Subcontractor Insurance: Liability, Cost & Quotes From $11/mo

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Companies, for example those in the IT and construction industry, have a lot of tasks. And to meet deadlines, they hire subcontractors. When applying for work as a subcontractor, insurance is required as a protection against third party liabilities, worker injuries, and occurrence of default. This is why you need to have a comprehensive subcontractor insurance program.

Subcontractor insurance can cover lawsuits, employee injuries, and pay for the repair or replacement of rented/borrowed heavy equipment. This guide takes you through some of the most important factors to consider when looking at subcontractor insurance and how much it costs. Comparing insurance quotes is the best way to get a good deal on insurance, this is why we’ve also included some reviews of the best companies. 

Do Subcontractors Need Insurance? 

Let’s answer this question first – As a subcontractor do I need insurance? Subcontractors should be insured to enjoy protection against liability issues and other concerns. Not only does the right insurance protect the subcontractor, but it also ensures the business working with them is protected too. 

If a subcontractor is not insured, it could bear the liabilities for anything that might happen during the project. Uninsured subcontractors also leave themselves at risk, with no protection from the company they are working with. 

Coverage can be enjoyed by including a clause in the subcontractor insurance agreement that compels the employer to name additional insureds. However, this is a practice that’s not observed all the time. And so, subcontractors need to have their own insurance coverage underwritten by a commercial insurance company or by the insurance agency funded by the state. 


Subcontractor Insurance Requirements 

State laws don’t require subcontractors to get insured before getting hired. But here’s the catch, those who wish to get hired must carry specific types of insurance that most employers will demand. 

The first is liability coverage. Liability insurance grants protection against third party claims for negligence, bodily injuries, property damage, and personal injuries. Of course, workers must enjoy protection. And so, workers compensation insurance for subcontractors is important. There are also other types of insurance that might be useful. 

Subcontractor Liability Insurance 

Subcontractor liability insurance is one of the important types of insurance you can benefit from. Insurance companies offer this as a general liability policy or professional liability policy.


General Liability Insurance for Subcontractors

CoverWallet  NEXT (Best) Thimble  Hiscox The Hartford
Per occurrence limit  $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000/$2,000,000 $300,000/$1,000,000 $1,000,000/$2,000,000
Aggregate limit  $2,000,000 $1,000,000/$2,000,000 $1,000,000/$2,000,000 $300,000/$2,000,000 $1,000,000/$2,000,000
Products and completed operations aggregate limit  $2,000,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000
Advertising injury coverage aggregate limit  $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000
Tenant’s legal liability coverage limit  $100,000 $100,000 $5,000 $100,000 $1,000,000
Waiver of subrogation included? Yes No Included Can be included No
Hired/non-owned auto liability coverage included? Yes No Excluded Can be included Can be included
Equipment breakdown floater included? No  Yes Yes Can be included Can be included


General liability insurance provides protection against lawsuits that result from third-party bodily injury, property damage, and advertising injury. Although this type of insurance isn’t necessarily a legal requirement, many contractors won’t work with subcontractors who don’t have their own general liability insurance. 

Many different types of subcontractors can benefit from having general liability insurance. Whether you work in construction, marketing, IT, or any other area, this type of subcontractors insurance can protect you. 

Most insurance companies design their subcontractors insurance package to primarily offer a general liability policy. Other policies can then be added at the perusal of the policyholder. Use the table above to see which insurance company offers the best general liability insurance for subcontractors. 


What Specific Perils Are Covered By General Liability Insurance?

General liability insurance can cover the cost for medical treatment, reimbursement for property damage, or legal expenses if these things happen:

  • A scaffolding or any other structure collapsed at the construction site and injured the pedestrians nearby

  • A subcontractor was using a heavy equipment and caused some damage to the construction project by accident

  • The subcontractor damaged an equipment owned by his employer

  • The employer filed a lawsuit after discovering that a subcontractor has posted malicious remarks about his company online 

How Is the Coverage of General Liability Insurance Granted to Subcontractors?

There are a few ways subcontractors might be covered by a general liability insurance policy. They could be added to the policy of the main contractor or the client who is hiring them. Additionally, subcontractors can take out their own general liability insurance to protect them when they’re working. Being able to provide a certificate of insurance to the head contractor or employer will benefit subcontractors when they are trying to secure projects. 


How Are Subcontractors Checked for Adequate General Liability Coverage?

When it comes to businesses ensuring subcontractors are adequately insured, they might ask subcontractors to show a certificate of insurance. One of the subcontractor agreement insurance requirements, a certificate of insurance provides a glimpse on how much general liability coverage is available, what endorsements to the policy are included, and if there are any existing additional insureds. 


General Liability Insurance Audit Subcontractors 

A general liability insurance audit is intended to take a close look at a business’s payroll and risk exposure. An audit ensures you are paying the correct amount for your insurance and getting the coverage that you need. 

The audit may be required by your insurance provider at the end of the year to ensure you paid enough in insurance premiums. General liability insurance audit subcontractors will look at several different things, including your business’s gross sales, any changes from the prior year, and employees or independent contractors. 

Providing accurate information and related paperwork about subcontractors can help the audit to go smoothly.


Professional Liability Insurance for Subcontractors

CoverWallet (Best) NEXT  Thimble  Hiscox The Hartford
Per occurrence limit  $1,000,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000/$2,000,000 $1,000,000 $1,000,000
Aggregate limit  $2,000,000 $2,000,000 $1,000,000/$2,000,000 $1,000,000/$2,000,000 $2,000,000
Name additional insureds? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Waiver of subrogation included? Yes No Yes Yes No
Deductible  $500 $500 $500 $500 $500


Another type of sub contractor insurance that many subcontractors and businesses consider is professional liability insurance. This is also known as errors and omissions insurance and is designed to protect against liabilities that result from the occurrence of issues at work. 

Subcontractors may not be covered if the contractor or business hiring them is faced with a professional liability lawsuit, so subcontractors are often required to have this type of insurance before they can win work. Use the table above to see which insurance company offers the best professional liability insurance for subcontractors. 


What Perils Does Professional Liability Insurance Cover?

Professional liability insurance for subcontractors will grant protection if an employer accuses you of committing the following:

  • Missed deadlines

  • Mistakes

  • Breach of confidentiality

  • Intentionally leaving work without the intent of returning to finish it

  • Losing blueprints or any other document integral for the completion of the project

  • Negligent hiring

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Commercial Property Insurance for Subcontractors 

CoverWallet NEXT (Best) Thimble The Hartford Hiscox
Building coverage limit (minimum) $50,000 $340,000 $25,000/$500,000 $35,000 $25,000
Contents coverage limit (minimum) $50,000 $35,000 $25,000/$500,000 $35,000 $15,000
Outdoor signs Excluded $2,500 Excluded Excluded Included
Accounts receivable  Excluded Excluded $5,000/$10,000 Excluded Included
Money and securities Excluded $2,500 $1,000 Excluded Included
Lock and keys  Excluded $2,500 Excluded Excluded Included
Business interruption floater Excluded Included Included Excluded Included
Equipment breakdown floater Excluded Included Excluded Excluded Included
Inland marine insurance floater Excluded Excluded $10,000 Excluded Excluded
Employee dishonesty floater Excluded $5,000 $2,500 Excluded Excluded


Commercial property insurance protects the building or business equipment you own as a subcontractor. This type of construction subcontractor insurance policy allows you to recover in case theft, fire, vandalism, riot, and other covered perils happen. Use the table above to see which insurance company offers the best commercial property insurance for subcontractors. 


Will Commercial Property Insurance Protect Your Income?

Sometimes commercial property insurance comes with a business interruption policy that may grant subcontractor income protection. The business interruption inclusion allows commercial property insurance to reimburse a portion of lost income in case you need to stop doing business because of an economic problem, relocation, renovation, or any other covered peril.


Does Commercial Property Insurance Cover Equipment Currently Placed On Your Employer’s Project Site?

Most likely not. Commercial property insurance will only cover equipment within your business premises. Equipment under the custody of the client aren’t covered unless an inland marine inclusion is included in the terms of commercial property insurance.


Business Owner’s Policy for Subcontractors 

CoverWallet NEXT (Best) Thimble  The Hartford Hiscox
General liability aggregate limit  $2,000,000 $1,000,000/$2,000,000 $1,000,000/$2,000,000 $1,000,000/$2,000,000 $300,000/$2,000,000
Commercial property coverage limit  $50,000 $340,000 $25,000/$500,000 $35,000 $75,000
Optional policies can be added? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Name additional insureds for free? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
BOP discount? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes


Consider getting a business owner’s policy (BOP) if you don’t have a lot of budget on insurance but still want to enjoy comprehensive coverage. A business owner’s policy is a combination of general liability insurance and commercial property insurance That said, you can use this to cover liability claims and commercial losses. 

Some insurance companies allow you to further enjoy other types of insurance by getting a BOP.  Some common add-ons are tools and equipment insurance, and inland marine insurance. Use the table above to see which insurance company offers the best business owner’s policy for subcontractors. 


Tools and Equipment Insurance for Subcontractors

NEXT  Thimble Hiscox
Aggregate limit $3,000/$10,000 $2,500/$5,000 $15,000/$25,000
Covers hired and borrowed equipment? $3,000/$10,000 $2,500/$5,000 No
Miscellaneous equipment also covered? $5,000/$10,000 No Yes
Offered as an endorsement to general liability insurance? Yes Yes Yes
Deductible $500 $500 $0


Tools and equipment insurance will cover the unexpected costs for repair or replacement if drills, ladders, and other precious items for work get lost or damaged by theft, vandalism, breakdown, and other covered perils. Use the table above to see which insurance company offers the best tools and equipment insurance for subcontractors. 


Workers Comp for Subcontractors 

Businesses need to take out workers’ compensation insurance for their employees but may be unsure about whether it’s necessary for contractors and subcontractors. Workers compensation for subcontractors is often required by employers, and it may be left to the subcontractor to arrange it. On some occasions, an employer or contractor might add the subcontractor to their own workers’ compensation insurance policy. 

The employer’s workers’ compensation insurance might not apply to a subcontractor’s employees unless stated in a document expressing otherwise. And so, if you have your own workers, then it’s a good idea to get your own workers comp insurance for subcontractors. 

A workers comp policy is one of the most costly general contractor insurance requirements for subcontractors. Nonetheless, investing in it is worth the trouble. The failure to get workers comp insurance can result in an injunction, a fine,  a stop-hold order, or any other punishment as may be prescribed by labor laws. 


Employers Liability Insurance for Subcontractors 

Employer’s liability insurance for subcontractors will cover costs if an employee sues for a work-related injury or disease. With this, you can pay legal costs and settlements. Minimum limits start at $500,000 for each employee injury by disease or accident. The employer’s liability policy in subcontractor roofing insurance programs is often included in workers’ compensation packages so that it doesn’t need to be purchased separately. 


Commercial Auto Insurance for Subcontractors

Commercial auto insurance is a coverage for the truck, van, or any other vehicle you own as a subcontractor. This policy will cover the cost of accidents, injuries to the driver and the passengers, and any damage to the covered vehicles. Up to four vehicles can be insured in a commercial auto policy. 


Subcontractor Default Insurance

You’re a subcontractor. Nonetheless, it’s possible for you to hire other subcontractors to get the project done. Consider purchasing subcontractor default insurance to protect yourself in case something happens that will cause the company you hired to default. 

Subcontractor default insurance will grant a reimbursement in case the subcontractor you hired can’t finish the project due to manpower issues, supply chain issues, or any other covered cause. By having this you can reduce any resulting financial losses and keep your client’s trust even if an issue happens. 

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Subcontractor Insurance Cost 

Cost per Month Cost per Year Deductible
General liability insurance $46 $552 $0-$500
Professional liability insurance $51 $612 $500-$1,000
Commercial property insurance $120 $1,440 $1,000-$2,000
Business owner’s policy $166 $1,992 $1,500
Commercial auto insurance $60 $720 $500-$1,000
Workers compensation insurance $90 $1,080 $1,000-$2,500
Business interruption insurance $55 $660 $500-$1,000


The average subcontractor insurance cost is $46 per month or $552 per year for a $1 million general liability insurance. Consider doing these to enjoy cheap general liability insurance for subcontractors: 

  • Get high deductibles

  • Bundle general liability insurance with other policies to enjoy a discount

  • Pay the premium for the whole year rather than going for a monthly scheme

  • Exclude floaters to general liability insurance if they’re useless

Costs for subcontractor insurance can vary depending on your needs. Comparing subcontractor insurance quotes is the best way to find out how much you could be paying. It’s also important to carry out audits to make sure you are paying the right amount and have the necessary coverage. The table below further shows the general liability insurance rates for subcontractors as charged by the insurance companies we recommend. 

Cost Per Month Cost Per Year Best for:
NEXT $35

$420

Best overall; Fastest general liability insurance for subcontractors
CoverWallet $37.43

$449.16

Subcontractor insurance online quotes comparison
The Hartford $39

$468

Workers compensation insurance for subcontractors
Tivly $40

$480

Comparing subcontractor insurance quotes over the phone
Hiscox $42

$504

Short-term coverage for subcontractors
Thimble $44

$528

Subcontractor insurance with automatic renewal


The best way to get the best subcontractor liability insurance cost is to compare quotes and find out what different policies can offer you.  Start by clicking the “Get Quotes” button on this page.

Compare Cheap Subcontractor Insurance Quotes Online

Get all the best quotes from leading providers in a click of a button!

Best Subcontractor Insurance Companies 

Here are some of the best subcontractor insurance companies. Read to know their pros, cons, and rate for a $1 million general liability policy. 


NEXT Subcontractor Insurance 

Pros

  • Best overall

  • Get an online proof of insurance and send as a text message, email, or social media post

  • Fastest general liability insurance for subcontractors

  • 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

Cons

  • Couldn’t find any

NEXT is an insurance company that offers a 100% digital insurance experience. Subcontractors, who wish to get covered, only need to use NEXT’s online quotation platform to choose the policies needed. Talks with agents aren’t required. Nonetheless, NEXT has a dedicated team of agents immediately available if you decide to call. 

Your subcontractor insurance policies are offered under NEXT’s contractor insurance package. Here are what you’ll initially enjoy:

  • $1 million-$2 million general liability insurance

  • $1 million professional liability insurance

  • $340,000 commercial property insurance

  • $2,500-$5,000 tools and equipment insurance

  • Commercial auto insurance

  • Workers compensation insurance

  • Business owner’s policy

Best for: Best overall; Fastest general liability insurance for subcontractors 

Average cost: $35 per month

Our rating: 10/10


CoverWallet Subcontractor Insurance

Pros

  • Compare quotes online 

  • Covers contractors with specialized services

  • Cancel your coverage anytime without charges

  • Terrorism coverage can be added to general liability insurance 

Cons

  • Not an insurance company but an insurance broker 

CoverWallet is an insurance broker. It’s a good option if you want to take a  look at the available offers before getting covered. By using CoverWallet’s quotes comparison tool, you can take a look at the subcontractor insurance policies underwritten by its partners. Here are the policies you can avail from CoverWallet:

  • $1 million-$2 million general liability insurance

  • $1 million professional liability insurance

  • $25,000-$50,000 commercial property insurance

  • Workers compensation insurance

  • Commercial auto insurance

  • Business owner’s policy

Best for: Subcontractor insurance online quotes comparison 

Average cost: $37.43 per month

Our rating: 10/10


The Hartford Subcontractor Insurance

Pros

  • Claims processes are fast and easy

  • Fair rates

  • Number 2 best company for workers comp insurance in 2021

  • Has insured a million small businesses 

Cons

  • Possible premium hikes after submitting a claim

The Hartford offers coverage for greenhorn and highly established subcontractors. You can purchase insurance online or with the help of an agent. Moreover, you can enjoy extended coverage limits in case you’re a subcontractor with a highly demanding business profile. Note that The Hartford doesn’t sell a generic subcontractor insurance package. You have to specify your work before getting an online quote. Here are the features of the policies available:

  • $1 million-$2 million general liability insurance

  • $1 million professional liability insurance

  • $35,000 commercial property insurance

  • Commercial auto insurance

  • Employee benefits insurance

  • Workers compensation insurance

Best for: Workers compensation insurance for subcontractors

Average cost: $39 per month 

Our rating: 10/10


Tivly Subcontractor Insurance

Pros

  • Responsive customer service

  • Compare insurance quotes for phone stores over the phone

  • A partner of many reputable insurance companies 

Cons

  • You need to call to get a quote 

Consider Tivly if you consider talking with someone before getting covered. This company, with its insurance representatives, can help you find the best deals by comparing quotes over the phone. Your coverage from Tivly may come from Progressive, Gallagher, and other partners. Get started by calling a Tivly representative over the phone. 

Best for: Comparing subcontractor insurance quotes over the phone 

Average cost: $40 per month 

Our rating: 9/10


Thimble Subcontractor Insurance

Pros

  • Quick to issue an estimate of your rates

  • Has high TrustPilot ratings

  • Temporary insurance is available

Cons

  • You can’t reach customer service by calling 

Another insurance company that offers a fully digitalized experience when it comes to insurance is Thimble. This company grants coverage to subcontractors specializing in roofing, carpentry, and other related industries.  Here’s a quick summary of what you can avail from Thimble:

  • $1 million-$2 million general liability insurance (available as a short-term coverage)

  • $1 million-$2 million professional liability insurance

  • $25,000-$250,000 commercial property insurance

  • $2,500 tools and equipment insurance

  • Workers compensation insurance

  • Commercial auto insurance

Best for: Short-term coverage for subcontractors 

Average cost: $42 per month 

Our rating: 9/10


Hiscox Subcontractor Insurance

Pros

  • Upgrades can be added for better coverage

  • Reasonably priced upgrades

  • Automatic policy renewal

  • Worldwide coverage

Cons

  • Online quoting may not be available sometimes due to periodic site maintenance

Hiscox offers insurance policies that satisfy most contract requirements. The company meets this claim by designing insurance products that have customizable limits and add-ons. For example, a general liability policy from this company can have as little as $300,000 coverage or as hefty as $1 million.  And in case some policies you need aren’t available in-house, Hiscox will tap its partners to grant coverage. 

Best for: Subcontractor insurance with automatic renewal

Average cost: $42 per month

Our rating: 9/10


Get Subcontractor Insurance Quotes Online

Subcontractors without insurance could cause problems for themselves and their clients. It’s important to have a subcontractor insurance agreement and work out the specifics of who is responsible for different types of insurance. Compare quotes by clicking the “Get Quotes” button on this page and know the best options. 

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