Homeowners Insurance and Commercial General Liability Insurance – No License to Kill


OK, we’re kidding. We don’t expect you’d harm even a fly! But, kidding aside, when considering purchasing homeowners insurance or commercial general liability insurance, it is important to know that insurance does not protect against damages that result from your expected or intended conduct.

You can’t buy homeowners insurance and then come to blows with your pesky neighbor. Well, you can, but it won’t be covered. Nor can a business knowingly fail to comply with a contract and then seek insurance for the resulting damages. Insurance is meant to cover accidental loss or injury, not intentional loss.

A contractor cannot knowingly use inferior materials and then expect that any lawsuit or loss incurred will be covered by insurance. Similarly, just because you are frustrated that you couldn’t obtain the necessary license your business needs, does not mean you can go forward anyway in the hopes that the license you need will come through. If you are sued or incur a loss due to your decision, such loss will be excluded by your insurance policy because such damages were within your expectation.

Commercial general liability insurance policies usually contain exclusions for bodily injury or property damage expected or intended by the insured. Homeowners policies generally contain similar expected conduct exclusions. Under these exclusions, to the extent the damages were expected or intended by the insured, coverage will be excluded. Although you may not purposely intend to harm anyone, if the damages were expected, such as loss due to faulty materials you used knowing they weren’t quite right, coverage will still be excluded. Therefore, when shopping for homeowners insurance quotes and commercial general liability insurance quotes, be aware that not all damages from business decisions your business makes will be covered under your policy. You should consider what is expressly covered and excluded under homeowners insurance policies and commercial general liability insurance policies. Such knowledge may help you make your next business decision.

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