General Liability insurance protects your company from some of the fundamental risks that come with running a business. General Liability will cover a wide range of risks by paying for the costs of litigation as well as restitution for the injury. These costs can include court-awarded damages, settlements, and medical costs.

In General Liability insurance, the insuring clauses set the stage. They tell you what the policy will do, who it will apply to and what specific terms you need to pay attention to. They are separate clause because they describe different types of risks and, as a result, may have different terms, conditions, limits of liability or retentions. 

You will have to consult your policy documents to confirm exactly what coverage your General Liability insurance provides but here are a few scenarios that typically would and would not be covered:

What General Liability insurance covers:

"Slip and fall" claims
a vendor visits your office in your coworking space, trips on a power cord and hits his head.
Property damage
you visit your client’s new space bearing housewarming gifts of coffee and muffins. On your way through the office, you accidentally spill the coffee onto some high-end computers and monitors, not to mention the brand new carpet.
Products liability
your shoe company has sold 10,000 units. Suddenly reports come in that a manufacturing defect is causing the heel of the shoe to detach and customers are getting hurt. You’re sure that, since the shoes were manufactured in China by a Chinese company, you’re off the hook. The pained look on your lawyer’s face makes you think you may be wrong…(you probably are).
Damage to rented space
you shut down your office for a long weekend not realizing that you’ve left a space heater on. It’s not a very good space heater: a fire sparks, destroying most of the office. Your landlord sues for the damages.
Personal injury
while speaking to a potential client, you make a regrettable comment about a competitor. The competitor finds out and considers your comments to be slanderous.
Advertising injury
in an email blast to your full mailing list, you use a catchy tag line to get people’s attention. It works! But unfortunately you inadvertently plagiarized another company’s content and they come calling.

What General Liability insurance does NOT cover:

Securities violations
should be covered by a D&O policy
should be covered by a pollution liability or environmental impairment liability policy
Employee benefits and ERISA violations
should be covered by a fiduciary liability policy
Professional services
should be covered by an E&O policy
contracts that aren’t listed as “insured contract” should likely be covered by an E&O policy
Harassment, discrimination, workplace torts
should be covered by an EPLI policy. Intellectual property: should be covered by a GL, E&O/media liability, cyber liability or patent insurance policy.
Violation of privacy laws
when not covered as a personal injury, this should be covered by a cyber policy.

General Liability insurance claim examples

A delivery driver holds a bakery responsible after he slips on flour on the floor of the kitchen, falling and breaking his tailbone. He sues the bakery for $75,000 in medical expenses, lost wages and other costs.

A e-commerce furniture retailer with a complimentary delivery service has some employees drop off furniture to a customer’s home. They scratch the floors and knock over an expensive vase in the process, causing $30,000 in damage to the customer’s home. The customer sues the company for reimbursement.

An company indemnifies their landlord in the lease agreement. The company modifies the space and installs new water piping. During a cold winter night, the pipes rupture and fill the common areas of the building, shorting out the elevator and causing $100,000 in damage. The landlord requires payment from the company under the indemnity agreement in their lease to fix the damages caused by the company’s installation.

Get A General Liability Quote

If you’re interested in learning more about a customized General Liability insurance program, you can always reach out to a member of our team by phone 646.854.1058 or email or get a quote below!