What’s the Difference Between Professional Liability and General Liability Insurance?

by Tom Vocatura on Nov 2, 2017 10:07:42 PM

There are a number of liability coverages that businesses may need depending on what risks they’re exposed to. Two common liability coverages that most insurers offer are professional liability insurance and general liability insurance. Here’s a look at how these two coverages differ, and what businesses in Massachusetts might want each type of liability protection.General Liability Insurance Massachusetts

Which Massachusetts Businesses Need Professional Liability and General Liability Insurance, and How Are They Different?

Professional Liability Insurance is for Professionals

Professional liability insurance, as its name suggests, is a form of liability coverage that’s designed for professionals. This coverage generally protects professionals from claims that accuse them of completing subpar work or making an error in their work. Depending on its terms and conditions, a policy might cover suits accusing a professional of:

  • Providing negligent services

  • Failing to meet their contractual obligations

  • Completing shoddy work

  • Making mistakes

Many people first think of lawyers, doctors, accountants and other white-collar workers when they hear the word “professional,” and these people are professionals who frequently should have (and in some cases are required to carry) professional liability coverage. These aren’t the only professionals who can benefit from having liability coverage, though.

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Any professional who provides advice or performs a skill might benefit from having coverage. A few examples of specific professionals who may want to invest in professional liability coverage include:

  • Engineers and architects

  • Plumbers, electricians, carpenters and other tradespeople

  • Contractors and builders

  • Landscapers and pool installers

  • Real estate brokers and agents

  • Insurance agents and investment advisors

Because many professionals can benefit from the protections that professional liability coverage provides, insurers offer several different types of professional liability policies. Professionals who want this coverage should look for a policy that’s tailored to their line of work.General Liability Insurance Massachusetts

General Liability Insurance is for Many Businesses

General liability insurance also has a straightforward name. It helps protect businesses from general risks that almost any business faces.

More specifically, general liability coverage usually offers protection from certain lawsuits filed by third parties that accuse a business of being responsible for personal injury, property damage or advertising injury. A general liability policy, depending on its terms and conditions, might provide coverage for the following sorts of incidents:

  • A vendor wants a business to pay for their medical bills after they were injured on the company’s property

  • A landlord seeks compensation for damage that started in a business’ leased space

  • A competitor sues for copyright infringement

  • A customer accuses a business of false advertising

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Because these are risks that almost all businesses, most businesses in Massachusetts should consider getting general liability coverage. Without it, businesses are dangerously exposed to common risks, and they may even find that other companies won’t sign leases or contracts with them.

General liability policies’ protections can vary, but they normally aren’t as specialized as professional liability policies. Rather than finding specialized general liability coverage, businesses frequently get other policies -- which are more specialized -- to supplement a general liability policy. General liability coverage can serve as a foundation, onto which other policies are laid.General Liability Insurance, MA

Have a Massachusetts Insurance Agent Help Your Business Get the Policies It Needs

For help determining whether your Massachusetts business needs professional liability insurance, general liability insurance or both, contact an independent insurance agent in the state. An independent agent can help assess your business’ insurance needs and get it set up with all the coverages it should have, including these two as well as any other ones.

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