The typical Commercial General Liability Insurance (CGL) policy provides coverage (i.e., defense and indemnification) for “bodily injury” or “property damage” arising from an “occurrence” in the policy territory and during the policy period.

“Bodily injury” is typically defined as “bodily injury, sickness or disease sustained by a person, including death resulting from any of these at any time.” Bodily injury means physical injury. “Property damage” is usually defined as “physical injury to tangible property.” Thus, purely economic losses are usually not covered, unless one of the supplemental coverages apply, such as for personal and advertising injury liability (discussed below).

The typical CGL policy simply defines an “occurrence” as an “accident.” Thus, intentional acts usually do not satisfy the “occurrence” requirement. As discussed further below, almost all policies also have an intentional acts exclusion. CGL policies usually will not apply to a breach of contract claim because a breach of contract does not satisfy the occurrence requirement.

CGL policies usually also include supplemental coverages for personal and advertising injury. Depending upon the specific terms and definitions in the policy, personal and advertising injury liability coverage may apply to claims for, among other things, injuries arising from misappropriation of trade secrets (especially where the secrets were used by the insured to advertise its business), false arrest, wrongful eviction or defamation.