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Commercial General Liability Insurance - CGL Insurance Quotes

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Table of contents

1. What is Commercial General Liability Insurance?2. Common Terms Used In The Language Of General Liability Insurance2.1. Policyholder 2.2. Insureds 2.3. Third-Party 2.4. Bodily Injury 2.5. Property Damage  2.6. Coverage Territory 2.7. Policy Limit  2.8. Deductible 3. Classifications Of General Liability Insurance4. Standard General Liability Insurance5. Broad Form General Liability Insurance5.1. Advertising Injury Coverage 5.2. Rented Premises Liability Coverage5.3. Non-Owned/Hired Auto Liability Insurance6. How Does General Liability Insurance Work?7. How is General Liability Insurance Underwritten?8. General Liability Insurance Policy Limits9. Policies You Can Add To General Liability Insurance9.1. Product Liability Insurance9.2. Liquor Liability Insurance10. Additional Insureds In General Liability Insurance11. Which Businesses Need General Liability Insurance?12. Professional Liability Insurance vs General Liability Insurance13. Contractor Liability Insurance14. General Liability Insurance for LLC   15. Small Business General Liability Insurance16. Food Liability Insurance17. Business General Liability Insurance Cost17.1. Saving Money On General Liability Insurance 18. Best General Liability Insurance Companies 18.1. NEXT Commercial General Liability Insurance 18.1.1. Pros 18.1.2. Cons 18.2. CoverWallet Commercial General Liability Insurance 18.2.1. Pros 18.2.2. Cons 18.3. CommercialInsurance.Net General Liability Insurance 18.3.1. Pros 18.3.2. Cons 18.4. Thimble General Liability Insurance 18.4.1. Pros 18.4.2. Cons 18.5. Hiscox General Liability Insurance 18.5.1. Pros 18.5.2. Cons

General liability insurance is essential regardless of which industry your business belongs to. You can use it to cover the cost of lawsuits, provide indemnification for losses and injuries caused by your business, and gain the trust of customers or clients. Our discussion for today is a comprehensive guide on general liability insurance. You will know its definition, history, cost, and more.

Also read:

What is Commercial General Liability Insurance?

Commercial general liability insurance is an insurance product that provides funds if your business or its employees is liable for the injuries or damaged property of third parties. 

Depending on what kind of business you own, a CGL policy might be required before a license is issued or you’re allowed to provide a service. For example, if you’re running a construction company, the authorities might not issue a building permit if you don’t have commercial liability insurance ready and waiting. 

General liability business insurance might also be required if you plan to get a mortgage and rent or lease a property. 

Note that general liability insurance doesn’t only protect your business but also helps it grow. A lot of clients or customers will ask if you’re covered by general liability insurance. This is especially true if your business is in the professional services industry. 

Also read: 


Common Terms Used In The Language Of General Liability Insurance


Policyholder

The policyholder is the one who owns the general liability insurance and whose name is reflected in its terms. In other words, you. 


Insureds

You and other entities protected by general liability insurance are considered insureds. 


Third-Party

Third parties in the language of general liability insurance pertain to customers, visitors, and other entities who are not part of your business’s organizational structure and payroll. 


Bodily Injury

In the terms of general liability insurance, bodily injury means any physical harm your business inflicts to a third party. For example, cuts, burns, lacerations, and fractures. This must be unintentional in nature.


Property Damage 

Property damage pertains to harm your business unintentionally inflicts on a third party’s belongings. 


Coverage Territory

A coverage territory is the place where the use of your general liability insurance is limited. For example, if it’s stated that the coverage territory is in the USA, then general liability insurance can only take care of claims filed therein. 


Policy Limit 

Policy limit is the amount of coverage you can get from general liability insurance. In simpler terms, it pertains to how much insurance money general liability insurance can give you in order to pay for settlements or cover defense costs. 


Deductible

A deductible is an amount you have to give the insurance company after it has approved your general liability insurance claim. General liability insurance deductible is $250, $500, $1,000, $1,500, or $2,000. 

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Classifications Of General Liability Insurance

You’ll find two kinds of general liability insurance for your business-standard and broad form. The following sections discuss what these are.


Standard General Liability Insurance

The standard general liability insurance is the earliest variety of commercial general liability policy. It only covers personal injury claims and property damage claims. 

The coverage it provides can't be customized or be introduced with endorsements. Nowadays, insurance companies sell this to customers looking for the cheapest coverage for their business. 


Broad Form General Liability Insurance

Broad form general liability insurance is a comprehensive version of commercial general liability policy. This doesn’t only protect your business against claims for bodily injury or property damage but also other business exposures such as reputational harm and advertising injuries, liability to rented premises, and liability over products and completed operations. 


Advertising Injury Coverage 

Broad-form general liability insurance provides advertising injury coverage, which covers costs if your business committed or allegedly committed slander, libel, copyright infringement, and invasion of privacy. 


Rented Premises Liability Coverage

Your business will rent a space if not now, then in the future. There’s the possibility of your rented space getting damaged because of a fire due to employee error or an accident.

Because of this, broad form general liability insurance comes with rented premises liability coverage. Rented premises liability coverage will indemnify the owner if a space rented to you is damaged by fire. 


Non-Owned/Hired Auto Liability Insurance

Some insurance companies offer a broad form general liability insurance with non-owned/hired auto liability coverage. Non-owned/hired auto liability insurance will take care of costs if your business hired or borrowed a vehicle and such vehicle caused an accident resulting in the injuries or property damage of third parties. 


How Does General Liability Insurance Work?

General liability insurance works the same way regardless of which insurance company underwrites it. Here’s a quick summary of the functions of general liability insurance:

  • Cover the medical treatment of a claimant who holds your business liable for his or her bodily injuries

  • Refund the losses of the claimant who holds your business liable for his or her damaged property

  • Pay for attorney fees, investigation fees, court fees, and other legal defense costs if your business faces a lawsuit for bodily injury or property damage

  • Cover settlements and defense costs if your business is liable for slander, libel, and copyright infringement (only if advertising injury coverage is added to its terms)

  • Refund the losses of the landlord if his property got damaged by a fire due to your business’s negligence (this applies if your general liability insurance has rented premises liability coverage)

  • Cover the treatment and refund the loss of victims if the vehicle your business hired or borrowed caused an accident (general liability insurance will only have this function if non-owned/hired auto liability coverage is added to its terms)


How is General Liability Insurance Underwritten?

Carriers underwrite general liability insurance as a claims-made policy. In simple terms, general liability insurance can only provide coverage if you request to use it after a covered peril happens. Even if a claim happened during its policy period, general liability insurance can’t help you if it has already expired. 


General Liability Insurance Policy Limits

The general liability insurance of most commercial insurers has a $1 million-$2 million per occurrence and a $2 million aggregate. 

But still, there are insurance companies underwriting a general liability policy with a $300,000-$500,000 per occurrence limit for small startups and home based businesses. 

On another note, large businesses can avail a general liability insurance with a $3 million-$5 million per occurrence limit and a $4 million-$5 million aggregate. 


Policies You Can Add To General Liability Insurance

Nowadays, insurance companies allow you to add the language of other insurance policies to general liability insurance.  This section defines each and explains their functions:


Product Liability Insurance

If your business is in the retail industry or food industry, carriers will allow you to add the terms of product liability insurance to general liability insurance. 

Customers can sue a business and demand compensation if a product they bought or tested caused injuries or property damage. Product liability insurance covers this peril. 

Product liability insurance covers the cost of legal defense, product recalls, and settlements if your business is liable for the injuries or property damage of a customer by selling a product which has:

  • Design defects

  • Manufacturing errors

  • Labeling errors 


If your business is in the food industry, product liability insurance can help if a customer files a claim after experiencing allergies or food poisoning. Coverage also applies in case the aggrieved person sustained a food-borne illness. 


Liquor Liability Insurance

You can add liquor liability insurance to general liability insurance if your business is involved with the sales, distribution, or manufacture of alcoholic beverages.  

Liquor liability insurance covers defense costs or settlements when a customer files a claim after getting drunk and wants your business to take responsibility because:

  • It over-served alcohol

  • Its employee failed to evaluate the claimant’s level of intoxication

  • The claimant is a minor and even if this is the case, your business proceeded to serve an alcoholic drink 


Additional Insureds In General Liability Insurance

Insurance companies allow you to name additional insureds in your general liability insurance policy. 

So what is an additional insured anyway? Additional insureds are entities, though not paying for premiums or owning the policy, can still be covered by your general liability insurance in case a claim is filed against them. 

The naming of additional insureds is one of the most essential characteristics of a comprehensive general liability policy. It allows you to provide protection to landlords, clients, and other entities who you do business with. 


Which Businesses Need General Liability Insurance?

All businesses need general liability insurance. However, some types need the policy at a higher degree than others. The following will find general liability insurance coverage highly useful:


Professional Liability Insurance vs General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance is often confused with professional liability insurance. So it’s important you know how the two differ. 

To reiterate, general liability insurance covers costs if your business injured third parties or damaged their property. It also helps when your business damages a rented space, or harms someone’s reputation. 

Professional liability insurance, on the other hand, covers claims filed because there’s an issue with regards to how you accomplished a task on behalf of a client, which resulted in economic or financial losses. 


Contractor Liability Insurance

General liability insurance for construction companies, also called contractor liability insurance, is underwritten for the liability exposures common in construction projects such as:

  • Equipment going haywire which results in injuries and property damage to the people near the vicinity of the construction project

  • An employee hurts someone while operating equipment due to negligence

  • Explosions and other major accidents happen on the construction site that inflicts injuries or property damage to others 


In connection, these are the common claims covered by the general liability insurance for contractors:

  • Accident claims-Payment for medical and funeral fees for third-party injuries and fatality during construction. Take note that this is not applicable to employees; that will be worker's compensation policy

  • Copyright infringement-Your construction design or advertisements are the same as competitors. This can be room for a lawsuit. The policy can pay for the fees that may arise if sued

  • Property damage claims-if damage to your customer's property happens during construction, the policy will pay for the repair or replacement

  • Product claims-If the equipment used or established by the company causes damage, the policy can be a source of indemnification for the losses of affected parties


General liability insurance for contractors is a requirement before a project is undertaken. The amount of coverage varies as it depends on which state a contractor is operating. Note that there are states that don’t have any general liability insurance requirements in place.  

Construction is a high-risk activity. And so, the cost of general liability for contractors is expensive. Most insurance companies require a hefty down payment and additional fees charged on a monthly or annual basis for a 6-month or 1-year of coverage. 


General Liability Insurance for LLC   

Getting general liability insurance for LLC (limited liability company) is essential for small business owners. Usually, An LLC structure provides some personal protection for you, and claims made against your business still affect your income source.

Not having the total protection you need can be devastating for the business. This is where general liability insurance is needed, as it will help you manage the claims made by third parties and operate your business well. Without putting a GL policy in place, you will be the one to negotiate claims, hire attorneys, and deal with the costs.

Whenever deciding, you may always think about the money you need to spend. Most of the time, you will get the cheapest general liability insurance small business available.

But again, think about the several factors that might affect your business. All of the factors need assessment that you will decide and with the aid of your insurance agent or a broker. Through their expert advice, they can match what type of policies best fits your small business.


Small Business General Liability Insurance

Small business owners are at equal risks, like other businesses. It is not true that investing in insurance must only be a priority when a company is large. Any existing business must take some time to develop a risk management plan that can protect them any time a threat to their financial stability comes their way. Buying a small business general liability insurance is actually an investment and not considered a luxury. 

General liability plans are not created equal, and knowing what works for your business will give you the right coverage needed and save you from spending more than you should be. So, what exactly is a small business liability insurance? 

In its simplest form, this type of insurance offers coverage for the cost that might incur if a customer is hurt or injured at your establishment. But small business liability insurance covers more than that. It can cover costs for settlements out of court, personal distress and suffering, penal damages, and compensation in excess of actual damage. For rented spaces, this business liability insurance can offer protection for damages due to fire or explosion. 

While these are the risks covered by small liability insurance, there are circumstances not covered by costs when employees or you encounter an accident in the establishment. Cease of business operation due to natural disasters or employee injuries, employee contention, cyber-attacks, and errors and omissions are other cases not covered by this insurance. These situations are covered by other insurance types that you may buy separately or acquire as an add-on to your business owner’s policy.

Small business general liability insurance cost is dictated by many factors and the available budget the business has. The risks that you might encounter will be one of the significant factors you need to think about. If your business is high-risk for accidents or injuries, it is a must to get more coverage, and if your business is low-risk, it is better for you if you get reasonably-priced general liability insurance for small business.


Food Liability Insurance

Food liability insurance is a general liability policy underwritten for food businesses. Consider getting this if you own a:


Food liability insurance will cover settlements and defense costs if a customer files a claim against your business for improper food preparation or food poisoning.  

This will also cover costs if your food business over-served alcoholic beverages to a customer who then became drunk and sustained property damage or bodily injuries. 

Note that food liability insurance also covers your liability for rented premises. This is very useful if you’re a food vendor selling at flea marketsfestivals, stadiums, and farmers' markets

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Business General Liability Insurance Cost

A $1 million business liability insurance coverage is $35.79 per month or $429.48 per year. General liability insurance cost isn’t the same for all businesses. That said, it’s possible for your actual rate to be higher or lower than the average cost we stated. 

Many factors affect the cost of general liability insurance. When getting a general liability insurance quote, companies will require you to provide pertinent information such as:

  • Number of full-time or part-time employees

  • Employee and subcontractors’ payroll

  • Location

  • Claims history

  • Business location

  • Business founding date

  • The products your business offers

  • How much coverage you need

  • Whether your business is operated at home or not

  • Square footage of your business

To get a better understanding of your rates, we recommend you compare general liability insurance quotes online. Speaking of which, here’s a table showing the rates of the best companies:



Cost per MonthCost per YearBest for
NEXT$11$132Best overall; Fastest general liability insurance
CoverWallet$29$348General liability insurance quotes comparison online
Hiscox$30$360General liability insurance with worldwide coverage
CommercialInsurance.Net$31$372Comparing general liability insurance quotes over the phone
Thimble$49$588Short-term general liability insurance


Saving Money On General Liability Insurance

The following are proven ways for you to enjoy cheaper business liability insurance cost and save money:

  • Get a high deductible

  • Get lower policy limits 

  • Bundle general liability insurance with other insurance products in a business owner’s policy

  • Keep your business’s claims history clean

  • Create a risk management plan for your business

  • Get certifications if your business is providing specialty services 

COMPARE CHEAP COMMERCIAL GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE QUOTES

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Best General Liability Insurance Companies 

Read this section to know the pros, cons, and rate of the best companies that underwrite a $1 million general liability insurance for small and big businesses. 


NEXT Commercial General Liability Insurance

Pros

  • Best overall

  • Issues an online proof of insurance you can easily show to anyone

  • Fastest GL online

  • Great customer service and reputation

  • Outstanding value for money

  • Bundle two or more policies and get a 10% discount 

Cons

  • Might not provide coverage if your business profile is poor

NEXT’s general liability insurance is especially tailored to the needs of independent professionals and small businesses. 

This company’s general liability insurance allows you to choose between $300,000, $1 million, or $2 million per occurrence limit with an aggregate of $1 million or $2 million.

Your general liability policy from NEXT comes with an online certificate of insurance, which can be sent to anyone easily via the company’s mobile app. 

NEXT allows you to save money on general liability insurance premiums by giving a 10% discount if you bundle the policy with workers compensation or commercial property insurance. 

Best for: Best overall; Fastest general liability insurance

Average cost: $11 per month

Our rating: 10/10


CoverWallet Commercial General Liability Insurance

Pros

  • Compare general liability insurance quotes online

  • Unlimited number of additional insureds you can name on your general liability policy’s terms

  • Cancel your general liability insurance anytime

  • Online policy management with the MyCoverWallet app 

Cons

  • Not an insurance company but an insurance broker 

CoverWallet offers commercial general liability insurance for businesses in different industries.  Your general liability insurance from this company will have a $1 million-$2 million per occurrence limit with a $2 million aggregate.

Also, you can add an unlimited number of additional insureds. CoverWallet even allows you to view the status of and manage your general liability insurance through its online app. Last but not least, the company lets you add terrorism coverage and hired/non-owned auto coverage to the terms of its general liability insurance.

Best for: General liability insurance quotes comparison online

Average cost: $29 per month 

Our rating: 10/10 


CommercialInsurance.Net General Liability Insurance

Pros

  • Responsive customer service

  • Compare quotes over the phone

  • You can bundle general liability insurance with other desired policies 

  • Takes you to its partners if it can’t provide coverage

Cons

  • No mobile app for insurance management 

CommercialInsurance.Net provides general liability insurance for a wide range of small and big businesses. Your general liability policy from this company has a $1 million-$2 million per occurrence limit with a $2 million aggregate. 

This company gives you the option of bundling general liability insurance with other insurance policies that are useful for your business. Also, if ever your business doesn’t match its underwriting appetite,  CommercialInsurance.Net will hook you up with its partners. 

Call CommercialInsurance.Net now to compare quotes over the phone. 

Best for: Comparing general liability insurance quotes over the phone

Average cost: $31 per month

Our rating: 10/10


Thimble General Liability Insurance

Pros

  • Fast online quotes

  • Short-term general liability insurance

  • Cancel a policy and get a reasonable refund

  • Instant coverage

Cons

  • You can’t call customer service

Thimble underwrites a general liability insurance you can avail in many ways. 

This company sells short-term general liability insurance that lasts for hours, days, or weeks. There’s also a monthly general liability policy you can pause anytime.

And then, in case you want long-term coverage, Thimble sells an annual general liability insurance that can be added with equipment breakdown coverage. 

Thimble’s general liability insurance has a $1 million-$2 million per occurrence limit with a $2 million aggregate. It allows you to name additional insureds for free. 

Best for: Short-term general liability insurance

Average cost: $49 per month 

Our rating: 9/10


Hiscox General Liability Insurance

Pros

  • File and track a claim quickly online

  • Apply online or call to get general liability insurance

  • In-house team of insurance adjusters

  • Worldwide coverage

Cons

  • Customers complain a lot about how Hiscox handles general liability insurance claims 

Hiscox underwrites general liability insurance for businesses that operate locally and internationally. This company’s general liability insurance provides worldwide coverage and has a per occurrence limit of $300,000-$2 million depending on the policyholder’s business profile. 

Best for: General liability insurance with worldwide coverage

Average cost: $30 per month

Our rating: 9/10


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