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What Are the Exclusions On A General Liability Policy?

A general liability insurance policy provides coverage for several liability risks faced by businesses. However, like any insurance policy, it also contains exclusions—specific situations or risks for which coverage is not provided. Understanding these exclusions is critical for businesses to ensure they have appropriate coverage and are aware of potential gaps in protection. There are several common exclusions found in general liability policies.

Professional Services:

General liability policies typically exclude coverage for claims arising from professional services, like errors, negligence, or omissions in providing professional services or advice. Businesses that require professional liability coverage for such risks need to purchase a separate professional liability (errors and omissions) insurance policy.

Intentional Acts:

General liability policies do not provide coverage for intentional acts or deliberate wrongdoing by the insured. This exclusion applies to situations where the insured intentionally causes harm or damage to others, such as assault, battery, or intentional misrepresentation.

Contractual Liability:

Liability assumed under a contract is generally excluded from coverage under a general liability policy. This exclusion applies to contractual obligations or liabilities assumed by the insured through agreements, leases, or contracts with third parties. However, certain limited contractual liabilities may be covered if explicitly stated in the policy.

Employee Injuries:

General liability policies do not cover injuries to employees, which are typically addressed by workers' compensation insurance. Claims related to workplace injuries, illnesses, or occupational diseases are excluded from general liability coverage to avoid duplication with workers' compensation benefits.


Pollution-related liabilities are often excluded from general liability policies. This exclusion applies to claims arising from the release, discharge, or dispersal of pollutants into the environment, such as air, water, or soil pollution. Businesses requiring coverage for pollution liabilities may need to purchase separate pollution liability insurance.

Expected or Intended Injury:

Policies that cover general liability do not cover bodily harm or property damage that the insured expects or intends. This exclusion prevents coverage for intentional acts or harm caused with the knowledge or intent of the insured.

Product Liability:

Product-related liabilities may be subject to exclusions or limitations under general liability policies. While general liability policies provide coverage for certain product liability risks, there may be exclusions for claims related to defective products or products sold with knowledge of defects.

Aircraft, Watercraft, and Auto Liability:

Liabilities arising from the ownership, operation, or use of aircraft, watercraft, or automobiles are typically excluded from general liability coverage. Businesses requiring coverage for these risks need to purchase separate aviation, marine, or auto liability insurance policies.

Employee Discrimination:

Claims related to employment discrimination, harassment, or wrongful termination are generally excluded from general liability coverage. Businesses may need to purchase employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) to protect against such claims.

War and Terrorism:

General liability policies often exclude coverage for claims arising from war, acts of terrorism, or civil unrest. These risks may be uninsurable or require separate insurance coverage through specialized policies.

Businesses must comprehend a general liability policy's exclusions to appropriately evaluate their insurance needs and, if needed, secure extra coverage to close any possible gaps in coverage. To make sure they have comprehensive coverage catered to their unique risks and exposures, businesses should carefully check the language of their policies and speak with their insurance agent or broker.

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