How much does general liability cost?

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How much is general liability insurance?

While traditional providers lock you into an annual policy with monthly payments, policies arranged by Thimble start at $17 a month, with the flexibility to pause or cancel anytime. Of course, every business is different, so it’s always best to get a quote. The cost of general liability insurance is negligible compared to what it’s worth. Every job, no matter what, involves some risk, so CGL is an essential expense to protect your business even before you make your first dollar.

Based on our policies sold the median costs of general liability insurance are:

Coverage Period

By the hour

By the day

By the week

By the month

Median Cost

$5

$15

$32

$49

Factors that influence general liability cost

General liability insurance is largely determined by what you do, so the price you see (that “premium” we talked about) is usually influenced by a few main factors:

General liability insurance is largely determined by what you do, so the price you see (that “premium” we talked about) is usually influenced by a few main factors:

Risk

Depending on the type of work you’re performing, the inherent risks of your job might well exceed that of another profession. For instance, a handyman might incur more risk than, say, a florist. The risk you face in your everyday job directly affects the cost of your general liability insurance.

Location

Your business’ geographical location as well as its specific area of operation can have an impact on your annual premium costs. For instance, working out of a densely populated city might influence the likelihood of a bodily injury or property damage occurring and a claim being filed against your business.

Additionally, where you meet and interact with clients also factors into your insurance premium. If you meet clients in-person (even if it’s at a third-party location like a coffee shop), the risks of property damage and bodily injury are still present.

Industry

It goes without saying that certain jobs naturally have more risks than others. For instance, a construction business probably experiences bodily injury and property damage issues at a far higher rate than an IT firm. 

Years in business

The more established a track recored you have, the easier it is for an insurance provider to gauge your overall risk profile. More data points can help lead to a more accurate appraisal. 

Crew size

The larger your operation, the higher the risk of something going wrong. Multiple job sites or workers mean there’s a better change of an accident occurring. 

Coverage limit

The coverage limit you select for your policy is going to to direct affect the cost. The higher your coverage limit the more yo’ll have to pay. To that end, there are usually a few policy limits you can choose form.

For instance, at Thimble, you can choose between a limit of $1 million or $2 million policy limit will cost more as it provides double the protection from personal liability. But, this doesn’t mean your premium is doubled.  

How much does general liability insurance cost by industry?

Handymen + Contractors

Cleaners + Janitors

Events + Entertainment

Landscapers

Pet Services

Beauty + Fitness

Consultants + Freelancers

$96.94

$38.28

$37.61

$36.53

$23.75

$20.80

$20.36

$96.94

Handymen + Contractors

$38.28

Cleaners + Janitors

$37.61

Events + Entertainment

$36.53

Landscapers

$23.75

Pet Services

$20.80

Beauty + Fitness

$20.36

Consultants + Freelancers

Higher-risk industries will usually pay a higher insurance premium. The general liability policies with the highest averages arranged by Thimble are tied to industries that frequently work in or on someone else’s property: Handymen & Contractors, Cleaners & Janitors and Events & Entertainment.

As you might expect, industries with lower inherent risk of bodily injury or property damage typically pay a lower premium. Groups like Consultants & Freelancers, Beauty & Fitness and Pet Services (dog walkers, pet sitters, etc.) have the lowest premiums on average for general liability insurance coverage with Thimble.

Tips for minimizing general liability insurance costs

Although general liability insurance costs depends on a variety of factors, there are some steps you can take to reduce your costs over time. These include but are not limited to:

Bundle policies

If you need both general liability and professional liability, you can usually lower your premium costs by bundling these two types of business insurance together and purchasing from the same carrier. (If you provide professional advice, it’s recommended you have both types of coverage.)

Only purchase the insurance you need

Many small businesses work on a project-to-project basis. Covering your business only when you’re actually working can help you save money. That’s why we launched business insurance by the hour, day, week, and month, so you can tailor it specifically to when you’re on the job.

Minimize risks

Risk management and safety training can help reduce the likelihood that you’ll ever have to make a claim. Fewer claims can lead to fewer rate increases over time.

Is general liability insurance worth the cost?

The short answer, yes. On average a slip and fall claim costs $20,000.

For a relatively low price (around $30 per month on average), a general liability policy could end up saving you from possibly having to pay thousands of dollars resulting from the cost of claim investigation, defense, settlement, and damages.

Kind of a no brainer, right?

At Thimble, we’re all about game-changing flexibility: only buy the coverage you need. We know that when you’re starting out, you shouldn’t pay for insurance all year if you’re working all year (another no brainer). And when the time is right, you can upgrade to ongoing coverage, and pause or cancel anytime.

Thimble: it’s smarter coverage, stupid fast, with total control.

What other kinds of business insurance do I need?

While general liability insurance is designed to protect your business against bodily injury, property damage, and personal injury claims, you may want to consider a number of other coverage types depending on the nature of your business.

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
Business Owner's Policy

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
Equipment Insurance

Protects the equipment you own 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
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

General Liability Insurance FAQs

What other types of insurance do I need?

Professional liability

If you provide professional advice, such as marketing consulting, you should also consider professional liability insurance. This type of coverage protects you against the financial consequences of mistakes made in your line of work. These mistakes could include bad advice or professional negligence that results in your client(s) losing money.

Equipment insurance

If you rely on your tools to perform your services, you’ll likely want to protect those too. Also known as inland marine insurance, equipment insurance protects the equipment you own and use for work. At Thimble, this type of policy is automatically bundled in our monthly general liability plans in some states. That way, you’re protected if you damage a third-party’s property and if your tools incur damages on the job.

Workers’ comp

In most states (save for Texas), if you have employees, it’s legally required that you carry workers’ compensation insurance. This type of insurance helps protect your business from the financial consequences of an employee incurring a workplace illness or injury.

I need another Certificate of Insurance (COI), is there an additional cost?

No. COI’s are provided at no additional charge and you can request as many as you need anytime. Usually you have to contact your broker to request another COI and wait for them to email you. With Thimble, you can easily generate as many COIs as you need.

Do I only need liability coverage for the time I am working?

The answer to this question is typically yes. At Thimble, you can purchase your insurance specifically when you need it, tailoring your coverage to exactly when you’re on the job. This means you never pay for insurance when you don’t need it.

If I need both general liability and professional liability, are they purchased separately?

This depends on your insurance carrier. Look for carriers who bundle general and professional liability as this usually means lower premiums for you.

With Thimble, if your profession requires professional liability and general liability coverage we’ve included both in one simple policy bundle. This makes your liability insurance pricing better and ensures that your business is protected. (If you give advice as your job, such as a marketing consultant, you likely need both general liability and professional coverage.)

What’s the difference in cost between a general liability policy with $1M limits vs. $2M limits?

Your coverage limit is simply the total amount of coverage that can be paid out for valid claims under the policy. Considering that you’re getting double the coverage, the cost between a $1M general liability policy versus a $2M policy is often negligible (not double the price).

1 Insurance Journal. 10 Most Common & Costliest Small Business Claims .

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