What is General Liability Insurance?

New Jersey businesses are exposed to a variety of potential risks by simply selling products or services. General liability insurance helps protect businesses from many of the risks they’re exposed to.

Many businesses are exposed to the same or similar risks, even though they may be in different industries. General liability insurance provides broad, or general, coverage against common risks that lots of businesses face.

A general liability policy may be likened to a foundation. Just as a foundation is an essential component of a building, a general liability policy is a vital part of many businesses’ insurance portfolio. Additional coverage may be added onto a general liability policy through specialized commercial insurance policies (e.g. commercial auto insurance or business interruption insurance), but a general liability policy usually remains the foundational policy that provides the most basic and broadly needed coverages.

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What Coverages Does a General Liability Policy Typically Provide?

As with any type of insurance, the coverages provided by a general liability policy can vary from one policy to the next. Nevertheless, there are a few protections that are available through most policies:

  • Bodily Injury Coverage, which might cover people’s injuries that a business is held liable for
  • Product Liability Coverage, which may cover injuries or property damage caused by a business’ products
  • Property Damage Coverage, which might cover incidents in which a business is found responsible for damaging others’ property
  • Personal Advertising Injury Coverage, which may provide coverage against libel, slander, and false advertising claims

Some general liability policies include additional coverages, such as liquor liability coverage or contractors liability coverage. Because these are more specialized protections, though, they aren’t found in all general liability policies. 

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What Businesses in New Jersey Need General Liability Coverage?

Since general liability coverage provides protection from common risks that many businesses face, there are lots of businesses in different industries that could benefit from general liability coverage. A hair salon in Camden, NJ, restaurant in Princeton, NJ, law practice in Newark, NJ and plumber in Sussex, NJ are all likely exposed to at least some possible risks that this type of insurance guards against.

In some cases, businesses may need to have a general liability policy in order to get certain contracts. A municipality within New Jersey, for instance, might not hire a contractor unless they have a general liability policy.

Do Professionals with Professional Liability Insurance Need General Liability Coverage?

Professionals and businesses that have professional liability insurance may still want a general liability policy, depending on what types of services and products they provide. Professional liability insurance typically doesn’t provide coverage for property damage and physical injury, which general liability insurance usually includes.

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How Can New Jersey Businesses Get a General Liability Policy?

The easiest way for a business to get general liability insurance is by contacting an independent insurance agent who is licensed in New Jersey. An agent can help a business review their current risk exposure and determine what risks a general liability policy can protect them from. The agent can then look for a policy that has robust coverages, and they can even recommend other types of insurance to fill in any gaps that are left. After all, general liability coverage is a foundational coverage, but few insurance policies are meant to protect against every potential risk.

Meet Your Industry Specialist

Jeff Kroeger

Principal, Senior Vice President, and Head of Commercial Lines, Mr. Kroeger also manages the company's hospitality book of business and is that unit's primary producer. He is a graduate of Montclair State University and was named a 2015 Young Gun Insurance Business America.

Jeff has been providing exceptional insurance for restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and more for many years. He understands the unique challenges this industry faces and delivers the right coverage at an affordable price.

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