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6 Best General Liability Insurance in Illinois for 2021

General liability insurance isn’t usually required, but many small businesses in Illinois do carry it. Nationwide general liability insurance is almost a standard for companies because it provides essential protection against one of the most common types of lawsuit, a slip and fall suit brought by injured customers. Of course, general liability insurance also provides protection in other instances which is why it’s a must-have for any Illinois company. 

We looked into six insurance providers that offer general liability insurance. We also managed to pull quotes from several of these companies for a small landscaping company with four employees and  $400,000 in revenue. Find out how they stacked up against one another below.

Top 6 Providers of General Liability Insurance in Illinois

We researched more than 20 companies offering general liability insurance for small businesses in Illinois. And here are our recommendations of the 6 best providers.

CoverWallet: Best for Comparing Quotes Online

We frequently like to refer to CoverWallet as this online broker allows customers to compare quotes from different insurers. CoverWallet also boasts comprehensive coverage options. You can find general liability insurance, workers’ comp, professional liability insurance, and many other kinds of insurance through their website. 

Our small landscaping company was only able to secure one quote for general liability insurance through Liberty Mutual for $534 per month. This is for the coverage of $1M/$2M, ie. max $1M per incident and max $2M per year. However, CoverWallet’s website did also state that they would email additional quotes later. 

Comparing quotes from several insurance companies is the only way to ensure that you can get the cheapest policy for your business. CoverWallet is a good option if you want to compare several quotes in one place.

Hiscox: Best for Small Businesses

With a focus on providing insurance coverage for very small businesses of less than five people, Hiscox is a popular choice. They also offer a wide range of insurance options from a business owners’ policy (BOP) to a short-term liability insurance policy. 

We filled in the online quote form for Hiscox using the same landscaping company. In return, we received a quote of about $319.5 per month for general liability insurance. However, the per occurrence limit/aggregate limit for this price was much lower at $300,000 compared to Coverwallet’s quote of $1,000,000.

The Hartford: Best for Established History

It’s not hard to see what has drawn and what continues to draw customers to The Hartford with its more than 200 years of experience. If you are interested in getting a policy from The Hartford, you can apply for a quote online. We had some trouble with their online form and kept getting a technical error message. But, they did later send an email inviting us to call in to finish the quote.

Next Insurance: Best for Bundled Discounts

An online insurance company, Next offered us the opportunity to bundle multiple policies for an additional 10% discount. Their insurance options included:

We opted not to bundle the policy with any other coverage. The website provided quotes for three levels of general liability coverage. Our quotes were as follows:

  • ProPlus ($1M Per Incident/$2M Per Year): $309.92/month
  • Pro ($1M Per Incident/$1M Per Year): $274.00/month
  • Basic ($300K Per Incident/$300K Per Year): $200.75/month

Thimble: Best for Flexibility

When you need an insurance policy you can adjust at a whim, or if you want short-term insurance for a seasonal business, Thimble is the way to go. They also offer a selection of policies for unique businesses from mall santas to drone operators. You can even get drone insurance. 

The online quote form takes only a few minutes to fill out. Businesses can get quotes for multiple coverages at the same time too.

Huckleberry: Best for Restaurants

Not all insurance companies offer general liability coverage for Illinois restaurants, but Huckleberry does along with insurance for many other industries. This is an excellent option for restaurants primarily because of their additional coverage options, like:

Most online quotes take only five minutes to complete and you can sign up for insurance electronically. However, some applications may require an additional review before they email your quote to you.

What does General Liability Insurance Cover?

Just about any business with a retail location or office, or that conducts business at the customer’s home will want the protection of general liability insurance. This kind of insurance policy is intended to pay for costs associated with third-party injury or third-party damage

What does this mean?

Say you run a spa and one of your customers slips on a wet floor and is injured. General liability insurance can help cover the costs of defense in a lawsuit. It also helps cover any settlement costs for medical care and other related damage. 

General liability can also cover legal costs if you are a lawn care company that accidentally damages the customer’s sprinkler system while mowing their property. Or, cracks the pavement with heavy equipment. 

General liability sometimes protects companies against advertising injury or copyright damage. For instance, you’re a restaurant that runs an ad campaign only to find out that the campaign is very similar to the one used by a competitor. If your competitor decides to sue for copyright infringement, general liability insurance should help cover the defense costs.

What Doesn’t General Liability Insurance Cover?

Since general liability insurance is a very specific type of coverage, it only covers certain instances outlined in your policy. It’s a good idea to carefully review your policy paperwork after you get coverage to know exactly what is and isn’t covered. 

However, here are a few instances that might seem like they would be covered by general liability insurance but aren’t:

  • Bad Professional Advice: If you are a consultant or business person, it’s possible some recommendation you make to a client won’t work out or be correct. Unfortunately, general liability won’t cover professional error. You’ll need professional liability insurance for this coverage.
  • Worker Injuries: While general liability does cover third-party injury, it doesn’t provide coverage for injured employees. You’ll need workers compensation insurance for this.
  • Business Property Damage: Also, general liability may cover third-party property damage, but it doesn’t cover damage to your business property, including buildings, equipment, or merchandise. You’ll need commercial property insurance for this.
  • Automotive Damage: If your business vehicle is damaged in an accident, it would be commercial automotive insurance that covers it. You’ll need commercial auto insurance.
  • Crimes or Wrongdoing: Most general liability insurance policies have exceptions for any injury or damage that results from an intentional act or crime.

Why Small Businesses Should Get General Liability Insurance in Illinois

While Illinois doesn’t require businesses to carry general liability insurance, it is strongly recommended. This is the most common type of business insurance held by companies other than the required workers’ compensation and commercial automotive insurance. Partly because a lawsuit can potentially bankrupt a company. 

Sometimes, simple ‘slip and fall’ lawsuits lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in settlements. This is on top of the cost of hiring a lawyer. With proper general liability insurance protection you can afford these costs without going out of business.

What Affects How Much I’ll Pay for General Liability Insurance?

The amount your business will pay for general liability insurance is affected by a number of different factors. Let’s take a closer look at them:

  • Claims History: Your policy may be more expensive if you’ve had one or more claims on your general liability insurance in recent history.
  • Business Industry: Some industries are more hazardous than others, so the insurance company will want to charge more to account for that increased risk.
  • Business Location: If your business is located in an area with more crime, it can potentially impact your premiums.
  • Limits & Deductibles: A lower deductible and higher limit can also raise the monthly premium you pay.

How Much Does General Liability Insurance Cost in Illinois?

General liability insurance costs in Illinois tend to vary widely depending on the company and industry it operates in. Monthly premiums can be a few hundred dollars or thousands of dollars a month. According to the General Liability Shop, Illinois businesses will pay between $300 to $5,000 annually on average for general liability insurance. 

Different companies will offer you different quotes. Make sure to shop around with at least 3 companies or with a digital broker like CoverWallet so that you can compare several quotes to select the cheapest one for your company.

How to Find Cheap General Liability Insurance in Illinois?

General liability insurance is an essential insurance policy for any small business in Illinois. Depending on the industries, it might not be too expensive.

In addition, you can find cheap general liability insurance for your business in Illinois. Below are some tips that you can consider:

  • Always make sure to shop around for the cheapest price. Getting quotes from several companies or comparing several quotes with a digital broker like CoverWallet.
  • Before renewing your policy, make sure to shop around again to ensure that your current policy has the cheapest price already.
  • Sometimes insurance companies will let you take a risk assessment to earn a discount
  • Bundling several policies together will also earn a discount

Final Thoughts

  • General liability insurance provides coverage for third-party injury and third-party damage claims.
  • General liability doesn’t cover injuries to your employees or your property.
  • Many insurers offer general liability policies, including The Hartford, Thimble, and Huckleberry.
  • Illinois doesn’t require businesses to carry general liability insurance.
  • The costs of general liability insurance range between a couple hundred and thousands of dollars per year.
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