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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). This includes:

  • Bodily injury
  • Property damage
  • Advertising injury, including libel or slander 
  • Copyright infringement 
  • Product liability insurance

What does general liability insurance pay for?

A lawsuit, even a frivolous one, 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:

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 and sole proprietors 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 and sole proprietors 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 a web designer 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.

Find general liability insurance quotes for your small business

Buy 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 business owner's policy bundles two insurance coverages)

Read more on 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?

TechInsurance is a trusted insurance expert for all small businesses, including startups, limited liability companies (LLCs) and freelancers, with extensive knowledge of the technology sector.

Technology professions that commonly partner with TechInsurance for their insurance needs include:

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.

Compare general liability with other insurance coverages

General liability insurance vs. business owner's policy 

A business owner's policy, also called a BOP, bundles general liability insurance with commercial property coverage, which covers the cost to repair or replace business property that is damaged, stolen, or destroyed.

A BOP is typically less expensive than if you purchased each policy separately.

Learn more about the differences between general liability and a BOP.

General liability insurance vs. professional liability insurance 

General liability covers your small business if a third party sues you over a physical injury, property damage, or an advertising injury (libel or slander).

Professional liability insurance (also known as errors and omissions insurance) offers financial protection if you are sued by a client who claims you made a professional mistake that resulted in a monetary loss.

Almost every business owner could benefit from a general liability policy. However, the type of business you have will determine if you need a professional liability policy. Businesses that usually need professional liability coverage are those that offer professional services or advice.

Learn more about the differences between general liability and professional liability insurance.

General liability insurance vs. workers' compensation insurance

General liability pays for costs associated with third-party risks, but does not cover employee injuries.

To extend this protection to your employees, you will need to purchase workers' compensation insurance. This policy covers the costs associated with employee injuries and even pays for lost wages during recovery periods.

Depending on which state your business is located in, you may be legally required to purchase workers’ comp coverage.

Learn more about the differences between general liability and workers' compensation insurance.