What’s the difference between General Liability and Professional Liability Insurance?

The two main types of liability insurance for professionals are General Liability insurance and Professional Liability insurance. Both coverages are important to properly protect a professional organization from financial loss.

General Liability insurance will protect an organization in the event the insured causes bodily injury or property damage to others and becomes legally obligated to pay damages. Liability for Bodily Injury can occur when a physical injury to a person is caused by third party. Liability for Property Damage can occur when a third party causes direct or indirect damage (such as loss of use of property) to another person’s property.

General liability insurance is standardized and relatively easy to obtain. It is often provided in a package policy with other coverages, sometimes called a business office package policy. Most general liability policies issued to professional organizations contain exclusions for professional liability claims.

Professional Liability insurance is designed to provide coverage to professionals for claims arising out of their professional activities or services provided to clients. It is also called errors and omissions insurance or E&O (or medical malpractice for doctors). Coverage is typically provided by stand-alone professional liability policies and includes coverage for the defense costs associated with a claim. Coverage is not usually provided for intentional or dishonest acts.