No matter the cause — arts, pets, healthcare, children, the homeless, hunger, and more — the leaders of nonprofits are singularly focused on the work their organizations do. They often don’t pay attention to things like securing adequate insurance coverage, which could leave them vulnerable.
Nonprofits are not immune to the kinds of risks other businesses face, including injuries, property damage, and lawsuits. A single accident, injury, or lawsuit is all it often takes to bankrupt a nonprofit and put it out of operation. General liability insurance is a core coverage for nonprofits. It provides protection against a wide range of negligent and unintentional acts that result in bodily injury and property damage. It also covers advertising errors that cause harm.
In this article, we’ll cover everything people running nonprofits need to know to get affordable general liability coverage to protect their organizations.
- Top 5 providers of general liability insurance for nonprofits
- What does nonprofit general liability insurance cover?
- Why nonprofits should get general liability insurance
- How much does nonprofit general liability insurance cost?
- How to find cheap nonprofit general liability insurance
Top 5 providers of general liability insurance for nonprofits
Here are our recommendations of the 5 best for different reasons.
- CoverWallet: Best for nonprofits that want to compare quotes quickly
- Simply Business: Best for compare quotes and affordable monthly payment
- Nonprofits Insurance Alliance: Best for coverage exclusively for nonprofits
- biBerk: Best for low-cost general liability coverage
- InsurePro: Best for pay-per-day nonprofit general liability coverage
CoverWallet: Best for nonprofits that want to compare quotes quickly
CoverWallet is a cutting-edge insurance provider. The firm has developed its own state-of-the-art platform, based on its own algorithms, to ensure it is able to connect nonprofits and other businesses with all the insurance they need, including general liability coverage, at the most reasonable price possible. The platform makes it quick and easy to get quotes from several providers at once, making it possible to compare prices and coverage from highly reputable insurers all on a single screen.
The firm’s experts have used their extensive experience to make sure you only have to input the information about your organization needed to generate quick and accurate quotes. The entire process should take less than ten minutes.
You can feel confident knowing that CoverWallet is a part of Aon, an established company that provides advice on things like risk, health, and retirement.
Once you get your quote, CoverWallet makes it easy to purchase a general liability policy or complete insurance package online or through an agent. When you get your general liability policy through CoverWallet, it’s simple to manage your coverage online, including downloading a certificate of insurance, filing a claim, renewing your insurance, and more. This is great for busy managers of not-for-profits.
Here is a sample nonprofit general liability quote from CoverWallet.
Simply Business: Best for comparing quotes and affordable monthly payment plans
Similar to CoverWallet, Simply Business is another top digital broker specializing in offering small business insurance. They work with several leading insurance companies and can help you get and compare several quotes in one place. We should also note that the insurance companies that Simply Business works with may be different from those that CoverWallet works with, so get quotes online from both brokers will give you more quotes to compare and more options to choose from.
In addition, Simply Business offers a great monthly payment plan to all of their small business customers, instead of annual payment without increasing the annual premiums. If your nonprofit is tight on cashflow, this is a great option so that you can still maintain the coverage without going out of cash.
Nonprofits Insurance Alliance: Best for coverage exclusively for nonprofits
Nonprofits Insurance Alliance is a group of 501(c)(3) nonprofit insurers. The organization’s sole purpose is to serve other 501(c)(3) organizations by providing a stable source of reasonably priced liability and property insurance tailored to the specialized needs of nonprofits. They also help organizations to develop and implement loss control and risk management programs.
The organization has been around since the 1980s. They were founded because nonprofits at the time were unable to secure affordable insurance coverage. More than 21,000 not-for-profits in 32 states and the District of Columbia have turned to Nonprofits Insurance Alliance for their liability and property insurance needs. The nonprofits they cover include animal rescues, children’s programs, group homes, senior groups, art programs, food banks, community groups, foster family agencies, and more.
Nonprofits Insurance Alliance will request that you fill out an online form to request a quote and will send your quote back to you.
InsurePro: Best for pay-per-day general liability coverage
InsurePro is a new and innovative broker specializing in small business insurance. They offer an innovative insurance solution to small businesses, including nonprofits, who may need insurance coverage for shorter periods than the annual conventional standard, even just a few days. This essentially helps nonprofit pay for general liability insurance only when they really need it and save them a lot of money.
InsurePro also offers a great digital experience. You can get a quote online in 5 mins. If you are happy with the quote, you can buy the policy online and download the certificate of insurance immediately. Going forward, you can also manage the policy completely online.
biBerk: Best for low-cost general liability coverage
biBerk is known for being a low-cost insurance provider. Low-cost insurance doesn’t equate to cheap insurance. Despite saving money on your general liability and other insurance, you can rest assured knowing you’re still getting quality protection for your organization. biBERK is able to lower insurance costs by almost 20 percent because it insures nonprofits directly, without the added costs of having to work through a middleman or insurance broker.
biBerk is a part of Berkshire Hathaway, a company headed by well-known investor Warren Buffett. It’s a firm that has millions of satisfied customers that’s been insuring people and organizations for more than 75 years.
Some nonprofits will find it challenging to get a quote from biBerk because it doesn’t insure many of the types of work nonprofits do.
What does nonprofit general liability insurance cover?
General liability insurance helps pay for property and other types of damage that occur as a part of doing business. It also helps cover injuries that happen on your not-for-profit’s property.
Typically, general liability insurance can help cover claims related to:
- Third party property damage caused by an employee while conducting business
- Medical costs if someone gets hurt when visiting your nonprofit
- Reputational harm resulting from malicious slander, libel, wrongful eviction, violating a person’s privacy, and more
- Advertising issues, such as copyright infringement and mistakes on your website.
What does general liability insurance not cover?
General liability insurance provides very specific types of coverage. It doesn’t cover all aspects of your not-for-profit or the risks it could face.
Here are some examples of things that are definitely not covered:
- Worker injuries: Your general liability insurance covers injuries to visitors to your nonprofit’s property. However, it doesn’t cover employees injured while on the job. You’ll need workers’ compensation insurance for that. Learn more at the best workers comp insurance companies and the cheapest workers comp insurance companies.
- Bad professional advice: If someone provides a client with incorrect or incomplete advice, general liability won’t cover it. You’ll need to buy professional liability insurance to be protected. Learn more at the best professional liability insurance companies.
- Vehicle damage: If a car or other vehicle is damaged in an accident while being used for work related purposes, your personal auto policy wouldn’t cover it. You’ll have to buy commercial auto insurance for that protection. Learn more at the best commercial auto insurance companies and how to find cheap commercial auto insurance.
- Crime or theft: If an employee commits a crime against your nonprofit or steals from it, general liability will not make things whole. You will have to purchase employee dishonesty insurance. This can also be added to a general liability insurance policy as an endorsement.
- Data theft or loss: If your not-for-profit’s data is lost, compromised or stolen, your general liability coverage won’t pay for related costs. Cyber security insurance covers those losses. Learn more at the best cyber insurance companies and the best data breach insurance companies.
- Business property damage: General liability covers third party property damage, but it doesn’t cover damage to your nonprofit’s property, including buildings, equipment, and inventory. You’ll need commercial property coverage for this. Learn more at the best commercial property insurance companies.
- If your nonprofit is relatively small, with less than $10M in operating budget and 100 employees, you may want to combine general liability and commercial property coverages into one simple policy, which is Business Owners Policy (BOP). That would help you save money on insurance coverages and make it simpler for you to manage your insurance policies. Lear more at the best BOP insurance companies.
Why nonprofits should get general liability insurance
States don’t require not-for-profits to carry general liability insurance. However, it’s a good idea for them to have it.
Consider these examples of what could happen to an unprepared and unprotected organization.
- A nonprofit provides opportunities for ex prisoners to do cleaning work. A worker mops a floor at a client’s office and forgets to put out cones and signs warning that the floor is slippery. An office worker slips and falls on her way to the restroom. She breaks a hip, which requires significant, expensive medical and rehabilitative care. The office worker sues the nonprofit for the cost of her care.
- A nonprofit organization runs a transitional housing program for people recovering from alcohol and drug abuse. People who are a part of the program are required to pay a small amount of rent and take part in recovery related activities. One client wasn’t doing either, so after consulting with legal counsel, the nonprofit had the client removed. The client files a lawsuit claiming millions of dollars in personal harm and emotional distress.
- A not-for-profit animal shelter retrains dogs and makes them available to new owners. One day, a person visiting the shelter to find a new pet trips over a dog food bowl and injures herself. She breaks a wrist and is unable to work for six weeks. She sues the shelter for medical costs and lost wages.
- A nonprofit holds a street fair that includes a jerry rigged zip line for children. A young girl falls off, suffering a leg fracture that has to be surgically repaired. The child’s parents sue the organization for negligence.
In all these cases, if the nonprofit had general liability insurance, it would help pay the medical and legal expenses related to these incidents. If they did not, it’s likely the costs would be enough to put most of them out of operation.
That’s why general liability is one of the most popular coverages for nonprofits.
How much does nonprofit general liability insurance cost?
Nonprofit organizations pay a median of $55 a month for a general liability insurance policy.
The price of general liability coverage can vary more than almost any other type of insurance. It’s dependent on many factors, including type of not-for-profit, size of the operation, condition of property, and the specific risks faced by the organization. The cost of this coverage can range from several hundred to many thousands of dollars a year.
The best way to ensure you’re paying a fair price for your general liability coverage is to get quotes from multiple providers. That way, you can compare coverages and costs to find the best combination for you. If you have any doubts, speak with an experienced insurance agent.
How to find cheap nonprofit general liability insurance
Here are some tips to help you find the coverage you need at a fair price:
- Shop around for the best value. Get quotes from a few companies or compare the multiple quotes generated by a service like CoverWallet.
- Don’t stop shopping around. Make sure you get new quotes before you renew your policy.
- Take advantage of discounts. If they’re not offered to you when getting a quote, ask about them, whether you’re buying online or through an agent.
Taking these steps will help ensure you’re not paying too much for your general liability coverage.