General liability insurance is probably the most popular business insurance that almost all businesses should have. It is required for some professions such as construction. The good news is that many insurance companies offer this product, so it is easy to find one that is the best for your business. We research more than 30 companies offering general liability insurance and recommend the 10 best companies for your consideration
- The 10 best general liability insurance companies
- What is general liability insurance and what does it cover?
- How much does general liability insurance cost?
- What types of businesses are required to have general liability insurance?
- Best general liability insurance companies by states
The 10 best general liability insurance companies
Almost all business insurance companies and digital brokers offer general liability insurance. That can make it confusing trying to find the best one for your specific situation. We research more than 30 companies to come up with the list of the top 10 providers of general liability insurance below:
- CoverWallet: Best for comparing online quotes and managing all business insurance policies in one place
- Simply Business: Best for comparing online quotes
- Commercialinsurance.net: Best if you prefer speaking to an agent quickly
- Certainly Insurance: Best for offering the cheapest price and being backed by a reputable company
- Hiscox: Best for offering the cheapest price for Tiny Businesses
- The Hartford: Best for Customer Service
- Zurich: Best for Customer Satisfaction and Reviews
- Berkshire Hathaway Guard: Best for Large Retail Companies
- Traverlers: Best for Coverage Customization and Multiple Policy Discount
- Next Insurance: Best for Buying Policies Online and Overall Digital Experience
CoverWallet: Best for comparing online quotes and managing all business insurance policies in one place
CoverWallet is a digital business insurance broker that sells all kinds of business insurance. They are not an insurance company themselves, but after you put in all of your information, they will offer quotes from their partners. If you want a quote from someone other than their partners, you’re out of luck.
CoverWallet is very easy to use and it will generate a quote in a matter of minutes. This quote is for an independent contractor, living in Ohio with $500,000 in annual revenue.
After buying a policy with CoverWallet, you can use their digital dashboard to manage all of your business insurance policies in one place conveniently.
Simply Business: Best for Comparing Online Quotes
Simply Business is similar to CoverWallet, in that they are not an insurance company. Rather, they pull quotes from their partners to provide you with business insurance. In theory, you can compare the top three or four quotes and then choose the best one. However, as you can see here, sometimes they only return quotes from one company.
This quote is for an independent contractor in Ohio with $500,000 in revenue a year. There are a lot of questions you need to answer about your business, so your results may vary. Also, “independent contractor” can be anything from commercial construction to residential remodeling, exterior work, or interior work. There are a lot of variables.
CommercialInsurance.net: Best if you prefer speaking to an agent quickly
Commercialinsurance.net is another digital business insurance broker. They can get you a quote online, but then to actually buy the insurance policy, one of their agents will call you. When you enter your information, it will list all the companies that offer business insurance in your state (in this case, Ohio). From there, you can click “get a quote” and it will bring you to the company websites.
Alternatively, you can just call them to discuss your situation with an experienced agent. Business insurance in general and general liability insurance for businesses can be a bit complicated. If you are new to buying business insurance, speaking to an agent quickly might be helpful. If you prefer that, commercialinsurance.net is a good option.
Certainly Insurance: Best for Offering the Cheapest Price and Being Backed by a Reputable Company
Certainly Insurance is backed by Liberty Mutual. They are actually a subsidiary of Liberty Mutual. They offer business insurance for many different industries.
This quote is for an independent contractor business in Ohio with $500,000 in revenue. To purchase insurance, you need to create an account and enter your debit or credit card information. You can also choose how you’d like to pay: monthly, quarterly, or annually.
Hiscox: Best for Offering the Cheapest Price to the Tiny Businesses
Hiscox offers general liability insurance, with special rates for small businesses. They insure a wide range of professions, and have a handy rate calculator on their website so you’ll be able to get a quote quickly. Hiscox is known for their competitive quote prices. A sample quote for a hot dog stand business was about $600 annually, or $47 a month. If your company is tiny, Hiscox could be your best bet. They have a Small Business unit dedicated especially to working with small businesses with fewer than ten employees, and have an “A” rating by A.M. Best, a national credit ratings company.
The Hartford: Best for Customer Service
The Hartford ranked best overall on several business lists, The Hartford offers good rates for small businesses, skilled specialists, and discounts when you bundle several insurance policies together. The Hartford was given an “A+” rating by Standard and Poor’s, a financial services company, and also has a dedicated small business unit. You’ll likely have to call The Hartford to get a quote for your business, but they have a skilled team of representatives ready to answer your questions.
Zurich: Best for Customer Satisfaction and Reviews
Zurich offers flexible payment options in the form of cash, credit, check, and online payment. They offer many types of insurance, including general liability, and have over 100 years of experience. Zurich’s website has plenty of information, but you’ll probably need to call them to get an accurate quote for your business. They have a dedicated helpline which should be able to answer your question quickly and efficiently. Zurich also has the best customer reviews and customer satisfaction of any of the companies listed.
Berkshire Hathaway Guard: Best for Large Retail Companies
Berkshire Hathaway Guard is known for its focus on small-to-medium sized businesses, Berkshire Hathaway Guard includes safety training programs with its coverage. BHG has an “A+” A.M Best Rating, and strong ratings from other financial institutions. It also allows customers to report a claim at anytime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can fill out their online form, and a representative will contact you with a quote. Or, you can visit their policyholder service center for more immediate assistance. Berkshire Hathaway Guard is geared toward larger retail companies, so if your business is small you may want to shop around before deciding on coverage.
Travelers: Best for Coverage Customization and Multiple Policy Discount
Travelers has robust customization options, allowing you to tailor your coverage to best suit your business’s needs. They also have over 160 years experience, and a 24/7 claims center and mobile app. Travelers has an easy online form to help you connect with an agent who can find the right coverage for your business. Travelers has an “A++” rating from A.M. Best, and a thorough, informative online quote system. Travelers also has great bundles and multi-policy discounts.
Next Insurance: Best for Buying Policies Online and Overall Digital Experience
Next Insurance is an online insurance company geared toward entrepreneurs and small businesses. Completely online, Next offers free monthly payments and 24/7 access. Next uses new technology to quickly find you the best quotes, and can create custom policies for your small business. In addition, they have one of the fastest online quote generators of any insurance company online. If you’re starting a small business, Next Insurance could be your best bet.
What is general liability insurance and what does it cover?
General liability insurance is the most basic part of business insurance. It covers:
- Third party bodily injury: this covers claims from any customers who get hurt while on your property (or if they trip over something you own, such as tools).
- Third party damage: if you or one of your employees accidentally damage a client’s property, you could be sued for damages. General liability covers you for that.
- Reputational harm: If someone accuses you of something (often via social media) you can sue them and general liability insurance will cover your legal costs.
- Advertising injury: This covers copyright infringement. For example, if a photo of your business appears in someone else’s ad.
It’s important to understand general liability does not cover you if your employees are injured while working for you: you’ll need workers compensation insurance for that. It doesn’t cover you if one of your employees steals a customer’s property. It doesn’t cover you if you damage your own property (commercial property insurance is what you’ll need for those claims).
How much does general liability insurance cost?
How much you pay for general liability insurance depends on things like:
- Type of work you do
- Claims history
However, the median cost of general liability insurance is only about $42 a month. Construction workers and contractors pay the most and photographers and videographers pay the least.
Make sure you shop around with a few companies to compare quotes before buying your policy. Working with a digital broker like CoverWallet or Simply Business is a good way to get and compare several quotes in one place conveniently.
What types of businesses are required to have general liability insurance?
General liability insurance is not usually required by law, unless you work in construction. In this case, some states do require that you have it in order to be licensed (see the 6 best construction insurance companies). Furthermore, most clients will want their contractors and developers to have general liability insurance.
If you don’t work in construction, getting general liability insurance is certainly a good idea, but it’s not required. General liability insurance is the most common business insurance type. However, some states do require other types of commercial insurance such as workers compensation insurance. Check with your state to see what the laws are.
We research to find the best general liability insurance companies for each popular profession and highlight them below for your easy reference. Click on the profession name to learn more:
Best general liability insurance for contractors
General contractors need general liability insurance because construction sites are places where it’s easy for customers and even passersby to injure themselves. Also, many states and most clients will require you to have it. Our top picks for general liability insurance for contractors can be found here.
Best general liability insurance for LLCs
Even though your business assets and your personal assets are now separate, it’s still a good idea to get general liability insurance as an LLC. General liability will cover your legal costs in case you are sued, and it’s not that expensive. The average small business owner pays just $42 a month, so it’s worth the money. Read more about it here.
Best general liability insurance for sole proprietors
When you first go into business for yourself, you’re probably a sole proprietor. It’s the easiest way to set up a new business. It means that you and your business are one and the same, tax-wise, liability-wise and profits-wise. In spite of what some people think, you are not limited to being the only person in your company—a sole proprietor can hire employees, just like anyone else. The type of work you do has more of an effect on how much you pay for general liability insurance, rather than how your business is structured.
CoverWallet, Simply Business and Commercial insurance.net are all good places to get a quote. You’ll be asked:
- What type of work you do (in most cases, there’s a dropdown menu)
- Where the business is located
- How many years of experience in your industry
- Does your business operate from your home?
- How many locations your business has
- Legal structure of your business
- Number of employees (including yourself)
- Anticipated revenue
- Expected payroll
- Whether you deal with subcontractors
- Previous coverage
- Claims history
The following quote is for an accounting business in California with $100,000 in revenue.
Best general liability insurance for handymen
Handymen need general liability insurance. Since you go into people’s homes, you’ll want protection in case you accidentally damage Aunt Martha’s antique console table or your customer trips over an extension cord. It’s not usually required, but it is handy.
Most handymen pay between $360 and $1,000 a year, with those offering power washing or roof repairs paying a bit more.
If you’re looking for quotes, Next insurance is a great place for a full-time handyman.
If you only need insurance for part-time or seasonal work, Thimble will let you get insurance for as little or as long as you need.
Best general liability insurance for restaurants
Restaurants need general liability insurance, as the chances that a customer will somehow injure themselves while eating in your restaurant are pretty high. So many people go in and out, and if alcohol is involved, that just increases the likelihood.
General liability will also protect you from customer property damage and advertising injuries. Furthermore, it’s usually required if you lease a space.
If you’re shopping around for general liability insurance for a restaurant, you could go to Insureon and they can retrieve some quotes for you. This is for a fine dining Asian fusion restaurant in Connecticut with $1,000,000 in revenue.
As you can see, quotes vary dramatically, so it’s important to shop around.
The best general liability insurance for a commercial trucking business
In addition to commercial auto insurance, you’ll need general liability insurance as well. If a customer accidentally injures themselves or if you cause third party property damage, you’ll need general liability insurance to cover your legal costs.
Depending on how much revenue you generate, companies such as Progressive Advantage Business Program or The Hartford could be worth a look.
Best general liability insurance companies by states
Insurance is a very state-specific business. An insurance company might be licensed in one state, but not the others. Some insurance company might offer the best price in one state, but their prices are not competitive in the other states.
When it comes to finding the best general liability insurance companies in a particular state, we need to research among the companies that are licensed in such state only. Below are the best general liability insurance companies in the selected states that we cover. Click on the state name to learn more:
|New York||New Jersey||Colorado|
The best general liability insurance companies in California
California only requires general liability insurance for contractors. However, that doesn’t mean you should go without it if you’re another line of work. If you’re shopping for general liability insurance in California, you can read more here.
Best general liability insurance in Texas
If you live in Texas, you know that general liability insurance isn’t required but it’s still a good idea. It’s pretty affordable, and since a lawsuit could potentially costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, it’s worth the investment. Read about the best general liability companies in Texas here.
Best general liability insurance in Florida
Florida offers small business owners plenty of sunshine and tax advantages. On the downside, residents of Florida are extremely litigious, so you’re going to want general liability insurance to protect yourself from lawsuits, frivolous and otherwise. We recommend these companies as being the top picks for general liability insurance in Florida.
Best general liability insurance in New Jersey
New Jersey is pretty small business friendly, offering several financing programs and tax advantages for owners. General liability insurance is still a must, though. Here are the top six providers of general liability insurance we recommend to small business owners in New Jersey.
Best general liability insurance companies in New York
Even though it’s not required, savvy small business owners in New York know that general liability insurance is a must. Contractors are required to have it, but even if you’re not a contractor, it makes sense to have general liability insurance. It protects you against lawsuits from third-party injuries and third-party property damage. Here are the top five providers of general liability insurance in New York.
Best General liability insurance companies in Colorado
Colorado was recently ranked the 9th best state for business by Forbes, and the second best state to start a business in. Some of the top industries in Colorado include aerospace, advanced engineering, creative industries, defense and energy. Colorado has a lower cost of living than many states, as well as access to wide open spaces, mountain peaks, and trendy urban centers.
With business booming, you’ll want to get general liability insurance. Colorado is a fault state, the cap for non-economic damages is $468,010, but it can be increased to $936,030 if the court finds evidence to support such an increase. Just some of the best companies for general liability insurance in Colorado include:
- The Harford
Remember to shop around to get the best price. Working with a digital broker like CoverWallet can help make the price comparison a bit easier since they can provide several quotes from the companies that they work with.
Best General liability insurance in North Carolina
The business outlook for North Carolina shows that small businesses are feeling more confident—almost as confident as they were before the pandemic. There’s no doubt that North Carolina small businesses are on the road to recovery. Don’t let a lack of general liability insurance derail your business.
There are many good insurance companies to obtain quotes from in North Carolina, with these being our top three:
- CoverWallet – best to compare online quotes
- The Hartford
Best general liability insurance in Georgia
Georgia has been ranked the number one state for business by Site Selection Magazine for the seventh year in a row. They have a workforce training program called Georgia Quick Start, which means whatever small business you launch in Georgia you’ll have no trouble finding good employees.
You’ll want to obtain business insurance for your small business, general liability insurance at the very least. There are many good providers of general liability insurance in Georgia. Here are our recommendations for the top 3 providers:
- Progressive Commercial
CoverWallet and Simply Business can simplify your process, as they gather quotes from top providers and you can just pick the one that suits your needs.
Best General liability insurance in Illinois
Illinois is not the most business friendly states out there. Thanks to high property taxes, high unemployment insurance and high corporate taxes, business owners in Illinois face some challenges. Still, businesses with 50 employees or fewer power most of the job growth in Illinois.
While Illinois makes workers compensation insurance mandatory if you have even one employee, it does not actually require you to have general liability insurance. However, most small businesses should get a general liability policy because accidents happen. Luckily, you have some options. Here are our recommendations for the top 3 providers of general liability insurance in Illinois:
- The Hartford
All of these companies can provide you with general liability insurance in Illinois. Make sure you shop around before you settle on a policy.
Best General liability insurance in Massachusetts
Massachusetts features ongoing economic growth for all companies, tech and biotech especially. Home to over a hundred colleges and universities, Massachusetts can offer any small business owner a well-educated workforce. You’ll want to be aware of the seemingly endless list of regulations and red tape you need to comply with, but one thing is for sure: general liability insurance is a must. On the plus side, being located so close to Hartford, CT (the insurance capital of the world) means there are many companies to choose from when it comes to getting a quote. Here are our recommendations of the top 3 providers of general liability insurance in Massachusetts.
Take the time to shop around: it could save you hundreds of dollars.
General liability insurance in Maryland
If you’re wondering about doing business in Maryland, you should know they recently jumped 19 spots—up to number 12—on CNBC’s list of America’s best states for business. Clearly, things are improving dramatically in the Old Line State. Maryland has over 600,000 small businesses, and if you’re one of them, you should consider getting a general liability insurance policy. Most small business owners say if you’re only going to get one type of business insurance, it should be general liability insurance. Here are our recommendations of the top 3 providers of general liability insurance in Maryland.
CoverWallet can really trim down the time it takes to shop for a policy, since they pull quotes from many insurance companies. If you hate to shop for insurance, CoverWallet should be your first stop.
General Liability insurance in Ohio
Small businesses in Ohio will appreciate Ohio’s efforts to make the Buckeye state a more business-friendly place. They enacted $5 billion in tax cuts and created many tax deductions for small businesses to fuel growth and keep the economy moving. Small business make up 98% of the Ohio business landscape, so you’re in good company if you start a business in Ohio. Ohio offers small businesses the 8th best tax climate to do business in.
Still, if you own a small business in Ohio, you should prepare for the unexpected by getting general liability insurance. Here are our recommendations of the top 3 general liability insurance companies in Ohio.
- The Hartford
If you want to shop for business insurance as quickly as possible, consider CoverWallet or a similar digital broker like Simply Business or commercialinsurance.net. It will allow you to compare online quotes from several insurance companies, so you don’t have to go from website to website.
Best General liability insurance in Louisiana
Louisiana has been one of the top ten states for best business climate for the past ten years. What makes it so great? A highly skilled workforce, infrastructure investment, and strong economic growth all combine to make starting a business in Louisiana a positive experience. Small businesses make up 53% of the private sector workforce in Louisiana. Small business owners continue to try to improve the small business climate through the Louisiana Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council.
When you go to shop for general liability insurance in Louisiana, here are our recommendations of the top 3 providers in Louisiana:
Or you could go to a website like Simply Business or Coverwallet and let them find quotes for you. It could save you hundreds of dollars.
Best General Liability Insurance in Oklahoma
Oklahoma boasts a lower cost of living than many states—as much as 40% lower. Oklahoma also offers cash incentives and tax credits for businesses considering a move there. Another perk is that Oklahoma’s energy costs are up to 22% lower than the rest of the country. And they have the second lowest tax burden for businesses.
Small business owners in Oklahoma will still need general liability insurance, like all small business owners do. Here are a few companies we recommend getting a quote from:
- Progressive Commercial
Make sure you take the time to shop around, as just a few hours of work could save you hundreds of dollars.
Best general liability insurance in Virginia
According to CNBC, Virginia is the top state for business in 2021. They have a strong workforce and a good education system. Virginia takes pride in nurturing talent, and almost 39% of the workforce has a bachelor’s degree or higher. They also have recovered nicely from the pandemic and will continue to foster economic growth. Small businesses in Virginia employ 1.6 million workers, over 47% of the state’s workforce.
If you are a small business owner in Virginia, you’ll need general liability insurance so you don’t bankrupt yourself over an unforeseen accident. There companies are worth a look:
- The Hartford
Get quotes from at least three companies before you sign up for a policy.
Best General Liability insurance in Arizona
It’s no secret that smaller businesses have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. However, Arizona continues to see population growth, with many people attracted to the warm climate. Arizona is known as “the startup state” for its attractive business climate as well.
Population growth is expected to be the third fastest in the country up until at least 2023, which is good news if you’re starting a business. Another bit of good news is that up to 70% of Arizona residents are from somewhere else, which means newcomers fit right in.
General liability insurance is not required in Arizona, but smart business owners know it’s a good idea. Here are three companies we recommend getting quotes from:
- Certainly Insurance
Make sure you get at least three quotes, so you know you’re getting a good price. Shopping around can be time consuming, but it could save you hundreds of dollars.
General liability insurance in Minnesota
Small businesses in Minnesota are on the rise, despite the pandemic. The economy is definitely well on its well to making a recovery, with the number of small businesses increasing 31%. The pandemic gave many people time to pause and reflect, and consider what they’d really like to be doing, and for many that was starting their own business.
If you’ve recently started a small business, you’ll want to start shopping around for a general liability policy. You should consider getting a quote from these companies:
- Insurance Brokers of Minnesota
If you only need insurance for a day, or a week or a month, Thimble is a great choice. If you hate comparison shopping and hopping from website to website in search of quotes, Coverwallet can save you time by getting quotes for you. Either way, make sure you get several quotes before making a decision.
Best General liability insurance in Indiana
Indiana boasts a low cost of living and great infrastructure. Thanks to several bills recently passed in the state senate, the tax burden on small businesses has been lightened to help with the post-pandemic recovery. Indiana ranks 5th for small businesses by Chief Executive magazine, citing its focus on innovation and tech.
Small businesses in Indiana aren’t required to have general liability insurance, but it’s still a good idea. Think about getting a quote from these three companies:
- Simply Business
Comparison shopping may seem like a hassle, but it could save you money. Or you could use a website like Simply Business, which will pull quotes from several insurance companies so you can compare.
Best general liability insurance in South Carolina
South Carolina consistently ranks among the top five states to do business in according to Area Development magazine. South Carolina is situated between New York City and Miami, and boasts a pleasant climate, good infrastructure, and is home to over 500 international companies. However, small businesses are an integral part of South Carolina, home to over 400,000 small businesses.
It’s important to get general liability insurance if you’re a small business owner. We recommend these three companies:
- The Hartford
As always, make sure to shop around a bit to make sure you’re getting a good price.
Best general liability insurance in Utah
Utah has finished in the top ten among the Best States for Business by Forbes magazine for the past ten years. A friendly tax structure, steady labor supply and one of the nation’s highest performing economies all contribute to Utah’s position as a great state for small businesses.
Even post-pandemic, Utah’s economy is on an upswing and shows solid growth. That’s good news if you’re a small business owner. Utah also has the most reliable electric grid in the nation, so you won’t have to worry about losing power or access to the wifi.
One thing you will need, though, is general liability insurance. It’s not required, it’s just a good idea. We recommend getting a quote from these companies:
Make sure you shop around to find the best price.
If you learn nothing else from this article, keep these two things in mind: Yes, you do need general liability insurance, and you need to shop around to get the best price. Compare quotes from at least three companies. Once you have general liability insurance, you can move onto other concerns, like maximizing your profits.