General Liability 101 – The What and Whys of Coverage

General-Liability-101It’s simple science. A typical, fully loaded commercial truck can weigh more than 25 times the average car. Take this enormous weight disparity and apply basic laws of physics, and the need for high limits of auto liability insurance becomes clear. But what about accidents unrelated to the operation of the truck? These types of accidents are less obvious – and this is when general liability insurance comes to the rescue.

Why does a trucker need general liability insurance? It’s required by many shippers and freight brokers. Fortunately, it is available for a relatively small premium. Canal uses the current ISO coverage form CG0001-0413, which protects a trucker from lawsuits and judgments arising out of various accident situations that are not covered by an auto liability policy.

Coverage is broken into three parts:

  1. Coverage A: Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability
  2. Coverage B: Personal and Advertising Injury Liability
  3. Coverage C: Medical Payments

Some examples of loss situations under Coverage A: Bodily Injury and Property Damage Liability:

  • A fuel hauler mistakenly delivers diesel fuel into an underground gasoline tank and several customers suffer damage to their car engines after they fill up (optional Misdelivery endorsement).
  • The trucker has a company picnic and several attendees suffer food poisoning. Several lawsuits are filed.
  • A vendor slips and falls on a wet floor at the trucker’s business.

Some examples of loss situations under Coverage B: Personal and Advertising Injury Liability:

  • A trucker decides to use a new brand name to promote business on the internet, not realizing the name is already a registered trademark of another company. The trucker is sued for trademark infringement.
  • A trucker publicly accuses another motor carrier of illegal activities and is sued for slander.

An example of a loss situation under Coverage C: Medical Payments:

  • A business visitor slips and falls at the trucker’s facilities, requiring medical treatment. It should be noted that coverage of medical payments occurs regardless of fault and is not limited to location, providing protection both on and off premises when the accident is related to operations of the insured.

According to the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, a commercial truck is involved in an auto accident once every 16 seconds in the United States. While general liability accidents are far less common than auto accidents, they can be severe. With premiums so affordable, why not be safe and be covered?



This document outlines in general terms the loss situations that may be covered under a general liability policy.  All policies must be examined carefully to determine suitability for the needs of the customer and to identify any exclusions, limitations, or any other terms and conditions that may specifically affect coverage. In the event of a conflict, the terms and conditions of the policy prevail.