Commercial General Liability Insurance Definition

Commercial general liability insurance is a comprehensive policy that companies buy to protect themselves in case of debilitating events, such as an illness or injury suffered by an employee or damage to property. Purchasing this policy is the first step businesses take to protect their assets. This safety net is critical in a society in which the number of lawsuits and the value of judgment awards have increased over the years.

The Facts

A general liability insurance policy covers claims of damage and injury caused by the insured during the course of business. This insurance covers four categories: bodily injury, personal injury (which includes libel or slander), property damage, and advertising injury. General liability is usually bundled with other types of insurance. When packaged, the limits for this blanket coverage may be lower than needed. Companies can opt to purchase this insurance as a standalone policy.

What's Covered

A general liability insurance policy protects a company and its employees from many types of incidents. This insurance covers bodily injury, property damage, product-completed liability, contractual liability, liquor liability, employer injuries, and damages from fire, lightning and explosion. Medical payments for personal injury, coverage for advertising injury and legal defense costs fits under the umbrella of a general liability insurance policy.


By having a general liability package, companies can relax knowing that they can conduct business without having to worry unduly if an allegation is brought against them. If a claim is filed against an insured business, their insurance company will conduct a thorough investigation to eliminate any claims that are proven to be unjust. Legal fees, including court costs, are covered under the policy. If the business is found liable and the incident is covered under the policy, their insurance company would pay the award amount up to the coverage limit purchased by the insured.


When a business purchases liability coverage, an insurance company determines several factors before issuing a premium offer. These factors may include risk, the history of claim filings by the company, the industry in which it conducts business and the size of the workforce. The premium amount is also affected by the amount of coverage a business is seeking. The payment of premiums is the company’s requirement for coverage.


Not having comprehensive coverage, like commercial liability insurance, leaves a company unprotected if an incident like an accident or injury occurs. It is wise to research the sufficient amount of coverage for the industry to gauge how much coverage is needed to avoid paying with funds from the company. With the amount awarded in lawsuits skyrocketing in recent years, a judgment against you can be catastrophic to your business.