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Small Business Liability Insurance
Defend against common lawsuits with liability insurance.
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How do you get a certificate of liability insurance (COI) for your company?

A certificate of liability insurance is a document that proves your company has liability coverage. Your insurer issues you this certificate with your insurance policy – and you can also download a copy online whenever you need it.

Where can you get a certificate of liability insurance?

If you need business insurance:

If you don't have a policy, you can purchase business insurance and get your COI within hours. Most business owners that buy insurance through TechInsurance get a certificate of insurance within two hours of purchasing coverage.

To buy an insurance policy:

  1. Complete our free online application
  2. Compare quotes and choose a policy
  3. Pay for your policy and download a certificate
Compare small business insurance quotes for your company

If you already have insurance:

Once you've bought an insurance policy with TechInsurance, you can easily request a certificate of insurance online.

  1. Log in to your TechInsurance account
  2. Select the "Certificates" tab
  3. Click the blue "Request certificate" button

You'll receive the certificate by email either immediately or within a few hours. If you need proof of insurance right away, call your account manager to speed up the process.

When does your company need a certificate of liability insurance?

The people you want to work with may ask your company to prove it carries the proper business insurance. You may need to show your commercial insurance certificate to:

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Sign a client contract
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Land a new project

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Sign a commercial lease

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Work as an independent contractor

Sign a client contract

A client may ask your company to provide a certificate of liability insurance when signing a contract. These clients want to make sure you have liability insurance coverage in case anything goes wrong – otherwise, the client could get stuck footing the bill in a liability dispute.

Example: A computer repair business signs a one-year contract to repair and maintain the computers at a university. The university requires the business to secure a general liability insurance policy to protect against accidents that damage computers or cause injuries.

Land a new project

Even if your clients don't ask for proof of insurance, you might want to provide it anyway when you bid on a project or approach a new client. Proof of liability insurance reassures potential clients and can make them more willing to work with you.

Example: A small IT consulting company purchases errors and omissions insurance (E&O) to attract new clients and protect against claims of professional negligence. Providing an E&O insurance certificate wins the company another big client because another consulting business was uninsured.

Sign a commercial lease

If your company rents commercial space (like a shop, office, or warehouse), your landlord might ask for your general liability insurance certificate in the lease terms. Commercial general liability insurance protects you and the landlord if a customer files a bodily injury or property damage suit.

Example: A small IT training company rents an office in a commercial complex. The landlord requests that the company provide a general liability insurance certificate.

Work as an independent contractor

When a staffing agency or a business hires you as a contractor, they might ask for proof of liability insurance. A certificate of liability insurance shows you have the resources to handle any liability disputes on your own – so the agency or business won't be dragged into any lawsuits between you and another party.

Example: A staffing agency provides a software company with an IT consultant to manage a top client. The relationship between the consultant and client sours and the client files a professional liability lawsuit against the consultant.

The agency required the consultant to carry insurance, so both the agency and the software company are protected during the lawsuit.

How much does it cost to get a certificate of liability insurance?

Policyholders don't have to pay anything to prove they have liability insurance. Certificates of insurance are completely free, so you can provide proof of insurance at no cost to anyone who needs to see it. Just make sure your policy is active and you're up to date on your insurance payments.

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How much does small business insurance cost?

The cost of small business liability insurance primarily depends on which policies you buy. The most common policy, general liability insurance, has an average cost of $42 per month.

What's included in a certificate of liability insurance?

A commercial certificate of insurance form includes the date the COI was issued, who issued it, who it covers, the type of insurance, the policy limits, and other information.

If you receive a form from a vendor or subcontractor, check it over to ensure:

  • The business name on the form matches the vendor
  • The policy expiration date does not come before the completion date of your project
  • It includes general liability insurance at the very least, as well as workers’ compensation insurance
  • The coverage limits meet or exceed the limits on your own insurance

View a sample ACORD certificate of liability insurance.

The certificate holder can add additional insureds to their policy

Certificates of liability insurance summarize your own coverage; they don't protect your clients. If you wish to include a client or customer on the policy, you can add them as an additional insured. Contact your insurance agent or broker and ask them to change your policy to include any additional individuals or businesses that you want to cover.

Updated: August 31, 2023