The Surprising Exclusions on a General Liability Policy

General liability insurance policies are designed to cover you in case someone sues you or your business over an accident or other incident.

Unfortunately, there are several types of incidents that many people don’t know are excluded from their policies, and these exclusions can include some very common situations.

With the following exclusions on a general liability policy, it’s important to review your policy and make sure it still covers you if any of the following events occur.

Here are some of the most common exclusions on a general liability policy to watch out for

Damage to your own property

There are many exclusions to general liability policies. One such exclusion is that of damage to your own property.

This is because the policy protects you from bodily injury and property damage, but not for your own property.

For example, if there was an explosion at your business and it damaged the building or its contents, then the building itself would be considered excluded as it was damaged by something other than bodily injury or property damage.

If someone tripped over some loose floor tiles and fractured their arm, this would also be excluded.

If you have any questions about whether an item or event will be covered under your policy, contact your insurance agent to find out what will be included in the coverage.

Employee injuries

One of the most common reasons for general liability insurance is to protect your company from claims related to injuries suffered by employees.

However, there are many exceptions to this that you should be aware of before purchasing a policy.

For example, if the injury occurred because an employee was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, it would not be covered by your policy and you would be responsible for paying any medical costs.

Another exclusion is if the injury happened in an area where they were trespassing, such as someone who was asked to leave and then hurt themselves.

If these types of exclusions apply to you, make sure you clarify them with your insurer so you know what will be covered when someone files a claim against your company.

Professional services

In the event of an accident or injury at your business, liability coverage is supposed to help you pay for any damages.

But there are some surprising exclusions on general liability policies that can leave you vulnerable.

For example, if an animal bites someone in your store and they need medical care, that might not be covered.

Or if someone slips and falls due to an oily floor, that might not be covered either.

And while it might seem like this kind of exclusion only affects other businesses, these exclusions also apply to homeowners who have general liability insurance through their homeowner’s policy.

Product recalls

In the event of a product recall, it is important to have sufficient general liability coverage to help you pay for any expenses related to the recall.

That being said, there are exclusions which may not be covered by your policy. For example, if you are unable to identify the cause of an accident that led to injuries or property damage, your coverage may not be applicable.

The exclusion also applies when there is no proof that you had knowledge of a defect in your products, yet they caused harm.

Furthermore, if your company manufactures equipment used in military combat operations and subsequently gets recalled because of safety concerns about the equipment, then this exclusion applies as well.

Intentional acts

When you purchase a general liability policy, there are some exclusions that might not be so obvious.

For example, intentional acts like committing fraud or battery are excluded from coverage.

This means if you intentionally injure someone or steal from someone and get sued as the result of your actions, your general liability policy will not cover the cost of those damages.

However, this is where umbrella policies come in. Umbrella policies are an extra layer of protection over top of your general liability policy and they provide protection against lawsuits related to things that fall outside the scope of a general liability insurance policy like negligence or defamation.

Criminal acts

It’s important to read your policy carefully, as some exclusions might surprise you.

For example, general liability policies do not cover criminal acts of any kind. This means that if someone is injured during an armed robbery at your store, the robber will be covered by the insurance company and you will not receive compensation for the damages.

If this coverage matters to you, ask your agent or broker about additional protection. Other common exceptions include injuries caused by nuclear radiation and bodily injury arising out of fight .

These may also qualify as excluded perils under your particular policy. Be sure to consult with an experienced insurance professional for help in understanding all potential risks associated with your situation before committing to any course of action.


A general liability policy is designed to provide protection from lawsuits that arise from the actions of your business.

In the event that you’re sued, this type of policy will cover the costs of defending yourself in court and paying any damages awarded by the court up to your coverage limit.

However, because general liability policies are so common, most states have created exceptions for certain types of lawsuits like negligence, defamation, and copyright infringement.

If one of these claims happen to occur, it would not be covered under a typical general liability policy.

You would need an additional insurance policy or individual insurance coverage for those specific instances if they happened to apply to your business


You might think that pollution is an obvious exclusion, but it’s not. Pollution coverage is only available if you buy it as an add-on to your policy and the liability limits will be much lower than the general limits.

There are also exclusions for damage done by natural disasters, intentional acts, vandalism, nuclear incidents and more.

But don’t worry: these things are covered by other types of policies. For example, flood insurance protects against water damage from natural disasters like hurricanes or floods.

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