In the Commercial General Liability coverage form the term professional is not defined. There are instances where you could be considered a professional and if a claim arises there may not be coverage available in the general liability form.
There are also exclusions in the commercial general liability coverage form for personal and advertising injury if you are in the business of advertising, broadcasting, publishing or telecasting and in some cases you can add some professional liability coverage back on such as the Optical & Hearing Aid Establishment Endorsement, Druggist, and Cemetery Professional to name a few.
The question may arise why should I purchase a separate professional liability policy? The commercial general liability coverage form covers bodily injury, property damage and personal injury as the result of an occurrence. Many professional liability losses are not the result of an occurrence. A stand-alone professional liability policy may offer broader terms than the commercial general liability policy.
In certain cases it is hard to determine which policy would respond. For an example, if you are in the medical profession and the doctor orders an EKG for a patient. If the patient fell and was injured while getting on the exam table, which coverage would trigger coverage, the commercial general liability policy or a professional liability policy?
If you are in the medical profession, accounting field, insurance agent, attorney, design professional, mortician, printer, social worker, trust department, veterinarian, or real estate agent professions we strongly recommend a professional liability policy.
There are several options available when considering a professional liability policy. Some of these options are:
- Would it be best to purchase an occurrence form or a claims made form?
- If I purchase a claims made form are prior acts covered?
- Are defense costs within the limit of insurance or outside the limits of insurance?
- Does the policy indemnify or pay on behalf of?
- Who has the right to settle a claim?
- Will the policy include my employees?
These are just a few of the options available. Contact a knowledge broker at R&R Insurance for more information.