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General Liability Insurance in California

When looking for a broker-agent who can sell general commercial liability insurance, the first thing you want to do is verify that he or she is licensed by the State of California’s Department of Insurance (CDI). By California law, the broker-agent is required to have his or her license displayed in his or her office and to have the license number printed prominently on his or her business card.

The term “broker-agent” might be a little confusing to the average reader. It is actually the name of the CDI license designation. A broker and an agent are quite different.

Brokers are authorized to sell general liability insurance in California by working for numerous insurance companies. They are generally paid by the insured via a broker fee for the servicing of the insurance business of a client.

Agents, on the other hand, work for one insurance company and are paid by the insurance company in the for of a commission based on the price of the commercial general insurance policy.

Commercial general liability insurance indemnifies businesses against financial losses which occur due to acts by the insured that cause bodily or financial harm to other people.

Three primary types of coverages make up the standard general liability insurance policy:

Premises liability is the coverage for injury or property damage resulting from a condition on your premises or operations in progress, which may be on the premises or elsewhere.

Product liability is recommended for any business that makes, sells, or distributes products or goods and protects against injury or other liability which might arise from your product or goods.

Completed operations  covers the liability which is incurred by a contractor for injuries or property damage to a third person due to defects, failure to warn, or any malfunction which results in harm, after operations ave been abandoned or have ceased.


A products liability hazard exists for any business that manufactures, sells, handles, or distributes goods or products.  The hazard being the potential liability for bodily injury of the consumer or bystander or property damage that arises out of your goods or products, particularly when the item is defective. 

Be sure to carefully read all coverage exclusions, and if there is anything you do not understand, contact your insurance professional and discuss the issue until you clearly understand what is being done and to get general liability insurance quotes.

Information specific to California insurance, you can go to the section of the website at the California Department of Insurance.