Accidents happen every day and when people are injured, they often look to others as a source of blame or fault. In some cases, accidents are caused by natural occurrences such as storms or earthquakes where no individual or corporation can be held accountable, but many cases, someone is identified as a negligent party. General Liability insurance coverage is designed to protect that person or entity if their assets are placed at risk.
What will it cover?
General liability insurance provides defense and indemnity to an insured person or entity. This means that the insurance company will essentially “step in to the shoes” of an insured and provide a defense for them. The insurance company will pay for your attorney’s fees, but they will most often have the option to choose their own attorneys to handle the case for you if you are sued.
If the defense is unsuccessful or if a settlement of a claim is warranted, the insurer will the indemnify you. An injured party will be seeking damages against a named insured and may obtain a judgment against them in a court. Since the liability policy is an indemnity contract, the insurer will pay the injured party on behalf of the insured.
The policy will pay for legal costs regardless of whether an insured is at fault. Medical Payments coverage also pays regardless of fault. This section provides for the payment of medical bills to a person who sustains an injury on the insured’s premises. This coverage is usually offered as a small amount relative to the overall liability limit.
What isn’t covered?
A general liability policy contains many different exclusions. Intentional acts by an insured are not covered, and injuries that arise out of the use of a motor vehicle are not covered. Personal injuries such as libel and slander are not typically covered under a general liability policy either.
Any business operation should have a quality general liability coverage program in place as part of an overall risk management strategy. Without this protection, valuable assets are at risk of claims from people who may sustain injuries or property damages as the result of business operations.