General Liability Covers More Than You Might Think

Workplace injury

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.

General liability coverage is a great example of this. Following is a typical statement that an agent or account manager might have with another individual in his or her agency: “Yesterday, I had a lawn and landscape contractor client submit a BI/PD claim on his CGL. Thankfully the injury wasn’t too bad.”

Say what!??!?

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?

This leads me to my next point; many business owners are vaguely familiar with 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. This 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.

Hopefully, you learned something new 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!

The information above is of a general nature and your policy and coverages provided may differ from the examples provided. Please read your policy in its entirety to determine your actual coverage available.

Products underwritten by Central Mutual Insurance Company and affiliated companies.

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