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General Liability

 
 


Commercial Insurance General Liability

   
 

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General Liability History

Liability insurance is a part of the general insurance system of risk financing to protect the purchaser (the "insured") from the risks of liabilities imposed by lawsuits and similar claims. It protects the insured in the event he or she is sued for claims that come within the coverage of the insurance policy. Originally, individuals or companies that faced a common peril, formed a group and created a self-help fund out of which to pay compensation should any member incur loss (in other words, a mutual insurance arrangement). The modern system relies on dedicated carriers, usually for-profit, to offer protection against specified perils inconsideration of a premium.

Liability insurance is designed to offer specific protection against third party insurance claims, i.e., payment is not typically made to the insured, but rather to someone suffering loss who is not a party to the insurance contract. In general, damage caused intentionally as well as contractual liability are not covered under liability insurance policies. When a claim is made,[1] the insurance carrier has the duty (and right) to defend the insured. The legal costs of a defense normally do not affect policy limits unless the policy expressly states otherwise; this default rule is useful because defense costs tend to soar when cases go to trial.

Typically, General Liability coverage is displayed in the following format:

$1,000,000 per occurrence
$2,000,000 aggregate
$1,000,000 products & completed operations

This is best described as $1M per claim with a $2M aggregate for your insurance year and $1M coverage for the products and services you provide. Varying limits apply to each different Contractor and their needs.

Product Liability
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Protection against financial loss arising out of the legal liability incurred by an insured because of injury or damage resulting from the use of a covered product or out of the liability incurred by a contractor after a job is completed (completed operations cover).

Completed Operations
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Under a general liability policy, work of the insured that has been completed as called for in a contract, or work completed at a single job site under a contract involving multiple job sites, or work that has been put to its intended use.

Garage Liability
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Insurance covering the legal liability of franchised and non-franchised automobile, truck, truck-tractor, motorcycle, recreational vehicle, and trailer dealers for claims of bodily injury (BI) and property damage (PD) arising out of business operations. It includes two separate insuring agreements, "who is an insured" provisions, and "limit of insurance" provisions—one dealing with garage operations involving the ownership, maintenance, or use of autos and the other dealing with all other garage operations.

Vendor's Coverage
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Additional insured coverage, usually under a manufacturer's general liability policy, for specified vendors with respect to their distribution or sale of the manufacturer's products designated in the schedule on the endorsement. This endorsement gives products liability coverage to the vendors distributing or selling the named insured's product and eliminates the need for the vendor to purchase separate products liability coverage.

Additional Insured endorsement
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Policy endorsement used to add coverage for additional insureds by name—for example, mortgage holders or lessors. There are a number of different forms intended to address various situations, some of which afford very restrictive coverage to additional insureds. (Rather than naming each additional insured, a blanket additional insured endorsement sometimes is available.)

Umbrella Liability
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A policy designed to provide protection against catastrophic losses. It generally is written over various primary liability policies, such as the business auto policy (BAP), commercial general liability (CGL) policy, watercraft and aircraft liability policies, and employers liability coverage. The umbrella policy serves three purposes: it provides excess limits when the limits of underlying liability policies are exhausted by the payment of claims; it drops down and picks up where the underlying policy leaves off when the aggregate limit of the underlying policy in question is exhausted by the payment of claims; and it provides protection against some claims not covered by the underlying policies, subject to the assumption by the named insured of a self-insured retention (SIR).

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