Get general liability insurance quotes, cost & coverage fast. Commercial general liability protects your business from another person's or entity's claims involving bodily injury or property damage.
Commercial General Liability
It may be hard for you to imagine how your business could cause another person serious harm or even death. But if you are ever found liable for someone harm or injury, general liability insurance can provide financial protection.
A business that purchases commercial general liability insurance, is covered for the cost of defending and settling real or fraudulent claims pertaining to bodily injury, that may be faced by a customer at the place of business or injuries sustained by employees at the client's workplace; property damages; personal injury as a result of defamation; operations liability and advertising injury up to a maximum amount as stated in the contract.
General liability insurance is the most foundational business insurance. It covers non-professional negligent acts.
Does My Business Need General Liability Insurance?
One of the most trying situations a business owner can face is liability claims for injury or damages to third party. Any business is exposed to bodily injury and property damage claims and the resulting litigation from the your business operations.
Legal fees and judgements can put small companies out of business. A general liability insurance policy would provide defense costs for a covered claim and pay damages if the business is found legally liable.
What Does General Liability Insurance Cover?
General liability is commercial coverage that is designed to provide financial protection for businesses from many types of risk exposures. A General liability insurance policy has 3 main parts of coverage; Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability (Coverage A), Personal and Advertising Injury (Coverage B) and Medical Payments (Coverage C). Following are some of the most important coverages:
- The cost of medical care claimed by the injured party. For example, if a customer slips and falls on your premises and requires medical treatment, your policy would cover the costs.
- Restitution for death and loss of services.
- Compensation for physical damage to other people's property and loss of use of the same. Even if you're careful it's still a possibility that something your business does, or doesn't do, could cause damage another person's or businesses property.
- Compensation to consumers for loss on account of using company manufactured products and retribution for loss due to services rendered by the company. So if something your business manufactures or a service your company provides causes an injury, your policy can pay for any resulting damages including legal expenses.
- Contractual liability coverage for any liability is assumed by entering into contracts like lease agreements for the building, elevator maintenance agreements or indemnity agreements.
- Coverage for hired and non-owned autos. Hired would be liability coverage for rented vehicles and non-owned is if employees use their personal auto on company business - like running to the bank or office store for supplies.
- Liquor liability if you do not sell, serve, furnish, manufacture or distribute, alcoholic beverages , your general liability insurance policy will cover you if are held liable for a liquor-related incident.
- The costs of legal defense. These costs commonly include compensatory damages, nonmonetary losses suffered by the injured party, and punitive damages.
- Coverage for advertising injuries as a result of publishing inaccurate information.
- Protection for violation of someone's right to privacy and infringing on another company's copyright, title or slogan.
What General Liability Insurance Doesn't Cover
General liability typically does not cover:
- Professional mistakes - Only professional liability insurance (E&O) can cover lawsuits due to negligence and professional mistakes.
- Damage to your property - General liability only covers third-party property damage. You need business property cover yours.
- Employee injuries - CGL only covers non-employee bodily injuries. You will need workers compensation to cover employee injuries
- Employment disputes - Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI), not general liability, covers lawsuits if an employee sues over harassment, wrongful termination, discrimination, and similar issues.
- Damage to your vehicles - Commercial auto will cover damages to your vehicles.
Claims-Made vs Occurrence
When buying commercial general liability it's important know the difference between a claims-made or occurrence policy:
Claims-Made - Provides coverage over a specific time period, and only covers claims that are made during that time period - even if the claim happened at a different time. So if you had a policy that cancelled on January 1, 2020 - then a claim was filed on February 1, 2020 for an injury that happened on December 1st 2019 - you WOULD NOT have coverage.
Occurrence - This policy is different because it covers claims that occurred during a specified time period, and will not cover claims that occurred before the policy was effective. So if you had a policy that cancelled on January 1, 2020 - then a claim was filed on February 1, 2020 for an injury that happened on December 1st 2019 - you WOULD have coverage (if it wasn't exlcuded from the policy).
How Much Does General Liability Insurance Cost?
How much does general liability insurance cost? The premiums vary depending on the amount of risk exposure, and it depends on the endorsements and deductible selected. Following are some of the main factors that go into the price of a policy:
- Type of business (contracting, service, retail etc.)
- General liability classification code
- Business location
- Years in business
- Business experience
- Annual payroll
- Annual revenue
- History of claims
Further Reading On Commercial General Liability Insurance
- Commercial General Liability Coverage Form
- General Liability Insurance
- CGL Exclusions Explained
- Contractors General Liability Insurance
- Difference Between General Liability And Auto Liability Insurance
- Does General Liability Insurance Cover Subcontractors?
- General Liability Insurance Claims-Made vs Occurrence
- Product Liability Insurance
- Product Liability Insurance vs General Liability
- What Damages Are Covered By A CGL Policy?
- What Does Commercial General Liability Insurance Cover?
- What Does Personal And Advertising Injury Mean?
- What Is A Premises And Operations Insurance Policy?
- What Is Damage To Premises Rented To You?
- What Is Products And Completed Operations Coverage?
- What Is The Difference Between Per Occurrence And Aggregate Liability Limits?
Understanding The ISO Commercial General Liability Coverage Form
You don't have any control over the ultimate cost of injuries to a person injured because of your operations, products, or services. The person injured may be a young child, a blue-collar worker, a surgeon, or a homeless person. The cost of the injuries may be comparatively minor or run into the millions of dollars, depending on the person and the extent of his or her injuries. Do you have sufficient assets to pay such a loss? And, if you do, should you use them that way? If not, the Insurance Services Office (ISO) Commercial General Liability (CGL) Coverage Forms are designed to help you protect your assets.
Consult the policy for definitions and limitations. The information below does not represent contract terms. The policy is subject to company underwriting practices.
What Is Covered
The ISO CGL Coverage Forms protect your assets in several ways:
- Liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage insures your legal obligations that arise from an accident. It also includes the costs related to lawsuits and other legal proceedings. The limits of insurance should be sufficient to handle serious injuries and the injured person's loss of earnings.
- Liability coverage for damages due to personal and advertising injury insures your legal obligations that arise from an offense. It also includes the costs related to lawsuits and other legal proceedings. The limits of insurance should be sufficient to handle serious injuries and the injured person's loss of earnings.
- Medical Payments coverage pays the cost of medical care to persons injured on your premises or due to your operations, regardless of fault.
Each of these coverages is subject to certain policy exclusions, conditions, and definitions.
What Isn't Covered
Every insurance coverage form or policy has certain exclusions and limitations. This is because only specific types of businesses need the coverage or the risk or exposure to loss is not considered insurable for some reason. Some bodily injury and property damage liability exclusions are:
- Expected or Intended Injury
- Liquor Liability
- Workers Compensation
- Aircraft, Auto, or Watercraft
- Mobile Equipment
- Damage to Property
- Recall of Products, Work, or Impaired Property
- Distribution of Material in Violation of Statutes
Coverage B-Personal and Advertising Injury Liability and Coverage C-Medical Payments are subject to separate exclusions. Some are similar or identical to the ones listed above. Always review the coverage form carefully for other limitations and details of the exclusions.
Conditions are obligations you owe the insurance company as well as obligations the insurance company owes you when a loss occurs. The following is a partial list:
- Duties in the Event of Occurrence, Offense, Claim, or Suit
- Legal Action Against Us
- Other Insurance
- Premium Audit
- Separation of Insureds
- Transfer of Rights of Recovery Against Others to Us
- When We Do Not Renew
The ISO CGL Coverage Forms may have to be modified for a specific risk. There are a number of endorsements available that broaden, limit, or exclude coverage.
General Liability Insurance Forms
You can download a copy of the Commercial General Liability Coverage Form here.
You can find more ISO insurance coverage forms here:
- Commercial General Liability Coverage Form
Get A General Liability Insurance Quote
Not all commercial general liability insurance polices are the same. If you own or are starting a business, let one of our expert agents take a look at your current business policy. In most cases we can save you money and offer you better policy options than you currently may have.
If you are looking for state specific General Liability Insurance quotes, costs and information: California General Liability Insurance, Delaware General Liability Insurance, Illinois General Liability Insurance, Kentucky General Liability Insurance, New Jersey General Liability Insurance, New York General Liability Insurance, Pennsylvania General Liability Insurance, Texas General Liability Insurance.