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Commercial General Liability Policies

Business Owners (CGL) Insurance Coverage Disputes

The business insurance equivalent to homeowners' insurance is the commercial general liability (CGL) policy. This type of policy is intended to provide broad protection against personal injury, property damage and other common types of civil claims faced by businesses.

Too often, insurers refuse to honor commercial general liability claims on the basis of riders or exceptions attached to the policy. In other cases, businesses discover that what the insurance agent or broker told them they were buying was not what they really purchased at all.

At Goldstein, Gellman, Melbostad, Harris & McSparran, we help large and small businesses obtain the coverage benefits they have paid for and thought they would receive. If your Bay Area or Northern California business has had its claim for CGL coverage denied, we encourage you to contact us online or to call our San Francisco offices directly at 415.673.5600. We represent clients with commercial liability insurance coverage disputes and claims throughout Northern California, San Francisco, Marin, Walnut Creek, Oakland and San Jose.

In addition to resolving commercial general liability disputes, our lawyers also provide knowledgeable advice and effective representation with regard to denied claims for business loss and business interruption insurance coverage.

Some of the more common CGL policy issues are as follows:

  • Riders and exceptions: Insurers often use exclusion clauses, riders and policy exceptions to give themselves the "weasel" room they need to avoid having to defend almost any type of liability claim. Often, however, these clauses are poorly written or overly broad and can be effectively challenged.
  • Failure to defend: Whenever there is any possibility of coverage under a commercial general liability policy's terms, insurers have a duty to defend their insureds. Failure to defend is a form of insurance bad faith and if proven, can allow you to recover both actual and punitive damages as well as attorney fees.
  • Broker/agent negligence: In an effort to complete a sale, insurance agents and brokers will sometimes promise more than they actually intend to deliver. In other cases, they may simply make a mistake and fail to request the desired coverage. In either case, the effect is the same: The business is not covered for what they thought they were. In these situations too, our lawyers can help.

We offer free initial consultations and can provide advice about and representation in commercial general liability policy disputes on either an hourly basis or on a contingency basis. To learn more, call our offices at 415.673.5600 or contact us online.



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Goldstein, Gellman, Melbostad, Harris & McSparran, LLP

1388 Sutter Street, Suite 1000
San Francisco CA 94109-5454

Phone: 415.673.5600
Fax: 415.673.5606

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