More than 700,000 small businesses employ about 1.5 million employees in Massachusetts, which accounts for 45.5% workforce in the state. The overall growth of small business in 2019 was 2.5%, which was down from 3.3% in 2018. 89% of employees working in the construction industry in Massachusetts work for small businesses. Only workers compensation insurance and commercial auto insurance are required in the state of Massachusetts. However, general liability insurance is an essential insurance policy that all small businesses should have, especially if you conduct the business with your clients in a location. We explain the details and recommend the top 3 general liability insurance companies in Massachusetts for your consideration.
- The 3 best general liability insurance companies in Massachusetts
- Is general liability insurance required in Massachusetts?
- What does general liability insurance cover?
- What doesn’t general liability insurance cover?
- Why small businesses in Massachusetts should get general liability insurance
- What affects how much I’ll pay for general liability insurance in Massachusetts?
- How much does general liability insurance cost in Massachusetts?
- How to find cheap general liability insurance in Massachusetts?
The 3 best general liability insurance companies in Massachusetts
We research more than 20 companies offering general liability insurance in Massachusetts and here are our recommendation of the 3 best providers.
- CoverWallet: Best for comparing online quotes
- Travelers: Best if you need more than just general liability insurance and are ok to work with an agent
- biBERK: Best if you want a completely digital experience
CoverWallet: Best for comparing online quotes
CoverWallet is a digital insurance broker. They work with several leading insurance companies. They can provide quotes from their partner companies. An advantage of working with CoverWallet is that you can get and compare several quotes from their partner companies after providing your personal information. That will save you time from getting quotes from several companies. So if your main goal is to compare several quotes before making your final decision, CoverWallet is a good option.
Another benefit of working with CoverWallet is that after you buy a policy through them, you will have access to the digital dashboard to manage all of your business insurance policies in one place. The dashboard also offer several useful features such as downloading the certificate of insurance, filing a claim, and renewing a policy.
Travelers: Best if you need more than just general liability insurance and are ok to work with an agent
Travelers is a very well-known company in the insurance industry. They have been around for more than 160 years and one of the biggest providers of business insurance. Travelers offer a huge assortment of several business insurance products. If you need more than just general liability insurance for your business and prefer getting all business insurance policies from the same provider, Travelers can be a good option for you.
With more than 160 years of experience, Travelers definitely knows how to handle claims and has the excellent financial strength to pay the claims when they need to. They has a superior rating from AM Best (A++).
Travelers also has good consumer ratings, earning a A+ on BBB. However, their scores on J.D.Power’s 2020 commercial insurance survey are a bit lower than average for overall satisfaction. They rank 6th out of the top 10 small business insurance companies in the study, which is a big jump from the 11th position they ranked last year (2019).
Lastly, the biggest disadvantage of working with Travelers is that you have to work with their agents. Their digital capabilities are quite limited. They can’t even offer quotes online.
If you are a larger company and might need other types of business insurance policies in addition to general liability insurance in Massachusetts, you might consider Travelers.
BiBERK: Best if you want a completely digital experience
biBERK is a Berkshire Hathaway company, similar to Geico. So they definitely offer an excellent financial strength that they benefit from the parental company. You should feel assured that they will be able to pay the claims when they need to.
On the other hand, similar to other insuretech startups, they offer the digital advantages. You can get quotes, buy a policy, and print out the certificate of insurance within minutes. After buying a general liability insurance policy from biBERK, you can manage the policy completely digitally.
In addition to general liability insurance, they also offer other types of business insurance such as workers compensation insurance, professional liability insurance, cyber security insurance, product liability insurance, commercial property insurance, etc.
Is general liability insurance required in Massachusetts?
No, general liability insurance isn’t required in Massachusetts. Only workers compensation insurance and commercial auto insurance are required in Massachusetts.
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 or fall at your office or your store and are hospitalized. 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 damage something valuable. If they decide to 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, some general liability insurance policy also cover product liability. This is an essential insurance policy, especially if you manufacture and sell some physical products to the public.
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 Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts?
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
How much does general liability insurance cost in Massachusetts?
The majority of small business owners in Massachusetts can expect to pay between $250 and $6,000 a year 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 Massachusetts 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 a digital broker like CoverWallet to compare several quotes to find the cheapest one for you.
How to find cheap general liability insurance in Massachusetts?
General liability insurance is essential for small businesses. Even it is required in Massachusetts, 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 Massachusetts. 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 Massachusetts. 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 as well. You want a company with low prices that you can rely on.