General liability insurance is one of the primary commercial policies that businesses use to protect themselves against common lawsuits. Often referred to as commercial general liability insurance, or CGL insurance for short, this form of coverage helps businesses pay for the costs of defending or settling liability claims, usually related to personal injury or property damage. This guide will cover everything you need to know about general liability insurance, including how it works, what it covers, how it compares to other commercial policies, what it costs, and what to look for when choosing a provider. Lastly, we review some of the best general liability insurance companies, including the top three listed below:
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Understanding Business Risk & Commercial Insurance
When it comes to forming a business plan, every owner takes risks; it’s an inevitable part of embarking on any small business journey. However, the risks you can’t foresee are the ones that may have the most detrimental effect on your plans. Accidents, mistakes, and oversights can derail your trajectory, even if they aren’t your fault. Luckily, having the right insurance plan can protect your income, inventory, and employees from claims waged against your business by third parties such as clients or customers. If you’re new to small business insurance, the number of small business policies to choose from can be overwhelming. Every business will have different needs, but starting with the basics of commercial insurance can make the process easier and more approachable for any owner.
Why Businesses Need Commercial Insurance
Running a business is no easy task, and having commercial insurance is a crucial part of any successful business owner’s manual. Commercial insurance ensures your business is covered in case a claim is filed against it. As a whole, commercial insurance can be broken down into subsections that address different scenarios within the workplace. Worker’s compensation insurance, for example, covers on-site employee injuries, while property insurance takes care of the cost of your business’s damaged property in case of an event like a fire or break-in. Professional liability insurance, on the other hand, answers for mistakes, omissions, or misleading claims made by your business.
While you can’t protect your business from all risk, finding the commercial insurance policies that are right for you keeps you a step ahead of the unexpected. From accidents to workplace errors and even cyberattacks, your business is vulnerable, meaning you and your employees are too. For all the effort you put into your business each day, you don’t want one mishap to catch you off guard and take down your firm.
Understanding General Liability Insurance
General liability insurance is one of the most common policies chosen by business owners, and serves as a great starting point for protecting your enterprise. It’s often bundled in packaged offers, so make sure to evaluate how much insurance your business will benefit from before choosing a general liability policy on its own or opting for a package deal.
What Is General Liability Insurance?
General liability insurance covers claims made by individuals (or other businesses) who suffer property damage or physical injury at your business or as a result of your actions as a business owner. A lawsuit can even be filed if a statement from you or someone working for you tarnishes a third party’s reputation, causing what’s known as personal injury.
General liability insurance, sometimes referred to as commercial general liability insurance or business liability insurance, can cover everything from medical costs associated with an injury to replacement of goods. This type of policy stands out from other kinds of commercial insurance because it’s limited to third-party claims resulting from your business’s non-professional actions. It won’t, for example, cover injuries or damages suffered by your employees or yourself. It also won’t cover professional mistakes, such as an error or omission in your work product.
Imagine, for example, you own a landscaping business and one of your teams is doing yard work at a client’s home. While moving heavy tools, one of your employees accidently shatters a window at the home. This kind of incident would fall under general liability insurance; without it, you would have to pay to replace the window. Let’s say another employee leaves a garden hose laying in the yard, causing the homeowner to trip over it and break her foot. Your general liability policy will cover her medical costs, loss of income as a result of the accident, and any other damages. Without general liability insurance, your business could be stuck paying all those costs out of pocket.
After any incident of bodily injury or property damage that happens at or as a result of your business, be sure to create a record of it immediately. This means documenting the incident and contacting your insurance company to report the claim. The earlier you do so, the more time your provider will have to sort out the facts and prepare a defense. Generally, the insurance company will be the one directing legal counsel, defending you as their client and eventually settling the case.
Every incident related to your business will become part of your track record, which will affect the cost of future insurance policies for your business. Risk management and prevention strategies are one way to make sure you’re doing as much as you can to minimize the chance of injury or property damage taking place at or being caused by your business.
What Types of Businesses Need General Liability Coverage?
Since general liability insurance addresses claims made by a third party, this type of coverage would be best for businesses that see a high volume of customer interaction. This includes retail shops, workshop spaces, venues, food establishments, and any other environments where customers are in and out on a daily basis. The more clients or customers your business sees, the greater the likelihood of someone filing a claim as a result of an accident.
In addition to businesses with high degrees of in-person customer interaction, businesses or independent contractors that deal directly with other people’s property would benefit from general liability coverage as well. This includes carpentry businesses, automotive repair shops, jewelers, and any other firm that works with customer property. No matter the skill level of the individual at work, repairing or improving private property always runs the risk of damages.
How Does General Liability Insurance Work?
When shopping for general liability insurance, you’ll likely notice that many providers will offer it as part of a larger package. When faced with the choice of whether to purchase general liability coverage on its own or with other coverages, stop and consider what aspects of your business really need protection. General liability insurance is a must in any environment where customer interaction is present, but you may not need additional policies like commercial property insurance, which are often combined with general liability insurance into what’s called a business owners policy. On the other hand, you might find that bundling multiple policies together provides better coverage for your business at a discounted rate.
Regardless of whether you choose to purchase your policy on its own or as part of an insurance package, you will still need to understand the basic components of your general liability insurance policy: premiums, benefit limits, and deductibles.
Your insurance premium, or the cost you pay for coverage, is usually paid by the month, though you may also have the option to pay the entire yearly sum up front. In exchange for paying your premium, the insurer will cover costs in the event of a qualifying liability claim against your business.
The coverage limit is the maximum amount of money that can be paid by the insurance provider in response to a claim. Typically, $1 to $2 million limits are standard for a first time policy serving a small business, but higher pay thresholds are also available if necessary. If the cost to cover an incident involving your business ends up being greater than the set benefit limit, you’ll be expected to pay the difference.
Another detail to keep in mind is the difference between per-occurrence and aggregate limits. The former is the maximum amount of money your insurer will provide to cover the cost of a single claim. An aggregate limit, on the other hand, is the highest amount covered during a pre-established policy term. Often lasting a year, an aggregate limit may encompass multiple claims brought against you, as long as they fall within the term.
Lastly, when settling on a general liability policy, you’ll have the opportunity to set a deductible starting at $0. A deductible is an agreed upon payment that you make if your insurance provider ends up covering the costs associated with a claim against your business. If, for example, you set your deductible at $300, you are required to pay that amount towards any claim before your benefit kicks in. Most small business owners opt to set their deductibles at a few hundred or thousand dollars. Keep in mind, however, that lower deductibles result in higher premiums, and vice versa.
What Does General Liability Insurance Cover?
General liability insurance covers damages caused by your services, operations, or employees affecting other individuals, businesses, or their property. These damages typically fall into one of the following buckets: bodily injury, property damage, personal injury, or advertising injury.
While bodily injury sustained within a business often manifests in trips, slips, or falls, it can also be defined as an illness that develops as a result of visiting or consulting a business. If a customer or other third party individual suffers from physical injury while on the grounds of your business, your liability policy is meant to cover their medical costs as well as any settlement or legal fees resulting from the lawsuit. Along with the cost of medical care, other areas that can be covered include loss of income, at-home care, physical therapy treatments, or compensation for pain and suffering.
Property damage is another aspect protected under a general liability policy. This encompasses any damage or destruction of property belonging to a third party. Keep in mind that this doesn’t include your own property as a business owner; you’ll need a separate property insurance policy for that. Many instances of damage covered by general liability insurance stem from worksite accidents that directly impact property. If, for example, an employee of a plumbing business visits a home to take care of a leak but accidently knocks over an antique, the cost of repair or replacement of that object can be covered by general liability insurance.
Not to be confused with bodily injury, personal injury can also be cited as cause for a claim against your business. Personal injury cases can include a damaged reputation as a result of slander on the part of your business. If you or one of your employees contributes to the erosion of an outside individual’s professional reputation, your business can be sued for defamation or invasion of privacy depending on the circumstances. Libel, wrongful eviction, and false arrest are among other examples of personal injury suits that can be brought against a business in court. Your general liability insurance policy can cover damages resulting from these claims, such as loss of income suffered by the third party.
Advertising injury is similar to personal injury in that it deals with slander and reputation harm; it’s just specific to advertising as the medium. If, for example, your business produces a newspaper, radio, internet, or television ad that specifically targets a competing business or individual, an advertising injury claim can be brought against you. If you claim private or unproven information about the third party, you may be violating their privacy rights as well. Advertising injury also includes any unlawful use of another business’s copyrighted visuals, ideas, or slogans.
General Liability Insurance Exclusions
Although general liability insurance covers a broad range of incidents, there are plenty of events that won’t be covered under that policy alone. In the sections below, we cover a few common examples of what’s not covered by commercial general liability insurance.
Damage to Your Own Business Property
If your own business property suffers damage due to fire, theft, vandalism, or other extenuating circumstances, the cost of repair or replacement of those objects will not be covered by a general liability insurance policy. To cover your own property, choose a business property insurance policy or a Business Owners Policy (BOP), which includes both commercial property and general liability insurance. Furniture, equipment, finished products, and inventory are among the objects covered, as well as the building itself. If your business has a physical headquarters, relies on equipment, or deals with a large inventory and supply rotation regularly, don’t rely solely on general liability insurance to cover your assets. General liability will only cover property damage suffered by third parties at or as a direct result of your business.
Employee Injury or Illnesses
Your general liability insurance will also not be able to cover employee injuries or illnesses that happen at or as a result of the workplace. Workers’ compensation insurance is a separate type of coverage that will cover your employees’ medical costs and income recovery should they be the victim of a workplace accident. General liability will only cover bodily injury suffered by a third party or a person unrelated to your business. Many states require a workers’ compensation plan to protect your employees, so be sure to do some research before settling on a policy.
If your business is found to have misrepresented its services or made an error, general liability insurance will not provide coverage in the case of a claim filed against you. This applies even if the error was not intentional. If you want the financial consequences of your business’s potential errors or omissions to be covered under an insurance plan, consider getting professional liability insurance.
General Liability Insurance vs. Other Commercial Insurance Lines
In a nutshell, general liability insurance deals with claims that can be brought against your business by third parties, stemming from non-professional incidents. A third party can be any outside person or business, such as a client or competing business owner. General liability insurance does not protect you as an individual, your business’s property, or your employees. Business property insurance, professional liability insurance, and worker’s compensation insurance are other kinds of policies that will cover you, your employees, or business property.
General Liability vs. Professional Liability Insurance
While both general and professional liability insurance policies provide coverage in case a claim against your business is taken to court, they address different scenarios. General liability includes any injury or property damage sustained at your business or as a result of its operations. Professional liability insurance, on the other hand, usually covers claims based on monetary loss resulting from business errors, false advice, misleading information, or missed deadlines. If, for example, a graphic designer is hired to complete an ad campaign and fails to deliver before the agreed upon release date, the breach of the deadline can constitute a lawsuit against the designer’s business. Professional liability insurance is also sometimes known as errors and omissions insurance.
General Liability Insurance vs. Business Owners Policy
A business owners policy (BOP) refers to a group of individual policies-such as general liability, commercial property, and business interruption insurance-that a business owner will purchase as a package or bundle through a single insurer. So while a general liability insurance policy refers to a single type of policy that covers a specific set of circumstances, a BOP refers to an insurance package that includes multiple commercial policies covering a broad range of liabilities.
Is General Liability Insurance Required?
While general liability insurance is usually not mandated by law, private clients may often require your business to have a policy in order to work with them. However, requirements for small businesses do vary by state, so it’s important to be aware of your particular state laws when choosing policies for a budding business. California, for example, does not have insurance requirements other than workers’ compensation. This is also the case when it comes to other states with high commercial activity rates such as Florida, New York, and North Carolina. Texas is the only state that doesn’t require private businesses to carry workers’ compensation coverage.
Contractors and construction developers are another group of business owners that are subject to stricter general liability requirements. For example, construction boards, licensing organizations, and private companies will often require liability insurance as a condition of working with them.
Considerations for Certain Businesses
Unlike other forms of business structure, in a sole proprietorship, there is no distinction between the business and the business owner. As such, a sole proprietor is personally responsible for any debts or liabilities incurred by the business. Because of this, it is critical for sole proprietors to protect themselves with an adequate amount of general liability insurance. Without it, a lawsuit against the business could result in the sole proprietor losing their home or other personal assets to settle the claim.
Small Businesses & LLCs
While an LLC does protect its owners from personal liability when dealing with a lawsuit, a general liability policy safeguards the business itself, making sure it remains solvent even in the case of a lawsuit. The amount of coverage your LLC needs will depend on its size, location, and nature of operations. If your business or LLC is taken to court on the basis of a personal injury or property damage claim, a general liability policy can help you avoid loss of income, outside costs, or even bankruptcy.
General contractors have plenty of potential risks to consider when choosing an insurance policy to protect their business. Busy construction sites with numerous employees, heavy equipment, and constant activity elevate the risk of a workplace accident, injury, or property-damaging incident. In addition to basic general liability coverage, most general contractors and construction firms also make use of what’s called completed operations coverage, which is essentially general liability insurance that covers work already completed (as opposed to work that is in progress). Many clients, as well as specific city and state licensing bodies will require proof that construction firms have a valid general liability policy before commencing work. For example, in California, contractors are required by law to disclose in their bids whether or not they carry an active CGL insurance policy.
General Liability Insurance Premiums & Cost
General liability insurance policies range in price, which is why getting a quote from an insurance company is the best way to figure out exactly how much you’ll have to pay for the right policy. That said, in the sections below, we will detail approximate ranges and the major factors that affect policy premiums.
How Much Does General Liability Insurance Cost?
Though costs vary by insurer and other factors, general liability insurance usually costs between $30 and $50 per month (or between $360 and $600 per year) for a policy with limits of $1 million per-occurrence and $2 million aggregate. All things equal, firms in low-risk industries like IT and consulting will benefit from lower premiums; whereas, firms in high-risk sectors like construction and landscaping will be subject to higher prices. In the section below, we will review the primary factors that affect the cost of CGL insurance policies.
Factors That Affect the Cost of General Liability Insurance
A number of factors influence how much a business will pay for general liability insurance coverage. Some of these items-like industry or location-might be beyond a business’s control. On the other hand, things like deductibles and coverage limits can be adjusted to create a cheaper policy. Most importantly, as you are evaluating different plans across insurance providers, it’s critical to keep these factors as consistent as possible so that you can make an apples-to-apples comparison.
The deductible is a previously established fee that you are required to pay out of pocket per claim before coverage kicks in. Your deductible is one of the most significant drivers of your monthly insurance cost; the higher the deductible, the less you pay per month in premiums.
The maximum coverage limit your plan offers is another key factor that determines your monthly cost. Most small business plans provide between $1 and $2 million in coverage-the most the insurer will pay for legal costs, property damage, medical bills, or other charges that may stem from a claim against your business. The size of your business and the amount of risk involved in its daily operations will dictate the amount of coverage needed. All things equal, more coverage will result in a higher premium.
The industry or profession your business operates in also affects the cost of your general liability policy. Retail storefronts, for example, usually have higher insurance costs than other businesses. This is largely based on the number of customers seen on a regular basis, creating more opportunity for liability-related incidents. Similarly, professions that focus on repairing, improving, or troubleshooting other people’s property-like construction and landscaping-also face a higher potential for claims, and thus, more expensive insurance policies. On the other hand, businesses that provide remote services-like consulting firms or professional services-typically benefit from lower general liability insurance premiums.
Business Size & Location
How large your business is and where it’s located will also affect your policy cost. Larger businesses tend to see more visitors, as do businesses in busy commercial areas. A business in a highly trafficked downtown area, for example, may see a more expensive general liability policy than one located on the outskirts of a major city or town. Size is usually determined not by physical space occupied, but by the amount of business done, number of employees, and number of customers.
The claims history associated with your business is another factor used to determine your final cost. A clean track record with little to no history of lawsuits or claims raises your chances of securing a more affordable policy. A history of poor risk management and prevention may result in higher rates. Older businesses also tend to pay less for their policies, since more experience usually means less risk potential. Just like individuals, your business also has its own credit score determined by its financial history. A lower business credit score puts you at risk of a pricier insurance policy and vice versa. You can check and track your score using online tools like Experian.
How to Find Cheap General Liability Insurance
While you can’t prevent every potential mishap at your workplace, you can take measures to reduce the risk of bodily injury or property damage claims. This can be as simple as keeping your space clean and free of obstacles, to investing in a high tech security camera system to make sure you have visual evidence of any incident that takes place. After you identify potential risks and take prevention measures, make sure to keep up with the pace of your business to foresee new risks that may come with expansion.
Packaged Policies & Multi-Line Discounts
Some insurance providers offer the option of discounted, packaged policies. A business owners policy, for example, entails both general liability and commercial property insurance for a single rate. This can often come out cheaper than purchasing each insurance policy separately. Even if your business decides against a packaged policy like a BOP, getting all of your insurance from the same provider can significantly reduce your total cost of insurance. Nearly all insurance providers offer some form of multi-line discount for customers that maintain multiple policies with them.
Compare CGL Quotes
It pays to do your homework when shopping for an insurance policy for your small business. Each insurance provider may have something different to offer, and it’s best to consult three or four companies to give yourself a range of options. Compare quotes to find the best long-term deal before committing to a provider, factoring in all the options discussed above. Cost is an obvious factor to consider, but don’t necessarily settle on the cheapest option right away. Paying a little extra for a policy that checks all the boxes will give you the confidence you need to run your business without worrying about everything that could go wrong.
Comparing General Liability Insurance Providers
As discussed earlier, general liability insurance is one of the most common policies that businesses rely on to mitigate their legal risks, and as such, there is no shortage of available options to choose from. Today, the market consists of both large and medium-sized traditional insurers, as well as a number of new entrants offering streamlined policies that can be purchased online-only in a manner of minutes. Regardless of which type of company you opt for, there are a few key factors to consider when seeking out the best CGL insurance policy for your business.
Coverage Options & Policy Limits
The most important thing to consider when evaluating insurers is whether they offer coverage that is adequate for your business. Some smaller insurers, for example, will only write policies up to a certain limit, which may not be enough for your situation. Second, make sure you’re aware of all the coverage options available to you. Ask your potential provider about their general liability, professional liability, and business owners policy options, along with any discounts you may be eligible for by bundling policies. During your initial consultation, go over all aspects of your business with the company representative so that all potential risks are on the table. The representative may even point out some risks you may not have considered previously. Your profession, business size, location, number of employees, and claims history are all highly important factors to clarify when you go in for a quote.
While on the hunt for general liability insurance, you might find that providers have different protocols for reporting claims. It’s important to be aware of the difference between occurrence and claims-made policies. An occurrence policy is a form of lifetime coverage that handles all claims no matter when they are filed or reported, so long as the incident occured while the policy was active. A claims-made policy, on the other hand, will only address incidents that take place and are reported according to a pre-established policy time frame. With a claims-made policy, your policy needs to be active when you file the claim for the claim to be covered. Most general liability insurance policies are occurrence policies.
Being able to report a claim quickly and conveniently can also be crucial, especially when the incident involves physical injury. Make sure to familiarize yourself with your chosen company’s website and phone support options so as to not waste time navigating it if you need to file a claim on the spot.
Premiums & Deductibles
As a quick reminder, your premium is the cost of your insurance policy, while a deductible is a set amount of money that you agree to pay out of pocket every time your insurance company has to cover the cost of a claim. When deciding what you want your deductible to be, keep in mind that the higher you set the bar, the lower your monthly premium will be. If no claims arise, you save on your premium. On the other hand, if you are faced with a lawsuit, you might quickly exceed any savings with a single claim. Weigh the risks and benefits before settling on a higher deductible, and make sure you have enough cash reserves to cover the deductible should a claim occur.
When choosing a company to work with, narrow your options down based on the company’s reputation. This can be done by browsing online reviews, reading guides like this one, or by asking other business owners who they trust with their insurance policies. This research might uncover certain aspects of a company that you would not have known about otherwise.
A good starting point is the Better Business Bureau. The BBB’s rating system is a great way to learn more about an insurer you’re considering. Look for BBB-accredited companies, as they’re held to a higher set of standards than non-accredited ones. Once you find your company on the BBB website, the organization will give you information regarding customer complaints, customer reviews, and how long the company has been accredited with BBB. The Bureau rates companies on an A+ to F scale.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is another resource you can use to verify an insurance company’s reputation. Users can file complaints about companies they have had negative experiences with, which you can look up for yourself by company name. Keep this resource in mind in case you find yourself needing to file your own complaint about a company’s practices. The NAIC website also includes helpful advice like this tips and tools section for small businesses looking to navigate insurance policies.
Along with trustworthiness, good customer feedback and a strong reputation, your chosen provider should have a sound payment history when it comes to covering claims.You want to be able to fully rely on your insurance policy in case of an incident, so look into each company’s credit rating before settling on a provider. A credit rating agency like Moody’s is a resource that can help you dig a little deeper and find an insurance company you can trust. Fitch Ratings, Kroll Bond, and A.M Best are other well known agencies that compare insurance companies based on factors like financial stability. Be sure to compare and contrast a company’s ratings from multiple agencies, as one may be higher or lower than another and scales tend to vary.
The Best General Liability Insurance Companies Overall
After taking into consideration coverage, policy limits, claims reporting, pricing, customer feedback, and financial strength, we’ve identified a select group of general liability insurance providers that will work well for a variety of business types.
Hiscox (Best General Liability Policy Overall)
Counting well over 100 years of industry experience, Hiscox is an excellent choice for small business general liability insurance.
- Excellent customer feedback and easily accessible customer reviews
- Specialization in small business insurance
- Bundled policies like BOPs are not available in all locations
Hiscox’s popularity among first-time and seasoned business owners is largely thanks to the company’s focus on small business-specific policies. This specialization takes into account the various kinds, sizes, and scopes of small businesses, meaning you’ll find a tailored policy no matter the nature of your business. Different fields are subject to different kinds of risks, which your plan will be customized to address.
The company also offers international coverage, fast response times to claims, and the choice of monthly payments for your convenience. Customers can purchase and alter their insurance plans online, making the process quick and easy to navigate on your own. Claims can be filed through the online Claims Center portal, via phone, or by mail.
One downside to Hiscox is that for those looking into a BOP, Hiscox may not offer the package in every state. Additionally, despite its strong online presence, one of Hiscox’s most significant drawbacks is limited online access to all insurance quotes and policies. Certain insurance options are not available directly on the Hiscox website for online quotes.
While holding only an A rating from both A.M Best and S&P, Hiscox’ rating from Fitch is slightly higher at A+. The company also relies on Feefo, an independent platform that stores customer reviews so that you can access and read through them all at once.
Overall, Hiscox is an excellent choice for businesses looking for general liability insurance. The company’s specialization in small business coverage combined with its strong reputation make it our pick as offering the Best General Liability Insurance on the market.
Travelers Insurance (Best for Customer Service)
As one of the largest business insurance underwriters in the country, Travelers is another well-known name to consider when settling on a general liability policy for your business.
- Independent agent network with excellent customer satisfaction
- Accessible online risk control portal
- Streamlined claims resolution
- Coverage varies by state
- Does not offer direct, online quotes to potential customers
Travelers offers general liability coverage for both small businesses and larger corporations, an easy-to-use claims submission system, and a robust set of online resources related to risk management. However, Travelers insurance coverage does vary by state, meaning your location may not be covered by all policies. Make sure to check this with an agent before looking further into Travelers policies.
For businesses in covered states, Travelers commercial general liability insurance policies are an excellent choice. In addition to providing standard coverage for injuries, property damage, libel, and advertising injury, Travelers allows policyholders to add on other options that are unique to their industry. For example, Travelers has general liability endorsements that are specific to medical technology companies, contractors, public sector organizations, railroad companies, as well as oil and gas.
While its policy offerings are strong, where Travelers truly stands out from the competition is in customer service. To start, Travelers provides customers with an online Risk Control Portal, which can be a useful tool for assessing your business’s needs, especially if you’re just starting to consider general liability coverage. Risk consultation services are also available on-demand, meaning you can meet with an expert remotely or have them assess your situation in-person. The on-demand option allows you to interact with safety experts and connect them with your employees virtually.
While Travelers does not offer insurance quotes online, they are instead offered through a national network of independent insurance agents. Though it may seem inconvenient at first, interacting with an agent has its benefits. An independent agent can present you with various providers and insurance options during a single meeting, narrowing down your choices quickly. Rather than collecting quotes from every insurer you’re considering on your own, having an independent agent directly compare a Travelers policy to other plans will make the process easier.
Another one of Travelers’ advantages is its financial strength. With an impressive A++ score from A.M Best (the highest score of any company included in this guide), an Aa2 rating from Moody’s, and an AA rating from Standard and Poor’s, Travelers is also one of the most financially stable insurers in the marketplace.
Travelers’ excellent policies paired with its large network of independent agents make it our choice as offering the Best Customer Service for General Liability Insurance.
Acuity Insurance (Best Regional Insurer)
With nearly 100 years of experience in the insurance industry, Acuity Insurance is a solid choice for business owners looking for liability protection. The company offers general liability, property, auto, and workers’ compensation insurance, among other policy types.
- Reliable customer service
- Diverse industry-specific policy selection
- Limited coverage nationally
With more than 10 industry-specific insurance products to choose from, Acuity offers a diverse set of coverage options that will fit the needs of most entrepreneurs. Acuity offers customized packages for contractors, retailers, restaurant owners, wholesalers and distributors, and more. Many of these packages are managed by industry specialists with years of experience in exactly the kind of business you might be running.
When it comes to general liability insurance specifically, Acuity does stand out in certain ways. For one, its general liability policies include medical payments for small claims without having to establish fault-something that helps speed up the resolution of certain types of incidents. Another notable advantage to Acuity’s general liability policy is that it includes a number of additional coverages (which don’t usually come standard) at no additional cost. These include employment practices liability coverage, professional liability insurance, and directors and officers insurance, among others. Furthermore, Acuity makes it easy to add additional insureds so that your business can comply with the contracts it signs.
Boasting a 96% claims satisfaction rate and excellent financial strength ratings, Acuity Insurance is known for upholding high customer service standards. Claims can be filed by calling a 24/7 claims line or beginning the process online through Acuity’s website. A representative will contact you within 24 hours of your submission to get all the facts straight and move on to reviewing your claim.
One of the only real drawbacks of Acuity is the company’s limited national reach. Currently, Acuity operates in 37 states. This does not include some states with high commercial activity rates, like New York, California, Florida, or North Carolina. Having originated in Wisconsin, the company does, however, have a large presence in the Midwest.
Acuity’s combination of excellent ratings, robust policy offerings, and a strong presence in the Midwest, make it our pick as the Best Regional Carrier for General Liability Insurance.
Allianz (Best for International Businesses)
Headquartered in Germany, Allianz provides insurance protection to 126 million customers across the world. Whether you’re operating a multi-national business or staying local, consider this company’s vast expertise and customer base when choosing your ideal provider.
- Extensive group of policies to choose from
- Global reach
- Proven financial stability
- Website may be difficult to navigate
Having witnessed insurance evolve and develop throughout over a century, Allianz is prepared to constantly adapt, making it a versatile choice for any business owner. Over 100 million customers benefit from the company’s market capital of nearly $80 billion.
Allianz’s liability insurance policies are available in a variety of formats specific to circumstance and industry. Along with a general liability insurance policy, the company offers environmental, marine and professional management liability insurance, among others. If your business’s risks are unique based on location, business model, operations or changing conditions, Allianz’s tailored approach will help you choose the liability policy that covers all the bases. A strong risk consultant presence within the company is another asset that can help you feel more secure about potential risks.
Allianz is one of the largest insurance companies in the world, reaching far beyond the United States. The company operates in 70 countries worldwide, serving customers from Europe to Latin America. This international expertise gives the company’s professionals a unique perspective on global trends, changing markets, and diverse business models. If your business currently operates in more than one country or has the potential to, Allianz can help you manage logistics and stay connected to every aspect of your business despite the distance.
Allianz has an A+ rating from A.M Best, meaning its financial stability has been closely studied and approved by the credit rating agency, resulting in a ‘superior’ score. Standard & Poor’s ranks Allianz as AA, or ‘very strong’. The company’s rating from Moody’s comes in at A1, the fifth highest on the scale.
Allianz’s wide breadth of international services can make finding the ideal plan somewhat difficult, especially when faced with the large number of options available on the company’s website. When compared to other carriers, Allianz’s website is a bit cumbersome, which is why we recommend talking to an independent broker or agent via the customer service phone line.
Founded in 1896, Allianz is another company whose reputation has been built by experience.
With service available globally, Allianz stands out as our pick for having the Best General Liability Insurance for International Business.
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