If you run a business, one of the main concerns can be keeping your overhead low so that you can turn a profit easier. As such, liability insurance can feel like a luxury because it only covers you in those “what if” scenarios. However, you don’t have to break the bank finding cheap general liability insurance for contractors. You can keep your overhead low and have the protection in case a lawsuit arises.
- Compare Quotes to Find the Cheapest General Liability Insurance for Contractors
- What Affects the Costs of General Liability Insurance Costs for a Contractor?
- What is General Liability Insurance? And What does it Cover?
- Why do Contractors Need General Liability Insurance?
Compare Quotes to Find the Cheapest General Liability Insurance for Contractors
There are many different places that are known for offering affordable general liability insurance for contractors. We compared quotes for 15 companies and below are the 7 cheapest ones. General liability insurance costs from $41 to $84 a month for a contractor. The cheapest quote is from Hiscox at $40.8 a month and followed by CoverWallet at $45.7 per month.
As you can see, general liability insurance cost varies by providers even for the same company. So make sure to shop around with a few companies, at least 3, or with a digital broker like CoverWallet to compare quotes from several companies to find the cheapest one for you.
- CoverWallet: $45.7 per month (the quote is by Liberty Mutual)
- Thimble Insurance: $83.85 per month
- Next Insurance: $62.5 per month
- Contractor’s Liability: $62.73 per month
- Hiscox: $40.8 per month
- The Hartford: $76.5 per month
- CyberPolicy: $65.8 per month
Thimble: A newer entrant in small business insurance industry, Thimble is famous for its short-term insurance policies for small businesses. You can buy insurance coverage for a day, a week, a month, or monthly depending on the nature of your work. It covers a wide range of industries from a personal trainer, a bartender to a nurse practitioner, a lawyer, or a general contractor. For a $1,000,000 general liability coverage for contractors, it costs $83.85 a month.
Next Insurance: This all-digital small business insurer specializes in affordable monthly premiums. When we did a quick quote for a general contractor, we got $62.50 per month for general liability. General liability plans run in three tiers, from $300,000 to $1 million in per-incident limits and $300,000 to $2 million in annual limits. The $62.50 per month rate is more in line with the $300,000 annual and aggregate coverage options.
Contractor’s Liability: If you want a company that specializes in working with contractors, we got a quote on a general contractor liability plan for $62.73 per month from this company. That was for a concrete construction contractor who did $100,000 in annual revenue in Wisconsin. The plan had a $2 million aggregate limit and a $1 million occurrence limit.
Hiscox: Since this is one of the largest small business insurers, we also got a quote from here. For a general contractor handyman in Wisconsin, the system allowed us to select general liability coverage. The final quote was $40.80 per month for a lower $300,000 occurrence and aggregate limit.
The Hartford: The Hartford serves all 50 states, so no matter where you live, you can get a quote.
The Hartford has solid customer service reviews for business insurance, and they can offer you other business insurance as well, such as:
- Business owners policy
- Errors and Omissions
- Commercial umbrella
- Employment practices liability insurance
- Management liability insurance
- Marine insurance
- Multinational insurance
- Workers compensation
- Commercial auto
- Data breach insurance
Since there are many nuances to general contracting businesses, if that’s your business you can probably get a quote easily and under 10 minutes.
CyberPolicy: CyberPolicy might spring to mind if you need cyber-attack insurance, but they offer business insurance as well through their sister site, CoverHound. You can compare multiple quotes and buy your policies entirely online. They work with:
- Liberty Mutual
When you enter your business details, they’ll offer you several quotes from their partners so you can compare a few policies. The only thing to keep in mind is that they won’t offer you qutes from anyone they don’t partner with.
Online quoting asks you questions about your business and should, theoretically, return some quotes for you. In our case, it said we had to speak to an agent because they needed more information. Even so, CyberPolicy is easy to navigate and is worth a look.
What Affects the Costs of General Liability Insurance for a Contractor?
In order to find cheap general liability insurance for contractors, it helps to know what can affect the costs of an insurance policy. Some of the main factors, as listed by insurer Contractors Liability, include:
- Limits: having higher limits paid out to you directly increases your premiums
- Deductibles: A higher deductible can mean a lower premium, since you’re paying a higher amount for insurance to start covering you
- Prior claims: In some cases, a claims history can mean higher premiums since you’re a higher risk to insure, while some insurers offer discounts if you take safety training or can otherwise prove that you have a risk-avoidance plan in place
- Risk of industry: Some industries are just more risky than others, such as if you’re a contractor who handles electrical work
- Size of business/number of contractors: Larger businesses mean more risk as they take on more contracts, or more subcontractors that you need coverage for can mean a higher chance of injury
- Your location: Different states can pay different premiums
Some of these are factors you have control over, like choosing your coverage limits and deductible amounts. Others not so much, such as the industry you work in or the existence of prior claims.
In the cases where your premiums are high because of issues you can’t control, like prior claims, it pays to search around for an insurer who might offer lower rates for your situation or allow you to take training to reduce risk and save. One such example is the Hartford’s risk engineering program that helps fleet owners improve safety.
What is general liability insurance? And what does it cover?
General liability insurance is an essential business insurance policy. General liability insurance covers you for:
- Third party bodily injury
- Third party property damage
- Reputational harm
- Copyright infringement
Third party bodily injury protects you if your customers or clients injure themselves in your work environment. As any type of contractor knows, a construction zone is a dangerous place. Customers have a way of not paying attention and the next thing you know, they trip over a power cord and break an arm. General liability insurance will cover you if they sue you and will cover their medical costs.
Third party property damage covers you if you accidentally damage your client’s property. If you’re remodeling a bathroom and accidentally gouge a hole in the wall, general liability insurance will cover the cost of fixing the wall.
Reputational harm means slander or libel protection. For example, if you have a nice website you paid a web developer to design for you and someone else lifts your design for their own purposes, general liability insurance will cover your legal costs if you have to sue to get the other party to take down your design.
However, general liability insurance doesn’t cover everything. It won’t cover:
- Injuries you cause due to negligence
- Your own property (you need professional property insurance for that)
- Injuries sustained by your employees (this is workers compensation insurance)
- Intentional damage
- Illegal activities
Anyone who regularly deals with clients should probably have general liability insurance.
Why do contractors need general liability insurance?
There are actually quite a few reasons why contractors need general liability insurance. Anytime you or your subcontractors enter a client’s home, there’s the potential for damaging some part of that client’s home. Also, if you’re doing a renovation or building an addition, sometimes dangerous tools are lying around. Your client, your client’s children, your client’s friends can all get themselves injured by knocking over a ladder.
Also, many clients prefer to work with contractors who have general liability insurance. It tells them you’re a professional and an experienced contractor.
Lastly, many states require general contractors to have general liability insurance. Here’s a list of the states that require it:
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
No matter what state you work in, you should check with the city and state governments to make sure that you are up to date on the latest regulations.
Many different factors can affect small business insurance premiums and your ability to find cheap general liability insurance for contractors. The factors that are most in your control include which limits you choose, your deductible and how safe you can prove your business is. Overall, the best way to save is to shop around.