The following are some standard definitions that help you measure the range of losses possible in the event of damage to your business.


Commercial General Liability
Designed to cover the bodily injury and property damage liability exposures related to operating a commercial venture. Instead of having to select and group the specific hazards to be insured, which may result in potential gaps in an insurance program, a comprehensive coverage approach is used. The basic areas covered by the CGL include the insured’s ownership or use of the premises, coverage for defined contractual agreements, coverage for products manufactured, sold or distributed by the insured, completed operations of the insured, personal injury and advertising injury liability of the insured, and medical payments coverage. All coverages are subject to policy definitions, exclusions and limitations.

The basic CGL coverage form can be customized and tailored with a multitude of optional forms and endorsements that broaden, delete or restrict the contract’s core coverages to form a contract specifically designed for the individual insured. Two CGL policy programs are available. The first is the “occurrence-based” policy that provides protection for covered losses in which the actual injury occurs during the covered policy period, regardless of when notification of the loss or claim takes place. The key to coverage is the date or period of time of the occurrence of the covered loss or injury.

The second is the “claims-made’ policy. In these policies, coverage is triggered by the actual filing date or receipt of the claim, in addition to the date or time period in which the loss or injury occurred. Any covered loss or claim filed within the policy period is handled by that policy, regardless of when the actual loss or injury occurred, subject to the retroactive date. The retroactive date is indicated on the declarations. The retroactive date can be any date. However, for complete protection, it should be the date on which claims-made coverage first began. This is because prior to that date, loss or injury was covered by an occurrence policy. Only covered losses or injuries that occur after the retroactive date are covered by a claims-made policy.

Employee Benefits Liability
Protects the insured employer against any claims made against him or her by employees or former employees caused by a negligent act, error or omission in the administration of the insured’s employee benefit programs. Exposures, such as providing incorrect advice concerning an employee’s pension plan or failure to enroll employees under a benefit program, are covered under this insurance. The coverage is provided either under a separate policy or as an endorsement to the employer’s general liability policy.

Employment-Related Practices Coverage
Available for the legal costs to defend claims against sexual harassment, wrongful termination and discrimination, and the actual legal liability for such acts. The coverage is known by various titles through a number of insurers. Employment-related practices liability, management risk protection, employer’s errors and omissions (E&O), and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) insurance are basically one and the same coverage. Most policies offer a range of limits from as low as $25,000 per claim up to $1,000,000 and more. Many policies cover employees as additional insureds or can be endorsed to do so.

Owners and Contractors Protective Liability
Designed to protect either a property/business owner or a general contractor for the potential liability exposure resulting from the negligent act of a subcontractor or an independent contractor hired to perform work on the insured’s behalf. The independent or subcontractor is the actual purchaser of the policy, but the protection is for the insured property/business owner or a general contractor for whom the work is being done. Coverage is not comprehensive and is limited to a specific location and project.

Railroad Protective Liability
Limited-coverage liability policy that buys back coverage for construction and demolition projects at or near railroad properties. The commercial general liability policy excludes construction or demolition projects that are at or near railroad properties, including railroad tracks, beds, trestles, tunnels and the like. The insured is either the railroad or the property/business owner. The policy is purchased by the contractor performing the work on behalf of the insured. The policy is purchased by the subcontractor or contractor in the name of the party needing protection. For example, a contractor demolishing a building near a railroad track may need to purchase a railroad protective liability policy for the property owner, the railroad, or both.

Professional Errors & Omissions Insurance
A form of professional liability insurance that provides coverage for mistakes made by a person or persons in a profession not involved with the human body, such as lawyers, architects, engineers, or for mistakes made in a service business, such as insurance, real estate, and others. 2) A form of coverage for financial institutions protecting against loss to lending institutions that fail to effect insurance coverage.

Architects or Engineers Professional Liability
Covers economic loss to an architectural or engineering firm or individual arising from claims for alleged negligent acts, errors or omissions in the course of performance of professional duties. Coverage can be modified to fit the needs of soil engineers involved with building projects.

Safety and Environmental Consultants Errors & Omissions
Covers claims arising from alleged negligent acts, errors or omissions of the insured, of the predecessors in business or of any person formerly, presently or to be employed by the insured in the performance of professional services to others in the insured’s professional capacity as a title abstractor.

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Let Lyman & Sheets help you navigate the insurance landscape.

When I arrived 15 minutes after receiving a call about a fire at our business, I was amazed to see Dave Drayton already on the scene and in contact with our carrier. He and his team saw us through the entire claim and rebuild process, and we received a very fair settlement. This is a good example of why we use Lyman & Sheets for our insurance needs.

Joseph P. Maguire
, Wolverine Development Corporation