General liability insurance is coverage designed to protect businesses from a variety of common accidents, including when someone is injured on your business’ property.
If a customer slips and falls in your retail store, for example, general liability insurance can help cover the victim’s medical bills while simultaneously protecting your business from a related lawsuit. Not all injuries are covered, however, and it is important to know the exclusions and restrictions under your business’ general liability policy.
Common Exclusions Under General Liability Insurance
Injuries and Monetary Loss Caused by a Professional Service
General liability insurance covers what is known as non-professional negligence. If a server fails to clean up a spilled drink in time and a customer slips and falls in it, this is considered non-professional negligence, as it was a mistake not related directly to a professional service.
Professional negligence, on the other hand, is a mistake directly tied to a professional service that can cause a client to lose money. For example, say a surgeon makes a mistake during surgery that causes immense pain for the patient and requires another surgery. Since this mistake is tied directly to their professional services as a surgeon, this mistake would not be covered under general liability insurance. Instead, you will need professional liability insurance.
Intentional injuries are not covered under general liability insurance whether the injuries are intentionally made by the victim, the business owner or an employee. Is a guest starts a fight with another guest and is injured, these injuries likely won’t be covered under general liability insurance.
Employee injuries are not covered under general liability insurance. If an employee is injured on the job, their injury should instead be covered by workers compensation. Workers compensation insurance provides coverage for medical bills, disability benefits, wage replacement and more in case an employee gets hurt on the job. Keep in mind that these policies have their own exclusions, as well, such as if an employee starts a fight that results in injury.
Employee or Business Property Damage
General liability insurance only covers property damage suffered by third parties. If an accident damages an employee’s property or the business’ own property, general liability insurance will not cover the damages. Instead, you should turn to your commercial property insurance policy for compensation.
Be sure to speak with your insurance agent about the limits and exclusions under your general liability insurance policy.