Small businesses make up 98% of North Carolina’s business climate, and they employ 46% of the state’s private workforce. While North Carolina only requires workers compensation and commercial auto insurance, small businesses who work with the public should definitely consider getting general liability insurance. For one thing, North Carolina courts have rewarded large settlements to injured parties who sue small businesses. That can bankrupt a small business, so make sure you protect yourself. We recommend the following 5 best general liability insurance companies in North Carolina for your consideration.
- The 5 best general liability insurance companies in North Carolina
- What does general liability insurance cover in North Carolina?
- What doesn’t general liability insurance cover?
- Why small businesses in North Carolina should get general liability insurance
- How much does general liability insurance cost in North Carolina?
- What affects how much I’ll pay for general liability insurance in North Carolina?
- How to find the cheap general liability insurance in North Carolina?
The 5 best general liability insurance companies in North Carolina
After researching more than 20 companies offering general liability insurance in North Carolina, here are our recommendation of the top 5 companies for your consideration.
- CoverWallet: Best for comparing online quotes
- Hiscox: Best for an easy online quote
- The Hartford: Best if you want to be insured by a reputable company
- Next Insurance: Best for the entire online experience
- Thimble: Best for seasonable workers
CoverWallet: Best for comparing online quotes
CoverWallet isn’t really an insurance company; they are a digital broker specializing in business insurance. They collect quotes for you from the companies they partner with and present you with a few options so you can compare. The only thing is, they won’t present you with quotes from any company they are not partnered with, so be aware of that.
This quote is for a painting contractor, exterior and interior work with three full-time employees.
Hiscox: Best for an easy online quote
It’s easy to get a quote from Hiscox: simply enter your name, what you do, what state you do it in and then answer a few basic questions and a quote appears. Most of the reviews say the same: they praise how quick and easy it was to get a quote and to buy insurance.
The only difference between this quote and the one above is that we said we only did interior painting for this quote and for the CoverWallet quote we said we did interior and exterior.
The Hartford: Best if you want to be insured by a reputable company
The Hartford is a reputable brand name in the business insurance industry. They have been in the industry for a long time and accumulated a lot of experience. So you can be sure that they will be there when you file a claim.
Hypothetically, it should be easy to get a quote from The Hartford. However, no matter what details we enter, no matter what business we say we’re in, it always comes back saying they can’t offer us a quote right now.
They offer insurance in all 50 states, so no matter where you are, you can get insurance through The Hartford. You can also get your home, auto and renters insurance through them if you like.
Although The Hartford posts raves reviews about itself on its website, other websites offer more moderate praise. They get a 3.1 out of 5 star rating on WalletHub (based on 381 reviews) on business insurance specifically, and the BBB rates them with a one out of five stars, based on 52 reviews. However, those reviews are a mix of home, auto and business. There are also 348 complaints, but again, these span all forms of insurance.
Next Insurance: Best for the entire online experience
Next insurance generates quotes quickly, and once you have your quote, you can buy your insurance and manage your policies online as well. You can also save 10% when you sign up for more than one policy. They’ll recommend other business insurance they think you might need.
There are only 18 complaints about Next on the BBB, which is very few for a company this size. They also let you divide up your insurance into monthly payments with no extra charge (some companies charge for this).
Thimble: Best for seasonable workers
The great thing about Thimble is that if you are a seasonal worker, or work only part of the year, you can get business coverage for just a week, a month, or even an hour. You can get unlimited certificates of insurance and add additional insureds at no charge.
They claim they’ll save you up to 36% on business insurance. Getting a quote is uber-quick: just enter what state you work in and what you do, and Thimble gets you an estimate. No name, no email address, no phone number. It’s great.
This estimate is also for interior and exterior painting, but we had to specify that our outdoor painting would be three stories or less.
What does general liability insurance cover in North Carolina?
General liability insurance covers:
- Third party injury
- Third party property damage
- Product liability
- Advertising injury
Whatever business you’re in, if you deal with customers at a physical location, it’s a good idea to have general liability insurance. Customers can trip over something and sue you for medical expenses. If you visit clients at their homes and you accidentally damage something, general liability insurance covers that, too. It also covers you if you are sued for slander or libel.
For example, you would think that if you do something like accounting, there is very little risk. But one of your customers doesn’t see a small wrinkle the rug, trips and falls and breaks an ankle. General liability insurance will cover her medical bills, and your legal costs when she sues you.
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 covered by workers compensation insurance
- Damage to your own property: you’ll need commercial property insurance for this.
- Data breaches and cyber crime: you’ll need cyber security insurance
- Illegal acts
- Damage that you do on purpose
The first three are covered by different types of policies. Anything illegal and destructive is not covered at all.
Why small businesses in North Carolina should get general liability insurance
Getting sued is expensive. Lawyers charge $100 an hour and up. Then, too, you’ll have to deal with the emotional toll if someone sues you, not to mention that one lawsuit can bankrupt a small business.
Also, for some industries like general contracting or construction, clients prefer you to have insurance.
How much does general liability insurance cost in North Carolina?
It depends on what sort of business you’re in, what you do, how much risk is involved, etc. You can probably expect to pay between $300 and $5,000 a year.
As you can see above, the cost of general liability insurance varies by companies. Be sure to shop around with a few companies or a digital broker like CoverWallet to compare several quotes to get the cheapest one for you.
What affects how much I’ll pay for general liability insurance in North Carolina?
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 to find the cheap general liability insurance in North Carolina?
Below are a few tips to find the cheap general liability insurance in North Carolina:
- Always shop around with a few companies or a digital broker like CoverWallet to compare several quotes to get the cheapest one.
- Bundle several policies to earn a good discount
- Sometimes insurance companies will let you take a risk assessment to earn a discount.
General liability insurance is a necessity if you own a small business in the tar heel state. Carefully consider how much coverage you need and then get quotes from at least three companies before choosing a policy. Consider customer reviews as well. You want a company with low prices that you can rely on.