agent.
What’s typically protected by commercial liability insurance coverage
Business is inherently risky, but business liability coverage safeguards against many known and unknown risks. Commercial liability insurance coverage protects you, your business and your employees from claims involving bodily injury or property damage, up to the limits of your policy. Policies shield you from the expense of out-of-court settlements, litigation and judgments awarded by courts.
Lawsuits, investigations and settlements
If damages are filed against you or you’re sued, general liability insurance covers the insurance company’s investigation and attorney expenses, any judgment or settlement, medical expenses in case of injury and bonds if they must be subsequently posted.
Claims can arise from bodily injury or property damages resulting from accidents on your premises or from your products, your operations or advertising for your business.
Liability insurance can also cover things you may not have thought about, such as advertising injury in the event your company’s marketing violates someone’s copyright. Business liability insurance coverage even offers some protection against alcohol-related accidents (as long as your company is not in an alcohol-related business, such as the manufacture or distribution of alcohol).
What’s typically NOT protected by business liability coverage
Here are some situations that would not be protected by general liability insurance coverage.
Though there can be exceptions, a general business liability policy rarely pays for punitive damages resulting from a lawsuit.
General business liability insurance does not cover damages or injuries resulting from expected or intentional acts. For example, if an employee assaults a customer, your business liability coverage would not cover the damages if they sue. But if the employee was defending himself or the company from a criminal act, the liability insurance would provide coverage.
Referred to as the “workmanship” exclusion, and is common in general liability policies. Insurance policies do not respond to what would normally be picked by a company’s warranty for their work.