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How Insurance Works for Premises Liability Claims

Being injured at a friend’s house or your favorite restaurant can make some people feel awkward about pursuing compensation. Most people assume they would have to sue the property owner, who could be a family member, friend, or small business owner, to recover damages. However, many premises liability claims are covered under a liability insurance policy, meaning patrons will likely file an insurance claim rather than a lawsuit.

Premises Liability

Insurance Policies for Properties

Insurance laws can be complex. While most drivers are required to have a general liability policy for their vehicle, properties are a whole other matter. General liability policies are not required for property owners, but most property owners are advised to have some form of insurance to cover their business, home, or personal property. Generally, if a business owner has an insurance policy to cover fires, earthquakes, or even theft, they will also be offered liability insurance.

Liability insurance is incredibly useful for business owners, as it means they do not have to pay out of pocket if a customer or tenant is injured. These policies are often bundled into the business owner’s insurance policy. Thus, it is not uncommon for a business to have such a policy in place.

What Does Liability Insurance Cover?

Typically, liability insurance policies for property owners provide coverage for any injuries sustained by a guest or tenant. That means if a client trips on an uneven floor in a venue, they may be able to file a claim against the property owner’s liability policy if the property owner knew there was a safety hazard. While there are exceptions to liability policies – such as situations where a property owner intentionally injures a guest or tenant – most accidents and injuries are covered if the property owner acted negligently.

Negligence can take many forms on a property, but in our experience, common forms include:

  • Poor lighting in parking lots or stairwells

  • A lack of security

  • Cracks in tiles or flooring

  • Unkept carpets that create tripping hazards

  • Spills or wet surfaces

  • Exposed wires

  • Stray animals on a property

  • Unsafe parking lots

If a client were injured due to one of these dangerous conditions and the property owner was aware of it – or reasonably should have known about it – then they may be able to file a premises liability claim against the property owner’s insurance policy.

While there are exceptions, clients may have several options after an injury on someone else’s property, even if that person is a friend or family member. Not all injuries require a lawsuit, and clients may be able to pursue a premises liability claim against an insurance policy instead of the property owner.

The best way to better protect yourself from a premises liability case is to obtain a Business Liability Policy and to make sure your clients obtain a Special Event Liability Policy.

This is not legal advice.

As always, don’t forget the insurance. We don’t want your client’s event to be memorable for all the wrong reasons. To simplify the process, we encourage you to become a venue partner. That way your client’s certificates of insurance are always exactly as you require.

However you have any questions don't hesitate to give us a call at 888-389-3900 or email us at

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