General Liability versus Personal Liability Insurance, What’s the Difference?

If you have a homeowner’s insurance policy, then you’ve probably heard about liability insurance. What you may not know is that there are different types of liability insurance. Below, we discuss the difference between general liability versus personal liability insurance.

General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance is included in most homeowner’s insurance policies. It covers you and your family for bodily injury and/or property damage for which you may be held liable. Some examples are:

  • Someone gets injured while on your property.
  • Food poisoning at an event that you host.
  • You or a family member causes damage to someone else’s property (i.e. break’s a neighbor’s window while playing baseball).

This type of insurance covers damages and legal fees associated with defending a lawsuit.

Personal Injury Liability Insurance

Personal injury liability insurance sounds like it would cover the same as general liability insurance, but it’s actually a bit different. It protects you and your family from lawsuits relating to libel and slander. This can include comments that you or they may make on public websites or social media accounts. Here’s a recent example that made national headlines.

In Dallas in 2015, a couple accused their wedding photographer of refusing to provide their wedding photo CD unless they paid an extra for a wedding album cover. They went on the local news and named the photographer, claiming that she was holding their photos hostage in order get more money from them. There was a huge social backlash, resulting in significant loss of business for the photographer. The photographer sued the couple for defamation. It turns out that the photographer actually offered the couple a free album cover. The couple declined and chose to complain publicly about their dispute in order to gain a larger social media following. A jury awarded that photographer over $1 million in damages based on false and malicious claims by the couple against the photographer’s business.

We all should be careful of what we post on social media and other public sources, especially if the information is not strictly factual or based on truth. In this age of social media, one may be tempted to exaggerate stories for maximum likes and social response, however, there are real and significant financial dangers of doing so. Personal injury liability insurance can help protect both you and your family members in these cases.

General Liability versus Personal Liability Insurance

As you can see, general liability insurance covers a different set of risks than personal liability insurance. It’s a good idea to have both. Additionally, it’s important to note that both policies will have coverage limits. We recommend purchasing an umbrella insurance policy for an extra layer of coverage when you exceed those limits. Contact us to learn more and to obtain a free quote.