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Recurring Issues and Questions In CGL Coverage


Gain an understanding of the frequent concerns and inquiries regarding CGL coverage.

In an era of increased risk where natural and man-made disasters and accidents are commonplace and frequently involve liability associated with environmental loss, injury involving the use of social media and big data, and the growing costs associated with defending and resolving lawsuits, it is imperative for risk managers, attorneys, and business leaders to be acutely aware of scope of and common issues arising under commercial general liability (CGL) policies. CGL insurance commonly provides a defense from a lawsuit where there is potential coverage and provides indemnity for any covered claim, settlement, or judgment. This topic will provide you with insight into the key coverages available and concerns that arise in the CGL insurance arena and provide guidance regarding common issues and questions under a CGL policy. This topic will open with a discussion of how CGL insurance operates, including a review of the major types of liability covered under a CGL policy, access to CGL coverage as an additional insured, and understanding a basic CGL coverage tower. We will then discuss the most significant recurring issues and questions related to CGL coverage, focusing on the duty to defend, common policy exclusions, concerns when pursuing coverage for long-tail asbestos and environmental claims, and allocation and exhaustion issues. We will conclude with a discussion of the recurring issues and questions to consider in connection with how insurers handle CGL claims.



Kevin B. Dreher

Kevin B. Dreher

Barnes & Thornburg LLP

  • Partner, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, co-chair of Insurance Recovery Practice
  • Litigator and trial lawyer focusing on insurance recovery on behalf of policyholders, complex commercial litigation, and dispute-related counseling
  • Has represented policyholders and recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in a wide range of insurance coverage disputes, including long-tail environmental, toxic tort, and asbestos claims under general liability policies; claims for media liability and PAIL coverage; losses stemming from natural/man-made disasters and COVID-19 under first-party and business interruption insurance; securities and fiduciary duty claims triggering D&O liability coverage and professional liability insurance; and losses under ocean cargo marine and storage policies
  • Can be contacted at [email protected] or 312-214-8308
Bradley H. Dlatt

Bradley H. Dlatt

Perkins Coie LLP

Bradley Dlatt

  • Counsel in the insurance recovery practice in Perkins Coie LLP’s Chicago office
  • Practice focuses on providing insurance counseling to businesses and resolving insurance coverage disputes, including representing corporate, non-profit, and individual policyholders in coverage mediation, arbitration, and litigation
  • Recognized by Business Insurance as a 2022 Break Out Award winner, recognizing the top professionals under 40 years old in the insurance industry
  • Regularly writes and presents on insurance coverage issues
  • Can be contacted at [email protected] or 312-324-8499

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