Commercial general liability insurance

A Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy protects your business from financial loss should you be liable for property damage or personal and advertising injury caused by your services, business operations or your employees. It covers non-professional negligent acts. Understanding this coverage is an important first step in managing CGL risks.

Here are just a few examples of situations in which your business could be responsible for paying various costs, such as medical and legal expenses, as well as compensatory and punitive damages:

  • While visiting your business, a customer trips on loose flooring and is injured.

  • An employee in your painting or construction business accidentally leaves water running, causing substantial damage to a customer’s home.

  • A class action lawsuit is filed against your business, alleging advertisements constituted misleading information.

What commercial general liability insurance covers

A CGL insurance policy will usually cover the costs of your legal defense and will pay on your behalf all damages if you are found liable—up to the limits of your policy. CGL coverage is one of the most important insurance products, due to the negative impact that a lawsuit can have on a business and because such liability suits happen so frequently. Standard CGL includes:

Coverage A: Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability

Bodily injury and property damage coverage provides protection against losses from the legal liability of insureds for bodily injury or property damage to others arising out of non-professional negligent acts or for liability arising out of their premises or business operations. Mental injuries and emotional distress can be considered bodily injuries, even in the absence of physical bodily harm.

Workers compensation and employment practices liability insurance are excluded but can be purchased as separate policies. In addition, pollution liability is excluded and can be purchased as an endorsement. However, this coverage is very limited, and high-risk businesses should consider purchasing a separate pollution liability policy. Liquor liability, professional liability and other risks may also be excluded. An insurance professional can help you to determine endorsements that are right for your type of business.

Coverage B: Personal and Advertising Injury

Personal and advertising injury liability protects an insured against liability arising out of certain offenses, such as:

  • Libel

  • Slander

  • False arrest

  • Infringing on another’s copyright

  • Malicious prosecution

  • Use of another’s advertising idea

  • Wrongful eviction, entry or invasion of privacy

Coverage C: Medical Payments

Limited coverage for medical payments includes payments for injuries sustained by a non-employee caused by an accident that takes place on the insured’s premises or when exposed to the insured’s business operations. Medical payments coverage can be triggered without legal action. This provides for prompt settlement of smaller medical claims without litigation. It is included in the CGL policy and pays for all necessary and reasonable medical, surgical, ambulance, hospital, professional nursing and funeral expenses for a person injured or killed in an accident taking place at the insured’s premises or arising from business operations. There is no defense or legal liability coverage—as there is with bodily injury and property damage (Coverage A) and personal and advertising liability (Coverage B) —since coverage is provided on a no-fault basis.

Purchasing commercial general liability insurance

You can purchase commercial general liability insurance as a stand-alone policy, as part of a Business Owners Policy (BOP) or as part of a Commercial Package Policy (CPP). Consult with your insurance professional about what type of coverage you need and how much. If your general liability policy, BOP or CPP do not provide sufficient coverage, you may want to consider purchasing a commercial excess (umbrella) policy, which will provide additional protection.

Additional liability coverage to consider

Depending on your type of business, you may want to consider additional liability coverage that is not part of commercial general liability insurance. Talk with your insurance professional, risk manager and/or legal counsel regarding the types of coverage that you may need. The following is not exhaustive, but key types of insurance to consider include:

Directors and Officers liability

Directors and officers liability insurance protects past, present and future directors and officers of for-profit or nonprofit companies from damages resulting from alleged or actual wrongful acts they may have committed in their positions. The policy provides protection in the event of any actual or alleged error, misstatement, omission, misleading statement or breach of duty. In addition, some policies extend the same coverage to employees.

Liquor liability

Liquor liability insurance is business coverage that protects your business against loss or damages claimed as a result of a patron of your business becoming intoxicated and injuring himself or others. If your business manufactures, sells, serves or facilitates the use or purchase of alcohol, then your business will likely need this coverage. Liquor liability coverage may be sold as an add-on to a commercial liability policy or as a stand-alone policy. But, if you do not purchase this extra coverage, your standard commercial general liability policy does not protect your business against liquor-related claims.

Pollution liability

This type of coverage provides industrial, commercial and agricultural property owners, managers and developers with a broad range of pollution liability protection for gradual, as well as sudden and accidental, first-party and third-party environmental liabilities. It also protects assets from unforeseen environmental exposures that could have substantial impact on earnings. In addition, it protects against unforeseen pollution hazards that may lead to bodily injury, property damage or pollution clean-up costs.

Remodelers Insurance

The remodelers policy covers renovations and improvements to most residential and commercial structures. Coverage can be provided for the value of the renovations and improvements only and can be provided for the existing structure. Following are just a few of the valuable features offered:

  • Rate, quote, issue, and manage policies online from any browser, device or monitor size

  • Available nationwide on an admitted basis

  • Innovative coverage options designed with the needs of contractors in mind; many are automatically included with the option to increase limits

  • Short-term policies available on a single structure basis

  • Change order endorsement, covering increases in the cost of labor and materials or changes in construction specifications, is available

  • Direct access to our dedicated team of more than 50 specialists

  • Direct billing with premium payment installment options

The Remodelers program allows most all types of renovations and improvement projects, including structural changes. Our remodeling coverage options are divided into the following three eligibility categories.

  • Basic Remodeling - remodeling of interior finishes, replacement of interior fixtures, cabinets, flooring, etc. (no changes made to the exterior structure)

  • Minor Structural Remodeling - remodeling work as listed above, which includes minor changes to the exterior structure, such as doors, windows, skylights, and non-structural changes like HVAC, plumbing and electrical

  • Restructuring - remodeling work that includes repair, replacement or removal of any load bearing walls or foundation or the addition of stories, stairways and elevators. These risks will require scope of construction documentation and a structural engineering report to be submitted to underwriting for consideration.

Basic eligibility guidelines

  • Remodelers insurance may be written for contractors, owners who act as investors and owners who purchased the structure for primary residence

  • The remodeler is required to demonstrate two years of experience as a remodeler or as an acting general contractor overseeing a remodeling project

  • Improvements or renovation must represent 20 percent or more of the existing structure value in order for existing structure coverage to be included

  • All policies are issued on a single structure basis

  • Occupancy is allowed if the structure is occupied by the owner, who is qualified and performing the renovations

  • Non-coastal structures up to 75 years old and coastal structures not more than 40 years old are eligible

  • Existing structure coverage is on an actual cash value basis

  • If 60 consecutive days pass with no work performed to the structure, coverage can be denied or limited

  • Coinsurance applies to the policy

  • Six, nine and twelve-month policy options are available; policies can each be extended with underwriting approval

Basic underwriting approval required for:

  • Non-coastal structures more than 75 years old and coastal structures more than 40 years old

  • Structural changes

  • Fire restoration properties

  • Historical structures; if the project is required to work or comply to historical society requirements, the risk is ineligible

  • Values greater than $1 million located in protection classes 9 or 10

  • Values greater than $1.5 million located in protection classes 1 through 8

Business Property Insurance

The place you do business says a lot about your success. Maybe your wholesale company acquired a second warehouse. Perhaps your ad agency just moved to a stylish new office space. Or you might have added extra stations at your beauty salon.

Whatever purpose your commercial property serves, you need to protect it from the unexpected. As a small business owner, too, our agents understands your challenges — and can help you understand your coverage options so you can select the coverage you want.

Here are some of the property risks business owners face:

While operating a forklift in your warehouse, an employee collides with a storage rack and it collapses. Business property coverage can help when your business personal property is damaged by a covered event.

When that storage rack collapses, it destroys inventory worth several thousand dollars. Business personal property insurance can help you repair or replace covered business items, such as computers, tools and inventory.

You lose business income when you must temporarily close your company for repairs from a small electrical fire. Business income insurance can help replace lost profit up to policy limits. This may provide you with operating and payroll expenses that keep your company running.

Some popular business insurance options

Property coverage is just one component in a full menu of business insurance options available from Farmers. Your agent can also discuss coverage options for other possible risks like:

When repairing fire damage to your building, you can face increased costs to comply with recently enacted building codes. Building ordinance coverage can help with the additional cost of meeting new building laws or ordinances when you rebuild or restore your structure after a covered loss.  

A customer is hurt when she trips and falls while walking between your showroom and your office. In addition to immediate medical care, she needs post-injury therapy. Business liability insurance can help with medical and legal costs if you’re legally liable for a customer’s injury on your company’s property.

While making deliveries in a company van, your employee causes a collision injuring the leadership team of a technology start-up. The limits of your commercial auto policy won’t cover their salaries while they recuperate. Business umbrella coverage can help by adding an extra layer of liability coverage. It begins when the limits of an underlying liability policy are reached, and can be purchased in $1 million increments up to $10 million.

An expensive laptop computer is stolen from the manager’s office at your boutique hotel. Business crime coverage can help you replace property that’s stolen by an employee or outsider.

We work to build strong customer relationships

Through our partners, we have spent almost 90 years putting customers first. Are you shopping for coverage, or do you have a question about your policy? Maybe you’re ready for a commercial property insurance quote. Be sure to let a Farmers agent deliver personalized service and support. You’ll experience a similar level of care from our knowledgeable claims representatives, who will provide assistance as quickly as possible.

To learn more about what we can do for your business, call us today 773.832.7798

This brief summary is for illustrative purposes only and is not a policy document.  Please read the actual policy documents and discuss in more specifics with an agent. If there is a conflict between this summary and the policy documents, the policy documents will control.  Not all products, coverages, options and discounts are available for every client.

Business Liability Insurance

It’s a simple reality that anyone who comes into contact with you or your employees while you’re conducting business can file a claim or lawsuit against you for any number of reasons — from physical injuries to wrongful termination. 

That’s why we offers small business liability insurance, which can help with challenging situations and the associated costs of legal defense and legal damages, up to policy limits selected for covered claims.

Because we are also a small business owner, each one has an understanding of some challenges faced by small businesses like yours. They can offer insights and discuss insurance options as you choose customized coverage options for your company. 

Here are some risks you may want to manage — and potential solutions:

A customer trips on a fixture at your business and is injured. Premises and Operations coverage can help with hospital bills and damages — as well as coverage for your business if the customer sues for negligence.

A former client files and wins a lawsuit over work performed by your company. Products and completed operations coverage can help with the defense costs and — in some cases — the legal damages for which you may be responsible.

You lose confidential business and customer data when your computer system is hacked. Cyber liability and data breach coverage can help provide you with legal and forensic assistance to attempt to recover stolen data, as well as ongoing data security consultation to help you manage cyber risks.

A disgruntled former employee — or even an applicant you didn’t hire — brings a legal action against your company. Employment practices liability can help cover your business entity, directors and employees if you are accused of wrongful termination, harassment, discrimination or other employment-related offenses.

call us today 773-699-8329.

Some popular business insurance options

Liability coverage is just one component in a full menu of business insurance available. Your agent can also discuss coverage options for other possible risks like:

A small fire in your shop’s work area causes structural damage and destroys inventory. Business property insurance can help provide coverage to help your business recover from unexpected damages due to covered perils.

While momentarily distracted, your delivery driver has a fender bender in a parking lot. Commercial auto insurance can help provide coverage for bodily injury or damage to other vehicles and property for which you or your employees are legally responsible.

You discover an employee has been stealing cash from the register. Commercial crime insurance can help provide coverage for your business in the event of a crime. 

To learn more about what we can do for your business, call us today 773.832.7798

This brief summary is for illustrative purposes only and is not a policy document.  Please read the actual policy documents and discuss in more specifics with an agent. If there is a conflict between this summary and the policy documents, the policy documents will control.  Not all products, coverage, options and discounts are available for every client.

Business Insurance for Commercial Vehicles

Your business is thriving. You might be a contractor splurging on a top-of-the-line pickup. Perhaps your flower shop achieved its goal of an all-electric fleet of delivery vans. Maybe social media raves for your fusion tacos created enough demand for a second food truck.

However you use vehicles in your business, one thing is clear: You need commercial auto insurance. We can help with coverage options that reduce risk and improve operations.

Because we are also small business owners, they understand the unique challenges of commercial driving in today’s increasingly distracted world. 

Here are some typical commercial vehicle risks — and the coverage we offers: 

While running a company errand in his own car, your employee rear-ends a church van. Injuries aren’t severe, but several people are hurt — and your employee’s low liability limits aren’t enough to cover medical costs. Non-owned auto coverage can help if employees cause accidents in their own cars on company business.

You’re on your way to a business lunch when an uninsured driver runs a stop sign and hits your car. The impact is strong enough to fracture your wrist. Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage can help when drivers who don’t have enough insurance are responsible for injuries or damage in an accident.

Your diesel cargo van overturns, spilling fuel onto the highway and a nearby grassy area. You discover that the government requires testing for environmental damage. A commercial auto policy can help if fuels or lubricants from one of your company’s vehicles cause damage.



Accident damage might take your vehicle out of commission, but business must continue. To help minimize cost and inconvenience, We offers a broad range of coverage options so you can select coverage that best fits your needs — from towing and labor to rentals and loss of use.

Other options worth considering:

  • In some states, a telematics feature that uses GPS is available to help you monitor the locations and safe driving habits of your employees.
  • Lease/loan coverage provides coverage for amounts you owe under the terms of a lease or loan agreement. 



A contractor’s truck is usually filled with expensive tools and equipment — leaving you with the risk of damage or theft as it’s driven to job sites and parked for the day. We can help as you choose personalized coverage for the tools of your trade. 

Your agent can also explain options when indemnity agreements require something called primary and non-contributory coverage. With this insurance, the general contractor’s coverage won’t be responsible for covered damage caused by you — the subcontractor.  



Food trucks face unique risks while driving and operating, especially if they serve alcohol.

  • Mobile business interruption coverage available on the auto policy is designed to indemnify you for income lost when a vehicle used as a mobile business is out of commission due to a covered loss.
  • Our primary mobile food vendor insurance provides coverage for business property carried on your truck, equipment breakdowns, and money and securities.
  • The premier package offers generous limits in coverage for food spoilage and food-borne illness.  

We have an insurance solution designed to fit the needs of food truck operators — from mobile weekend warriors to full-time vendors. 



Commercial auto coverage is just one component in a full menu of business insurance options. We can also discuss coverage for other possible risks like:

A customer visiting your office is injured when she trips on a step in the hallway. 

Business liability insurance can help with associated medical and legal costs, and judgments resulting from lawsuits. You lose your ability to generate business income while your shop is closed to repair fire damage.

Business property insurance can help when a covered event interrupts your company’s income. A hacker gains access to your computer system and steals customers’ credit card information. Cyber liability and data breach response insurance can help with investigation, reputation management, contacting customers and more.

To learn more about what we can do for your business, call us today 773.832.7798

This brief summary is for illustrative purposes only and is not a policy document.  Please read the actual policy documents and discuss in more specifics with an agent. If there is a conflict between this summary and the policy documents, the policy documents will control.  Not all products, coverage, options and discounts are available for every client.

Business Insurance for Crime

The more successful your company, the more it may attract the attention of dishonest people — whether employees, associates or outsiders. 

We are small business owners, too, and understand the challenges of protecting your company from people with negative intent. They can show you insurance coverage options to help address a variety of risks like these — low-tech and high-tech:

While reviewing bank statements from the last few months, you discover someone wrote checks worth thousands of dollars to a vendor you don’t use. Employee dishonesty coverage can help if employees steal from your company — whether on their own or with the help of outsiders.

A fire destroys several important documents — and there aren’t any copies from which their data can be retrieved. Valuable papers and records coverage can help with the expense of recreating important documents.

Your deposit bag is stolen from a messenger on her way to the bank — and contains more cash than usual because it’s your company’s busiest time of the year. Money and securities theft (external) coverage can help if money and securities are stolen while they’re in the care of anyone covered by your policy. 

You accept what appears to be a perfectly legitimate money order. A few days later, your bank tells you it was counterfeit and immediately debits your account. Money order and counterfeit paper currency coverage can help if you accept counterfeit bills or money orders as payment. 

Although addressed to your business, a batch of newly printed checks are delivered to someone else — who uses several of your checks to pay for expensive electronic equipment. Forgery and alteration coverage can help when checks are fraudulently written, altered or signed. 

A hacker gains access to your computer system and steals your customers’ credit and debit card information. Cyber liability and data breach response coverage can help you investigate a breach and manage negative effects on your company’s reputation. It also helps you notify consumers and provide them with credit monitoring service for a period.

To learn more about what we can do for your business, call us today 773.832.7798

This brief summary is for illustrative purposes only and is not a policy document.  Please read the actual policy documents and discuss in more specifics with an agent. If there is a conflict between this summary and the policy documents, the policy documents will control.  Not all products, coverage, options and discounts are available for every client.