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Best General Liability Insurance

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Want to protect against overall business risk? Consider looking into general liability insurance. We know there are a lot of choices out there, so we’ve narrowed the field for you to create a list of good prospective insurers for your individual business needs.

Best General Liability Insurance:

Best General Liability Insurance Options 

Regardless of your type of business, you likely have a need for general liability insurance. This covers property damage as well as bodily injury and is also referred to as business liability insurance.

You may be wondering if you need general liability insurance. In a nutshell, it is crucial for contractors and small-business owners to protect themselves and their assets by obtaining coverage. Keep in mind that it only takes one incident to bring about a lawsuit that could irrevocably damage what’s taken you so long to build.

Also, you may find that clients or managers might want you to carry a given amount of coverage as a condition of employment.

When you’re buying general liability insurance, make sure you understand the difference between the 2 types of policies: claims-made and occurrence. The former covers a specific period of time, including claims made during that period even if the inciting event didn’t take place then. Occurrence is more strict and does not cover claim events that took place prior to the policy being in force. 

You may also choose to supplement your general liability insurance policy with other coverage. One type addresses financial-reporting mistakes and omission plus protection against damages made by company officials. Another is employment practices liability coverage, which addresses claims of wrongful termination, discrimination and sexual harassment. 

To learn more, get a quote here.

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1. Best Overall: The Hartford

We were pleased to read The Hartford’s information on professional liability insurance — it was clear, comprehensive and easy to understand. First, it’s important to remember that you need professional liability insurance if you provide services directly to customers or if your state or client requires it.

The Hartford services industries including the legal profession, consultants and other professionals, accountants and tax preparers, home inspectors, technology professionals, real estate professionals and others.

Your cost may be affected by criteria including:

  • Location
  • Policy coverage limits and terms
  • Type of business
  • Number of years in business
  • Claims history
  • Company size
  • Number of employees
  • Number of clients
  • Credit score (depending on your state)
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2. Best for Budget-Conscious Businesses: Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual offers full general liability insurance protection for businesses of all stripes, whether you are a small firm or a major multinational corporation. Not only do you get coverage for lawsuits including bodily injury, property damage, personal injury and advertising injury, but you get access to the Data Insure cyber-liability suite of products from Liberty international underwriters. This coverage helps protect you against hacking, data breaches and privacy violations.

The cost for this? Less than you might expect for great service. Get a quote here and find out for yourself. 

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3. Best for Self-Employed: Berkshire Hathaway

Berkshire Hathaway offers the THREE plan, which it touts as comprehensive coverage for your entire small business. The plan replaces the need for separate policies to completely protect your business, covering general liability, errors and omissions, employment practices, directors and officers, fiduciary liability and liquor liability. In addition, this business operations aspect of Berkshire Hathaway’s coverage includes:

  • Business interruption, which covers extra costs to get your business back up and running after a claim. This includes business income and extra expenses.
  • Cyber coverage, which protects against data breaches and cyber liability and offers support for crisis management, credit monitoring services for affected parties, breach notification, security training and data system review and recovery services.

The people aspect of Berkshire’s coverage includes:

  • Workers’ compensation, which covers lost wages and medical treatment while providing support for worker safety placards, return-to-work case management, industry-specific safety training and ergonomics.

The property aspect of Berkshire’s coverage includes:

  • Property and assets, which replaces the need for separate policies covering earthquakes, fire, wind and hail, equipment breakdown, inland marine, flood and water damage and theft. It also offers support for fire and damage prevention.
  • Business auto, which combines the aspects of policies covering collision, auto liability, comprehensive, cargo liability, and hired and non-owned. Depending on your particular state, this may also cover no-fault medical expenses, personal injury and uninsured motorists. 
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4. Best for Small Businesses: Hiscox

While we also recommend Berkshire Hathaway for small businesses with self-employed owners (see above), we believe that Hiscox’s simple, straightforward approach is helpful to those who are trying to figure out what needs coverage and how best to handle it. The website is easy to navigate and to understand, and you can find your answers in minutes regardless of the question.

Hiscox insures a wide variety of professions, including architecture and engineering, beauty, commercial maintenance, consulting, fitness, health, home services, marketing, property and therapy. Even if your own profession does not fall under one of these categories, Hiscox can still help you get the coverage you need when you need it. 

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5. Best for More than One Policy: CNA

If you need coverage on multiple fronts, CNA Financial is the way to go. The 7th largest commercial insurer in the U.S., CNA offers many options beyond the basic general liability, including employment practices and cyber liability. New to CNA’s offerings as of February 2020 is drone insurance, which covers bodily injury and property damage. 

CNA’s customer service is available around the clock, so you can file a claim as soon as you’ve encountered a risky incident. Your claims professional is an expert in your field and can guide you through the process as painlessly as possible. 

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6. Best for Product Liability: AIG

AIG has been serving clients for just over a century, so expect deep experience when you choose your policy or go to file a claim. Its product liability offerings are trifold:

  • Product liability: The core product that includes discontinued product liability and incurred but not reported coverage. This is extremely flexible and customizable to meet your business’s individual needs.
  • Contaminated product insurance: If you experience a recall or product contamination, contaminated product insurance covers all critical areas of exposure, including immediate assistance from independent consultants.
  • RecallResponse: As the AIG website notes, “A recall of finished or component goods can be complicated and costly.” To defray this expense, RecallResponse offers specific coverage for a variety of recall costs and 3rd-party liabilities.
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7. Best for Workers’ Compensation: Suracy (formerly AmVenture)

Suracy’s bent is something that we approve — a flexible approach rather than a one-size-fits-all. This is particularly true with workers’ comp, which is crucial to protect your employees in times of risky events. Most on-the-job accidents are covered as well as select off-site incidents, and a 24/7 online claims filing system means you can file whenever and however you need to do it. 

What is General Liability Insurance?

Regardless of your type of business, you likely have a need for general liability insurance. This covers property damage as well as bodily injury and is also referred to as business liability insurance.

Specifically, general liability insurance may be applied to costs including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Legal fees
  • Your expenses should you be held liable for damages to your employer’s property
  • Advertising injury
  • Damage to your premises

General liability insurance does not cover:

  • Car accidents
  • Quality of workmanship
  • Punitive damages (in most states)
  • Employee injuries
  • Professional errors
  • Intentional damage

Cost of General Liability Insurance

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, general liability insurance averages less than $800 annually in most cases, with less than 15% of small businesses paying in excess of $1,000 annually. 

Discounts are available with multiple policies and other individual factors. Don’t be afraid to ask what discounts and bundling are available for your business.

How Can I Get the Best General Liability Insurance Available?

It’s easy — start by getting a quote here. We’ve pulled together the best providers in the industry for your consideration. Before you do that, though, make sure that you have the right documentation in hand, including all pertinent business information. We’ll help you take care of the rest. 

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