General Liabilities Definition: What You Need to Know

When it comes to running a business, there are numerous risks that can arise at any moment. From accidents that occur on your premises to lawsuits filed by dissatisfied customers, it’s essential to understand the concept of general liabilities. Simply put, general liabilities refer to the legal obligations that a business holds for any harm or damages caused to others. Understanding the definition of general liabilities is crucial for any business owner, regardless of the industry they operate in. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about general liability, including what it covers, how it works, and why it’s critical to have adequate coverage in place. So, whether you’re a small business owner or a large corporation, keep reading to discover the ins and outs of general liabilities and how they can protect your business.

What is covered under General Liability?

General liability insurance covers a wide range of risks that a business may face, from property damage to bodily injury and even advertising injury. Property damage refers to any damage that a business may cause to someone else’s property, such as a customer’s car or a neighboring business’s building. Bodily injury covers any harm caused to another person, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Advertising injury is a relatively new addition to the definition of general liabilities insurance and covers any harm caused by your advertising, such as copyright infringement or defamation.

To put it simply, general liability insurance covers any harm or damage that your business may cause to others. This type of insurance is essential for any business, big or small, and can protect you from costly lawsuits and legal fees. Click here for a general liability quote.

Understanding the types of General Liabilities

There are two main types of general liability insurance: occurrence-based policies and claims-made policies. Occurrence-based policies cover any claims that arise during the policy period, regardless of when the claim is filed. Claims-made policies, on the other hand, cover claims that are made during the policy period and reported to the insurance company within a certain time frame, usually 60 days.

Understanding the different types of general liabilities insurance is crucial when selecting the right policy for your business. Occurrence-based policies are generally more expensive but provide broader coverage, while claims-made policies are more affordable but may leave gaps in coverage if a claim is filed after the policy has expired.

Importance of GL Insurance for businesses

As a business owner, you have a legal obligation to protect your customers, employees, and anyone else who may come into contact with your business. General liability insurance is one of the most effective ways to do this. Without adequate coverage, your business may be liable for any harm or damage caused to others, putting your finances and reputation at risk.

Having general liability insurance in place can also give your customers peace of mind. Knowing that you have insurance to cover any accidents or injuries that may occur on your premises can help build trust and establish a positive reputation for your business.

General Liabilities vs. Professional Liabilities

While by the definition of general liabilities, it covers any harm or damage caused by your business operations, professional liability insurance covers any harm or damage caused by professional services that you provide. If you’re a doctor, lawyer, or accountant, for example, professional liability insurance can protect you from malpractice lawsuits or other claims arising from your professional services.

It’s important to note that general liabilities insurance does not cover any harm or damage caused by professional services. If you provide professional services, you’ll need to have both general liabilities and professional liability insurance in place to ensure that you’re fully covered. Click here for LIABILITY Definition & Legal Meaning.

How to get GL insurance

Getting general liability insurance is relatively straightforward. You’ll need to contact an insurance broker or agent who specializes in commercial insurance and provide them with information about your business. They will then assess your risks and provide you with quotes from various insurance companies.

When selecting a policy, it’s critical to choose one that provides adequate coverage for your business. Make sure to read the policy exclusions carefully and ask your broker or agent any questions you may have.

Common exclusions in General Liabilities insurance

While general liability insurance provides broad coverage for many types of risks, there are some exclusions to be aware of. Most policies exclude intentional harm, such as assault or battery, as well as damage caused by pollutants or asbestos. Policies may also exclude claims arising from professional services, as we discussed earlier.

It’s important to review your policy exclusions carefully and make sure that you have coverage for any unique risks that your business may face. Now you know the definition of general liabilities insurance.

Top GL claims

According to a study by The Hartford, the most common types of general liabilities claims are slip and fall accidents and property damage caused by fire or water. Other common claims include product liability, customer injuries, and reputational harm.

While these types of claims may seem minor, they can quickly add up in costs and legal fees. Having general liabilities insurance in place can protect your business from financial ruin in the event of a claim.

How to minimize General Liability risks

While understanding the definition of general liabilities insurance is essential, there are steps that you can take to minimize your risks and prevent claims from arising in the first place. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

– Train your employees on safety procedures and best practices.

– Keep your premises clean and well-maintained.

– Regularly inspect your equipment and machinery for any defects.

– Have a crisis management plan in place in case of an emergency.

– Communicate clearly with your customers and vendors to avoid any misunderstandings.

By taking these steps, you can reduce your risks and prevent costly claims from arising.


In conclusion, general liability insurance is a crucial component of any business’s risk management strategy. Understanding what it covers, how it works, and how to select the right policy is essential for protecting your business from costly lawsuits and legal fees. By having general liability insurance in place, you can operate your business with confidence and provide your customers with peace of mind. Remember to review your policy exclusions carefully and take steps to minimize your risks to prevent claims from arising in the first place. Click here for information on personal liability.