Small businesses employ more than 1.1 million workers in Maryland, which accounts for more than 50% of all workers in the state. If you are one of the 594,000+ small businesses in Maryland, you should consider buying general liability insurance, even it is not legally required. In Maryland, only workers compensation insurance and commercial auto insurance are required. General liability insurance is an essential insurance policy that protects your business from lawsuits if your clients are injured at your business’s premises or your employees cause property damages. We recommend the 3 best general liability insurance companies in Maryland for your consideration.
- The 3 best general liability insurance companies in Maryland
- Is general liability insurance required in Maryland?
- What does general liability insurance cover?
- What doesn’t general liability insurance cover?
- Why small businesses in Maryland should get general liability insurance
- What affects how much I’ll pay for general liability insurance in Maryland?
- How much does general liability insurance cost in Maryland?
- How to find cheap general liability insurance in Maryland?
The 3 best general liability insurance companies in Maryland
We research more than 20 companies offering general liability insurance in Maryland and here are our recommendation of the 3 best providers.
- CoverWallet: Best for comparing online quotes
- Nationwide: Best for medium-sized businesses in Maryland
- Next: Best for a great digital experience
CoverWallet: Best for comparing online quotes
If you want to compare several quotes to select the best and the cheapest one for you, CoverWallet is a great option. CoverWallet is a digital broker. They work with several business insurance companies and are able to provide quotes from these companies once you provide your personal information.
Their quote process is very simple and fast. Within a few minutes, you will be able to see and compare several quotes.
After buying a policy through CoverWallet, you are able to use their digital dashboard to manage all of your business insurance policies in one place. The dashboard also offers several great features such as downloading the certificate of insurance, renew a policy, or filing a claim.
Nationwide: Best for medium-sized businesses in Maryland
Nationwide is one of the most respected insurance company with a long history of operating in the US. They offer both personal insurance lines and business insurance lines.
If you are looking for an insurance company that you can absolutely rely on in a long term, Nationwide might be the right option. They enjoy excellent financial strength with an A+ rating from AM Best. In the famous JD Power Customer Satisfaction survey, Nationwide also ranks in the top 10 business insurance companies.
Nationwide offers an extensive suite of insurance products to businesses of any size. If you are a mid-sized company and may need several business insurance policies, Nationwide might be a good choice. The portfolio of business insurance products Nationwide offers include general liability, to professional liability, workers compensation, product liability insurance, commercial auto insurance, commercial property insurance, even cyber security insurance, and many more.
Lastly, if you prefer working with a dedicated agent who will explain and consult you on your need for business insurance, Nationwide is a great option. They don’t offer quotes online.
Next Insurance: Best for a great digital experience
Next is one of the popular insurtech startups. They aim to modernize the business insurance industry by offering customers a fully digital experience from educating customers about business insurance, offering quotes online, allowing customers to buy policies online, and managing the policies completely online as well. In doing so, they are able to cut costs and offer customers price advantages over other legacy insurers.
Even they are an insuretech startup, their policies are backed by one of the best reinsurance companies in the world, Munich R.E which has an A+ rating from AM Best. So you should rest assured that they (or Munich R.E) will be able to pay claims when they need to.
They also earn an A+ rating from BBB. Most customers praise them on their low prices and great customer services.
If you are running a small business or a sole proprietor of your business in Maryland, you should consider Next Insurance. The whole experience is fast and easy.
However, this doesn’t guarantee that the quotes from Next Insurance are the cheapest one, you should always shop with few companies or with a digital broker like CoverWallet to compare several quotes to find the cheapest one for your company.
Is general liability insurance required in Maryland?
No, general liability insurance isn’t required in Maryland. Only workers compensation insurance and commercial auto insurance are required in Maryland.
However, general liability insurance is an essential business insurance policy that any business should consider having. It protects businesses from lawsuits when their customers are injured in their premises or property damages are caused at their customers’ locations.
What does general liability insurance cover?
If you can only get one business insurance policy that is not legally required, you may consider general liability insurance. It covers:
- Third party injury
- Third party property damage
- Advertising injury
Whatever business you’re in, if you deal with customers at a physical location, whether it is your business’s premise or your client’s, it’s a good idea to have general liability insurance. Customers may slip and fall at your business’s premise. They may sue you for medical expenses. General liability insurance will pay for that and your legal costs as well.
Or if you visit your clients’ houses to conduct some business and accidentally break a valuable decorative vase. If they sue you, general liability insurance will cover that too. It also covers you if you are sued for slander or libel
Depending on the company and the policy, some general liability insurance policies also cover product liability. If you manufacture and sell physical products to the public, having a general liability insurance policy that also covers product liability is great. That saves you money on another policy.
What doesn’t general liability insurance cover?
Although general liability insurance is an essential policy, it doesn’t cover everything that can go wrong. It doesn’t cover:
- Injuries to your employees (that’s workers compensation)
- Damage to your own property (you’ll need commercial property insurance)
- Data breaches and cyber crime (you’ll need cyber security insurance)
- Damages caused to your customers when they use or consume your product (you’ll need product liability insurance)
- Your clients sue you because they are not happy with your service (you’ll need professional liability insurance for that)
- Bodily and property damages caused by auto accidents while you are driving for work (you’ll need commercial auto insurance for that)
- Illegal acts
- Damage that you do on purpose
The first six are covered by different types of policies. Anything illegal and destructive is not covered at all.
Why small businesses in Maryland should get general liability insurance
According to businessnewsdaily, slip-and-fall accidents and premises liability are the two in the the top 3 most common lawsuits against small businesses (after breach of contract). And according to a survey conducted by smallbizdaily, 36%-53% small businesses had to deal with a lawsuit every year. So, getting sued due to your customers slipping and falling in your business location is a lot more common than you would think. These statistics are national, but Maryland businesses should expect to have similar frequencies of slip-and-fall accidents.
Getting sued is expensive. From a study by National Center of State Courts, the median combined costs of lawsuits for both parties in a premise liability lawsuit such as slip and falls is $54,000. This can easily bankrupt a small business if they have to pay everything out of the pocket.
Then, too, you’ll have to deal with the emotional toll if someone sues you.
Lastly, for businesses in some industries like general contracting or construction, clients prefer you having proper insurance coverage. More often than not, clients would request you to show insurance proof before signing the contracts for the project.
What affects how much I’ll pay for general liability insurance in Maryland?
Many factors affect how much you’ll pay for insurance, such as:
- Where you work
- What industry you’re in
- How long you’ve been in business
- Number of employees (the more employees you have, the more likely it is that one of them will damage something)
- Claims history
- The policy’s coverage. The coverage is usually at $1M. The higher the coverage, the higher the premium of the policy.
How much does general liability insurance cost in Maryland?
The majority of small business owners in Maryland can expect to pay between $200 and $5,000 a year for a general liability insurance policy. On average, a small business in Maryland pays $1,400 for a general liability insurance policy. This depends on many variables that we mentioned above such as the industries, the size, the number of employees, revenue, how long you have been in business, claim history, etc.
The cost of general liability insurance for a small business in Maryland varies by providers. You should expect to have different quotes by different insurance companies. Make sure to shop around with at least 3 companies or with a digital broker like CoverWallet to compare several quotes to find the cheapest one for you.
How to find cheap general liability insurance in Maryland?
General liability insurance is essential for small businesses. Even it is not required in Maryland, you should consider having it to protect your business. Depending on your industry, it might not be very expensive.
In addition, you can find cheap general liability insurance for your business in Maryland. 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
- Just like auto insurance, maintaining a good and continuous record of general liability insurance policy for your business can also help keep the price low.
General liability insurance is a necessity if you own a small business in the state of Maryland. It may not be too expensive. It will give you peace of mind and allows you to focus on growing your business. After determining how much coverage you need, you should get quotes from at least 3 companies or a digital broker to compare and choose the cheapest one for you.
You should also consider the company’s financial strength and customer satisfaction rating in choosing the final company to buy the policy from as well. You want a company with low prices that you can rely on.