Florida prides itself on being small business friendly, so they don’t require general liability insurance, although they do require worker’s compensation insurance and commercial auto insurance. You’ll also need general liability insurance if you’re a contractor. Also, Florida has a reputation of being very litigious, so if you own a small business in the sunshine state, you would do well to protect yourself.
- Top 7 Companies for General Liability Insurance in Florida
- What is General Liability Insurance?
- What does General Liability Insurance Cover?
- What doesn’t General Liability Insurance Cover?
- How Much General Liability Insurance do I Need?
- How Much does General Liability Insurance Cost in Florida?
- How to find cheap general liability insurance in Florida
- General liability insurance for contractors in Florida
- General liability insurance for LLCs in Florida
- Small Business Insurance in Florida
Top 7 Companies for General Liability Insurance in Florida
We researched more than 15 companies offering general liability insurance in Florida and here are the top 7 companies that we recommend:
- CoverWallet: Best for comparing online quotes
- Simply Business: Best for comparing quotes and affordable monthly payment plan
- Hiscox: Best for policy customization
- The Hartford: Best for industry-specific packages
- Next Insurance: Best for self-employed small business owners
- Thimble Insurance: Best for part-time or seasonal business owners
- InsurePro: Best for on-demand or pay-per-day general liability insurance coverage
CoverWallet: Best for Comparing Online Quotes
CoverWallet is a digital business insurance broker. They work with several leading business insurance companies and are able to provide quotes from these companies. The benefit of working with a digital broker like CoverWallet is that you can compare several quotes of their partner companies in one place within minutes after providing your information once. This is probably the best way to compare online quotes without having to fill out several quote forms or talk to several agents.
Another benefit of working with CoverWallet is to utilize their great digital dashboard where you can manage all of your business insurance policies in one place after buying a policy through them. Otherwise, you have to pay $99 a year to have access to their digital dashboard. The dashboard offers great features such as downloading a digital certificate of insurance at any time, renewing the policy, or filing claims.
Here is a sample of the quote we receive from CoverWallet featuring different options to choose from:
Simply Business: Best for comparing quotes and affordable monthly payment
Simply Business is another top digital broker specializing in providing small business insurance. They work with several top insurance companies and similar to CoverWallet, they are able to help you with getting several quotes and compare them in one place conveniently. You should be aware that Simply Business and CoverWallet may work with different insurance companies, so getting quotes from both of them will benefit you since you will be able to compare more quotes from these two top brokers.
In addition, Simply Business offers all of their small business customers an option to pay for coverage monthly, instead of annually without increasing the total annual premiums. This is very helpful to businesses who are tight on their cashflow.
Hiscox: Best for Policy Customization
Hiscox is the number one online small business insurer. They insure over 300,000 small businesses, and they can tailor policies to your specific business. You can get a quote online within just a few minutes. You can also choose flexible payment options. If you don’t have hundreds of employees, Hiscox is a great option.
The Hartford: Best for Industry-Specific Packages
The Hartford is one of the biggest providers of business insurance. They offer a wide range of small business insurance policies. Any small business can find the insurance policy that it might need at the Hartford. They also offer a very nice digital experience that allows you to get quotes and buy a policy completely online. This is a very nice feature for a large and established insurer like the Hartford. Their unique differentiating feature is industry-specific policy packages which makes it easier for businesses to buy the right policies for their industry.
Next Insurance: Best for Self-Employed Small Business Owners
Next specializes in small business insurance, particularly for the self-employed. To get a quote other than this one, they wanted us to enter our social security number or Federal Employee Identification number and they told us they could only offer a business policy with owner coverage included. It varies by state, because we had no problem getting a quote when we said we lived in California.
Thimble Insurance: Best for Part-Time or Seasonal Business Owners
If you have a seasonal business, or a part-time business, consider Thimble. They insure Florida, and you can get general liability insurance for as long as you want it—as little as an hour. You can add errors and omissions insurance, professional liability insurance, or drone insurance (Thimble actually started as a drone insurance company) and coverage can begin the same day For a photographer working in Florida, we got this quote for a million dollars in coverage:
InsurePro: Best for on-demand, pay-per-day general liability insurance coverage
InsurePro is a new and innovative small business insurance broker. They partner with several leading insurance companies to develop an innovative product, allowing you to get coverage for short period, even just a few days. They believe that annual small business insurance premiums are expensive. Small businesses such as contractors, cleaning services, yoga teachers, etc. can buy coverage for a few days when they need it.
That approach can save you a lot of money in general liability insurance, especially if you only need insurance coverage for a certain project.
InsurePro also offers a great digital experience. You can get quotes in 5 minutes on their website and if you like it, you can buy online and download the certificate of insurance immediately. Going forward, you can also manage your policy completely online.
What is General Liability Insurance?
General liability insurance is sometimes known as commercial liability insurance. It protects you and your business if someone sues you for causing injuries. It also protects you against property damage. This is probably the most important insurance policy for any small business. Many small business owners say if you only get one type of insurance, it should be general liability insurance.
What does General Liability Insurance Cover?
General liability insurance protects you from many common problems, such as:
- Property damage
- Bodily injury
- Advertising errors
- Copyright infringements
If you are sued, your general liability insurance should cover any settlement costs, court costs and medical payments.
What doesn’t General Liability Insurance Cover?
General liability insurance doesn’t cover everything, though. It doesn’t cover:
- Injuries to your employees
- Damage to you own property
- Professional mistakes
- Illegal acts
- Malicious acts
- Discrimination lawsuits
- Liquor liability
Some of these things just require different insurance, such as liquor liability and injuries to your employees (workers compensation). For things like malicious acts and illegal acts, you’re on your own.
General liability insurance requirements in Florida
If you’re a business owner in Florida, it’s important to understand the general liability insurance requirements in the state. Here’s what you need to know:
- General liability insurance is not required by law in Florida, but it is recommended: While Florida does not have any laws mandating that businesses carry general liability insurance, it is still a good idea to have this coverage in place. Without it, your business could be at risk for costly lawsuits and other liabilities.
- Some industries may be required to carry general liability insurance: Certain industries in Florida, such as construction and handyman, may be required to carry general liability insurance as a condition of their licensing or certification.
- Landlords may require tenants to have general liability insurance: If you are a tenant leasing a commercial space in Florida, your landlord may require you to have general liability insurance as part of your lease agreement.
- Some customers or clients may require businesses to have general liability insurance in Florida before they are willing to do business with them. This is especially true for businesses that provide services or products that could potentially cause harm or damage to customers or their property. For example, if you own a landscaping company and a potential client wants to hire you for a project, they may require you to have general liability insurance coverage to protect their property in case of accidents or damages that may occur during the project.
It’s important to note that even if a customer or client does not explicitly require general liability insurance coverage, having this type of coverage in place can help build trust and confidence in your business. It shows that you are taking steps to protect yourself and your customers from potential risks and liabilities.
How Much General Liability Insurance do I Need?
It depends on your business—general contractors probably need more general liability insurance than many small businesses. Most small businesses should consider a policy with $1 million per occurrence and a $2 million dollar aggregate. The $2 million is over the life of the policy, which is usually one year (you renew every year).
Furthermore, Florida requires contractors to have general liability insurance with at least $300,000 in bodily injury and $50,000 in property damage.
How Much does General Liability Insurance Cost in Florida?
The average cost of general liability insurance in Florida is $38 per month, or $456 per year. This is for a $1M/$3M policy.
Most small businesses in Florida pay between $250 and $5,000 annually for general liability insurance. However, for businesses with 5 employees or fewer and earning less than $100,000 a year in revenue, they pay between $200 to $500 for the policy. If you have more employees or make a lot more money, you’ll pay more.
Costs usually vary by carrier. So it is always a good idea to shop around with a few companies or with a digital broker like Simply Business, CoverWallet, Smart Financial, or InsurePro so that you can compare several quotes to find the cheapest one for your business.
What factors affect the general liability insurance cost in Florida?
How much you pay for general liability insurance is affected by a lot of factors, but the biggest factor is the industry you’re in and how much risk is involved. Any business that has customers coming in and out, such as brick-and-mortar stores, will pay more for business insurance. Contractors pay the most because construction is inherently risky.
Other things that affect your rates include:
- Claim history
- Years you’ve been in business
- Annual revenue
General liability insurance provides businesses with protection against “slip and fall” claims. Some industries have a higher risk of this type of claims than others. For example, a retailer or cafe chain with several store fronts are more likely to have claims against “slip and fall” incidents than an IT business.
Higher risk industries will pay more for general liability insurance coverage. Construction and contracting businesses have the highest premiums for general liability insurance policies, following by cleaning and landscaping. On the other hand, photographer and IT businesses have the lowest premiums.
Size of the business:
Larger businesses typically require more insurance protection, which costs more. The more the storefronts your business has, the bigger the storefronts are, and the more customers you have, the more likely you’ll have claims. As a result, your general liability insurance policy is more expensive. As your business grow, the premiums for your general liability insurance will be likely to increase.
Different insurance companies calculate general liability policy premiums in different ways. And they may have different preferences (appetites) for covering certain types of businesses. This will impact the quotes insurers provide. It’s the reason you owe it to yourself, and your business, to get quotes from several insurance providers.
This is a simple insurance concept most people understand. If you’ve made a lot of claims on your general liability insurance, it’s a sign to an insurer that you’re more likely to file more claims in the future. If you’ve filed claims in the past, you can expect to pay higher premiums. The lesson: Not all incidents are preventable, but it’s still important to operate your business in as careful a way as possible to avoid unnecessary claims that could increase your insurance costs.
The credit score of the business owner who is the policyholder can also impact the cost of general liability insurance. Credit scores are considered to be a measure of how reliable a policyholder will be in paying their insurance premiums in full and on time. They are also reflective of how responsible people are. If you have a low credit score, you will likely pay more for general liability insurance because you’re viewed as a bigger risk. The good news: A high credit score can save you money on coverage.
Location. Location. Location
Some cities and states are known for their high rates of lawsuits. If your business is located in one of them, you’ll pay more for general liability protection.
These aren’t all the factors that will influence your general liability premium, but they’re the ones that will have the biggest impact.
Amount of coverage
The more coverage you need for your general liability insurance policy, the more expensive the premiums will be. Typically, a general liability insurance policy has $1M coverage per occurrence and $3M coverage in aggregate. If you need higher coverage, you’ll pay higher premiums.
Decreasing deductibles will increase the premiums of the policy as well.
How to find cheap general liability insurance in Florida?
General liability insurance is necessary to protect your business. It is possible to find cheap general liability insurance. Here are some tips to help you find the coverage you need at a fair price:
- Shop around for the best value. Get quotes from a few companies or compare the multiple quotes generated by a service like CoverWallet.
- Don’t stop shopping around. Make sure you get new quotes before you renew your policy.
- Safety-first policy: Make sure you implement safety standards and best practices in your business location and provide safety training to your employee regularly. Make use of safety programs offered by the insurance companies whenever available.
- Take advantage of discounts. If they’re not offered to you when getting a quote, ask about them, whether you’re buying online or through an agent.
Taking these steps will help ensure you’re not paying too much for your general liability coverage in Florida.
General liability insurance for contractors in Florida
Florida contractors need to show proof of general liability insurance before they can become licensed as contractors. The state minimums are $300,000 for bodily injury and $50,000 for property damage. If you are based in another state, you can obtain your insurance in that state and work in Florida, but you must adhere to the state minimums.
If you fail to obtain general liability insurance (or obtain it and then cancel it after you have a license) you can incur hefty fines, suspension of your license, and of course, the risk of lawsuits.
General liability insurance for LLCs in Florida
Florida is a pretty litigious state, so you don’t want to go without general liability insurance. While filing your business as an LLC protects your personal assets, it does not protect your business from lawsuits, frivolous or otherwise. It is often recommended that LLCs in Florida have general liability insurance, especially if you conduct your business at a physical location.
It is relatively reasonable. LLCs in Florida are reported to pay an average of $90 a month for their general liability insurance policy.
Small Business Insurance in Florida
Business Insider ranks Florida the 10th out of the fifty states in a list of the best states to start a business. Florida offers competitive tax rate, with no personal income tax. 10% of businesses in Florida are actually new businesses.
Florida’s labor force contains over 9 million workers and is the fourth largest in the country. Roughly two million small businesses make their home in Florida, employing 98% of the employees in the state.
Take extra steps to protect your small business. Florida is a litigious state and often rewards large settlements to those choosing to sue. You will regret not having small business insurance when incidents happen. Here are the best business insurance companies in Florida for your consideration.
Below are some of the popular small business insurance coverages in Florida:
- Workers compensation insurance in Florida
- Commercial auto insurance in Florida
- Professional liability insurance in Florida
Workers compensation insurance in Florida:
Workers compensation insurance is required in Florida if you have 4 or more employees, even all 4 employees are part-time. Construction companies in Florida are required to have workers comp insurance. Sole proprietors are not required to have workers comp insurance in Florida. Workers comp insurance pays for medical costs, lost wages, disability benefits, death benefits, re-training costs, etc. if and when an employee gets injured or becomes ill at work. Learn more at the best workers comp insurance companies in Florida.
On average, small businesses in Florida pay $1.43 per $100 payroll. In the past years, it has been reduced reflecting a better and safer workplace environment in Florida.
Commercial auto insurance in Florida:
Commercial auto insurance is required in Florida. If you use a vehicle for work, you need to have commercial auto insurance. Your personal auto insurance policy doesn’t cover your vehicle uses for business. Your personal auto insurance company will refuse the claims if they learn that you use the vehicle for business purposes. Learn more the differences between commercial auto vs. personal auto insurance and why small businesses need commercial auto insurance and the best commercial auto insurance companies in Florida.
Based on study, small businesses pay an average of $3,000 a year for commercial auto insurance coverage.
If you use a truck for your business, you need to have commercial truck insurance coverage, which may be a bit more expensive than personal auto insurance. Learn more about the best commercial truck insurance companies in Florida.
Professional liability insurance in Florida:
Professional liability insurance isn’t, in general, required in Florida, except malpractice insurance for doctors. However, your employers and/or your clients might require you to have it before they can employ you. Professional liability insurance covers lawsuits costs and fees and settlements related to mistakes or negligence you or your employees make while doing your work. If you and your business provide services or advice to your clients, it is likely that you need professional liability insurance coverage. It is often called malpractice insurance in healthcare and legal fields and errors and omissions (or E&O) in real estate, insurance, finance, and other consulting industries. Below are the most popular professionals that need this coverage:
- Lawyers – Top 5 Providers of Legal Malpractice Insurance & How Much It Costs
- Accountants & CPAs – Professional Liability Insurance (E&O) for Accountants and CPAs
- Tax preparers – The Best E&O Insurance for Tax Preparers
- Doctors – The 5 Best Providers of Medical Malpractice Insurance
- Consultants – Professional Liability Insurance (E&O) for Consultants
- Real estate agents – Top 5 Providers of Real Estate E&O Insurance & Costs
- Insurance agents – E&O Insurance for Insurance Agents: Cost and Top 5 Providers
- Engineers – Top 5 Providers of Professional Liability Insurance for Architects and Engineers
- Marketing and advertising services
- Psychologists – Top 4 Providers of Malpractice Insurance for Psychologists and Counselors
- Nurses – The Best 4 Providers of Nursing Malpractice Insurance
- Nurse practitioners: The Best Malpractice Insurance for Nurse Practitioners
- Dentists – Top 5 Providers of Dental Malpractice Insurance
- Dental hygienists – The Best Malpractice Insurance for Dental Hygienists
- Physician’s assistants – The Best Malpractice Insurance for Physician’s Assistants
- Physical Therapists – The 6 Best Malpractice Insurance Providers for Physical Therapists
- Chiropractors – 4 Best Choices for Cheap Chiropractic Malpractice Insurance
- Pharmacists – The Best Malpractice Insurance for Pharmacists and Costs
- Social workers – The Best Malpractice Insurance for Social Workers
Although Florida doesn’t require small businesses to carry general liability insurance, it’s a good idea. Otherwise, you would have to pay for settlements, court costs and medical bills out of pocket if someone sues you, and that can bankrupt many small businesses. Also, although living in Florida has many perks, the residents tend to be litigious. General liability insurance is fairly inexpensive and may save your business and your income.