Why Do Commercial General Liability Policies Exclude Assault and Battery Coverage?

Businesses rely on commercial insurance to protect them during emergencies. As a business owner, you are aware that something could go wrong at any moment. Generally, commercial insurance will be there when you need it, but there are some possible exclusions. There is assault and battery exclusion in most commercial general liability policies. Assault is defined as the threat of harm that may cause fear in someone, while battery is considered the actual act of striking someone.

The assault and battery exclusion in commercial general liability policies is designed to limit claims at places that serve alcohol. Research shows that alcohol-influenced fights regularly occur at bars and restaurants. The exclusion is also common at clubs, hotels, and apartments, especially in areas with a high crime rate. Insurers seek to limit the risk of insuring clubs where damages occur, bouncers break up fights, and firearms are used frequently. As a business owner, you should stay vigilant to the possibility that violence may erupt due to complications involving a customer or employee. This article gives an overview of why general liability coverage doesn’t include assault and battery.

Assault and Battery Exclusion Overview

General liability policies typically cover fortuitous acts. Common examples include accidental property damage or a personal injury. However, liquor on the premises complicates things. Fights are more likely to occur when liquor and alcohol are involved. Here’s an overview of why assault and battery coverage is excluded from general liability coverage and what is its impact.

  • Why Are Assault and Battery Claims Excluded?
  • Liability policies may contain an assault and battery exclusion to keep insurance companies from paying for injuries that you expect to occur. If criminal assault and battery charges are filed, the exclusion may impact coverage.

  • Dealing with the Potential Impact of the Exclusion

    Your home or renter’s insurance policy may contain an assault and battery exclusion. It’s an incentive for you to avoid getting into a physical altercation with your neighbor. Things are more complicated if you are a business owner. It’s difficult to control the types of people who visit your business. Fights can occur anywhere. It’s recommended that you speak with your agent regarding assault and battery insurance.

  • Scrutinizing Policy Language

    Many insurance companies limit coverage regarding an intended injury. If you act in self-defense to protect your business, your insurer will assess the use of reasonable force according to the circumstances. It’s recommended that you read over your commercial liability policy thoroughly.

  • Sub-limits

    A policy sub-limit puts a cap on the coverage amount available for a covered loss. You should learn about some of the endorsement languages that insurers use. Possible endorsements include defense and investigation costs regarding assault and battery claims. These possible endorsements are significant because defense costs are often expensive.

Things to Consider

If you have a commercial general liability policy, the assault and battery language in your coverage is important because operating a business is often unpredictable. If you are involved in a self-defense dispute, the courts may decide things.

Consult With RMS Insurance Brokerage, LLC

Look over your commercial general liability or liquor liability policy with your insurance agent, as they can help you learn about the nuances and possible exclusions. The team here at RMS Insurance will assist you if you have questions regarding coverage options for your business.