If you run a small business in Illinois, you know that general liability insurance is the most essential policy protecting your business. The cost of general liability insurance in Illinois varies depending on the insurance company you choose, your business’s credit score, the amount of coverage you need, and many other factors. On average, small businesses in Illinois can expect to pay around $500 per year for general liability insurance. This is a relatively small price to pay to protect your business from costly lawsuits.
If you’re considering purchasing general liability insurance for your Illinois business, be sure to shop around and compare rates between different insurers. You may be able to find a policy that offers the coverage you need at a lower price.
- How much does general liability insurance cost in Illinois?
- What affects the general liability insurance cost in Illinois?
- How to get cheap general liability insurance in Illinois?
- Who needs general liability insurance in Illinois?
- How to buy general liability insurance online in Illinois
- General liability insurance requirements in Illinois
- What does general liability insurance cover?
How much does general liability insurance cost in Illinois?
Small businesses in Illinois pay an average of $42 per month for their $1M/$3M general liability insurance policies, or $500 per year.
Most businesses pay between $25 to $250 per month for the policy. This is a wide range. Businesses in different industries will pay different amounts. For example, an accounting firm may pay $30 a month while a construction company can easily pay close to $300 a month for the policy.
Different insurance companies also assess risks differently. Be sure to shop around with a few companies to compare several quotes to find the cheapest one for your business. Below are our recommendations of the providers that you can consider:
- NEXT: the best digital carrier with affordable rates
- Simply Business: the best broker to get and compare several quotes to find the cheapest one for you.
- Smart Financial: the best broker if you prefer working with experienced agents
What affects the general liability insurance cost in Illinois?
Many factors affect general liability insurance costs in Illinois. Below are the main ones:
The industry of a business can affect the general liability insurance cost because certain industries are seen as riskier than others. For example, businesses in the construction industry may have to pay more for general liability insurance because there is a higher risk of accidents happening. Similarly, businesses that deal with baby and food products that could potentially cause harm to people may have to pay more for general liability insurance
If your business is located in bigger cities like Chicago will pay more for general liability insurance than their counterparts located in smaller cities of the state. That is because large cities have more people, and there are more chances that issues will happen there. Similarly, if you work in a city where the claims rate is higher based on historical data, you will pay more.
The number of locations
The more locations your business has and the bigger the location is, the more likely you’ll have customer injuries in your business’s locations, which could result in more lawsuits.
Revenue and number of customers
The more customers you have, the more revenue your business generates, the more likely your customers get injured at your business locations or their property is damaged due to your business operations, and the more likely they will sue. All of these lead to a higher rate for your general liability insurance.
A higher limit means you are getting better coverage. The maximum amount the insurer will pay you if an incident occurs. However, the higher your limits, the higher your premium. A typical general liability insurance policy in Illinois has $1M/$2M or a smaller one of $100K/$300K
Your policy’s deductibles
Your deductible is the amount you will pay from your pocket when the incident occurs—the higher your deductible, the lower the cost of your premium. But then, a higher deductible means you way pay more if an incident occurs.
Years of experience in business
New companies tend to pay more for general liability than giant corporations.
Your business’s claim history
Prior general liability claims are a major red flag for insurers. It tells the insurer that you are a risky business owner. As such, you will pay more to get their protection.
How to find cheap general liability insurance in Illinois?
Below are a few tips to find cheap general liability insurance in Illinois:
Compare several quotes to find the cheapest policy
The only way to find the best and cheapest quote for your business is to shop around and compare several quotes.
The mistake most people make is to do that once and stop. Even after getting the best bargain, you still need to find another one. Insurance companies frequently change their rates. So, when it comes time to renew, make sure you shop around again to find the best deal for your company.
Working with a top broker like Simply Business, CoverWallet, or Smart Financial is a good way to get and compare several quotes in one place.
Ask for discounts and offers
Insurers always have discounts and offers for their clients. If they don’t mention it to you, you need to ask. Whether you’re buying online or through an agent, there is always some discount.
Good insurance companies always have a list of discounts on their websites where you can check if you qualify. Make sure you take advantage of any of those discounts available to your company.
Bundle the policies
Bundling policies can reduce general liability insurance costs by allowing the insurer to package the policies together and offer a lower price. If your business also needs workers comp and commercial auto insurance, you may want to bundle them with general liability policy.
Additionally, bundling can make it easier for the insured to manage their insurance coverage as all of their policies will be under one policy number.
Workplace safety protocols and practices
Safety protocols and practices at a workplace can affect general liability insurance costs in a few ways. One way is that if a company has a strong safety record, it may be rewarded with lower rates on its insurance policy. Additionally, if a company has implemented specific safety protocols and practices, this may also help reduce the likelihood of an accident or injury happening, and subsequently lower premiums. Finally, if a company experiences an accident or injury, having strong safety protocols in place may help to reduce the number of damages sought by the injured party.
Learn more at the cheapest general liability insurance companies
Which businesses need general liability insurance in Illinois?
The types of businesses that are more likely to need general liability insurance are those that have a physical storefront or office. This is because they are more likely to face lawsuits from customers or clients who may be injured on the premises.
Listed below are a few examples of businesses that may fit the bill:
- Artisan contractors
- Consulting – Learn more about consulting business insurance
- IT contractors
- Janitorial services – Learn more about cleaning business insurance
- Landscaping companies – Learn more about landscaping insurance
- Grocery stores
- Doctor offices
- Restaurants – Learn more about general liability insurance for restaurants
- Schools or offices
Each business is unique, so make sure you inquire if the policy is right for your business.
How to buy general liability insurance online in Illinois
You have several options to purchase general liability insurance in Illinois for your business. To make things easier, the options are divided into three broad categories as follows:
Digital brokers in Illinois
Digital brokers work like insuretech companies. However, they have more experience. These companies do not have their policies; instead, they assist businesses in connecting with their insurers so that they can purchase the policies of their choice. If you have never purchased a policy before, this is probably a good place to start.
Examples you can use include:
- Simply Business
- Smart Financial
Here is a sample quote for a marketing consulting firm with 2 full-time employees obtained from Simply Business.
- Fast online quotes, in most cases
- Companies that have issues finding policies may find something here.
- They only offer policies from their partners
- You have to file a claim directly with the carrier.
Traditional insurance companies
As the name suggests, companies in this category are those that come to mind when people think of insurance. The majority of them have the experience and financial stability to provide you with superior coverage options. They cover the majority of businesses, including those in the riskiest industries like construction.
Examples of companies in this category include:
- Liberty Mutual
- The Hartford
The following picture is a sample quote for an IT consulting firm with 2 full-time employees obtained from Chubb insurance.
- You get reliable coverage for almost any industry.
- Most of them have extensive experience to give you the best coverage.
- They have other policies that you can buy and bundle for discounts
- The policies from these companies might be expensive
- These companies don’t usually ofer quotes online. You are more likely to work with their agents
These businesses are new to the industry. These are tech companies that aim to make insurance affordable and straightforward. They assist businesses in locating the most appropriate and cost-effective quotes for their operations online. They do this using the latest technology tools like artificial intelligence.
- Fast quotes that take less than 10 minutes
- All operations are done online via the internet
- Easy to use platforms.
- These companies do not offer policies for risky industries like construction or handyman or trucking businesses.
Here is a sample quote for a cleaning firm with 2 full-time employees from NEXT
Learn more about buying cheap general liability insurance online
General liability insurance requirements in Illinois
General liability insurance is not legally required for all businesses in Illinois. However, all small businesses are often advised to have this policy because it is the most essential policy to protect small businesses.
The most common types of lawsuits against small businesses in Illinois are premises liability lawsuits and employment lawsuits. In a premises liability lawsuit, the plaintiff alleges that the business owner was negligent in maintaining the property and that this negligence caused the plaintiff to suffer an injury. In most cases, a small business in Illinois will spend between $50,000 and $150,000 defending itself in a lawsuit.
A general liability insurance policy would provide protection for the company against these premises liability lawsuits.
In addition, many large companies in Illinois do not enter business agreements with vendors before they are sure the vendors have general liability insurance coverage. If you want to get contracts from larger companies in Illinois, you need to have a general liability insurance policy in place.
Furthermore, many people wouldn’t sign contracts with construction contractors or any type of handyman contractors if the contractors do not have general liability coverage.
All of the reasons above should give you enough information to consider if you should buy general liability insurance for your business.
What does general liability insurance cover?
General liability insurance (GL), also known as business liability insurance, or commercial general liability (CGL), is a coverage that can protect you from a variety of claims arising from your business operations,
These claims may include the following:
General liability insurance protects against business-related incidents that cause bodily harm to a third party. For instance, if one of your employees mistakenly drops on hammer on someone’s foot, this coverage should cover any damages. This coverage, however, only does not apply to employee injuries.
General liability can also protect you from any third-party property damage caused by your business operations. For example, imagine you break a client’s window while cleaning their apartment; this policy should cover the damages.
General liability insurance protects against liability for faulty products. Products are any goods that your company manufactures, sells, or distributes. This coverage protects a business if such a product causes physical injury or illness. For instance, if your customer becomes sick after buying infected food from you.
Completed operations liability
Completed operations coverage is just like product liability. It, however, protects you against faulty services or work performed by your business. For coverage to apply, you must finish such a project.
For example, a customer hires your service clean their bathroom. However, you forget to turn off a tap in the bathroom, causing the bathroom to flood after you left. Your general liability may cover the damages caused since you already left when the issue happened.
Personal and advertising injury
Your general liability policy may also cover any written or verbal communications that cause harm to a third party. This includes, among other things, libel, slander, malicious mischief, and copyright infringement.
For example, if your local competitor accused you of spreading rumors about their poor customer service. The company can sue you for personal and advertising injury if the competitor’s reputation and profitability are harmed. In such a case, general liability will cover you.
Damages to rented property.
Damage to land, buildings, or structures you rent or lease is also typically covered under general liability coverage. For coverage to apply, the insured or their business must be legally liable for the damages.
For example, a local baker may rent a property that catches fire due to a careless employee leaving the oven unattended. General liability may cover the damages because the business operations caused the fire. On the other hand, this coverage would not apply if a lightning strike started the fire.
Learn more about general liability insurance coverage
What does general liability insurance not cover?
Your general liability will not protect you from all business-related risks. To cover some risks, you may require additional insurance coverage not covered by general liability insurance. There are numerous other products available to protect your company. Here’s a quick rundown:
- Damages to commercial vehicles – A commercial auto policy protects vehicles used for business. A personal auto policy will also not cover incidents at work. Learn more at the best commercial auto insurance companies
- Employee injuries – most states require coverage for your employees only through workers’ compensation insurance. Learn more at the best workers comp insurance companies.
- Owned commercial property – this is covered under a business owner’s policy (BOP), along with other equipment and goods. Learn more at the best commercial property insurance companies.
- Professional blunders – If your company offers a service or advice, you should look into professional liability insurance. Learn more at the best professional liability insurance companies.
General liability insurance vs. product liability insurance
People may be confused between general liability and product liability insurance because there are similarities between the two policies. Both policies typically provide coverage for bodily injury and property damage. They both protect businesses from financial damages that may result from an accident or injury. They also both provide coverage for legal expenses incurred during a lawsuit.
However, there are several key differences between general liability and product liability insurance. The most obvious is that general liability coverage protects businesses from claims arising from non-product related incidents, such as slips and falls or accidental injuries, while product liability insurance covers damages that may be caused by a defective product.
Product liability insurance also typically has a higher limit than general liability insurance.
Knowing which type of insurance you need depends on the nature of your business. If you are a manufacturer, retailer, or wholesaler of products, then you will likely need product liability insurance. However, if your business does not involve the sale or distribution of products, then you will likely need general liability insurance instead.
You should be aware that many insurance companies include product liability coverage in their general liability insurance policy. However these policies are often not available to manufacturers, retailers, or wholesalers of any product. These companies will need a robust product liability insurance policy in place
General liability insurance vs. workers comp insurance
The main similarity between general liability and workers’ compensation insurance is that they both cover injuries or damages that happen as a result of an accident at your workplace or by your business operations.
However, general liability insurance covers injuries that occur to people who are not employees, while workers’ comp insurance covers injuries that occur to employees. Most businesses need general liability insurance, but workers’ comp insurance is mandatory in all states, except Texas.
General liability insurance vs. professional liability insurance
Insurance companies offer two types of liability insurance policies: general liability and professional liability. General liability insurance protects businesses from any type of legal claim arising out of an accident or injury that occurs in the course of business. Professional liability insurance, also known as malpractice insurance, protects professionals such as doctors, lawyers, and accountants from claims made by their clients for negligence or mistakes made while performing services.
Most businesses should carry general liability insurance to protect them from lawsuits arising from accidents or injuries that occur in the course of business. For professionals such as doctors, lawyers, and accountants, professional liability insurance is a must-have to protect them from claims by their clients.