Best General Liability Insurance in Houston

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Contributor, Benzinga
June 23, 2020

There’s plenty of opportunity for businesses in nearly every industry, with nearly 7 million people living in the Houston metro area. Rewards always carry risks as well, but with the right business insurance, you can manage risk with a predictable premium that fits your business budget. 

General liability insurance (GL) offers the core coverage every Houston business needs and serves as a building block for other types of coverage your business might need.

Best General Liability Insurance in Houston Near You:

Best General Liability Insurance Options in Houston

Finding small business insurance is becoming easier because there are so many providers in the market now. However, the number of choices can be overwhelming. We assembled a list of the best general liability insurance options in Houston and focused on insurers that can customize coverage to meet the needs of Houston’s diverse (and often unique) business community. 

Here are our top picks. 

Best Overall for General Liability Insurance: The Hartford

Staying power is a key consideration for many business owners in Houston and The Hartford’s 200-year history and top financial ratings provide welcome reassurance. A GL insurance policy purchased through this nationwide insurer can help protect your Texas business against common risks like bodily injury or property damage liability as well as reputational harm to others or damage to rented property. The Hartford also offers several other coverage types, allowing you to bundle coverage and save money.

If you need a certificate of liability insurance, you can request one by phone or with just a few clicks online. The Hartford doesn’t charge for certificates and you can have proof of insurance in just hours, which is perfect for contractors or any business that needs insurance documentation.

Getting a quote is fast and easy with The Hartford. Just start online or by phone. An experienced agent will reach out to be sure you have all the coverage types your business needs and answer any questions you might have.

Best for Tailored Coverage: Simply Business

Simply Business offers a comprehensive suite of business insurance that specializes in making it easy to insure your business. 

Whether you’re looking for construction workers' insurance or insurance for your startup, Simply Business helps you find the right coverage at the right price. 

Tell Simply Business a little bit about your business and you'll get almost-instantaneous affordable quotes from top insurance providers. You can look into workers’ comp insurance and liability insurance. You can also purchase E&O, commercial auto and business owner’s policies that will cover everyone on your team, and you can get covered in accordance with Texas law without overspending. 

Building your business is hard enough. Let Simply Business make it easier. Get a quote from Simply Business today.

Best for Small Businesses: Hiscox

  • securely through Hiscox's website
    securely through Hiscox's website
    Best For:
    Small businesses with both part and full-time employees
    Read Review

We like Hiscox for several reasons, but a key advantage is that Hiscox only sells business insurance, with a focus on small businesses in particular. Experience breeds excellence, as evidenced by Hiscox’s 100-year history of service and outstanding customer service reviews. Expect fast service and knowledgeable guidance from Hiscox. 

The cost of premiums can seem like a big hurdle to clear, especially for new businesses. Hiscox’s premiums can be surprisingly affordable. In many cases, you’ll only pay about $350 per year for a GL policy. Hiscox also offers easy payment options that let you split your payments into easy-to-manage monthly premiums with no extra fees.

Get a quote to compare and see if Hiscox is the best choice for your business.

Best for Self-Employed Professionals: Chubb

  • securely through Chubb Business Insurance's website
    securely through Chubb Business Insurance's website
    Best For:
    Commercial E&O Coverage

One of the largest business insurance providers in the country, Chubb makes a solid choice for Houston small businesses that need basic coverage or for growth-focused businesses with an eye on the horizon. Chubb works with a nationwide network of independent agents experienced in writing and customizing business coverage.

Chubb’s Customarq general liability insurance can be purchased independently or as part of a business owner’s policy (BOP) that adds coverage for business property. Chubb also provides a separate personal injury and advertising aggregate limit that helps cover claims without affecting the full policy’s aggregate limit. This feature makes your policy more effective and better able to respond to larger claims. Other unique options from Chubb allow more flexibility in coverage dates, including coverage for some types of liability that may have occurred in the past.

Choosing the right coverage can be complex for self-employed business owners. Chubb’s independent agent network can get you pointed in the right direction and work with you closely to address risks to your business.

Best for Comparison Shopping: Progressive

Progressive is known for its low rates on personal and commercial auto insurance. However, the company takes a unique approach to several other insurance types, including many business insurance lines. A business insurance policy purchased through Progressive may not be a Progressive policy. Instead, the 80-year old insurer works with leading providers to write coverage, offering you business insurance rates from up to 4 carriers. Progressive calls this structure the Progressive Advantage Business Program and the structure works well for Houston businesses that need to compare rates and options easily.

Coverage types include GL insurance, business property insurance, workers’ comp and more. Of course, if you need commercial auto insurance, Progressive is a leader in the business. You may even earn a discount of up to 15% of you have a GL policy as well.

Best for Same-Day Insurance Coverage: BiBERK

  • securely through biBERK's website
    securely through biBERK's website
    Best For:
    Staying compliant with state and federal regulations
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The relative youngster in our roundup, BiBERK boasts over 4 decades of experience in writing business insurance coverage. As a member of Berkshire Hathaway’s family of insurance companies, BiBERK offers staying power backed by superb financial strength ratings.

BiBERK offers rock-solid protection and convenience. BiBERK’s online quote platform is among the easiest and most intuitive we’ve used. Buying coverage is almost as fast. You can get your Houston business covered in just minutes. If you need a hand, don’t worry. BiBERK also has experienced agents to help you choose coverage for your business.

Cost of General Liability Insurance in Houston

General liability insurance is probably more affordable than you think. Hiscox estimates premiums for some common business types at under $30 per month. Rates can vary based on a number of factors, however. Insurers consider the size of your business, what your business does and claims history, for example. Progressive, another provider in our lineup, reports a median monthly cost of $46 for newly written general liability policies.

One popular way to lower overall insurance costs is through bundling, which refers to purchasing multiple policies through the same insurer. For example, you might need both general liability insurance and commercial auto insurance. With some insurers, you can earn a sizable discount by buying both policies through the same company. A BOP is another popular choice because the policy combines general liability insurance with commercial property insurance for a lower price than buying the policies separately.

In addition to bundling, you can earn other discounts with some insurers based on claims history or how long you’ve been a customer. Some insurers also offer discounts based on safety measures in place at your business or for membership in a trade group or professional organization. Be sure to ask about additional discounts. The right discounts can help make your coverage more affordable.

What Does General Liability Insurance Cover?

Your general liability insurance won’t cover every risk your Houston business might face, but it can help cover the cost of some of the largest and most frequently seen risks. A common structure for a GL policy provides $1 million per occurrence for covered risks with a $2 million aggregate limit. This means the policy can cover up to $2 million in losses annually but limits coverage for each loss to $1 million. For many Houston businesses, this level of coverage provides a solid starting point. This base coverage is also the minimum amount of insurance required by many landlords.

A GL policy breaks risk types into separate coverage on the policy. For example, Coverage A covers common risks you’d expect, such as bodily injury liability and property damage liability. Bodily injury coverage can help if a customer or visitor is injured at your place of business. Property damage liability coverage applies if your business causes damage to the property of others. However, property damage liability and bodily injury liability do not extend to damage or injuries caused by automobiles. If your business owns or uses vehicles, be sure to discuss your coverage needs with an agent.

In addition to bodily injury liability and property damage liability, a GL policy can help protect your Houston business in less obvious ways. For example, a general liability policy can also help cover losses due to libel or slander, copyright infringement, or even wrongful eviction. 

General liability insurance also offers a smaller coverage called medical payments to others, which provides an easy way to pay for less serious injuries without a costly and time-consuming court process.

Even in cases where no liability is found, a liability lawsuit can be an expensive experience and legal costs could put some businesses in jeopardy. Fortunately, a GL policy also provides your legal defense and can cover court costs. In most cases, the cost of your legal defense is outside your policy limits. This means that your defense costs don’t reduce the amount of coverage you have if your business is found liable. Your coverage limit remains intact.

The Hartford, our top pick in our lineup, estimates that 4 in 10 businesses will have a general liability insurance or property insurance claim in the next 10 years. The right GL policy can help your business prepare for the unexpected.

Choosing the Best General Liability Insurance in Houston

General liability insurance in Houston forms the foundation of a strong risk management strategy. However, your business may need additional insurance types as well. For example, Houston businesses with employees might choose to purchase workers’ comp insurance. Businesses that provide a service or offer consulting can benefit from professional liability insurance

Your insurance policy is a contract, but nothing is set in stone. You can customize your coverage to match your needs, add coverage types or adjust limits to suit your Houston business. Getting started is easier than ever. Get some quotes to compare rates and if you have questions, just make some notes to discuss by phone or through email before you bind coverage.