General Liability

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Frequently Asked Questions About
Commercial General Liability Insurance

How much does small business insurance cost?

Costs can vary widely based on industry and are also determined by zip code and often payroll and/or gross sales. Request a free quote to get an exact number. (read more)

What kind of business insurance do I need?

Most business owners need General Liability Insurance at the very least. If you have any non-owner employees, you will need workers compensation insurance too.

What is a Certificate of Insurance?

A Certificate of Insurance is proof of coverage. It lists the type and amount of liability coverage you have and other policy information when a third party requests it. (read more)

Is business insurance tax deductible?

Yes. you can deduct the cost of commercial insurance premiums. The IRS considers insurance a cost of doing business as long it benefits the business & serves a business purpose.

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General Liability Insurance Quotes

General Liability Insurance Quote

General Liability Insurance. At our goal is to get you the commercial general liability and business insurance you need as fast and easy as possible. We specialize in quick general liability insurance quotes, and have many options placing your small business insurance coverage. We have a fast commercial general liability insurance quote process, making binding coverage simple.

General liability insurance protects your business from bodily injury and property damage lawsuits with rates starting at $27/mo. Get a fast commercial general liability insurance quote and your certificate of insurance today.

General Liability Insurance. You don't have any control over the ultimate cost of injuries to a person injured because of your operations, products, or services. The person injured may be a young child, a blue-collar worker, a surgeon, or a homeless person. The cost of the injuries may be comparatively minor or run into the millions of dollars, depending on the person and the extent of his or her injuries.

Do you have enough money or property you can sell to pay for such a loss? And, if you do, should you use it that way? Commercial general liability insurance (CGL) is designed to help you protect your business, assets and future income.

Your business can opt to purchase a general liability insurance policy on its own or as part of a business owner's policy (BOP) or commercial package policy (CPP), which are insurance policies that bundle both property and liability under a single umbrella. However, if your business has a package or business owner's policy, it's still a good idea to review the coverage for liability that your policy affords, and if necessary, add an excess liability policy as a separate insurance product to make sure protection is in place.

How Much Does General Liability Insurance Cost?

This is usually the first question on a business owners mind. In general, the main factors are the business':

  • Claims history
  • Experience
  • Industry
  • Location
  • Policy limits and coverages
  • Sales and/or payroll
  • Size

Please see, "How Much Does General Liability Insurance Cost?" for a deeper dive into how much a general liability policy costs.

How Does Business Liability Insurance Work?

If you're a business owner in or thinking of starting a small business, you're probably aware that you need small business general liability insurance, but maybe you're somewhat confused about what it is, what it covers, and how much you need to fully protect yourself and your business from potential liabilities.

What is general business liability insurance? What does it do? Why do you need it? How much should you buy? Read on to discover more about this essential insurance for your business and find out how to get the right level of coverage for your particular needs.

How Does General Liability Insurance Protect You?

General liability insurance protects your business in several ways:

  1. Liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage insures your legal obligations that arise from an accident. It also includes the costs related to lawsuits and other legal proceedings. The limits of insurance should be sufficient to handle serious injuries and the injured person's loss of earnings.
  2. Liability coverage for damages due to personal and advertising injury insures your legal obligations that arise from an offense. It also includes the costs related to lawsuits and other legal proceedings. The limits of insurance should be sufficient to handle serious injuries and the injured person's loss of earnings.
  3. Medical Payments coverage pays the cost of medical care to persons injured on your premises or due to your operations, regardless of fault.

The bodily injury or property damage must be caused by an occurrence, which is defined as an accident, including continuous or repeated exposure to substantially the same harmful conditions, and it must occur in the covered territory. Each of these coverages is subject to certain policy exclusions, conditions, and definitions.

The general liability policy covers the cost of defending the insurance company or party against the charges that are named in the lawsuit. This can include attorney fees, costs for investigation, and other related legal expenses. The costs to the defense can be a huge amount even when the defense is not responsible for the damages. The indemnity, or payment of damages, and the defense obligations are the two parts of a general liability policy.

How Much Liability Insurance Do You Need?

The limits of insurance are the most paid, regardless of the number of insureds, claims made, suits brought, or persons or organizations that make claims or bring suits. The amount of coverage that your PA business needs depends on your individual business model and the amount of risk associated with your business.

For instance, a consultant or a web designer may need less coverage than a roofer or a contractor. The location of your business also plays a key role in determining your coverage needs. For instance, if you live in a state that has a tendency to award large amounts of damages to personal injury claimants (California, New York etc.), then you may want to beef up your liability policy.

General Liability Policy Limits

Like a traditional insurance plan, a general liability policy pays for covered claims up to a specified limit. The most common general liability policy is a $1,000,000 / $2,000,000 policy. This means:

  • $1,000,000 per occurrence limit. This means the insurer will pay up to one million dollars to cover any one claim.
  • $2,000,000 aggregate limit. During the effective dates of a policy (typically a year), the insurer will pay up to two million dollars to cover any number of claims.
General Liability Coverage Example

For instance, if your business is sued for injury due to a hazard on the worksite (people are hurt on your jobsite), a policy may cover the medical costs to the injured party along with a set amount for your legal fees. If your business has a liability policy with a $1,000,000 per claim limit, and you're sued for $700,000 with attorney fees amounting to around $100,000, then your policy is sufficient to cover your loss:

  • $1,000,000 limit - $800,000 (claim and legal fees) = $200,000 so more than enough to cover the costs under the per claim amount.

However, in the same scenario, if you're sued for $950,000, and you have attorney fees of $100,000, then you may need to come up with an additional $50,000 to cover the loss:

  • $1,000,000 limit - $1,050,000 (claim and legal fees) = -$50,000. This claim exceeds the per claim limit, so the business owner would owe fifty thousand dollars out-of-pocket.

This is why it makes sense to purchase more liability insurance than you think you need; better to be safe than sorry when you're putting your personal assets and your business at risk. Excess insurance is always preferable to inadequate insurance.

What Doesn't General Liability Insurance Cover?

Every general liability insurance coverage form or policy has certain exclusions and limitations. This is because only specific types of businesses need the coverage or the risk or exposure to loss is not considered insurable for some reason. Some bodily injury and property damage liability exclusions are:

  • Aircraft, Auto, or Watercraft
  • Distribution of Material in Violation of Statutes
  • Expected or Intended Injury
  • Liquor Liability
  • Mobile Equipment
  • Pollution
  • Recall of Products, Work, or Impaired Property
  • War
  • Workers Compensation

General Liability Insurance And Loss Exposures

Loss exposures is a term that refers to any property, circumstances, activity, and events that can cause an insured loss. This general liability exposure is usually broken down into four separate groups:

  1. Premises and Operations involves any liability that comes from the conditions in and surrounding the insured company's premises as well as any operations that take place on or off company property.
  2. Products and Completed Operations is any liability that involves the company's insured products or any completed works. This type of insurance is difficult to define because it not only involves products that the company is making at present, it also covers any liability for products that have already been made. There are unique risks and challenges involved with this coverage.
  3. Contractual Liability means that a company has taken on obligations that do not exist under normal law and has voluntarily liability that is outlined in a contract.
  4. Independent Contractor Liability is used to describe a person or company that hires an independent contractor to do work on their behalf. This type of liability may be used by smaller companies that hire independent contractors for some of their jobs.

Do some industry research before buying your policy, and remember that some clients may require that you carry a particular amount of general liability insurance coverage before you can even work for them. Consult with your agent to find out how much is enough, and if you already have liability insurance, if it's enough to protect you.

Do You Need Other Types Of Insurance?

Some states require that all businesses that have employees pay into the state disability insurance fund and workers compensation insurance fund, and some require that general liability is purchased as well. In addition, you may need:

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The commercial insurance content available here at is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal or financial advice. General Liability Insure does not warrant or make any representations regarding the usefulness of or the expected results of the material contained on this website. You should contact your attorney, accountant and/or financial adviser to obtain advice with respect to any particular commercial insurance questions or issue.

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