General Liability Insurance

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Backed by the best
4.7/5 stars from 467 reviews on Trustpilot
Backed by the best

What is general liability insurance?

General liability is the most essential insurance for your business.

General liability insurance, also referred to as ‘commercial general liability’ (CGL) insurance or ‘business liability insurance,’ protects a business against the risk of accidents like bodily injury and property damage that happen to a third party. If you don’t have it and something happens while you’re on the job, one big claim could put you out of business. With general liability insurance, you’ll have the protection you need to stay focused on building your business.

What does general liability cover?

General liability insurance can investigate and defend claims, along with paying for damages, if you're held responsible for things like:

Bodily Injury

Your workplace may have slip and fall hazards. Should a client injure themselves while visiting your workplace, you could be liable for their medical expenses as well as pain and suffering.

Property Damage

You may visit your client’s home to perform your services. Should you damage their property during the course of your work, you could be responsible for replacing or repairing the damaged property.

Personal and Advertising Injury

A part of your job involves advertising your company to grow the business. Should one of your rivals claim that your advertisement damaged their reputation, you could be liable for defamation.

Who needs general liability insurance?

If you work face-to-face with third parties, you probably need CGL.

From a tool flying at an innocent bystander to a costly spill during a client meeting, you’re always at risk of bodily injury or property damage on the job. Because it’s a “floating coverage” that can protect you wherever you work, you should think of CGL as an essential protection for your business.
(Basically if you interact with anyone, anywhere, for any reason? We’re talking to you.)

Why is general liability important?

No matter your profession, general liability is your frontline defense against the financial consequences of a third-party accident.

Some professions need proof of insurance to secure a state-issued permit or license, and many projects will require you to have CGL coverage to even win the bid. It’s crucial to building trust with prospective clients, because it tells them that you’re a legitimate business.
Required or not, a general liability insurance guarantees that one big claim can’t derail you while you build and grow.

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How much does general liability insurance cost?

On average, small business owners pay around $42 per month or $504 per year for general liability insurance.

The cost of a CGL policy is based on just a few things: where you work, what you do, how long you need coverage, and the size of your team. Policies arranged by Thimble start at $17 a month, but no two businesses are exactly the same, so it’s always best to get a quote.

Think of general liability insurance as an essential expense for starting a business, just like business cards or your website. Ultimately, what it costs is negligible compared to what it’s worth.

Estimate
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What other kinds of business insurance do I need?

General liability insurance protects your business against bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury claims, but depending on the nature of your business, you may want to consider a number of other coverages, so you’re ready for whatever the workday throws your way.

Workers Compensation

Essential if your business has employees or workers of any kind. This coverage applies to medical expenses and lost wages associated with work-related injuries and illnesses.

Learn more
Business Equipment Protection

Protects the equipment you won and use for work, from a lawn mower to a camera. Business Equipment Protection is a type of property insurance that covers your stuff.

Learn more
Business Owner's Policy (BOP)

Designed for small business owners who need a few types of coverage. BOP is usually a bundle that includes coverage for damage to owned property, liability, and business interruption insurance.

Learn more
Professional Liability Insurance

Essential for a range of professionals, from consultants to photographers, it protects against errors & omissions claims–i.e, allegations that you have failed to provide the appropriate professional services, which resulted in monetary or reputational damage.

Learn more

General Liability Insurance FAQs

Is general liability insurance required by law?

General liability insurance is not always required by law and you won’t necessarily get in legal trouble at the federal or state level for not carrying CGL insurance. However, there are other potential consequences like losing work because clients want to hire someone that’s insured or suffering financial damages from a lawsuit. In a nutshell, while not always required by law, general liability insurance is a must-have.

How do I show proof I have a general liability policy?

Once you have general liability coverage, you’ll receive a policy and any necessary Certificates of Insurance (COI) you might require. Your COI, often known as an ACORD 25, Certificate of Liability Insurance, is a standard document that proves you’re insured. It includes details like the types of liability coverage (general liability, professional liability, etc.) you have in force, the applicable policy limits, and the duration of your policy. This is typically the document you need to show your clients to prove that you’re ready to get to work. With Thimble, you’ve got instant access to your COI after purchase and can make and send unlimited copies all with a click of a button.

Does general liability protect my store, office, or physical location?

No. If you own or rent a physical location you need a commercial property insurance policy. Unlike general liability which provides third-party coverage, commercial property insurance protects your property (first-party coverage).

What is an Additional Insured?

An Additional Insured is someone who wants to be protected under your CGL policy with respect to liability arising out of your actions or operations . In many cases, this is the company or organization hiring you, because they want to ensure that if anything goes wrong while you’re working on their behalf, they will be defended and covered under your insurance.

How are general liability claims handled?

Claims are handled on behalf of Markel Insurance Company or National Specialty Insurance Company. If you need to file a claim, please follow the contact instructions listed on your policy. Read more here.

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This is fast and easy and works great for me! I am a one man freelance landscaper and this gives me the ability to purchase insurance directly from my phone anytime and anywhere I need it.

Paul H.

Super easy to use! Though of everything

This app is beautiful and super easy to use! It’s super easy to get insurance for the weddings I shoot where the venues require insurance. I can just buy it on the app with 3 clicks and I’m done.

Lan Z.

Awesome Product

I love this idea ????!! I needed to have proof of liability to present my proposal; got it on the spot. I didn't win the bid but I didn't get stuck with costly insurance, either!!

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Best insurance solution for small businesses.

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So Easy!!! I LOVE IT

It was so easy, quick, and simple. The PDF package I received contained everything I needed. This was the best experience I've ever had obtaining insurance...thank you!!!

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Great rate!

I was very impressed with your monthly rate on general liability coverage! Much less than 1/12 of everyone else's annual rate.

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