Do consultants need general liability insurance?

General liability covers bodily injury, property damage, and personal or advertising injury that happen as a result of your business operations. Think of it as insurance for the many things that can go wrong when you run a business.

It becomes more important the more interaction you have with the public (like meeting with clients), but it also protects you from claims of libel, slander, and copyright infringement.

Note: Professional liability insurance is likely the most important type of liability coverage for consultants to have. Learn more about the differences between general and professional liability insurance.

General liability insurance is an important foundation for professional consultants.

General liability insurance is a good starting point for any consultant. And some clients may stipulate in your contract that you carry a general liability insurance policy, so it’s good to be ahead of the game.

If you’re a consultant, you’re hired to help clients improve their business and strengthen their brand. You make recommendations based on numbers, facts, or even gut feelings. With work that’s more mental than physical, getting an insurance policy that’s famous for covering “slip and fall” accidents or property damage might seem a little abstract.

Coverage highlights

Personal and advertising injury

This part of the policy protects you from non-physical damage claims like copyright and brand infringement, libel and slander, as well as advertising injury involving another person or entity. (Attention marketing, human resources, and IT project consultants.)

Property damage

Consultants often handle things like files, computers, products, and other types of client property. General liability insurance gives you coverage for property damage insurance in case something happens while these things are in your care– if the policy is written properly.

There is a care, custody, and control exclusion in general liability policies that can be removed and endorsed to provide some coverage for items in your care, custody, or control.

Bodily injury

If one of your clients (or any visitor) gets hurt while they’re at your office, this part of the insurance policy will kick in. Bodily injuries can be some of the most expensive types of liability claims a business can face.

Because client interaction is an integral part of your operation, general liability insurance is important, no matter how unlikely an accident may seem. And if you have an office that welcomes clients, it’s a must because you can be held liable for a bodily injury that happens on your premises.

I work from home. Doesn’t my homeowners insurance cover my business?

We recommend checking your policy because that’s not usually the case. In fact, most homeowners policies typically only cover up to $500 worth of business property. If you’re looking to cover your business equipment, consider business property insurance.

I’m not sure if I need this insurance or not.

You might tell yourself that you’re methodical, you’re careful, and you never miss a detail. But you’re also not a robot. Many independent consultants decide to buy a general liability policy just based on how litigious our society has become.

It only takes one lawsuit to financially devastate a consulting business, and having the right protection can mean the difference between surviving or not.

Claims examples

  • You handle your client’s property (equipment, computers, or anything, really) and something gets damaged.
  • A client trips over your laptop’s power cord while at a meeting and files a bodily injury claim.
  • You spill a cup of coffee on your client’s iPad, and they sue you for property damage.
  • You say or write something offensive or untrue (even accidentally), and get sued for slander or libel.

Thinking about general liability insurance?

Talk with one of our agents, and we’ll help customize a plan that’s right for you.