Accidents can happen on the construction site that results in bodily injuries or property damage to third parties and employees. Materials and equipment can also get lost or damaged.
Given the risk you are exposed to, you ought to invest in general contractor insurance, which comes in two types. This protects your business from potential lawsuits and other claims. Contractors taking on commercial builds need commercial general contractor insurance, while those involved in residential projects will require residential general contractor insurance.
It might even be hard to bid for contracts if you don’t have adequate general contractor insurance coverage. So by getting insured, you are also helping your business grow aside from guarding it. Read this guide to know:
How much general contractors pay for insurance
The function of each kind of general contractor insurance policy
Where to get the best coverage as a general contractor
Here’s a table that shows the cost of insurance policies that most general contractors purchase.
|Cost per Month||Cost per Year||Deductible|
|General liability insurance||$50||$600||$0-$500|
|Errors and omissions insurance||$70||$840||$500-$1,000|
|Workers compensation insurance||$92||$1,104||$2,000-$5,000|
|Commercial property insurance||$55||$660||$1,000-$2,000|
|Commercial auto insurance||$65||$780||$500-$1,500|
General contractor insurance cost $50 per month or $600 per year for a $1 million general liability policy. This estimate of the cost of general liability insurance for general contractors assumes that you have 5 employees and make $500,000-$750,000 revenue per year. Get cheap general contractor insurance by:
Having high deductibles
Bundling two or more insurance policies
Removing floaters if they’re useless
Avail commercial auto discounts for safe driving
Another way to determine the average cost for general contractor insurance is to take a look at how much insurance companies charge. Here’s a table showing the rates of the recommended general contractor insurance companies:
|Cost per Month||Cost per Year||Best for|
|NEXT||$42||$504||Best overall; Fastest general liability insurance for general contractors|
|Tivly||$42||$504||Comparing general contractor insurance quotes over the phone|
|CoverWallet||$44||$528||General contractor insurance quotes comparison online|
|Thimble||$48||$576||Short-term general liability insurance for general contractors|
|State Farm||$50||$600||Commercial umbrella insurance for general contractors|
|GEICO||$52||$624||Commercial auto discounts|
|Progressive||$55||$660||General contractors that need help with commercial auto state filings|
|Travelers||$56||$672||Stand-alone and highly specialized insurance programs for general contractors|
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|Per occurrence limit||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000/$2,000,000|
|Products and completed operations aggregate limit|
|Advertising injury coverage aggregate limit||$1,000,000||$1,000,000||$1,000,000|
|Tenant’s legal liability coverage limit|
|Waiver of subrogation included?||Yes||No||Included|
|Hired/non-owned auto liability coverage included?||Yes||No||Excluded|
|Equipment breakdown floater included?||No||Yes||Yes|
|Can you get a certificate of insurance online?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Name additional insureds?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Similar to paving contractors, plastering contractors, and flooring contractors, you also need general liability insurance. General liability for general contractors grants a shield against the financial punches due to third-party property damage, bodily injury, and legal action. Use the table above to compare the quotes of general liability insurance for general contractors.
About 98% of general contractors get general liability insurance. Here are some example situations where your general contractor liability insurance coverage becomes useful:
A dump truck runs over someone while it’s exiting the construction site
An inspector falls from a height while checking the structures of the site
An independent contractor gets electrocuted while installing lighting and wiring for your construction project
Representatives of your client slip and fall on the premises of the construction site during a tour
So how does general liability insurance work? A general contractor’s liability insurance takes care of these costs if a claim for bodily injury or property damage is filed:
Reimbursements for property damage
Note that most insurance providers underwrite general contractor general liability insurance comprehensively. Aside from bodily injuries or property damage, the policy can also cover these exposures:
Loss or damage of a client’s property under your care, custody, and control
Bodily injuries or property damage because of defective work (product liability claims)
Fire and water damage to a landlord’s property
Claims for slander, libel, and copyright infringement
|Per occurrence limit||$1,000,000||$300,000/$1,000,000||$1,000,000/$2,000,000|
|Name additional insureds?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Waiver of subrogation included?||Yes||No||No|
Claims filed because there are issues with your services aren’t covered by general liability insurance. And so, you must get another general contractor insurance coverage-errors and omissions insurance.
Use the table above to compare the quotes of errors and omissions insurance of carriers that sell general contractor insurance online.
Errors and omissions insurance for general contractors takes care of costs if a client files a claim because you:
Inflated the cost of construction materials and your services
Failed to perform a particular task mentioned in the contract
Left the project unfinished in order to cater to more important projects
Hired the wrong subcontractors for the job
You have two options for errors and omission insurance-claims made or occurrence. Go for the second because it provides lifetime coverage.
|Building coverage limit (minimum)||$50,000||$310,000||$25,000/$500,000|
|Contents coverage limit (minimum)||$50,000||$31,000||$25,000/$500,000|
|Money and securities||Excluded||$2,500||$1,000|
|Lock and keys||Excluded||$2,500||Excluded|
|Business interruption floater||Excluded||Included||Included|
|Equipment breakdown floater||Excluded||Included||Excluded|
|Inland marine insurance floater||Excluded||Excluded||$10,000|
|Employee dishonesty floater||Excluded||$5,000||$2,500|
Your office and warehouse can get damaged or destroyed.
Commercial property insurance recovers losses quickly without any interruptions.Use the table above to compare the quotes of commercial property policy from some of the best insurance companies for general contractors.
79% of general contractors get commercial property insurance. This reimburses your financial losses if the office or warehouse gets damaged or destroyed by:
The coverage of commercial property insurance for general contractors, plumbing contractors, and door installation contractors also applies to what’s inside the building too. And so, this insurance will also reimburse the value of equipment, materials, and other valuables that got damaged or lost while in the warehouse or office due to fire, theft, vandalism, and other perils we mentioned above.
Similar to general liability insurance, commercial property insurance comes with add-ons. Additional coverages you’ll find included it are:
Equipment breakdown floater
Business interruption floater
Inland marine floater
|Offered as an endorsement to general liability insurance?||Yes||Yes||No|
|Covers hired and borrowed equipment?||Yes||Yes||No|
|Miscellaneous equipment also covered?||Yes||No||No|
Tools and equipment insurance solely covers the equipment you use as a general contractor as well as the personal implements of employees.
This is sold as a stand-alone policy or as an optional coverage in general liability insurance. Use the table above to compare the quotes of tools and equipment insurance for general contractors.
Tools and equipment insurance for general contractors, electrical contractors, and masonry contractors covers the repair or replacement costs of drills, hammers, ladders, portable lights, lifters, and other tools and equipment that get damaged or lost because of:
|Auto liability bodily injury coverage aggregate limit (minimum)||$25,000 per injury$50,000 per accident||$25,000 per injury$50,000 per accident||$100,000/$300,000 CSL|
|Auto liability property damage aggregate limit (minimum)||$15,000||$15,000||$50,000|
|Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage limit||$25,000 per injury$50,000 per accident||$25,000 per injury$50,000 per accident||$100,000/$300,000|
|Rental reimbursement coverage aggregate limit||$1,500||$1,500||$900|
|Trailers can be added to commercial auto insurance?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Roadside assistance coverage included||Yes||Yes||No|
|Safe driving discounts included?||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Commercial auto insurance is important if you’re a general contractor who owns or hires flatbed trucks, dump trucks, and other vehicles to haul materials, transport debris, and take employees to different project locations.
Use the table above to compare the quotes of commercial auto insurance for general contractors.
You need commercial auto insurance for general contractors, fence installation contractors, and roofing contractors in case something happens to the vehicles you use for business operations. Here’s a summary of this insurance policy’s main functions:
Cover the medical treatment or property damage of third parties who get involved in an accident caused by your commercial vehicle
Pay for parts repair or replacement if your commercial vehicle gets damaged because of a collision, fire, theft, vandalism, or weather
Cover the medical treatment of your commercial vehicle’s passenger or driver in case of accidents caused by an underinsured/uninsured motorist
If you hire additional help or specialized skills to help with the completion of a project, a sound risk management practice you should have in place is general contractor workers' compensation insurance.
Other than protecting your business from the cost of employee claims for a workplace injury or illness, get this policy because it’s a requirement in most states. Failure to get general contractor workers comp insurance will result in hefty fines and penalties.
About 100% of general contractors purchase workers compensation insurance.
Workers' compensation insurance kicks in when a full-time or part-time employee sustains an occupational disease or injury. It will take care of these costs on your behalf:
Medical bills arising from accidents on-site or in the workplace
Retraining and rehabilitation
Construction work carries a variety of inherent risks that you can never thoroughly plan for or financially protect yourself against. Fortunately, you can purchase general contractor umbrella insurance.
This general contractor business insurance provides you with an additional layer of coverage beyond the policy limits of your general contractor liability policies.
This means that if your business was to cause damages that exceed the limits of your commercial general liability policy, commercial auto, or errors and omissions policy, the umbrella policy for general contractors, concrete contractors, and siding installation contractors caters to the excess.
Aside from the insurance policies we mentioned above, you might also need to get certain types of bonds.
This is because some clients might require you to get both general contractor insurance and bond for high-profile projects.
The most useful types of general contractor bond insurance are surety and fidelity bonds. A surety bond indemnifies the losses of a client in case you can’t finish or fail to finish a project. On the other hand, a fidelity bond reimburses the losses if your employee commits a crime.
General contractor bonded and insured find it easier to bid and close projects. There are also lesser problems with getting a license to commence projects.
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These are the best general contractor insurance companies. Read to know their pros, cons, and pricing for a $1 million general liability insurance.
Get an online proof of insurance and send as a text message, email, or social media post
Fastest general liability insurance for general contractors
Great customer service and reputation
Issues an online proof of insurance instantly
Outstanding value for money
Bundle two or more insurance policies and get a 10% discount
Couldn’t find any
NEXT is a one-stop shop for small general contracting businesses looking for:
Commercial auto coverage
General liability coverage
Tools and equipment policy
Commercial property coverage
All of the policies above are offered in NEXT’s deluxe general contractor insurance program. You get comprehensive coverage and a 10% discount by bundling different insurance policies.
On the other hand, if you don’t want to spend much on premiums, then NEXT also offers a basic coverage. The basic coverage only offers a general liability and errors and omissions insurance with a $1 million per occurrence and aggregate limit.
Note that your general contractor insurance from NEXT is offered in partnership with Tivly. Therefore, the general contractor general liability insurance cost of both companies is the same.
Best for: Best overall; Fastest general liability insurance for general contractors
Average cost: $42 per month
Our rating: 9/10
Easy online policy management
Compare general contractor insurance quotes online
Cancel a policy anytime with no charges
Rented/hired auto liability coverage included in general liability insurance
Not an insurance company but an insurance broker
CoverWallet is an insurance broker that sells the general liability insurance, commercial auto, workers' compensation, commercial property, and other business insurance policies of its partners for general contractors.
To get covered, you use CoverWallet’s online quotes comparison tool which shows the rates and features of numerous insurance options. You can then decide to get covered online or talk with an agent over the phone.
Your general liability insurance from CoverWallet has a $1 million-$2 million per occurrence and aggregate limit. Additional coverages are automatically included in the policy.
Best for: General contractor insurance quotes comparison online
Average cost: $44 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Call and compare general contractor insurance quotes over the phone
Responsive customer service
A partner of many reputable insurance companies
You need to speak with a representative to get a quote
Tivly works with NEXT for its general contractor insurance, which offers general liability, workers' compensation, commercial auto, builders risk, and other policies. Progressive and GEICO might refer you to this company if they can’t provide coverage. Call Tivly now and compare general contractor insurance quotes over the phone.
Best for: Comparing general contractor insurance quotes over the phone
Average cost: $42 per month
Our rating: 10/10
Quick to issue quotes
Numerous add-ons in general liability insurance
Sells short-term general liability insurance for general contractors
You can’t reach customer service by calling
Thimble doesn’t have a general contractor insurance program. However, you can get covered through its contractors’ insurance plan which consists of general liability and workers' compensation insurance.
Thimble’s general liability insurance is available as a short-term and long-term coverage. The long-term general liability insurance is comprehensive as it has numerous add-ons such as cyber insurance and customer property insurance.
On the other hand, the short-term general liability insurance of Thimble provides basic coverage. However, what makes it great is that you can decide to get covered for only hours, weeks, days, or months.
Best for: Short-term general liability insurance for general contractors
Average cost: $48 per month
Our rating: 9/10
State Farm provides policyholders with a retirement saving vehicle
Agents are available in all 50 states
Customizable insurance policies
Limited online capabilities
Prospective policyholders can't get a quote online
Since 1935, State Farm has been offering small businesses, including general contractors, affordable and customizable policies that promise to meet all your business needs.
State Farm grants quick and efficient coverage through its wide network of insurance agents. This company offers the following:
Commercial umbrella policy
Best for: Commercial umbrella insurance for general contractors
Average cost: $50 per month
Our rating: 8/10
Robust online and mobile app accessibility
Multi-policy discount available
Billing and policy changes are straightforward
Limited add-on coverage options
Geico doesn't underwrite a lot of their insurance products
GEICO has evolved to be one of the largest insurance carriers. The key draw to GEICO is likely its affordability, even with clients with less than stellar claims history. What's also attractive about GEICO is their self-service model, which is perfect for policyholders looking to handle their own general contractor insurance.
It is important to note that GEICO doesn't underwrite a lot of its insurance products. Instead, it partnered with affiliated companies that provide coverage for clients.
Best for: Commercial auto discounts
Average cost: $52 per month
Our rating: 8/10
Multiple discounts on offer
User-friendly app that you can easily manage your policy on
Independent agents available to advise you on your policy
Get a discount if you’re already a Progressive commercial auto policyholder
General liability insurance doesn’t have a lot of additional coverages
Progressive's basic cover includes general liability coverage and commercial auto insurance. You can include additional coverage options, including:
Business owner's policy (BOP)
Workers' compensation insurance
Commercial property insurance
Errors and omissions insurance
Best for: General contractors that need help with commercial auto state filings
Average cost: $55 per month
Our rating: 7/10
All U.S. states, including Washington, DC, are covered
International coverage for businesses as Travellers also operates in Canada and the U.K.
Pricing solely dependent on your operations
Customer reviews on Travelers are lower than expected
Travelers goes as far back as 1864 and has since acquired an A++ rating from AM Best. This company doesn’t issue a quote. It’s because most of its insurance policies are highly specialized and include provisions that a representative has to explain for you to fully understand.
Best for: Stand-alone and highly specialized insurance programs for general contractors
Average cost: $56 per month
Our rating: 7/10
This place is an absolute joke of a company and should be ashamed of the way they conduct business. I was hurt on the job at the end of July and it took them just shy of 7 weeks to issue out a paycheck to me. Yes the amount was back dated but still. Not many have the luxury of not receiving a paycheck for almost 2 months. To top it all off, the original adjuster marked me down for the wrong state which caused a problem from the get go, I've had 3 different adjusters now since each one can't seem to figure out the simplicity of my claim. All my paperwork which includes, my job, house, and drs visits all are from the same state and city but yet some how I have been filed under a completely different state 1500 miles away. They do not answer your phone calls or emails no matter how many you leave. I've had to escalate my frustrations to the supervisors of each of these individuals in order to even get some kind of response. I've had more communication and information given to me about my claim from the customer service representatives then the actual adjusters.......... please tell me how that works?! A serious overhaul needs to happen here in order to serve your clients the way they deserve to be taken care of. 10/10 do not recommend this company to a single soul on earth
I have never had the displeasure of working with a more incompetent and disrespectful person in my life. I’m an injured worker and the adjuster that was assigned to my case was named Carrie Furgeson. In the past 6 weeks that I’ve been injured and out of work I have only been able to get ahold of her twice, not for lack of trying. I have left countless voicemails, countless emails, and she ignores them all. When I am finally able to get ahold of her I’m greeted with terrible customer service. She is rude, she talks over me and I’m hardly able to get a word in edgewise. She spelled my name wrong on my documents even after I spelled it for her properly countless times, this caused a whole new issue with my bank. I have bill collectors from the hospital calling me demanding payment and Carrie Furgeson won’t do a single thing to help, or to get them paid. All of my documentation is in Colorado, my job is in Colorado, my address is in Colorado, all my Dr offices and appointments have been in Colorado and Carrie still managed to hold my claim because she wasn’t sure what state she needed to file it under. It’s been 6 weeks since my Injury and my company still hasn’t received the wage paperwork to fill out so they can get me my correct wages. When she’s not ignoring me she’s answering my questions with “I don’t know” well I don’t know how she got this job, because apparently she doesn’t know anything about it. She is a disgusting morose individual inside and out and I genuinely wish her the worst in all of her future endeavors. I highly recommend you don’t use this company. Please if you are a business owner and your looking into this company please don’t use them. I’m sure they have the cheapest payment and that’s why companies use them in the first place, but you will be doing your employees a grave disservice by forcing them to venture into this absolute dumpster fire of a company. I would rate 0/5 if possible but 1 was the lowest I was allowed.
Their general liability insurance purchase process is simply the best online experience I've ever had in my life!
As long as they cover your line of business, you're literally covered! best rates, best coverage, best online experience, best professionals, can't be happier that I chose them!
It really can't get any better than this... wow