General liability insurance coverage is something most businesses simply must have, so it’s essential that you understand what it does and doesn't cover.

What is general liability insurance?

Liability insurance can help cover medical expenses, attorney fees and damages you are legally responsible for. Nationwide can help with defense costs, regardless of fault, as well as protection for judgments, court costs and more.

Nationwide offers great basic plans that can be easily customized with a wide variety of options so you can select the coverage you need. We understand that you need complete business protection, not one-size-fits-all coverage. Our agents will work with you to determine the right type of commercial liability insurance you need for every stage of your business. You can enhance a basic policy with additional commercial liability insurance options, known as endorsements, that meet the specific needs of your business.

Who needs general liability insurance?

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.

Most businesses need general liability insurance to protect themselves against:
  • Lawsuits, investigations and settlements
  • Medical damages, attorney fees and Injury damages
  • Abuse coverage for liability
Just keep in mind that the following typically aren’t protected:
  • Employee injuries
  • Auto-related coverage
  • Intentional acts

Determining what you need


See what other companies in your industry typically choose for coverage.

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Each policy is customized to your needs. You’ll need to contact an agent for an accurate quote.

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Business liability insurance endorsement options

Enhance a basic policy with additional commercial liability insurance options that meet the specific needs of your business.

Hired and non-owned auto liability

Provides auto liability coverage for short-term auto rental or for employees using their personal car for business.

Umbrella policy

Extends coverage over and above your other liability coverage. Designed to protect against unusually high losses when the policy limits of one of the underlying policies have been used up.

Product and completed operations liability

Provides protection for bodily injury and property damage that occurs away from your premises that are caused by your products or your work. The amount of coverage and the level of risk depend on your business type.

Employment-related practices liability

Covers wrongful termination, wrongful refusal to employ, invasion of privacy or defamation claims made against you by an employee.

Directors and officers liability

Provides coverage for situations where a poor decision was made by a company’s board of directors or officers resulting in a claim for damage. Coverage can be provided for condominium associations, golf courses and churches.

Liquor liability

Protects you against claims for injury for selling, serving or furnishing any alcoholic beverage during your business operations.

Fire legal liability

Provides coverage if your negligence causes fire damage to premises you rent or occupy with the landlord’s permission.

Personal and advertising injury coverage

Provides coverage for copyright infringement, libel and slander.

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Product, coverage, discounts, insurance terms, definitions, and other descriptions are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in your individual insurance contracts, policies, and/or declaration pages from Nationwide-affiliated underwriting companies, which are controlling. Such products, coverages, terms, and discounts may vary by state and exclusions may apply.