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General Liability Insurance


General liability (GL) insurance, commonly called commercial liability insurance, is a type of insurance that can protect you against various claims, including personal injuries, property damages, and others, that may occur from the operations of your business. General liability insurance policies usually also include some product liability coverage, which provides protection from claims that the products that your company makes, delivers, or sells have caused damage to people or property. Bodily Injury and Property Damage insurance provides protection from losses from an insureds legal liability for personal injuries or property damage caused by others due to a negligent nonprofessional action, or from liabilities that result from the operations of its premises or operations.

A commercial general liability (CGL) policy protects your business against financial losses should you become responsible for property damages or bodily and publicity injuries caused by your services, business operations, or employees. Public liability insurance is designed to protect against liabilities stemming from faulty products, workplace accidents, negligence, and injuries suffered by both employees and members of the public, such as visitors to the business or its customers. Public Liability insurance, or PLI, is designed to protect business owners and their assets against losses related to injuries, loss or damage of property, and other losses suffered by members of the public and/or third parties while at the business premises.

PLI policies are the bare minimum liability coverage that covers liability for claims by members of the public for injuries, negligent acts, and accidents. General liability insurance does not cover work-related motor vehicle accidents, injuries and illnesses to employees, damages to the businesss property, errors in professional services, claims exceeding your policy limits, or unlawful acts done by yourself or an employee, intentionally. For commercial car accidents, you will need a business motor vehicle insurance policy if you own a vehicle and are using the vehicle for business.

If you own vehicles for your business, whether it is to deliver products or consult with customers, you will want a separate commercial motor vehicle coverage that will protect you and your employees against liability claims stemming from a vehicle accident. For those types of liability claims, you will need a different kind of commercial insurance. These types of liability claims are common, which is why you want to make sure that your company is protected.

Pollution liability is quite limited, and higher-risk businesses should consider purchasing a standalone pollution liability policy. You can augment the base policy with optional business liability coverage options, known as escrow, which fit the particular needs of your business. Malpractice insurance is a special type of professional liability insurance that protects physicians and other licensed professionals against liabilities related to personal injuries, medical expenses, and property damages, and costs associated with the defense of lawsuits related to personal injuries.

Coverage is generally required because it shows you will have the financial protection necessary to pay for costs related to property or personal injuries related to your activities in commercial spaces. General liability coverage is typically combined with property coverage under a Business Owners Policy (BOP), but is also available for many contractors as an independent coverage under Progressive Advantage(r) business program.


Updated: March 19, 2023 — 6:00 am
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