Commercial Liability Policies
Commercial liability policies provide coverage to business for liability as a result of an “occurrence” which is usually defined as an accident. If an invitee or licensee has an accident on the premises as a result of the business owner’s negligence, commercial liability policies will defend the business owner and indemnify the business owner for damages up to the policy limits.
These policies insure for negligence. Generally, intentional conduct is excluded if the insured intended to cause the injury. If the insured intended the act but not its consequences, there may be coverage. Certain reprehensible acts are excluded from coverage regardless of intent.
Commercial policies may contain exclusions and limitations. One common exclusion is an “assault and battery” exclusion which is particularly troublesome to restaurants, bars and banquet halls. This exclusion will not provide coverage and a defense for injuries resulting from an assault and battery on the premises. Some policies offer an endorsement wherein the insured can buy out the exclusion for assault and battery by purchasing additional coverage.
Liquor Liability Policies
Commercial general liability policies do not provide for coverage for injuries caused as a result of intoxication of a patron. Commercial general liability policies usually contain a specific exclusion for the sale and service of alcoholic beverages.
Liquor liability can be purchased separately or as an endorsement to the general liability policy. Any business that sells or serves alcoholic beverages should have liquor law liability coverage. As with other types of coverage, liquor law liability policies have exclusions. For instance, the policy may contain an assault and battery exclusion. Therefore, injuries sustained as a result of a “bar fight” are not covered. An endorsement can be purchased to buy out the assault and battery exclusion so that coverage is provided for assault and battery claims.