Commercial general liability insurance (CGL), protects your business from financial loss should you be sued because of property damage, injuries, or death caused by your services, business operations, or your employees. A typical example of commercial general liability insurance is slip, trip, and fall coverage, which protects your business against lawsuits because someone slipped, tripped, or fell in your workplace. A CGL insurance policy will usually cover the costs of your legal defence and will pay on your behalf all damages if you are found liable—up to the limits of your policy. CGL coverage is one of the most commonly sold insurance products, primarily because of the impact that a law suit can have on a business and because such liability suits happen so frequently.
Standard CGL coverage is divided into four primary groups:
Fundamentally, if your company, your product / service, your employees, or for that matter anything that is associated with your business cause physical harm to someone, or damages their property or belongings, the courts could find you legally liable. When a business is held legally liable, it is required to pay the injured party what is referred to as compensatory damages. Of course, there are limitations to this type of coverage. For example, CGL would not cover the following if the:
Personal injury liability coverage (under a commercial general liability policy), protects your business, yourself, and your employees:
The courts have commonly held that advertising injury relates to damages caused by slander, libel, privacy violations, copyright infringement, and disparagement of goods, products or services of other companies. As the title suggests, the injury arises you’re your company performs some form of advertising or marketing activity. For example, you may inadvertently use on your website a picture that is copywrite- protected, and the copywrite holder files a claim against you. Or, the content of one of your promotional ads or flyers is deemed to make disparaging remarks about a competitor’s product or service. Should such a situation arise, your advertising injury liability coverage would protect your business and your assets.
This type of coverage is sometimes referred to as “Goodwill Protection” and is designed to pay for a third party’s minor medical expenses that arise from an accident on your company's premises, or as a result of your company's operations. This coverage can be applied in some cases as a way to avoid a costly lawsuit. For example, someone slips on a wet showroom floor, and breaks their leg. The medical expense coverage could cover the costs of their medical bills and their lost time from work, without the expense of going to court to resolve the issue.
Accidents happen. And as a tenant if you cause property damage to the landlord’s property, you could be held legally responsible. For example, it could be a fire that results in smoke and water damage; or a flood caused by equipment you are using in your rented premises. When this occurs your Tenant's liability coverage will defend you against any action to cover the costs to repair the damages. This coverage only applies to “property damage” to premises owned by others rented to you or occupied by you. Also, although your landlord’s commercial general liability insurance will protect him/her, you still need insurance coverage to protect your business.