Commercial general liability (CGL) is a type of insurance policy that provides coverage to a business for bodily injury, personal injury, and property damage caused by the business’s operations, products, or injuries that occur on the business’s premises. Commercial general liability is considered comprehensive business insurance, though it does not cover all risks a business may face.

Mistakes made in your business’ professional services, which professional liability insurance can help cover. Liability is protection from the financial impact of a claim made against you by a third party for injury or damage caused by your business operation.  This includes the cost of lawsuits, settlements, medical damages, and more. 


  • Commercial general liability (CGL) is a form of comprehensive insurance that offers coverage in case of damage or injury caused by a business’s operations or products, or on its premises. 

  • There are two types of CGL policies—a claims-made policy that covers claims regardless of when the event took place, and an occurrence policy where the event must take place during a set period. 

  • Companies can add other companies or individuals they contract with to their commercial liability insurance policy as an “additional insured.”

How does general liability work?


Commercial general liability policies have different levels of coverage. A policy may include premises coverage, which protects the business from claims that occur on the business’s physical location during regular business operations. It may also include coverage for bodily injury and property damage that is the result of a finished product or service done on another location.

Excess liability coverage can be purchased in order to cover claims that exceed the limit of the CGL policy. Some commercial general liability policies may have exclusions to what actions are covered. For example, a policy may not cover the costs associated with a product recall.

When purchasing commercial general liability insurance, it is important for the business to differentiate between a claims-made policy and an occurrence policy. A claims-made policy provides coverage for whenever a claim is made, regardless of when the claim event happened. An occurrence policy is different in that it covers claims where the claim event occurred during the time of the policy even if the policy is now expired.

In addition to commercial general liability policies, businesses may also purchase policies that provide coverage for other business risks. For example, the business may purchase employment practices liability coverage to protect itself from claims associated with sexual harassment, wrongful termination, and discrimination. It may also purchase insurance to cover errors and omissions made in financial reporting statements, as well as coverage for damages, resulting from the actions of its directors and officers.

What Is the General Liability Coverage That’s Right for My Business?

Even though every business is unique, each one can benefit from having general liability coverage. We can work with you to customize your policy so you get the coverage amounts that are right for your business.

What Are the Types of Liability Insurance?

In addition to GLI, there are other types of liability insurance you can get.

  • Commercial umbrella insurance provides additional limits on top of some of your existing liability policies to help pay for expensive claims.

  • Employment practices liability insurance can help cover your legal defense costs and settlements or judgments if a current or former employee sues you for employment-related harassment, discrimination or wrongful termination.

  • Management liability insurance helps protect your business’ directors and officers from costly claims.

  • Commercial auto insurance helps protect you and your employees on the road if you’re driving a car for business.