Commercial General Liability Insurance Attorneys in Chandler, Arizona
Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance covers your business for claims and legal expenses if someone other than an employee is injured on your premises, if a third party suffers property damage because of services or products you provided them, or is harmed by your advertising.
As with any insurance, there’s always a cap on how much the insurance company will pay out on a claim. You and your business will have to calculate how much liability coverage you need dollar-wise when you purchase your policy. There are also terms and conditions on each policy that can make some claims hard to get approved. You have to read the fine print.
Also, insurance companies are for-profit entities. If you file a claim, you can expect that the insurer’s representatives, often called claims adjusters, will try to challenge you on everything you say or file with them. Their goal, naturally, is to find a way to lower the payout or even deny the claim altogether.
That’s why it’s always a good idea to have an experienced commercial liability insurance attorney help you with your claim, down to negotiating with the insurer in your place.
If you’re having trouble getting a commercial general liability insurance claim approved – or worse, have had a claim denied – in or around Chandler, Arizona, contact Arnett & Arnett, PC.
With more than 30 years of experience in dealing with commercial liability insurance companies, we will handle the claim for you and file an appeal if necessary. We also proudly serve clients in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, and throughout Arizona.
The Basics of Commercial General Liability Insurance
Unless you have extremely deep pockets and own the building in which you operate your business, you probably will need commercial general liability insurance or CGL.
In general, CGL policies cover non-employees injured on your premises since employees are covered by mandatory workers’ compensation insurance. Your CGL policy will also cover any injuries or property damage caused by the services or products you provide onsite or offsite. Another area is advertising injury.
If, for instance, you provide carpet cleaning services, and one of your service personnel somehow damages a property owner’s carpet or something else in the process, your policy should cover that. If you sell a product that somehow malfunctions and causes personal injury or property damage, that too should be covered.
If an advertising campaign you launch damages a competitor’s reputation or infringes on their copyrights or trademarks, that too may be covered. A customer in your store who slips and falls and is injured because of a wet floor service generally will have their medical and other expenses covered by your CGL.
If you look to rent or lease space on someone else’s property, the owner will likely require you to show proof of commercial general liability insurance. Otherwise, the property owner could be on the hook for any injuries or damages related to the property.
Types of CGL Policies
Your CGL policy will generally be of two types – “occurrence” and “claims made.” Occurrence policies cover any injury or damage that occurs during the policy’s term, even if the claim is made after the expiration of the policy. Claims-made policies cover incidents that occur during the policy’s term and are reported during the policy’s term.
CGL Claims Denials and Delays
The first consideration in filing a CGL claim is to consider whether your policy is based on occurrence or claims made. The next consideration is the threshold for filing a claim. Each policy will state a time frame for reporting a claim. Some range as high as 120 days, others as low as 30 days.
CGL policies also contain exclusions, including but not limited to:
Caused by your own work: If your construction workers build a low-grade wall that falls down, for instance, the CGL policy will likely exclude it in a claim.
Intentional: If the injury or property damage is considered intentional, the claim will be denied.
Goods or services that fail to perform as advertised: False advertising that leads to injury or damage from products or services won’t be covered.
Infringing on a patent, trademark, or trade secret: If the insured infringes on others’ intellectual property, coverage is likely excluded.
When you file a CGL claim, your insurer and its representatives will likely attempt to get you to say or admit to something that will pin the fault on you, partially or wholly, in an effort to limit their liability or simply deny your claim.
If you’re not accustomed to insurance company tactics, you can unwittingly fall into their trap and see your claim downplayed or even dismissed. Some insurers may just resort to bad faith tactics to deny a claim or make the process so difficult that the claimant simply gives up.
Commercial Insurance Attorneys Serving Chandler, Arizona
If you’re in or around Chandler, Arizona, and your business is being stonewalled or denied in a commercial general liability insurance claim, contact us at Arnett & Arnett, PC. Your attorney will be accustomed to insurer tactics and respond accordingly to move the process forward. We’re more than familiar with insurer tactics and will fight for you and your claim. Reach out immediately.