CGL Policy Exclusions

Comprehensive general liability (CGL) policies insure policyholders against losses from being found liable for personal injury or property damage suffered by another person or business.

CGL policies generally contain a number of "exclusions" or types of liabilities that the policyholder will have to bear without coverage or reimbursement under the policy. Each exclusion has a body of case law in which the courts have determined the meaning of the exclusion based upon the drafting history of the language in the exclusion and based upon principles of insurance policy interpretation such as interpreting ambiguous language in the policyholder's favor.

Policyholders should review the exclusions listed in their policies and seek additional coverage for excluded liabilities for which insurance is needed. Liability exclusions commonly found in CGL policies relate to:

  • Contractual liability, except for contracts incidental to the operation of the policyholder's business such as a lease of premises;
  • Pollution;
  • Liability related to incidents of war or terrorism;
  • Use of intoxicants;
  • Injuries to employees of the policyholder;
  • Damage to products or recalls of products of the policyholder;
  • Use of watercraft or aircraft; and
  • Damage to the policyholder's property.

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