Insurance policies are contracts, and the coverage is specified in the contractual language. However, many insurance policies are very broadly worded to include a wide variety of types of claims.
In addition, specialty policies and endorsements are available for coverage with respect to more specific areas or special types of claims. Examples of special claims include policies for product recalls, environmental contamination, employment discrimination claims and officer and director liability.
Because insurance policies are designed to cover claims in a variety of scenarios, the coverage provisions are often worded expansively. Exclusions within the policy then exclude various types of claims. Clients are often surprised at the types of claims that are potentially covered by insurance. Claims for defamation, negligent hiring, even intentional criminal acts that are perpetrated by an employee or visitor who is not included within the policy’s definition of the “insured” may be covered by a general liability policy.
It is a wise decision to notify your insurance company any time you or your business is sued. Notice can often be provided by simply forwarding a copy of the legal complaint to your insurance agent and asking that they provide all applicable insurers with notice of the claim.