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General Liability Insurance
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Frequently asked questions about general liability insurance

General liability insurance offers basic protection that benefits every company, no matter how small or large. Learn what this policy covers, when it's required, and other answers to frequently asked questions.

General liability insurance requirements and coverage

Does my business need general liability insurance?

General liability insurance isn't required by law. However, it provides key coverage that could protect your business from bankruptcy if a client sues. Plus, in certain situations, this policy may be required. For example, you may need it for:

Because of the high cost of a lawsuit, general liability insurance is recommended for every small business.

What does general liability insurance cover?

General liability insurance covers the most common third-party lawsuits (lawsuits filed by someone outside your business). That includes:

  • Bodily injury
  • Property damage
  • Advertising injury

Learn more about general liability insurance coverage.

What does general liability insurance pay for?

A lawsuit can quickly escalate into thousands of dollars in legal costs. If a client or other person outside of your company sues, your policy can pay for:

  • Attorney's fees
  • Court costs
  • Court-ordered judgments
  • Settlements

What policy limits should I choose?

Most small businesses opt for:

  • $1 million per-occurrence limit
  • $2 million aggregate limit
  • $500 deductible

That means the policy would pay $1 million on one incident, or $2 million on all claims while it’s active. The policyholder would need to pay $500 before getting money back on a claim. Large companies will need more coverage, as their claims could end up costing more.

I'm an independent contractor. Do I still need this policy?

Yes – and it could be required. Independent contractors face the same risks as small businesses. You may need this policy to:

  • Protect against lawsuits over an injury
  • Protect against lawsuits over property damage
  • Fulfill the terms of a client contract

Even if a contract does not require it, it’s still recommended that independent contractors carry this policy.

What are advertising injuries?

A general liability policy includes protection against advertising injuries, or damage caused by a business’s advertising. That includes:

  • Spoken defamation (slander)
  • Written defamation (libel)
  • Copyright infringement
  • Violations of privacy

For example, a general liability policy would help pay for a lawsuit over a social media post that damaged a competitor. It would also provide coverage if a customer sued because you used a photo of that person without permission.

Compare general liability insurance quotes for your business

Buying general liability insurance with TechInsurance

How quickly can I get insured?

Applicants typically get proof of coverage within 24 to 48 hours. Use our online insurance application. To speed up the process, make sure you have basic information on hand, including:

  • Number of employees
  • Estimated annual revenue
  • History of prior claims
  • Details about business operations
  • Desired coverage amount

Your quotes should arrive in your inbox as soon as you finish the application. A licensed TechInsurance agent can help answer any questions throughout the process.

How do I decide which quote to choose?

It may be tempting to simply go with the least expensive quote, but there are several factors to consider. That includes:

  • Premium (how much the policy costs)
  • Policy limits (the amount it will pay on a claim)
  • Deductible (the amount paid before you can make a claim)
  • Coverage (for example, a BOP bundles two policies)

For more advice, check our article “How to compare general liability insurance quotes.”

How do I get a certificate of liability insurance (COI)?

Once you’ve paid for your general liability policy, there are two ways to obtain an ACORD certificate of liability insurance with TechInsurance:

This form is the proof of insurance required by commercial leases, client contracts, and applications for certain professional licenses.

Does TechInsurance offer coverage for my industry?

We specialize in small business insurance for numerous technology industries. Our insurance specialists have helped more than 350,000 businesses.

How can I save money on business insurance?

With TechInsurance, you can compare quotes from several carriers, which is an easy way to save money on business insurance. Beyond comparison shopping, a business owner looking to save money on insurance can also:

  • Bundle policies for a discount
  • Choose low policy limits
  • Choose a high deductible
  • Manage risks to avoid claims
  • Communicate with your clients

Explore more ways to save money on general liability insurance.

Policy claims, changes, and cancellation

How do I make a claim on my general liability policy?

To make a general liability claim, you will need to contact your insurance provider. They will ask for:

  • A description of the incident
  • Basic information about your business
  • Your policy number

Your agent can help guide you through the process and answer any additional questions.

Can I add more insurance later?

Yes. It’s easy to purchase an additional policy or increase policy limits as your business expands. Talk to your insurance agent to make adjustments or purchase new coverage.

What happens if I cancel my policy?

Canceling your policy exposes your business to risk. It could also end up costing your business more in the long run. Companies that start and stop coverage are often charged more when they try to purchase insurance at a later date.

Updated: April 7, 2022