Generally speaking, New Jersey is a great place to own a small business. There are numerous financing programs, tax breaks, and incentive programs to help small business owners. On the other hand, anti-discrimination laws and workers compensation laws are some of the strictest in the nation. Where can small business owners get the general liability insurance they need?
- Top 6 Providers of General Liability Insurance in New Jersey
- What is General Liability Insurance? What Does It Cover?
- What doesn’t General Liability Insurance Cover?
- Why Small Businesses Should Get General Liability Insurance in New Jersey
- How Much does General Liability Insurance Cost in New Jersey?
- What Affects How Much You’ll Pay for General Liability Insurance in New Jersey?
- How to find cheap general liability insurance in New Jersey?
- General liability insurance for contractors in New Jersey
- General liability insurance for LLCs in New Jersey
- Small business insurance in New Jersey
Top 7 Providers of General Liability Insurance in New Jersey
- CoverWallet: Best for Comparing Online Quotes
- Hiscox: Well-known insurance companies for small businesses with flexible payment options
- Vouch: Best general liability insurance for Startups in New Jersey
- Next Insurance: Best for bundle discounts
- The Hartford: Established and reputable carrier with stellar reviews
- Biberk: Save you 20% over other insurance companies
- Nationwide: Best customer satisfaction rating in the reputable J.D Power study
CoverWallet: Best for Comparing Online Quotes
CoverWallet is a digital business insurance broker. They work with several leading business insurance companies such as Hiscox, Liberty Mutual, Chubb, etc. and are able to provide quotes of these companies once you fill in the lead form on their website. Within a few minutes, you will be able to compare several quotes in one place conveniently.
If you buy a policy through them, you will be able to use their digital dashboard to manage all of your business insurance policies in one place conveniently from getting your insurance certificate, renewing, to filing a claim.
Hiscox: Well-known insurance companies for small businesses with flexible payment options
Hiscox offers tailored insurance options, so you won’t have to pay for insurance you don’t need. They have flexible payment options, so you can pay monthly with no added fees. It’s easy to get a quote from Hiscox, or you can call and speak to an agent. For this quote, we said we were a home-based photography business with no employees and $97,000 in revenue.
Vouch: Best general liability insurance for Startups in New Jersey
If your business is a startup, Vouch might be perfect for you. Coverage can begin the next day, and if you have questions, you can zoom, email, call or talk to a licensed insurance advisor via chatbot. They seemed to be aimed at small businesses with a good amount of revenue and raised capital. That may be why we couldn’t get a quote. Here’s a screen shot of the type of packages they offer:
Next Insurance: Best for bundle discounts
If you need more than one policy, you can save 10% with Next. That could be helpful in New Jersey, which requires workers compensation if you have one employee, or if you use a car for your business. Online quotes are easy to get, and coverage can start right away. You can get insurance entirely online, or if you have questions, you can call and speak to an agent. They have thousands of professions you can choose from in the drop down menu, making the whole process easy and painless.
The Hartford: Established and reputable carrier with stellar reviews
The Hartford boasts a 4.8 out of five stars, based on over 17,000 reviews for business insurance. They insure over a million small businesses, and as soon as you choose your business type in the drop down menu, they can recommend all the insurance you’ll need. You can pick and choose which policies you’d like. You can get a discount if you bundle policies. You can get an online quote as well.
Biberk: Save you 20% over other insurance companies
As part of Berkshire Hathaway, you can’t get better financial strength than Biberk. To get a quote, you’ll answer some questions and then someone will email you with an estimate. Biberk has sold over 50,000 business insurance policies and has good customer reviews. They claim you can save 20% over other insurance companies. They also have other small business policies in case you need them.
Nationwide: Best customer satisfaction rating in the reputable J.D Power study
Nationwide occupies the top spot in J.D. Power’s small commercial insurance study for both 2018 and 2019 (2020 data isn’t out yet). This means they score highly on things like products offered, claims processing, price and customer service. They insure over half a million small businesses. The only thing is that you’ll have to talk to an agent to get a policy, but after than you can file claims and pay online.
What is General Liability Insurance? What Does It Cover?
General liability insurance covers bodily injuries to third parties and property damage. Bodily injury occurs when someone comes into your shop, trips over something and breaks an ankle. General liability insurance would cover those costs for you.
Property damage is physical damage caused by you or your employees to someone else’s property. This is why is you rent space, the landlord will often require you to have general liability insurance.
General liability insurance also covers:
- Personal injury, which includes things like copyright infringement, slander, and damage to your reputation
- Advertising injury (losses caused by advertising)
- Legal defense
- Medical payments
Keep in mind you don’t actually have to have been in the wrong for someone to sue you.
What doesn’t General Liability Insurance Cover?
Although general liability insurance covers quite a bit, it doesn’t cover everything. Some things it does not cover include:
- Employee injuries
- Damages to your own property
- Cyber incidents
- Discrimination lawsuits
- Illegal or malicious acts
Employee injuries should be covered by workers compensation insurance, which you’ll need in New Jersey if you have even one employee. Damages to your own property is covered by commercial property insurance, and you can also get cyber security insurance. Anything you do that’s illegal or malicious is not covered by any type of insurance.
Why Small Businesses Should Get General Liability Insurance in New Jersey
You probably already know that New Jersey has a reputation for lawsuits. New Jersey is one of the most densely populated states, which means your small business will have plenty of competition, not only in New Jersey, but from close by New York City. Profit margins can be very thin, so make sure a lawsuit doesn’t bankrupt your business.
On the positive side, local communities can be very supportive of small businesses in New Jersey, and there are a number of resources available for small businesses, such as:
- New Jersey SCORE
- New Jersey Business Action Center
- New Jersey Small Business Development Centers
How Much does General Liability Insurance Cost in New Jersey?
It largely depends on what sort of business you’re in. A typical small business in New Jersey pays anywhere from $300 to $5,000 a year for liability insurance.
Prices vary by providers, so make sure you shop around with a few companies or work with a digital broker like CoverWallet to compare quotes from several companies to select the best and cheapest one for you.
What Affects How Much You’ll Pay for General Liability Insurance in New Jersey?
These things affect your rates:
- Nature of your business
- Level of risk
- Claims history
- Years in business
- Home-based or physical location
When we say “level of risk” that refers to the likelihood of someone injuring themselves or damaging property. This is why brick-and-mortar stores carry more risk than someone who prepares taxes in their basement and does all their work online.
How to find cheap general liability insurance in New Jersey?
General liability insurance is one of the most necessary coverage for any small businesses. It might increase the cost of running your small business, but it will protect it too. You can find cheap general liability insurance by following the tips below:
- 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 New Jersey.
General liability insurance for contractors in New Jersey
General contractors who work on residential or noncommercial buildings must register with the state of New Jersey in order to work as a contractor. If you’re a commercial contractor, you don’t need to register with the state. However, many cities and towns require it.
To be eligible to register with the state, you need to show proof of general liability insurance. If you are based in another state, you still need general liability insurance, and you’ll need permission to work in New Jersey. If you try to work without a license, you’ll face penalties of up to $10,000 for your first offense and $20,000 for every offense thereafter.
It is not worth skipping general liability insurance coverage to protect your small business.
General liability insurance for LLCs in New Jersey
According to the 2021 State Business Tax Climate, New Jersey ranks dead last overall. It also has the least competitive business climate. All is not lost, however. New Jersey occupies a great location midway between New York, Boston, and Washington, D.C.
You do get certain tax advantages as an LLC, however, namely that if you own a business with one or more people, setting your business up as an LLC in New Jersey means it gets taxed as a partnership, as opposed to taxing every owner individually.
If your LLC has survived the competitive market in New Jersey, don’t let it bankrupt because of a lawsuit without insurance protection. General liability insurance is probably the most important coverage an LLC should have in New Jersey.
Small business insurance in New Jersey
Business Insider ranks New York the 39th out of the fifty states in a list of the best states to start a business. Being located next to New York benefits it with more opportunities, but also increases its cost of living. Tax is probably the one biggest disadvantage of opening a new business in New Jersey. It has one of the highest corporate income, personal income, and property taxes in the country.
If your small business survive the competitive market, take an extra step to protect it. In addition to general liability insurance, below are some of the popular small business insurance coverages in New Jersey:
- Workers compensation insurance in New Jersey
- Commercial auto insurance in New Jersey
- Professional liability insurance in New Jersey
Workers compensation insurance in New Jersey
Workers compensation insurance is required in New Jersey if you have even just one employee, including part time and seasonal workers. The following workers are exempted: unpaid volunteers and interns, workers covered by the federal programs, and independent contractors or self-employed. However, you can still buy workers comp insurance for yourself. Learn more at workers comp insurance for the self-employed.
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. In 2020, New Jersey governor Murphy signed into laws that essential workers who contracted COVID-19 are also eligible for workers comp insurance benefits. Learn more at the best workers comp insurance companies in New Jersey.
On average, small businesses in New York pay $1.42 per $100 payroll.
Commercial auto insurance in New Jersey
Commercial auto insurance is required in New Jersey. If you use a vehicle for work, you need to have commercial auto insurance. In New Jersey, all commercial auto policies are required to have the same minimum coverage amounts. These include:
- $15,000 per person
- $30,000 per accident for bodily injury
- $5,000 for property damage
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 New Jersey.
Small businesses pay an average of $1,704 in annual premiums for commercial auto insurance coverage.
Professional liability insurance in New Jersey
Professional liability insurance isn’t, in general, required in New Jersey, except malpractice insurance for doctors. New Jersey actually has the 3rd most expensive malpractice insurance rate in the country, only behind New York and Pennsylvania. Learn more about medical malpractice insurance in New Jersey: cost, coverage, and best providers.
Even it is not legally required for other professionals, 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
If you can only afford one type of insurance, make it a general liability policy.