7 Best General Liability Insurance Companies in South Carolina

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

South Carolina is located roughly halfway between New York City and Miami, FL. It has a reputation as one of the most small business-friendly states in the union. Just in 2019, there were over 1,100 businesses that started in South Carolina, and small businesses contribute more than $234 billion dollars to the economy. 

Just like everywhere else, if you own a small business in South Carolina, you’re going to need general liability insurance. Here are top choices. 

7 Best General Liability Insurance Companies in South Carolina

The good news is that many companies offer general liability insurance companies in South Carolina, which can actually make it a bit difficult to choose the right one for your company. We study more than 20 companies and here are our top 7 providers:

  • CoverWallet: Best for businesses in South Carolina that want to compare several quotes online
  • Huckleberry: Best for easy application process
  • The Hartford: Best for added business interruption insurance
  • biBERK: Best for affordable policies
  • Chubb: Best for South Carolina businesses with unique insurance needs
  • Hiscox: Best for offering discounts on multiple policies for small businesses in South Carolina
  • Thimble: Best for seasonal independent contractors in South Carolina

CoverWallet: Best for small businesses in South Carolina that want to compare several quotes online

CoverWallet isn’t an insurance company. They are a digital broker specializing in small business insurance. They can collect quotes from their partners and present them to you, thus making it much easier for you to compare quotes and shop around. 

Sometimes they only come back with one quote, though. Also, they have to be partners with the companies they give you a quote from, and while they have about a dozen partners, you won’t get quotes from anyone they’re not affiliated with. 

This is a quote for an event caterer in Beaufort with $150,000 in annual revenue. 

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Huckleberry: Best for easy application process

Huckleberry lets you buy insurance online in less than five minutes. While it says most businesses get a quote, it gave us this message when we tried to get one:

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Even so, Huckleberry is worth a look. Once you get your quote, you can buy the insurance online, sign online, and you’re insured. They have many different types of policies, so if you’re interested in bundling several policies, you can do that. 

Like CoverWallet, Huckleberry isn’t an insurance company, but a fintech digital broker specializing in small business insurance. They are able to collect quotes from their partners and lets you compare and choose among them. If it works for you, it’s a great way to comparison shop. 

The Hartford: Best for added business interruption insurance

The Hartford insures over 1 million small businesses, plus they’ve been in business for over 200 years. Getting a quote is pretty easy, although once you have a quote, you’ll have to contact an agent to buy the policy. 

One great thing about The Hartford is that business interruption insurance is included in their business owner’s policy, so if you add on commercial property insurance, you’ll get business interruption insurance as well.

Business Owners Policy (BOP) is a great policy for small businesses in South Carolina. BOP usually includes general liability and commercial property coverages. If you want to have business income interruption coverage, you usually need to add on your BOP policy and that may increase the premiums. The Hartford includes business interruption coverage in their BOP insurance, making it more comprehensive than others.

However, if you live in Alaska, Hawaii, or New Jersey, you’re out of luck—the Hartford doesn’t offer insurance in those states. 

It’s worth noting this was the least expensive policy for any company that gave us a quote. 

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biBERK: Best for affordable policies

biBERK originated to simplify insurance for small business owners. They’ve been around since 2015, and they have an excellent online quote system, and once you have your quote, you can purchase online—no agent required. They sell insurance directly to you, and by cutting out the middleman, they claim they can save you up to 20% on business insurance. 

biBERK is usually great at spitting out a quote, but for our catering business in South Carolina, they told us they were not able to offer us one. We might have entered information incorrectly because biBERK almost always gives us a quote for whatever we throw at them.

Chubb: Best for businesses in South Carolina with unique insurance needs

Chubb is one of the largest insurance companies in the world, and over half of its business is commercial insurance. They offer many business policies, so you should be able to get all of your business insurance needs covered in the same place. 

You can now get a quote for four business policies: general liability, professional liability, business owner’s policy and cyber insurance. If you want other types of insurance, you’ll have to work through an agent. When we tried to obtain a quote for general liability insurance, Chubb only offered a quote for professional liability. 

That said, Chubb is pretty customizable, so if you have unique insurance needs, or just have no idea what type of insurance you need, they could be a good option. 

Hiscox: Best for offering discounts on multiple policies for South Carolina businesses

Hiscox offers many types of small business insurance policies, and you get a 5% discount if you purchase more than one policy. They insure every state except Alaska, and if you get your professional liability insurance through Hiscox, you’ll be protected no matter where you work. 

Getting a quote is easy and you can get your certificate of insurance sent to you via email. If your small business is slightly larger and you need more than $2 million in coverage, you may have to look elsewhere. 

This quote is for our catering business in Beaufort.

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Thimble: Best for seasonal indepedent contractors in South Carolina

Thimble allows you to pay either month to month or annually. Your first payment is highest, then it goes down. You can get a quote in literally seconds. And if you don’t need insurance year-round, that’s fine, too. 

This is a quote for an event catering business based in Beaufort. 

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What is general liability insurance?

Almost every small business needs general liability insurance. Not only does it protect you from claims and court costs, but some clients won’t hire a business if they don’t have general liability insurance. Contractors in South Carolina are not legally required to carry general liability insurance (they are in many states) but clients prefer that contractors have it. No one wants to get involved in a legal battle about who’s at fault for an injury. 

>>MORE: Best General Liability insurance Companies

What does general liability insurance cover in South Carolina?

General liability insurance protects you from claims that people tend to sue for, including:

  • Third-party bodily injury 
  • Third-party property damage
  • Harm to your reputation
  • Copyright violations
  • Legal costs

Without general liability insurance, you would have to pay for medical costs and property damages out of your own pocket. 

What doesn’t it cover?

General liability insurance covers third-party injuries and property damage. This means your employees are not covered under general liability, and your own property isn’t covered either. Employees are covered under workers’ compensation, and commercial property insurance covers your own property. 

General liability insurance also does not cover you for:

  • Intentional injuries
  • Intentional copyright infringement
  • Willful negligence
  • Illegal activities

While general liability insurance is a good start, you may need other types of small business coverage as well. 

How much general liability insurance do I need in South Carolina?

After they decide they need general liability insurance, usually a small business owner’s next question is, “How much do I need?” 

It depends on the nature of your business and how big a business you have. If you rent commercial property, your landlord will likely tell you how much insurance you need. The most common general liability limits are 1 million per occurrence and $2 million per year. 

How much does general liability insurance cost in South Carolina?

On average, small businesses in South Carolina pays $75 a month for general liability coverage. The amount you pay for general liability insurance depends on the following factors:

  • Location
  • Type of business
  • Revenue
  • Claims history
  • Coverage limits

The higher the risk in your profession, the more you’ll pay. For example, contractors pay more for general liability insurance than cleaning services, because construction sites are more dangerous than offices, commercial or residential buildings. 

In addition, different insurance companies will offer you different quotes. Be sure to shop around with a few companies or with a digital broker like CoverWallet, Simply Business, or PolicySweet to compare several quotes to select the best one for your business:

>>MORE: How Much Does General Liability Insurance Cost?

How to find cheap general liability insurance in South Carolina?

General liability insurance is necessary to protect your business. You should still be able to get general liability coverage without breaking your bank. Here are some tips to help you find the coverage you need at a fair price:

  • Shop around for the best value. Get quotes from a few companies or compare the multiple quotes generated by a service like CoverWallet. 
  • Don’t stop shopping around. Make sure you get new quotes before you renew your policy.
  • Safety-first policy: Make sure you implement safety standards and best practices in your business location and provide safety training to your employee regularly. Make use of safety programs offered by the insurance companies whenever available.
  • Take advantage of discounts. If they’re not offered to you when getting a quote, ask about them, whether you’re buying online or through an agent.

Taking these steps will help ensure you’re not paying too much for your general liability coverage in South Carolina.

>>MORE: The Cheapest General Liability Insurance Companies

General liability insurance for contractors in South Carolina

Contractors are not legally required to have general liability insurance (they are required in many states). However, your clients may require it. If you are a general contractor, it is unlikely that you can sign a significant construction contract without showing the proof of insurance in South Carolina. In general, most construction project owners require the general contractors to have general liability insurance.

Even if you are handyman doing smaller projects, if you want to take projects in apartment buildings, for example, it is likely that you need to show the proof of general liability coverage.

General liability insurance for LLCs in South Carolina

Setting up an LLC for your business is a smart move. LLC means limited liability corporation. With this paperwork, your personal assets are protected should someone sue your business. Of course, your business assets are still vulnerable. Getting just one lawsuit without insurance protection is very likely to bankrupt your business. So getting a general liability policy is a good idea. You work hard to build your business, don’t let a small incident or mistake break it.

The general liability insurance cost for LLCs is actually very affordable. Of course, it depends on the size, the industry, the location, and the history of your LLCs. On average, LLCs in South Caroline pay $90 a month for a general liability policy.

Small business insurance in South Carolina

Small business owners will be happy to know that there is no wholesale tax, no state property tax and no local income tax. Any business in South Carolina that creates new jobs qualifies for tax credits. 

All is not rosy, however, because small business survival is fairly low. Actually, Business Insider ranked South Carolina 44th out of the fifty states in a list of the best and worst states to start a business. 

Take extra steps to protect your small business. Small business insurance can increase the cost of running the business, but you will regret not having it when incidents happen. Below are some of the popular small business insurance coverages in South Carolina:

Workers compensation insurance in South Carolina:

Workers compensation insurance is required in South Carolina if you have at least one employee. It pays for medical costs, lost wages, disability benefits, death benefits, training costs, etc. when an employee gets injured or becomes ill at work. Learn more at the best workers comp insurance companies.

Commercial auto insurance in South Carolina:

Commercial auto insurance is also required in South Carolina. If you use a vehicle for work, you need to have commercial auto insurance. Your personal auto insurance policy doesn’t cover your vehicle uses for business. If your insurance finds out, they may drop you and you will have a difficult time finding another alternative carrier. Learn more the differences between commercial auto vs. personal auto insurance and why small businesses need commercial auto insurance and the best commercial auto insurance companies.

Professional liability insurance in South Carolina:

Professional liability insurance isn’t required in South Carolina. However, your employers and/or your clients might require you to have it before they can employ you. Professional liability insurance covers lawsuits costs and fees and settlements related to mistakes or negligence you or your employees make while doing your work. If you and your business provide services or advice to your clients, it is likely that you need professional liability insurance coverage. It is often called malpractice insurance in healthcare and legal fields and errors and omissions (or E&O) in real estate, insurance, finance, and other consulting industries. Below are the most popular professionals that need this coverage:

Last thoughts

South Carolina offers many perks to small business owners, such as tax credits and fewer taxes than most states. Plus, South Carolinians are welcoming and eager to support small business owners. It’s a great state to do business in. 

Thang Truong

Thang Truong covers small business insurance and small business success at BravoPolicy. He is a licensed P&C insurance agent. Previously, he held product leadership positions at realtor.com, Capital One, NerdWallet, and Mulberry Technology. He holds a MBA degree from UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

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