General liability insurance is an essential coverage that all small businesses would need, including those in Washington State. It is an important liability insurance for all Washington small businesses as it covers common third-party risks, and it is required by most commercial leases. As a small business owner in Washington state, it is necessary you get general liability insurance coverage to protect the business that you have worked really hard to build.
This article will explain general liability insurance and how it works in Washington.
- Top 5 general liability insurance companies in Washington
- What does Washington general liability insurance cover?
- Is general liability insurance required in Washington?
- Why Washington small businesses should get general liability insurance
- How much does general liability insurance cost in Washington State?
- How to find cheap general liability insurance in Washington
Top 5 general liability insurance companies in Washington State
- CoverWallet: Best for small businesses in Washington State who want to compare several quotes online
- NEXT: Best for contractors in Washington State
- The Hartford: Best for businesses of all sizes and all industries in Washington State
- Hiscox: Best for small businesses in Washington State who want to combine general liability and professional liability coverages in one policy
- Chubb: Best for their perfect rating on overall customer satisfaction
CoverWallet: Best for small businesses in Washington State who want to compare several quotes online
CoverWallet is a digital broker specializing in small businesses. They make it easy for businesses to buy and manage insurance online and within a short amount of time. A distinct feature of CoverWallet is the fact that it does not sell policies of its own rather, the organization works to help small business owners find online prices that match their business.
We love CoverWallet because it is very easy to use and intuitive for all users. It is fast to provide us with several quotes from their partners so that we can compare them and select the best one. The quoting process only takes 10 minutes or less. Below is a quote we got for a cleaning business in Washington state.
NEXT: Best for contractors in Washington State
Next Insurance is an online insurance company, usually referred to as insuretech, providing easy and straight-forward ways for small businesses to have access to business insurance. We love NEXT because it specializes in general liability insurance for different types of contractors: from general contractors, construction contractors, plumbers, HVAC contractors, cleaners, and to personal trainers.
Although NEXT is a newer insurer for small businesses, it is backed by many reputable venture capital firms and well-funded. The policies are backed by the globally reputable reinsurance company, Munich Re. It is an all-digital platform, so we think if you are a traditional business owner, you may find their process unfamiliar, however, it is easy to use and navigate.
The Hartford: Best for businesses of all sizes and all industries in Washington State
The Hartford is one of the most reputable insurers. They have been around for 100+ years and well-known for their high ethical standards. The Hartford specializes in providing insurance coverages for businesses. With their long history, they have provided business insurance coverages to businesses of all sizes and in all industries. So you can always count on the Hartford to protect your business.
Their insurance coverage products include but not limited to commercial property, general liability, worker’s compensation, commercial auto, professional liability, product liability, D&O, and employment practices liability coverage (EPLI), which is one reason we love it- there is a wide range of insurances to meet your needs.
We discovered that you may not be able to get an online quote immediately in some cases. In such case, you might need to contact their agents to get consultation and quotes.
Hiscox: Best for small businesses in Washington State who want to combine general liability and professional liability coverages in one policy
Hiscox Ltd. is an Anglo-Bermudan insurance provider, listed on the London Stock Exchange. It is on our list because it is good for small businesses across various industries. They specializes in providing insurance coverages to small businesses.
One thing we love about Hiscox is that small businesses are given discounts when they buy two or more product, and they also offer a 14-day refund policy. And they offer general liability and professional liability coverages in one simple policy for small businesses. However, Hiscox’s coverage ranges from $300,000 to $2 million, so if you need more than 2 million of coverage, you may have to look elsewhere
We love Hiscox because it has products tailored specifically to your business, as well as practices that encourage and inspire business owners to protect businesses they have worked hard for. We also love that it is quite affordable.
Chubb: Best for their perfect rating on overall customer satisfaction
Chubb is one of the biggest insurance companies in the world. While they do offer some personal lines of insurance, their main focus is on business insurance. You can’t go wrong with Chubb given their long history and intensive experience in business insurance industry.
Regardless of your business size or industry, you can always get coverage from Chubb. We love Chubb because they rank at the very top in the prestigious JD Power Study on small businesses’s overall satisfaction.
Chubb has a 5-star rating with positive reviews from users. Most users claim their process is seamless, and adjusters are very responsive. However, you may need to contact an agent directly for certain insurance request which may take longer time to process.
What does Washington general liability insurance cover?
General liability insurance or business liability insurance protects your Washington company from financial losses resulting from claims of injury or damage caused by you or your employees to others. It covers the following
- Bodily Injury: That is physical damage to someone that is not an employee at your place of business. This also includes injuries caused by you or an employee at a client’s home or workplace.
- Personal Injury: This includes libel, slander, infringement of copyright, invasion of property or privacy, wrongful eviction, false arrest, and other similar acts that harm a person’s reputation or rights.
- Legal Defense and Judgments: Your coverage also covers your legal defense and judgment if things go south. You should note that this generally excludes punitive damages for willful or negligent misconduct.
- Property Damage: This includes damages to another person’s property caused by you or an employee while conducting business.
- Advertising Injury: This includes losses incurred as a result of your advertising misbehavior.
What does general liability insurance not cover?
The following are some instances that are beyond your general liability insurance.
- Professional errors: Your general liability insurance will not protect you from lawsuits arising from professional errors, such as unsatisfied services and missed deadlines. You will need a professional liability insurance for this. Learn more at the best professional liability insurance companies.
- Injuries to employees: Your general liability insurance will also not cover you from costs arising from employee injuries or illnesses resulting from their work. The insurance for this purpose is workers compensation insurance. Learn more at the best workers comp insurance companies and the cheapest workers comp insurance companies.
- Your business property damage: A business owner’s policy, which combines general liability and commercial property insurance, can assist in covering the cost of replacing stolen business property. Learn more at the best BOP insurance companies.
- Claims beyond your policy limit: You will need a commercial umbrella insurance to extend your limits. Learn more at the best commercial umbrella insurance companies.
- Commercial auto accident insurance for you or your employees while driving for work. You could either use a commercial auto insurance, or a hired and not-owned auto coverage. Learn more at the best commercial auto insurance companies and the cheapest commercial auto insurance companies.
Is general liability insurance required in Washington State?
General liability insurance is not required by the state for business owners in Washington, but it is recommended. Business owners should be aware of situations when a licensing body, a client or a lessor might require this common type of coverage. It is often that construction companies are required to have this coverage because their clients usually require it before signing a contract.
Business owners in Washington also have a choice regarding insurance deductibles and policy limits within their coverage.
Why Washington small businesses should get general liability insurance
The following are reasons why small businesses in Washington should get general liability insurance:
- It provides stability: One of the major challenge small businesses have been stability. General liability insurances are an easy solution to this seemingly herculean challenge. Small businesses can now without worrying about certain risks and incidence depending on what policy is in place. A general liability insurance can serve as a survival plan to help you stay in operation even if a court judgment is rendered against you.
- It guards assets against loss: Without having the proper coverage in place, the assets of a business can easily be seized, sold to settle cases in court or out-of-court settlements
- It helps businesses gain the trust of prospective clients, investors or partners: A business with the right legal backing and insurance policy will gain the trust of potential investors, partners and clients than a business that does not have.
How much does general liability insurance cost in Washington State?
There is no particularly fixed cost for general liability insurance in Washington. The cost varies from company to company usually based on the following factors.
- The gross sales of the business
- The gross payroll for employees and owners
- The square footage of the premises
- Any sub-contractor exposures (if available)
Insurance rates are developed at a rate per $1000 utilizing one or more of the above factors.
On the average, a typical small business in Washington is expected to pay between $300-$4,000 annually for their general liability policy.
Be sure to compare several quotes before making your final decision.
How to find cheap general liability insurance in Washington
The following tips should be useful in helping you get an affordable general liability in Washington.
- Make consistent reviews: Changes in state regulations can lead to changes in coverage cost. Only by making constant review of the insurance policies your business is currently on can you know if there are ways to cut costs or whether the policy favors your business or otherwise.
- Learn more: Learn how plans vary from each other to ensure that you purchase the best policy for your specific business at a competitive price.
- Claim available deductions: From time to time, different tax deductions are made available by the state. They include tax induction for fire, casualty, and burglary insurance premiums.
- Avoid purchasing overlapping policies: It is important you check the terms carefully to ensured that you’re not covered for the same item under two different policies.