General Liability Insurance for Business Torts Generally

General-Liability-or-Professional-Liability-Insurance

A commercial general liability insurance policy for a business provides two types of coverage: the Coverage A section covers liability for an “occurrence” of “property damage” and “bodily injury.” The Coverage B section provides coverage for “personal and advertising injury.” Coverage A section ensures that a business owner is provided with coverage if the triggering event happened during the policy term regardless of when the claim or suit was brought.

Coverage A

Bodily injury is defined as “bodily injury, sickness or disease sustained by a person including death resulting from any of these at any time.” Bodily injury does not include emotional injury. Garvis v. Employers Mut. Cas. Co., 497 N.W.2d 254,257 (Minn. 1993).

Property damage is defined as physical damage to tangible property including all resulting loss of use of that property. All such loss of use shall be deemed to occur at the time of the physical injury that caused it or loss of use of tangible property that is not physically injured. All such loss of use shall be deemed to occur at the time of the “occurrence” that caused it. Occurrence is defined as “an accident including continuous or repeated exposure to substantially the same general harmful conditions.”

Coverage B

Personal and advertising liability under a Coverage B policy does not have an “occurrence” limitation. Personal and advertising injury is defined as injury including consequential bodily injury arising out of one or more of the following offenses.

1. False arrest, detention or imprisonment.

2. Malicious prosecution.

3. The wrongful eviction from, wrongful entry into, or invasion of the right of private occupancy of a room, dwelling, or premises that a person occupies, committed by or on behalf of its owner, landlord, or lessor.

4. Oral or written publication in any manner of material that slanders or libels a person or organization, or disparages a person or organizations goods, products, or services.

5. Oral or written publication in any manner of material that violates a person’s right of privacy.

6. The use of another’s advertising idea in your advertisement.

7. Infringing upon another’s copyright, trade dress, or slogan in your advertisement.

Advertisement is defined as a “notice” that is broadcast or published to the general public or specific markets segments about your goods, products, or services for the purpose of attracting customers or supporters. For the purposes of this definition notices that are published, including material placed on the internet or on similar electronic means of communication, and regarding websites, only that part of a website that is about your goods, products, or services for the purpose of attracting customers or supporters is considered an advertisement. The main difference between Coverage A and Coverage B under a policy is that Coverage B allows for insurance coverage for intentional torts including false imprisonment, and defamation.