General Liability Insurance: What Does “Additional Insured” Mean?
As a business owner, it’s likely you’ve been asked at some point or another to add a client, landlord, or similar entity onto your general liability insurance policy as an “additional insured.” You might ask, why do I need to put them on my business insurance policy?? What about their insurance policy? Well, here’s a little background on what it means and why it is requested so often in doing business.
Adding another entity as an additional insured on your general liability insurance policy serves to protect that additional party in the event of negligence on your part as the primary policyholder, or “named insured.” It is not the intent of your policy to pick up the liability of another party when you had nothing to do with a claim or occurrence.
Here are some loss examples to give you a better understanding:
• You are a sub-contractor and have added a general contractor on your policy as an additional insured by request. An individual walking the grounds of your job site sustains a serious injury from a fall caused by a pothole in a parking lot. The parking lot is being built by you. This individual brings a suit against the general contractor who is covered as an additional insured on your policy.
• You are a tenant of a commercial building and have added the landlord of your building as an additional insured per the terms of your lease. A customer visits your premises and slips on a wet spot on the vinyl floor. The customer cracks their head open and brings a suit against the landlord who is covered under your policy.
Typically, a larger and more powerful business will require that smaller entities (desiring to do business) have the larger business named as an additional insured. This reduces the loss exposure of the additional insured and keep its premiums manageable.