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Top 5 Providers of General Liability Insurance in New York

General liability insurance is not required in New York, unless you’re a contractor. However, there are good reasons to consider getting general liability insurance to protect yourself and your small business. 

Top 5 Providers of General Liability Insurance in New York

We researched and compared 12 companies offering general liability insurance in New York and here are the top 5 providers that we recommend:

  • CoverWallet: Best for Comparing Quotes of Leading Carriers
  • The Hartford: Established and Reputable Carrier for Small Business Insurance
  • Hiscox: Best for Providing Online Quotes
  • Vouch: Best for Startups
  • Nationwide: Best Customer Satisfaction Rating

CoverWallet: Best for Comparing Quotes of Leading Carriers

CoverWallet is a digital broker specializing in business insurance and located in New York city. They have a wide selection of business insurance coverage. They work with several leading carriers and are able to provide quotes from these companies for you. You can apply online and within a few minutes get and compare several quotes in the same place.

If you decide to buy a general liability insurance policy through them, you can get the certificate of insurance digitally and immediately. You can also use their great digital dashboard to manage all of your business insurance policies in one place. You can file claims online, renew online, and manage your policies completely digitally.

If you are looking for a general liability insurance policy in New York and want to make sure to get the best and cheapest quote by comparing several quotes in one place, CoverWallet may be a good option.

The Hartford: Established and Reputable Carrier for Small Business Insurance

The Hartford has provided business insurance for the last fifty years, and has many options for small business owners, including general liability insurance. You can get a discount if you bundle policies. You can report claims online, and they have plenty of positive online reviews. 

Hiscox: Best for Providing Online Quotes

If you have five employees or fewer, Hiscox may be perfect for you. They were specifically designed for very small businesses, and they operate in all fifty states, including New York. They have a full range of business insurance products, so if you need more than just general liability, they can accommodate you. You can pay all at once or in installments, and you can get a discount of 5% for home-based businesses and a 5% discount if you bundle policies. 

Our quote is for a home-based photography business with a sole proprietor and annual gross of $159,000. 

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Vouch: Best for Startups

Vouch is a business insurance company specifically for start-ups. Coverage can begin as soon as the next day, and if you’re really not sure how much insurance you need, or what kind, you can call, email, zoom, or speak to the chatbot on the website. There is online quoting and ten levels of coverage, so you can upgrade as your business grows. 

Nationwide: Best Customer Satisfaction Rating

Nationwide earns the highest score from J.D. Power for small commercial insurance. Out of 1,000 points, they earned 868, which takes into account price, products offered, customer service and claims. They have fourteen industry specialties to choose from, with a wide range of business insurance products. To get a quote, you fill out an online form and someone will get back to you, or you can call. 

What is General Liability Insurance?

General liability insurance protects you against claims for third party bodily injury and property damage. If you rent property, your landlord will probably require you to have some general liability insurance, but anyone who deals with the public should also have it. 

>>MORE: Cheapest General Liability Insurance for Contractors – $41/month

What does General Liability Insurance Cover?

General liability insurance covers:

  • Property damage
  • Bodily injury
  • Advertising errors and copyright infringement
  • Slander
  • Medical payments

If a customer comes into your brick-and-mortar store and slips and falls, general liability insurance will cover you. This is why you’re usually required to have it if rent a space for your business. Some customers won’t even work with a business that doesn’t have general liability insurance. 

What doesn’t General Liability Insurance Cover?

General liability insurance is good, basic insurance, but it doesn’t cover everything. It won’t cover:

  • Employee injuries
  • Auto coverage
  • Punitive damages
  • Illegal acts
  • Anything you do intentionally

Some of these things are covered by different types of insurance. For malicious acts or any crimes you commit, well, there’s no insurance policy for that. 

Why Do You Need General Liability Insurance in New York?

There are more than 450,000 small businesses in New York state, which make up over $950 million dollars in revenue. A small business is defined as having fewer than 100 employees and can include anything from coffee shops to IT services. 

If you’re a small business owner, you’ll have noticed that the risk of a lawsuit looms over everything you do. In one study, 43% of small business owners were either threatened with a lawsuit or were actively engaged in one. Other studies estimate that almost 90% of all businesses will be involved in some kind of litigation. In case you’re curious, these are the most common reasons small businesses get sued:

  • Issues surrounding intellectual property (“It was my idea!”)
  • Discrimination
  • Harassment
  • Wage disputes
  • Property accidents and injuries

That last one is why general liability insurance was created. 

Unlike workers compensation insurance and commercial auto insurance (both required by the state of New York) general liability is not required. You could buy a stand-alone policy or combine general liability insurance with property insurance. This is called a Business owner’s policy. 

What Affects How Much You’ll Pay for General Liability Insurance in New York?

If you own a small business in New York, be happy you’re not a contractor. If you are a contractor, you already know that;

  1. General liability insurance in new York for contractors can be ten times what contractors anywhere else pay
  2. Many insurance companies don’t even offer general liability insurance for contractors

Let’s assume you are not a contractor. There are still many factors that influence how much you’ll pay for GL insurance. The most common are:

  • Type of business
  • Location
  • Number of employees
  • Level of risk
  • Claims history
  • Credit history

The level of risk your company is exposed to is by far the biggest factor for how much you’ll pay. Anyone who deals with the public has a bigger risk than someone who works online in their basement. All of things affect your rates. 

How Much General Liability Insurance do I Need in New York?

This also varies, but the most common policy is $1 million per occurrence and $2 million for the length of the contract, which usually renews every year. 

How Much does General Liability Insurance Cost in New York?

The cost of general liability insurance in New York varies depending on several factors mentioned above. Even for the same policy coverage and the same company, different carriers will have different prices. On average, a general liability insurance policy costs in the range of $250 to $1,500 a year in New York.

As you can see, it is a wide range. In order to get the best price, you need to make sure to shop around with a few companies or a digital broker like CoverWallet to compare several quotes before selecting the right one for you.

>>MORE: How Much Does General Liability Insurance Cost?

Last Thoughts

Many people who work in small business insurance say if you can only afford one type of insurance, you should get a general liability policy. It makes sense, because you don’t even need to have done anything wrong for someone to sue you these days. Protect yourself and your assets with a general liability policy.

>>MORE: Top 6 Providers of Workers Compensation Insurance in New York

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