Property and casualty insurance protects you and your business. But the type of protection you receive depends on your situation. Property insurance covers damages to assets while casualty insurance protects you from claims arising from liabilities. Combining personal lines insurance and commercial insurance can provide you with coverage for general liability and property insurance.
Protecting Your Property
Property insurance provides you with reimbursement when an asset that you own is destroyed or damaged. It can protect against loss through damage to that property, loss of income that you would have otherwise generated from that property and losses in the form of money that you would not have spent if the property hadn’t been destroyed or damaged.
Common examples of property insurance include homeowners insurance and business property insurance. Examples of specialized property insurance include business interruption insurance to protect against losses when you can’t run your business because of property damage and builder’s risk insurance for when buildings are damaged while they are being built. Boiler and machinery insurance and glass insurance also are available.
Protecting You From Liability
Casualty insurance covers you when you or your business must pay damages because of something that you did or something that happened because of something that you didn’t do. For example, if you or your business are found at fault for an injury that occurs at your place of business or because of an automobile accident for which you may be held responsible, then you might be able to use casualty insurance to cover your losses.
More specifically, premises liability insurance may pay for the damages if a customer slips and falls at your business while business casualty insurance could protect you from claims of negligence related to work performed by your company. Additional examples of casualty insurance include aviation insurance and workers’ compensation insurance.
Protecting You through General Liability and Property Insurance
Personal lines insurance protects you as an individual. You can use it to pay for damages that you couldn’t cover on your own, like if your house is destroyed or you are liable for injuries in an accident. Automobile insurance and homeowners insurance are the most common examples of personal insurance. You also can personally purchase protection such as flood insurance and umbrella liability coverage, which would cover you should damages exceed those paid for by your other insurance policies. Renters insurance also is available.
Protecting Your Business With Premises Liability Insurance vs. General Liability
Your business can purchase separate insurance policies for protection against particular risks at your premises or combine multiple insurance products. Commercial lines insurance commonly includes workers’ compensation insurance, property insurance, commercial automobile insurance and liability insurance.
Commercial automobile and property insurance extend the same sort of coverage to your business as their personal lines insurance counterparts do for you as an individual. Workers’ compensation is an example of business casualty insurance in that it covers damages for injuries sustained by employees while working. Your business also can purchase liability insurance like directors’ and officers’ liability insurance, errors and omissions insurance and malpractice insurance.
Protecting Others Through Life Insurance
Life insurance differs from other insurance types. In addition to the obvious distinction of protecting life instead of property, it also differs in how it is purchased, maintained and paid out. Unlike property and casualty insurance, it isn’t renewed annually and expires only when the insured dies or the policy lapses. When it is paid out, life insurance compensates named beneficiaries, like family members and other loved ones. Then it terminates. However, property and casualty insurance may cover multiple claims and remain in force even after those claims are paid.
- Investopedia: Casualty Insurance
- Investopedia: Personal Insurance Lines
- The Trust: Professional Liability - Premises Liability
- Kaplan Financial Education: An Overview of Property and Casualty Insurance
- Allstate: What is Property and Casualty Insurance?
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Jim Molis has more than 20 years of experience writing for and about businesses. He has been a business reporter for the Columbus (Ga.) Ledger-Enquirer, a managing editor of the Atlanta Business Chronicle and an editor of the Jacksonville Business Journal. He also has written for management consultants, professional services firms and numerous publications as a freelancer.