How Much Does General Liability Insurance Cost?

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

Business owners are often advised, if you only get one type of insurance, it should be general liability insurance. Let’s see how much general liability insurance costs small businesses.  

What is General Liability Insurance? 

In case you’re in the dark, general liability insurance guards your business against claims for bodily injury, damage to property, or personal injury, as well as advertising injuries and potential legal costs. If a customer is injured on your property, or you accidentally destroy a client’s merchandise, you’ll want general liability insurance. 

>>MORE: General Liability Insurance: Everything You Need to Know

Who Needs General Liability Insurance?

Did you know that roughly 40% of small businesses will file a claim in any 10-year period? And that 54% of small businesses have general liability coverage? General liability insurance covers some of the most common and expensive claims, so you should consider getting this type of insurance. 

Anyone whose business is open to the public will benefit from general liability insurance. In addition, you should consider general liability insurance if you:

  • Advertise or create marketing for your business
  • Use social media
  • Use third-party locations
  • Clients require it

One high-cost lawsuit could easily put you out of business. Since general liability insurance is not very expensive, smart business owners will want to get themselves a policy.

How Much does General Liability Insurance Cost?

Of course, one of the most important things you’ll want to consider when choosing your coverage is cost. The average cost of general liability insurance for small businesses is around $500 a year.

  • Almost half of businesses paying between $300 and $600 a year
  • 17% pay less than $300 a year
  • 35% pay more.

That means the median payment for general liability insurance is about $40 a month, which won’t break the bank. Keep in mind that the cost will be affected by factors such as the size of your business, and if your business is in a high-risk industry. 

>>MORE: Cheap General Liability Insurance for Contractors

What Affects the Rates of General Liability Insurance? 

Several factors can affect how much your insurance costs. The type of industry is important. Businesses with a higher chance of injury will generally cost more to insure than safer businesses. The size of your business, location, and the amount of coverage needed are all additional factors which may affect your rate. Fortunately, there are easy ways to find a quote for general liability insurance online. 

>>MORE: Cheapest General Liability Insurance for Small Businesses

Compare General Liability Insurance Quotes

Fortunately, there are many resources available online for you to compare and contrast quotes from different insurance companies. The digital brokers listed below are some of the best and easiest ways to compare rates online:



Great for small business owners. Features an easy-to-use online system to compare rates. Filling out the information may take a few minutes, but once you’re done you’ll be able to compare quotes from different companies.



Coverhound not only lets you compare rates, but sells insurance as well. It also works with several prominent insurance companies to make sure you have the most up-to-date rates and policies. Entering your info is a fairly quick process, and it will match you with the best rate for your company.



Insureon allows you to search for quotes based on business type or industry. Once you enter your information, you’ll have the option to receive a call from one of their professionals to get a quote.

Capture68 lets you create custom searches for different types of insurance, helping you find exactly what you need. Just answer a few quick questions, and a representative will contact you with more information. They will also list general liability insurance providers in your area.  

>>MORE: Best General Liability Insurance for Small Businesses

General liability insurance by profession

The type of industry that your business is in plays an very important factor in the cost of general liability insurance for your business. We are examining a couple of popular industries as follows:

How Much does General Liability Insurance Cost for Contractors?

Not only do contractors need general liability insurance because they tend to work in risky environments, but also many clients will require that their contractor has general liability insurance. That way, if a customer trips over a hammer you left lying around, you’ll be covered. 

As a general contractor, you can be sued for all sorts of reasons, as you are usually working on a third-party site. The potential for someone to injure themselves on a construction site is high. A client could get injured, or just someone out for a walk and not paying attention. 

Also, some states require general liability insurance for contractors. Check with your state’s guidelines to see if they require it for contractors or construction workers. 

Luckily, general liability insurance is inexpensive, even for contractors. For example, Huckleberry gave us this quote for a general contractor with $1M in revenue:

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General liability insurance costs $160-$186 for contractors. Combining with commercial property insurance will cost contractors $351-$407 a month.

You need to shop around with a few insurance companies to compare quotes to find the best one for you. Shoping with a digital broker like CoverWallet or Simply Business is a good way to compare several quotes in one place, conveniently.

How Much does General Liability Insurance Cost for Handymen?

You need a license to work as a handyman in most states. Handymen typically work with lower budgets than contractors, but things can still go spectacularly wrong. If you’re hired to lay down carpet and you accidentally ruin the customer’s hardwood floor in the process, general liability insurance will cover you. Since handymen always work at the customer’s home, the potential for property damage is high.

Handymen can expect to pay between $360 and $1000 per year for general liability insurance, with handymen doing roofing or power washing paying a little extra. 

How Much does General Liability Insurance Cost for Non-profits?

Since general liability insurance covers risks like bodily injury and property damage, and advertising injuries, it’s important for even non-profits to get a policy. Non-profits usually work with the public, meaning the potential for a lawsuit. In addition, many non-profits host events such as charity events and fundraisers, which attract many people. The chances that one such person trips over something and breaks an ankle is pretty high. Luckily, the average non-profit pays just $45 a month for general liability insurance. 

How Much does General Liability Insurance Cost for LLCs?

One of the questions you will need to answer when applying for general liability insurance online is, how is your business structured? In other words, is it a sole proprietorship, a corporation, an LLC, or a partnership?

Many business owners start their businesses as a sole proprietor and then later switch to an LLC. It’s easy to start a business as a sole proprietor, but it views you and your business as one and the same. In other words, if someone sues you, they can sue you for everything owned by your business and your personal property, such as your house. An LLC limits your liability to the business since it legally separates your personal property from your business property. 

Changing from a sole proprietor to an LLC is usually just a matter of filling out paperwork and then filing your business taxes separately from your personal taxes. Insurance wise, there isn’t much of a difference in rates. It’s when you jump to a corporation that you’ll need more insurance. 

You can expect to pay between $300 and $1,000 a year, depending on your profession. 

How Much does General Liability Insurance Cost for Restaurants?

Restaurants can have wet floors that customers can slip on, making general liability insurance a necessity. This is especially true if you serve alcohol. According to Insureon, restaurant owners typically pay about $175 a month for a business owners policy. A business owners policy bundles general liability insurance with property insurance, with a discount for having the two policies together. 

How Much does General Liability Insurance Cost for a Wedding?

General liability insurance for a wedding is necessary, even though it’s only for one day. There are many people at your wedding, and you don’t want to risk someone injuring themselves or damaging the venue’s property. According to The Knot, general liability insurance for a wedding costs about $185. 

How Much General Liability Insurance does My Business Need?

Okay, you’re convinced you need general liability insurance for your small business. Now, the next question is, how much do you need?

Generally, the more risk your business is exposed to, the more liability insurance you should have. You can also add special situations to your policy, called endorsements. Endorsements can include:

  • Product liability 
  • Hired and non-auto insurance
  • Liquor liability insurance

That said, many small businesses go with a $1M/$2M policy. This means the policy will cover you up to $1M in a single claim, and up to $2M a year. 

How Much does a $1M General Liability Insurance Policy Cost?

It depends on your location and what type of work you do. Coverhound gave us this quote for an electrician, with a million in revenue and located in California.


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Again, be sure to compare quotes of a few companies find the best one for you. Working with a digital broker like CoverWallet or or is a good way to compare quotes from several companies in one place, conveniently. These brokers partner with several carriers and are able to provide you several quotes at once.

Final Thoughts

The right insurance company is different for every business. The best way to make an informed decision when it comes to buying general liability insurance is to shop around. Compare quotes from different companies, and see which ones offer discounts to small businesses. The above are just a few of the many online options for comparing rates and quotes, and knowledgeable agents are just a phone call away. General liability insurance is necessary for any business, but if you do your research, you should be able to find great coverage that doesn’t break the bank.

Thang Truong

Thang Truong covers small business insurance and small business success at BravoPolicy. He is a licensed P&C insurance agent. Previously, he held product leadership positions at, Capital One, NerdWallet, and Mulberry Technology. He holds a MBA degree from UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

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