Standard commercial general liability policies

Bodily injury

What constitutes bodily injury under a standard CGL policy?

Insurance policies usually do not contain definitions of injuries, etc; the definition of when liability arises is instead covered within Swedish principles of tort law. Swedish principles of tort law attribute all sorts of harm caused by physical means and diseases, both physical and psychological, to ‘bodily injury’. Psychological shock arising without connection to physical injury may also be considered a bodily injury.

Property damage

What constitutes property damage under a standard CGL policy?

The typical definition of property damage in Swedish tort law is damage to, and loss of, property. Loss of property and movables may be considered property damage even if the loss is temporary, such as when the stolen object is recovered. Aesthetic changes without loss of functionality to an object may also be considered property damage. Damage to computer systems, such as a virus damaging the system, is also considered damage to property under Swedish law.


What constitutes an occurrence under a standard CGL policy?

In general, an occurrence is the event that is claimed to be covered by the insured and accepted (or not) by the insurer according to the specific policy in question. It may include bodily injury, property damage or any financial or pecuniary loss to a third party caused by the insured.

How is the number of covered occurrences determined?

The number of covered occurrences arising from an event is determined by the wording and interpretation of the insurance policy in question, and is determined through several criteria. One fundamental criterion is ‘cause’. For several events to be subsumed under one occurrence, all of the events must originate from the same cause. Time is also relevant; if two events occur within a short time frame, the chances are higher that these will be considered a single occurrence than if the events take place further apart in time.


What event or events trigger insurance coverage?

The event triggering insurance coverage depends entirely on the type of insurance and the particular policy. Generally, the insurance coverage is triggered by the damage-causing event. In the case of a claims-made policy, insurance coverage is triggered by the policyholder being notified of the claim by the third party.

How is insurance coverage allocated across multiple insurance policies?

When the same interest has been insured against the same risk by several insurance companies, each insurance company will be liable to the insured as if that company alone had issued insurance. However, the insured will not be entitled to an aggregated amount of indemnification from the companies in excess of the actual indemnification for the damage. When the amount of liability exceeds the amount of damage, liability will be allocated to the insurance companies in proportion to the amount of liability.

Law stated date

Correct on

Give the date on which the information above is accurate.

16 December 2019