The 6 Best General Liability Insurance Companies in Tennessee 

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

As a business owner or small contractor in Tennessee, you need general liability insurance to protect yourself from unforeseen situations. Accidents can happen anytime, and they sometimes result in heavy lawsuits that can go over your financial plans. Without the proper insurance plans, such accidents can force you out of business. This is where general liability insurance comes into play.

Tennessee general liability insurance covers the costs of third-party lawsuits resulting from slip-and-fall injuries, property damage, and other incidents. This is why you must have adequate knowledge regarding general liability coverage if you have a business in Memphis, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Murfreesboro, or elsewhere in the Volunteer State.

If you own a small business in Tennessee, this information will assist you in understanding Tennessee General Liability insurance. 

Top 6 providers of general liability insurance in Tennessee

We have done the research and here are our recommendations of the top 6 general liability insurance companies in Tennessee.

  • CoverWallet: Best for Tennessee small businesses to compare several general liability insurance quotes
  • Hiscox: Best for service-oriented businesses such as financial service or healthcare companies in Tennessee
  • Liberty Mutual: Best for growing companies in Tennessee
  • Nationwide: Best for restaurants in Tennessee
  • Next: Best for contractors in Tennessee
  • biBERK: Best for an easy and quick online experience

CoverWallet: Best for Tennessee small businesses to compare several general liability insurance quotes

Coverwallet is a digital insurance broker which is a subsidiary of Aon. The company is a digital insurance company that uses the latest machine learning, artificial intelligence, and other cutting-edge technology to make policies more affordable and straightforward to purchase. With CoverWallet, you can quickly obtain the cheapest and most appropriate quotes for your business. The firm is a good choice for small business owners who do not have the time to research the best insurance options on their own. It’s also an excellent place to start if you’ve never had a policy before.

Hiscox: Best for service-oriented businesses such as financial service or healthcare companies in Tennessee

Hiscox began in 1901 as an underwriter in Lloyd’s market. Although Hiscox Group,  the parent company,  is based in Bermuda, the US corporate headquarters are in Atlanta, Georgia, and the company has ten offices across the country.

Hiscox takes the top spot for service-oriented businesses because its products are specifically designed and priced for finance and healthcare companies. The company offers coverage for a wide range of industries and policy types. Aside from finance and healthcare companies, they also offer customized services to salons, consultants, janitors, and other professions in about 180+ industries. Hiscox provides standard liability coverage limits of up to $2 million, with higher limits available under underwriting approval. 

Liberty Mutual: Best for growing companies in Tennessee

We selected Liberty Mutual as the best provider for growing companies because the company’s process for getting general liability insurance is easy and streamlined. Liberty Mutual provides general liability insurance through its independent agents all over the country. Commercial auto, equipment breakdown, inland marine, umbrella coverage, and workers’ compensation are among the coverage options that are also available. Plus, the company has industry-specific solutions for different sectors of the economy, including construction, public entities, financial institutions, healthcare, real estate, and wholesale. Through its nationwide contractor referral network, Liberty Mutual also advertises 24-hour claims assistance.

Nationwide: Best for restaurants in Tennessee   

If you own a restaurant in Tennessee, Nationwide might be your best option for general liability coverage. That is because Nationwide is a unique carrier that focuses on simple, straightforward insurance solutions that are ideal for small businesses with high-risk, like your restaurant business. Aside from the food and restaurant industry, this versatile company has over 14 industry specialties ranging from construction, finance, health, and many more. Therefore, almost any business can work with them. 

Besides general liability insurance, Nationwide also provides commercial auto, commercial property, BOP, workers’ compensation, EPLI, equipment breakdown coverage, and umbrella insurance policies. 

Nationwide has an A++ Superior rating for financial stability from the AM Best.

Next: Best for contractors in Tennessee

Although a relative newcomer in the industry, Next Insurance is already making waves. When it comes to providing affordable and straightforward general liability insurance for small-business owners, especially in construction, Next is your best bet in Tennessee. Asides from construction, Next business insurance has highly customizable options that will meet the needs of specific industries such as child care, fitness, among others. The company also boasts competitive rates with no hidden fees or deductibles. Next’s website is comprehensive, allowing users to research various business insurance offerings and request an instant quote via the application button on the front page.

biBERK: Best for an easy and quick online experience

biBERK, backed by insurance behemoth Berkshire Hathaway, provides all lines of general liability in Tennesse. The company strives to make purchasing general liability insurance simple for business owners through its simple online process. Businesses that require immediate coverage, such as retailers with high foot traffic, should consider biBERK for general liability. During the application process, biBERK also allows you to enter the information of an additional insured, maybe your landlord, who may wish to be listed on the policy.

What does Tennessee general liability insurance cover?

Everyone will agree that running a business is inherently risky. However, with the right tools, you can easily navigate a wide range of known and unknown risks that come your way as a business owner. One of those essential tools you need is general liability insurance. protects against 

Simply put, general liability Insurance or GL is an insurance policy that protects you, your company, and your employees from claims resulting from business operations that can cause bodily harm or property damage to your customers or a third-party at your workplace. Depending on the company you use, these policies typically cover the costs of medical bills, out-of-court settlements, litigation, and court-awarded judgments. 

Here are a few things that General Liability Insurance might cover in Tennessee:

  • Litigation, investigations, and settlements
  • Damages for bodily harm to clients and non-employees
  • Advertisement/Copyright assertions

Is general liability insurance required in Tennessee?

Like in most states in the US, general liability insurance is not a compulsory requirement for Tennessee businesses. Tennessee is one of the states in the US that uses the modified comparative negligence fault arrangement. 

That means you will only pay for damages if the court finds you liable by at least 51%. So long you are not at fault by more than 50%, the complainant cannot receive any damages from you. 

Furthermore, in Tennessee, there are no personal injury award caps. The statute of limitations for any personal injury caused by negligent behavior or product liability is one year. That means anyone who wants to sue your business in Tennessee has a whole year to prepare. Considering that these lawsuits (both legitimate and frivolous) do frequently occur in Tennessee, and most times, small businesses take the most hit. If you own a business here with valuable assets, you should invest in adequate commercial general liability coverage for your Tennessee small business.

Why Tennessee small businesses should get general liability insurance

The term small business has a lot of definitions. However, according to the government of Tennessee, a small business is a company that does business with less than 100 employees. These businesses are unique as they employ about 97% of the total employers in Tennessee. 

Due to their size, these companies usually do not have the resources to cover extensive damages. However, they are usually faced with huge risks because of how they conduct their businesses. 

Unlike larger companies, most small businesses have to see their clients do business. By leaving to see their clients, small businesses increase their exposure to significant risks of causing bodily injury to their clients. Anything can happen when you visit your client or when your client visits. Not having this coverage in place at the time of such injury could spell serious problems. 

If you are found liable for an incident, you and your business might have to pay huge sums that might push you out of business. Small businesses cannot afford such amounts because of their size. But then, general liability insurance can help the company stay financially stable if they are sued.  

Most small companies run their businesses from rented offices or commercial spaces. These days, some landlords request that their tenants carry general liability insurance to be sure their buildings are protected. So, if you are looking to get a suitable building in Nashville or Memphis, getting general liability insurance might increase your chances. 

For these reasons and many more, small businesses in Tennessee typically get this policy right after they start operations.  

Do contractors in Tennessee need general liability insurance?

Similar to their counterparts in other states, contractors in Tennessee in general are not required to have general liability insurance, except for construction contractors.

Contractor general liability insurance can be difficult to find since many insurance companies do not offer coverage to high-risk contractors. See our guide to the best general liability insurance companies for contractors.

General liability insurance for contractors tends to be more expensive than other professionals due to the high-risk nature of some of contracting work such as roofers, handymen, plumbers, or window cleaners. Here is our guide to understand the cost of general liability insurance for contractors.

How much does general liability insurance cost in Tennessee?

The cost of liability insurance in Tennessee can vary significantly between insurance companies. Your profession is, however, the most influential factor. That’s because every industry is exposed to different risks. Therefore, high-risk occupations, such as construction, hazardous wastes management, etc., typically require specialized coverage known as excess and surplus, which is typically more expensive.

That said, the following factors determine the cost of business insurance in Tennessee:

  • Company’s location,
  • Company size 
  • Coverage requirements. 
  • Prior claims 
  • Years of experience
  • Years of operating the business 
  • The business’s gross sales
  • The gross payroll for employees and owners
  • The square footage of the premises
  • Subcontractor exposures (if applicable).

Liability insurance rates are typically calculated b at a rate per $1,000 based on one or more of the factors above. A typical small business in Tennessee might pay between $300 and $5,000 per year for general liability insurance. The final cost of liability coverage will also differ based on the SIC code of your company or the insurance company’s classification system for general liability rating. 

Learn more at the cost of general liability insurance in general.

How to find cheap general liability insurance in Tennessee?

If you aim to cut costs on your general liability insurance, you can follow these tips:

  • Look around and get as many quotes as you can. You are likely to find better deals from different carriers by checking around.  
  • Read the policy you have thoroughly to understand how changes in your business can affect the policy. For instance, some companies can increase your premium when you make modifications to your building or change the number of employees you have. 
  • You can also reduce your premium by avoiding paying for policies already bundled in your current policy. Ensure you read the terms carefully to know what your coverage offers. 

>>MORE: The Cheapest General Liability Insurance Companies

Thang Truong
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, Capital One, NerdWallet, and Mulberry Technology. He holds a MBA degree from UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

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