General liability insurance Coverage serves as a crucial safeguard for businesses, providing financial protection in case they inadvertently cause harm to individuals or their property or face allegations of such harm.
Businesses, regardless of their size, from sole proprietors to large corporations, typically require commercial general liability insurance. Major commercial insurance providers offer this coverage either as a standalone policy or as part of a comprehensive business owner’s policy.
Let’s explore some of the top options available for small business owners seeking general liability insurance, along with insights into how it operates and additional coverage details.
Top General Liability Insurance Coverage
Most business insurance providers offer general liability insurance. The best providers prioritize convenience, allowing you to obtain quotes and purchase policies online, ensuring a swift and hassle-free process. It’s advisable to obtain quotes from multiple providers to secure the optimal coverage at the most competitive rates. Here are some reputable options:
Best for Business owner’s policy.
Chubb’s Business Owner’s Policy (BOP) is easily accessible online for businesses with less than $1 million in revenue. In addition to offering business interruption insurance, Chubb’s policy includes extra expense coverage, providing support to your business during the recovery process after an accident or disaster. Remarkably, Chubb has received fewer complaints about general liability insurance compared to its market share, as revealed by NerdWallet’s analysis.
Best for Online purchase of general liability insurance.
Next Insurance offers a swift and convenient online platform for obtaining general liability insurance. Businesses in need of rapid coverage can obtain quotes and purchase policies within minutes. The company boasts general liability insurance policies starting as low as $11 per month, which also include product liability coverage.
Best for Liability coverage for specific events or short-term periods.
Thimble specializes in offering general liability insurance on a monthly basis or for individual events. This flexibility makes it an ideal choice for businesses seeking coverage primarily to meet contractual requirements. Thimble states that its policies start at $17 per month.
Best for Industry-specific business insurance.
Nationwide has earned top marks for customer satisfaction in J.D. Power’s 2023 Small Commercial Insurance Study. In addition to general liability insurance, Nationwide provides specialized coverages such as surety and fidelity bonds, catering to the needs of construction companies, cleaning businesses, and other specialty firms. While you can obtain a quote online, purchasing a policy requires working with an agent.
Best for Collaborating with a business insurance agent.
The Hartford’s approach involves building a strong understanding of your company’s unique needs. Their business insurance agents can thoroughly assess your requirements and seek out the most suitable coverage options. You can initiate the process by obtaining a quote for general liability insurance and other types of coverage online, followed by connecting with a local business insurance agent.
Best for Businesses in need of professional liability insurance.
Hiscox, like all business insurance companies, offers general liability insurance. However, if your business provides advice to clients for a fee, professional liability insurance becomes essential. Hiscox’s policies extend coverage worldwide, accommodating work performed in any location. You can conveniently request quotes for and purchase both types of liability insurance online.
Choosing the Right thing for Your Business
Selecting the ideal general liability insurance provider hinges on various factors. By answering a few key questions, you can identify an insurance partner capable of assisting you in securing tailored quotes that align with your specific needs.
How General Liability Insurance Functions
Commercial general liability insurance policies come into play in several scenarios:
Third-party bodily injuries: This coverage applies to bodily injuries sustained by third parties on your premises or due to interactions with your business or employees. (Note: This excludes injuries sustained by employees themselves.)
Third-party property damage: General liability insurance addresses property damage inflicted by your business or its employees on someone else’s property.
Personal and advertising injury: If your business makes public statements that lead to allegations of copyright infringement, libel, or slander, general liability coverage can cover your legal expenses and any resulting damages.
Furthermore, general liability insurance may cover medical payments for injuries occurring on your property, irrespective of fault or whether a legal claim is initiated. Typically, these policies also include some level of product liability insurance coverage, safeguarding against claims of harm caused by products manufactured, delivered, or sold by your business.
The Importance of General Liability Insurance Coverage
NerdWallet strongly advises all businesses to carry general liability insurance as it provides a fundamental level of protection that can help your business stay afloat in the event of a lawsuit. While it’s usually not legally mandated, your landlord, client, or contractor may require it before collaborating with you. This precaution ensures that in cases where you are held responsible for an accident or injury, your own insurance coverage is in place, averting potential financial burdens on your landlord or client’s insurance policy and preventing future premium increases.
Remember that for general liability insurance to be effective, you must have an active policy in place at the time an incident occurs. Some policies even offer retroactive coverage, even if you’ve discontinued premium payments.