Property and casualty insurance policies are some of the most common – and most crucial – on both personal and professional levels. These policies can be divided into two parts that work in tandem to provide an umbrella of security over you and your assets.
But understanding how they work and when they “kick in” is key, especially for small businesses. Learning the limitations of insurance coverage can save you significant out-of-pocket costs if an incident occurs.
Here at Telcom Insurance Group, we know that getting insured starts with getting informed. Read on for more details on property and casualty insurance, including the role of liability coverage in real-world scenarios.
What is Property and Casualty Insurance?
Property and casualty insurance, often called P&C insurance, is an umbrella term that encompasses different types of policies. These insurance policies vary on the personal and commercial level, including auto, homeowners, renters, and business insurance policies, among others.
P&C insurance includes two primary coverage types: liability coverage and property protection coverage.
- Property coverage: Property coverage kicks in if your personal property is damaged or destroyed by a covered incident, outlined in your insurance policy itself. Personal property includes items like your house, car, clothing, valuables, etc. This coverage can be used to repair or replace the items lost.
- Casualty coverage: This portion covers losses that occur as a result of the insured’s interactions with others or their property. For example, if you cause a car accident, the liability coverage is activated to help pay for the other driver’s incident-related legal fees or their expenses due to injuries or property damage.
While they are two separate entities, P & C insurance is typically bundled together in one policy.
Types of P&C Insurance
There are various types of insurance policies that fall under the heading of property and casualty insurance. Ranging from personal to commercial/ business, policies include coverage of personal property and liability.
The following are the most common types of P&C insurance:
- Auto Insurance: Covers the damage to your vehicle after a loss, whether you’ve been involved in an accident or your car is stolen. The bodily injury liability coverage portion pays for the other driver’s medical and legal bills if you are at-fault, up to the coverage limits. The property damage coverage section pays for the damages you are liable for.
- Homeowners Insurance: Covers the structure itself and all belongings inside from covered perils. Personal liability coverage pays medical and legal bills if someone gets hurt while on your property.
- Renters Insurance: Acts in a similar way to homeowners insurance, except that it does not cover the structure of the home you are renting. It strictly covers your personal belongings and the costs incurred if someone is injured at your residence.
- Business Insurance: Business insurance acts in the same way as personal insurance policies, just on a grander scale. It provides financial protection for damage or losses to the business property or its assets. Liability under business insurance is typically broader, protecting against claims made by third parties, such as clients or customers. Coverage also extends to the clients’ property, including damage made by you or your employee while on the job.
- Umbrella Insurance: This policy is a broad form of liability coverage that extends past your coverage limits of casualty coverage. For instance, if your auto insurance covers up to $200,000 of property damage but damages total $300,000, the umbrella policy will kick in to cover the remainder.
Understanding Liability Coverage in P&C Insurance
As detailed above, casualty insurance provides liability coverage within certain policies, such as renters and auto insurance. Casualty insurance, often referred to as liability insurance, is used to describe many other types of insurance policies, such as workers’ compensation and cyber liability insurance.
If you are deemed responsible for an injury or property damage to another, the liability portion of your insurance policy covers the financial loss as well as legal fees from a third-party loss. Liability losses are often called third-party losses, because the insurance party is liable for damages of the third party. The first party is the insured, while the insurance company acts as the second party.
Liability Coverage Scenarios: When Does Coverage Kick In?
At Telcom Insurance Group, we know that definitions can only do so much. The real value comes from applying these principles to the real-world scenarios that telecommunications companies face. Here are some situations in which liability coverage could activate:
Scenario 1: An employee falls while installing an electrical wire to a telephone pole.
Workers’ compensation provides coverage if an employee is hurt on the job or becomes ill as a result of their employment. Worker’s comp helps ensure that employees get the treatment and time needed to safely return to work, while also legally protecting the employer from liability for workplace injuries.
Scenario 2: An investor sues a company for alleged misrepresentations of financial stability.
Director and Officer (D&O) liability insurance protects companies as a whole – including directors, officers, and managers – from claims brought against them by stakeholders. In this context, the claim of a wrongful act may include a violation of a statute, improper self-dealing, acts of fraud, or conflict of interest, among others.
Scenario 3: An employee clicked on a phishing scam email unknowingly, resulting in stolen sensitive information.
The introduction of remote work and telemedicine has opened more doors to potential cyber-attacks and data breaches. Cyber liability insurance (link to cyber liability blog) helps manage a business’s financial and reputational risk and minimize operational disruptions.
Choose Telcom Insurance Group for Liability Protection
Property and casualty insurance pertains to a number of policies, each growing more complex in coverage options and exclusions. Understanding the limitations to your liability coverage can be the deciding factor between preventing a lawsuit and suffering a major financial blow. Because the telecommunications industry is a complicated conglomeration of different areas and functions, there are many potential losses to consider – and many ways a business can be found liable.
At Telcom Insurance Group, we provide support for the rural telecommunications industry through customized insurance solutions. To learn more or to increase coverage options, contact Telcom Insurance Group today!