Many businesses have and need both general and professional liability policies; although many business owners have trouble distinguishing the two. Both general and professional liability policies protect a business from risks related to individuals who come into contact with the business. Professional liability, however, is more specific to clients of the business.
General Liability- This policy protects a business in instances that involve bodily injury to non-employees, property damage, slander and false advertising. A common damage that general liability covers is if a customer slips and falls and injures himself/herself while in a store. Lawsuits brought against a business similar to these examples will be covered by their general liability insurance coverage.
Professional Liability- This policy, also known as Errors and Omissions (E&O), or malpractice in the case of medical professions, protects against lawsuits that may arise because of a service provided by a professional. Businesses that require professional liability insurance typically employ licensed professionals including Certified Public Accountants (CPAs), lawyers, and medical practitioners. These professionals are expected to perform to a certain standard and must adhere to specific codes of conduct in order to maintain their professional license. Contractors and any other business can also obtain errors and omissions coverage. If these businesses don’t carry professional liability coverage, they are susceptible to lawsuits such as, an unhappy client who believes he lost money in a divorce settlement due to a lawyer’s error.
Both of these policies are extremely important in maintaining a business’s financial security.