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For many small businesses, the cost of general liability insurance can be around around $50 per month. But how much you'll pay for coverage depends on a variety of factors, including what industry you work in and how much liability insurance you need.
Businesses typically need general liability insurance regardless of what they do. You can buy this coverage on its own or as part of a business owner's policy. Shop around to find the best rates and fit for your business.
How much does general liability insurance cost?
Insurance providers estimate general liability insurance costs as follows:
$42 per month: Insureon says its customers pay a median of $42 per month for general liability insurance.
$53 per month: Progressive says businesses that bought new general liability policies from the Progressive Advantage Business Program in 2020 paid $50 per month on average.
Less than $50 per month: Hiscox says general liability insurance costs less than $50 per month for 95% of businesses, according to its survey of 50,000 small-business owners.
What determines the cost of general liability insurance?
General liability insurance helps protect your business when a third party or their property is harmed in your normal course of doing business.
How much you’ll pay for this business insurance policy will likely depend on the following:
The riskier the industry your business operates in, the higher your general liability insurance costs are likely to be.
For instance, a retail store with multiple storefronts is more likely to incur slip-and-fall claims than a web designer working out of her home, since there are places for those accidents to happen. A home cleaning business is more likely to incur property damage claims than an art gallery because they handle customers’ property.
According to Insureon, general liability insurance premiums for its customers are highest for construction and contracting businesses, cleaning services and landscaping companies. Premiums are lowest for photographers, videographers and IT professionals.
Learn more and get coverage for your industry:
Your claims history
If your business has been sued several times in recent years for damaging customers’ property — and if you’ve filed claims to help cover those losses — insurers may see you as a greater risk and charge you higher premiums to offset those potential future costs.
Your policy size
Many general liability insurance policies have a per-occurrence limit of $1 million and an aggregate limit of $2 million. That means the insurer will pay out up to $1 million for each individual claim filed, but will not pay out more than $2 million in a year.
Policies with higher limits will charge higher premiums, and smaller policies typically come with smaller premiums. A larger deductible typically translates to lower premiums, too.
Your business size
From an insurance perspective, every employee who works for your business presents a risk. The more drivers a delivery service has, for instance, the more opportunities those drivers have to crash. So as your business grows, your general liability policy may need to grow too and may become more expensive as a result.
How to purchase general liability insurance
Most business insurers sell general liability insurance in two ways: on its own and as part of a package with other kinds of coverage.
Consider these providers as you start your search:
When it's a good fit
If you want to buy general liability insurance online in minutes. Read our review of Next business insurance.
If you want to buy a temporary general liability insurance policy online. Read our review of Thimble.
If you want to shop online for general liability insurance or a BOP. Read our review of Chubb business insurance.
If you want personalized support from a local agent. Read our review of State Farm business insurance.
Progressive or Geico
For many business owners, buying a business owner's policy, or BOP, may make more sense than buying general liability coverage by itself.
In general, BOPs include general liability insurance, commercial property insurance and, most of the time, business interruption insurance. They’re typically available to companies with 100 or fewer employees and annual revenue of $5 million or less, though availability varies by industry — restaurants and construction businesses may not be able to get BOPs due to certain risks, for instance.
If you can’t buy a BOP or don’t need all the types of coverage included in one, you can buy a general liability policy on its own. Get quotes from several business insurance companies to find the best policy for you.
Once you're insured, make sure you know how to generate your certificate of liability insurance in case a client or landlord requests a copy of it.