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How to Read Your General Liability Policy

Updated: Apr 13, 2023

Reading a general liability insurance policy can be complex as it typically contains legal and technical language. However, here are some general steps to help you understand how to read a general liability policy.

Review the Declarations Page

The Declarations Page is the first page of the policy and provides a summary of key information, such as the name of the insured, policy period, limits of liability, and premium amounts. It serves as a quick reference guide for important policy details.

Understand the Insuring Agreement

The Insuring Agreement outlines the coverage provided by the policy. It typically describes the scope of coverage, including the types of claims or damages that are covered, as well as any specific exclusions or limitations that may apply.

Review Definitions

Insurance policies often include definitions of key terms used throughout the policy. It's important to review and understand these definitions as they may impact the interpretation and application of the policy.

Review Coverage Sections

General liability policies typically include separate sections that detail the specific coverages provided, such as Bodily Injury, Property Damage, Personal and Advertising Injury, and Medical Payments. Each section may have its own set of conditions, exclusions, and limitations that apply to the coverage.

Review Exclusions

Exclusions are provisions that specify what is not covered under the policy. It's crucial to understand the exclusions as they outline the circumstances or types of claims that are not covered by the policy. Exclusions can vary depending on the specific policy language and endorsements.

Review Conditions

Conditions are provisions that outline the responsibilities and obligations of the insured and the insurance company. Conditions may include requirements for reporting claims, cooperation in investigations, and other obligations that the insured must fulfill for coverage to apply.

Review Endorsements

Endorsements are modifications or additions to the policy that can alter or enhance the coverage provided. Endorsements may be included within the main policy document or issued separately. It's important to review any endorsements to understand how they may impact the coverage provided by the policy.

Seek Professional Assistance

Insurance policies can be complex legal documents, and it's always a good idea to seek professional assistance, such as from an insurance agent, broker, or legal counsel, to ensure that you fully understand the terms and conditions of the policy and how they apply to your specific situation.


Reading and understanding a general liability insurance policy may require careful attention to detail and a good understanding of insurance terminology. If you have any questions or concerns about your general liability policy, it's recommended to consult with a qualified insurance professional for guidance.

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