General Liability Insurance provides protection from the financial burden in case of a lawsuit. Liability Insurance offers specific protection against a third party, and payments are usually made to that party and not the insured.

General Liability is available for homeowners as well as for businesses.

 

As an individual homeowner, imagine someone comes to your home and trips over a loose tile in your house and is injured.

Your ‘visitor’ may be entitled to be reimbursed for their medical costs under your homeowner’s policy, but that visitor may decide to bring legal action against you for pain and suffering – and that is when the liability part of your policy comes into effect.

 

Similarly, let’s say someone trips and falls in front of your small neighborhood store because the sidewalk is cracked – they may decide to bring a lawsuit against your business for negligence in having the side walk repaired. That too is when your liability insurance comes into play.

 

Once the claim is presented to the insurance company they have the option to deny the claim by providing proof of no coverage, defend the claim, or they must indemnify.

 

Should they decide to defend the claim, your insurance carrier will provide you with adequate legal defense, and pay all legal and court fees.

 

Should the case be deemed to have merit and be adjudicated against you, your insurance carrier must settle the claim (indemnify) with the third party.

Sometimes the insurance companies may offer outright settlement to the aggrieved party, if they deem the costs to be more economical than defending the case.

In either case you will be protected from the financial burden of such a lawsuit.

 

Of note: whether a homeowner or commercial enterprise, whenever hiring an outside contractor make sure they provide you with a Certificate of Insurance prior to the start of the project.

This will save you an enormous amount of stress and money in the event of an unforeseen accident.

Let’s just say you have hired a roofer and he falls of the ladder and injures himself – if he is self insured his policy will bear the costs in case of an accident – not you.

 

 

There are several other types of Liability Insurance policies that are available, all designed for specific risks associated with various enterprises.

 

One that most of us carry is automobile liability, but there are specific liability policies for professional drivers (such as bus and limo drivers).

 

Medical liability – one of the costliest coverage available is designed for those that provide medical assistance.

 

Errors and Omission policies are available to those in the legal profession and in the insurance industry.

 

Products manufacture is another type of liability coverage.

 

Garage liability, liquor liability, pollution liability, public works liability…are just a few in the lengthy list of available policies.

 

The list goes on and on:  find a liability and there will always be a company willing to underwrite the risk. The costs of these policies, especially if they are custom designed for you may be very prohibitive, but the cost of not having the appropriate coverage may be devastating.