General liability insurance is a common and useful policy that can protect businesses against claims concerning bodily injury and property damage. There are limits to general liability, however. For example, general liability insurance will not cover employees who are injured on the job. But what about employees that are off the clock?
General Liability vs Workers Compensation
General liability and workers compensation both have the capacity to deal with bodily injuries, but they handle them for different circumstances. Workers compensation insurance provides financial assistance for employees that are injured on the job.
On the other side, general liability covers third party liability claims of property damage and bodily injury. While both of these insurance policies provide monetary assistance for medical bills, there are distinct differences.
Workers compensation does not cover damaged property either caused to an employee or by an employee.
Exceptions to Workers Compensation
Workers compensation applies coverage for employees that are injured during the course of employment. Even if an employee is off of the business property, they may still receive workers compensation for injuries they obtain while performing work tasks.
This generally excludes employees injured before and after they clock in and injuries obtained while commuting. Some incidents on the property may be covered before an employee officially clocks in, however, such as if they are performing a work task off the clock as instructed or if they are injured in the business’ parking lot while arriving or leaving for the day.
Employee Accidents that May Be Covered Under General Liability
General liability insurance may help fill in these gaps. Although general liability will not cover injuries an employee may obtain while off the property, injuries to employees that occur on the property while the employee is clocked out may be covered under general liability insurance. Obviously, neither general liability or workers compensation will cover an employee who is injured off the property while not performing work—for example, if they’re injured while jogging at a park miles away from the business.
However, say you own a restaurant and a server comes in to eat on her day off. She gets up to walk to the bathroom, but without nonslip shoes, she slips and twists her ankle. Since she’s not working or performing work-related duties, this injury will not be covered under workers compensation. Instead, the server in this situation is acting as a customer, or third party, and should be covered under general liability insurance.