As a business owner, you face the risk of enduring claims brought against by third parties. Those claims could be for bodily injury that occurs while a customer is in your store or office. Or, those claims could be for property damages that occurred while a customer was in your business or while you were conducting business at a client’s home.
Unfortunately, claims are more commonplace than most would like to admit. Sometimes, someone will file a claim stating that you used something they created in your advertising without prior consent. Any of these claims fall under the jurisdiction of general liability. That is why general liability insurance is a must-have for businesses, especially small businesses.
If you’ve been on the fence about the need for general liability insurance or are fearful that getting a quote is complicated, let’s take some of the worries out of getting the appropriate coverage. We’ll begin by looking at where to get general liability insurance quotes.
- Where to get free general liability insurance quotes
- Information you need to have to get a general liability insurance quote
- Understanding general liability insurance quotes
- Comparing general liability insurance quotes
- What factors affect the general liability insurance quotes
- Adding endorsements to general liability insurance quotes
Where to get free general liability insurance quotes
There are three primary categories of insurance companies where you can get general liability insurance quotes. There are digital brokers, traditional insurance companies, and insuretechs. With any of these, you can request a quote online.
Let’s look at the three options a little more closely.
Digital brokers: CoverWallet, Policy Sweet, commercialinsurance.net, Huckleberry
Digital brokers are another form of insurance resource. These companies aren’t standalone insurance agencies. Instead, they take your data and search for multiple quotes giving you options for coverage from various sources. Once you see your choices, you select the right option for you and purchase coverage from the broker.
Typically, these companies return your quote quickly within their website. However, occasionally, they will have difficulty matching you with a policy, or they will require more information. In those cases, they will contact you via email or telephone.
Examples of digital brokers are
- Policy Sweet
We chose to get a quote from CoverWallet for an accounting firm with two full-time employees. As you can see, they returned three quotes for three different insurers. The entire process took approximately ten minutes. Their questionnaire is a little more extensive than the others we completed for quotes.
Quote from CoverWallet for an accounting firm with 2 employees
Traditional insurance companies: the Hartford, Liberty Mutual, Chubb, Hiscox
Traditional insurance companies can be structured in one of two ways: as a stock company with outside investors or as a mutual company owned by the policyholders. Not every company offers the same range of products, nor do they cater to the same people. You have companies specializing in personal policies such as homeowners or automotive policies, and others specializing in business products like liability insurance and commercial property insurance.
Most traditional insurance companies now allow you to request a policy quote online. These companies typically, but not always, have a local office where you will have an agent who works with you specifically. You will often request a quote and get a response via email or telephone rather than receiving your quote immediately. Occasionally, you will get an immediate online quote from a traditional company.
Examples of traditional companies are:
- The Hartford
- Liberty Mutual
We decided to attempt to get a quote from one of these companies for general liability insurance to discover how easy it would be to do so. We chose to get a quote from Hiscox for an IT consulting firm with two full-time employees. We input some data and almost instantaneously received the quote. The entire process took less than ten minutes.
Quote for IT consulting firm with 2 employees
Insuretechs: Next, Thimble
The word insuretech is a combination of insurance and technology. Insuretechs are possibly the wave of the future in the insurance industry. These companies explore portions of the insurance industry that larger companies have less reason to consider. They offer customized policies and use behavior predicting technology to help them price their premiums.
Insuretechs are seeking to level the playing field for insurance customers. They use more specialized data analysis to assess risk than traditional insurance companies. Their analyses allow them to create less broad risk categories, which then gives everyone more competitive pricing rather than favoring those with the deepest pockets.
Examples of insuretechs are
We decided to seek a quote from Next for a cleaning company with two full-time employees. The results were almost instantaneous. The entire process took less than ten minutes, and the questionnaire for Next was the easiest of the day.
Quote from Next for cleaning service with 2 employees
Learn more at the best general liability insurance companies
Information you need to have to get a general liability insurance quote
To get a general liability insurance quote, you need some basic information. All companies ask for the standard name, address, and phone number. They also requested email addresses for ease of returning quote information.
After completing the personal information sections, you then complete information about your business. Those questions included what kind of company it is (sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Corporation, etc.), how many full-time and part-time employees you have, and annual financial information—payroll and revenue. They also ask you to select the kind of policy you wish to purchase.
Next, questions regarding prior business insurance history. You will be expected to reveal if you or any partners have any legal actions pending or if you have filed bankruptcy within a set time frame. The questions are delivered in a simple yes or no format.
Once you’ve input your information, the system takes over and begins attempting to find a quote for you. It’s that simple. The entire process takes ten to fifteen minutes, depending on the company.
Understanding general liability insurance quotes
When you get a general liability insurance quote, it’s essential to understand that all general liability policies have limits. Knowing those limits can help you make an informed decision regarding policy purchases. The policies also have inclusions and exclusions. Before you purchase a policy, you must know what those are and how they affect the claims process.
Comparing general liability insurance quotes
When comparing quotes from multiple sources, you want to make sure you compare the same coverages and the same limits. Some companies offer more on their basic policies than others do. The premiums are not the best way to compare policies. Instead, you should look at the policy limits, the policy exclusions, and the policy inclusions.
What factors affect the general liability insurance quotes
A few factors affect your general liability insurance quotes.
Amount of coverage
Higher amounts of coverage are obviously more expensive and you will have to pay more. Lower coverage will result in lower premiums. However, lower coverage might not be enough to cover all expenses when you are sued, so be sure to select the right coverage limit for the policy. Small businesses usually have $1M/$2M coverage for their general liability insurance coverage.
The higher the policy’s deductibles are, the lower the premiums are. However, you need to be mindful selecting the right deductible amount that your business can afford when it needs to.
Type of business
Higher risk industries pay more for insurance. If you’re a contractor, for example, there is a lot of potential for clients, customers, and passersby to trip over something and injure themselves. If you’re a locksmith, the risk is much lower. In general, construction, contracting, and trucking businesses are paying the most while accounting or IT services are paying the least for general liability insurance policy.
How many years of experience you have in this industry
The more experience you have in your current industry, the less likely you will have lawsuits since you have accumulated sufficient experience to do the right things and follow the right process to avoid lawsuits.
How many years you’ve been in business
The longer you have been in business, the less likely that you’ll have lawsuits since you have learned how to manage your business the right way and have established the right safety practices for your business to avoid accidents and lawsuits.
How big your business is
General liability insurance is most commonly known to protect against slip-and-fall accidents by your customers. The more customers equal more opportunities for one of them to injure themselves. The more storefront your business has, the more likely accidents happen.
If you’re reading this, your location is Texas, but some cities in Texas will have higher rates than more suburban or rural locations. Business locations in populated cities are smaller and more crowded with customers, which will be likely to cause accidents.
If you’ve had claims before, your rates will be higher. If you have a clean record, no claims, your rate will be lower.
In addition to these fundamental factors, previous claims history and your history with insurance companies, in general, can affect your premiums.
Adding endorsements to general liability insurance quotes
An endorsement, also known as a rider, changes your policy somehow. They can add coverage, change coverage, or exclude certain coverages. You can add an endorsement either when you purchase your policy, at policy renewal, or midway through the policy term.
General liability insurance is a form of insurance that all businesses should have. Getting a quote for general liability insurance isn’t difficult and only takes a few minutes online.