The basics

What is general liability insurance coverage?

General liability insurance (aka commercial general business liability) protects you from financial loss if you are liable for property damage, bodily injury, or personal/advertising injury as a result of your services, providers, operations, products, or completed operations.

Think of it as a standard insurance coverage for the many things that could go wrong when you run a business.

Do I need a general liability policy?

Most likely yes. General liability insurance is one of the most basic protections you can get as a business owner. You should look into getting a policy if the following are true:

  • You own and operate a business.
  • Your business interacts with the public.
  • You are not invincible.

If you aren’t sure, talk with an insurance agent to determine what your needs are.

$20,000
The average cost of a customer slip and fall accident.
344
That’s equal to 344 months of gym memberships.

Why do I need it?

Lincoln once said, “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.”

The same goes for the clients you work with. It’s important to deliver your best work but it’s equally important to have asset and integrity protection when it comes to your business, as well as defense and damage coverage should you get sued.

What does general liability business insurance cover?

General liability insurance covers bodily injury, property damage, and personal/advertising injury that may arise from your business operations. Think of it as a catchall policy for many of the common risks you face when you operate a business.

It becomes more important the more you interact with the public (especially if you have a business location that welcomes visitors). But it also protects you from non-physical claims like libel, slander, and copyright infringement, which can happen to anyone (even if you work from home).

That’s what makes it such an important safety net for many small businesses.

Coverage highlights

Property damage
If you happen to spill your triple shot caramel latte on a client’s computer, general liability insurance can help pay for the repair or replacement costs.
Bodily injury
If someone other than your employee gets hurt on your property, or an injury is caused by you or an employee (anywhere, not just on your property), general liability insurance will help cover the cost. Those costs might include immediate medical expenses, as well as legal costs if they decide to sue.  Keep in mind that if one of your employees suffers an injury or sickness on the job, you’ll need workers’ compensation.
Personal/advertising injury
This covers claims involving libel, false advertising, slander, and copyright infringement.  This includes any harm your marketing might cause to someone else’s brand or reputation, or unintentionally using someone else’s copyright, trademark, or slogan.
Legal defenses and settlements
General liability helps cover court expenses, lawyer’s fees, and any punitive damages, losses, or compensation the court awards to the claimant if you are successfully sued. Not bad!

Price factors

How much does general liability insurance cost?

Many small businesses pay somewhere between $400 and $600 a year for general liability insurance. The cost can be fairly inexpensive, and it’s usually even less if bundled into a business owner’s policy (aka BOP). Pricing is usually determined by what state you work in, the amount of work being done, and what insurance companies perceive the risk to be in your industry. Check out our general liability insurance cost analysis to learn more.

Get more with a BOP

If you want additional protection for your commercial property, you might want to check out a business owner’s policy, or BOP, which combines business property and general liability insurance. More coverage, at a lower price.

If you think you might be at the higher end of the risk spectrum, you can get an umbrella insurance policy, which will increase your coverage limits. Umbrella insurance is good to have if you want a little extra cushion of coverage, just in case. Some clients will require that you have “additional limits” (which means an umbrella policy) as part of their insurance requirements.

Learn more about business insurance costs here.

We can save you money.

If you fill out a simple form about your business, we’ll compare top general liability insurance providers (for free) to find you the most affordable coverage. No hidden fees and no obligations.

Comprised of experts with over 30 years experience, we are dedicated to providing the most competitive rates to our customers.