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General Liability Insurance in California

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When looking for a broker-agent who can sell general commercial liability insurance, the first thing you want to do is verify that he or she is licensed by the State of California’s Department of Insurance (CDI). By California law, the broker-agent is required to have his or her license displayed in their office and to have the license number printed prominently on their business card.

The term “broker-agent” might be a little confusing to the average reader. It is actually the name of the CDI license designation. A broker and an agent are quite different.

Brokers are authorized to sell general liability insurance in California by working for numerous insurance companies. They are generally paid by the insured via a broker fee for the servicing of the insurance business of a client.

Agents, on the other hand, work for one insurance company and are paid by the insurance company in the form of a commission based on the price of the commercial general insurance policy.

Commercial general liability insurance indentifies businesses against financial loss which occur due to the acts of insured that cause bodily or financial harm to other people.

Three primary types of coverage make up the standard general liability insurance policy:

Premises liability is the coverage for injury or property damage resulting from a condition on your premises or operations in progress, which may be on the premises or elsewhere.

Product liability is recommended for any business that makes sells, distributes products, or goods. Product Liability protects against injury or other liability which might arise from your product or goods.

Completed operations covers the liability which is incurred by a contractor for injuries or property damage to a third person due to defects, failure to warn, or any malfunction which results in harm, after operations have been abandoned or have ceased.

A products liability hazard exists for any business that manufactures, sells, handles, or distributes goods or products. An example of potential hazards are liability for bodily injury of the consumer or bystander or property damage that arises out of your goods or products, particularly when the item is defective. 

It is important to carefully read all coverage exclusions, if there is anything you do not understand, contact your insurance professional and discuss the issue until you clearly understand what is being stated. 

Information specific to California insurance, you can go to the section of the website at the California Department of Insurance.