What Is Comprehensive Liability Insurance?

Comprehensive liability insurance is the most widely used business insurance product.
Comprehensive liability insurance is the most widely used business insurance product. (Image: lloyds image by Martin Lodemore from Fotolia.com)

Comprehensive liability insurance, often referred to as comprehensive general liability insurance, is a form of business insurance that protects businesses against most types of liability claims. It has long been one of the most widely used business insurance products.


Comprehensive general liability is one of two common business liability insurance products. The other is professional liability, which covers professional service providers. According to Business Insurance Now, it "protects you in the event of claims of bodily injury or physical injury or damage to property".


Property damage, including loss of use, damage or destruction, or economic hindrance are part of most comprehensive liability plans. Details on damage benefits vary by jurisdiction and insurance policy. Physical or bodily injury caused at your business location or while you are conducting business is the other major component of coverage.


The phrase "bodily injury" is the most commonly misconstrued aspect of comprehensive general liability insurance. Though initially intended to cover a business for bodily damage, sickness, disease or death, precedence exists for extension into mental illness claims. Some policies specifically reference "mental anguish." When they do not, claimants have occasionally attempted to connect emotional or mental distress to associated physical effects.

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