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Does General Liability Insurance Cover Personal Injury?

Your business’s general liability insurance applies to a variety of harm that your mistakes might cause to other parties. When you examine this policy, you might see that it can insure bodily injuries, and many times, personal injuries. These are not the same types of insurance. However, most people are familiar only with the bodily injury coverage elements. What, on the other hand, is personal injury coverage?

Personal injuries are often as costly as any bodily injuries. Therefore, you will do well to ask your agent if your standard general liability policy includes this coverage. If it doesn’t, you might have other avenues through which to buy coverage.

What is a Personal Injury?

If you see the terms personal injury and bodily injury within your liability insurance, you can likely readily see the differences.

Bodily injuries are those instances of physical harm that a customer experiences when interacting with your business. One of the most-common types of claims on bodily injury policies are slip-and-fall injuries. So, if a client falls, breaks a leg and suffers a head injury in your store, this coverage might apply. It might help the injured party pay their medical bills and related costs. It can also help you cover your own legal defense if the injured person sues the business. Personal injuries might sound like they are physical injuries, too. They are not.

Personal injuries are the personal, or reputational harm, your activities might cause to

another party. Among the most common examples of personal injuries are:

  • Libel​

  • Slander​

  • Advertising Injury​

  • Copyright Infringement​

Actions like these might cause the affected parties personal losses, including reputational losses or financial damage. Since they might blame your business, they might decide to sue you for the losses, not to mention other costs.

As a result, the accompanying legal fees and litigation that might result from these allegations could take time and money. Additional losses might include settlements awarded by courts. It is the benefits provided by a personal injury policy that might help you cover these costs. Therefore, your own bottom line, and even your own reputation, might not have to suffer in the long run.

What is Libel?

Libel is a written defamation. In other words, it is written or printed material that harms someone else. For example, you might jokingly post something on social media that accuses a competitor restaurant of serving contaminated food. As a result, the competitor might sue you for libel. Personal liability coverage might help you out in this case.

What is Slander?

Slander is a spoken act of defamation against another person. For example, an employee, thinking they will increase your business, might start a rumor about one of your competitors. They might accuse the competitor of selling drugs out of the business, for example. This is a case where a slander lawsuit might arise.

What is Advertising Injury?

Advertising injury occurs when you commit harm to another party through their promotional materials. It is somewhat similar to libel. For example, you might take out a billboard that spreads false information about a competitor. If this causes the competitor an unfair loss, then legal action might arise.

What is Copyright Infringement?

If someone copyrights an item that they create, then that means they have the exclusive, legal right to determine that item’s future. They have the right to grant permission about how other people or parties copy, distribute or use those items. In simplest terms, you might commit copyright infringement if you use those items without the creator’s permission. Therefore, the creator might have a right to sue you for their losses.

The Benefits of a Personal Liability Insurance Policy

These are all examples of personal injuries that you might accidentally cause to others.

The thing about issues like libel or copyright infringement is that they are very wrapped up in a lot of legal wrangling. When these cases go to court, it often is a long process to determine whether the accused party actually did commit the said offense.

That said, the legal costs of this process might mount extremely quickly. Settlements and damages awarded by the court could only compound your eventual financial loss. However, with personal liability insurance, you will often have the benefit available to reduce many of these costs as much as possible.

Whether a general liability insurance policy contains personal injury coverage might vary from policy to policy. In some cases, a standard commercial policy might not offer this coverage automatically. Therefore, it is up to you to ensure you receive this coverage.

In some cases, you can add extra coverage to your standard policy in the form of a policy endorsement. In other cases, however, you might need a separate policy entirely. Therefore, talk to your insurance agent about the best course of action in this case.

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