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General Liability Insurance

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What Is General Liability Insurance?

Also known as business liability insurance or commercial general liability insurance, general liability business insurance is the most basic form of coverage that a business needs. It is the insurance policy that covers your business against all types of accidents. These could include cases where a customer gets hurt when they’re in your workshop or if you drop a piece of heavy equipment and make a hole in a customer’s floor, or in the floor of a space you rent for your business. These are accidents that can break the bank for most entrepreneurs and general liability insurance coverage is the safety net that allows you to focus on doing great work and growing your business.

Bodily injury

Someone trips over your tools and breaks their leg.

Advertising harm

Someone sues you for improper use of images in your advertising.

Libel, slander and defamation

An employee bad-mouths a client on Facebook and the client sues you.

Property damage

You drop heavy duty equipment inside your client's house and damage their hardwood floor.

Medical payments

Someone gets injured at your work site and asks you to pay for medical expenses instead of suing you.

Court and legal fees

You need an attorney to defend against a lawsuit even though you did nothing wrong.

What Isn’t Covered by a General Liability Policy?

Most general liability business insurance policies cover damage or injury to other people but usually won’t help if it’s your body, reputation, or property that’s been harmed. For example, if you have employees then it’s likely you’ll need to get worker’s compensation insurance (more commonly known as “worker’s comp”). This covers your employees’ medical bills and expenses in case of injury on the job. You can also buy a policy to cover your own injury but it’s not usually mandated by law.

You may also want to insure your business space, equipment, and vehicles since damage to any of those could stop you from operating. If you sell a product, you may want to consider product insurance which covers any damage caused by something you sold. If you provide a service, professional liability coverage will take care of any claims that you did your job incorrectly. While all of these are important to consider, they aren’t as basic as general liability insurance and aren’t included in most general liability policies.

Injuries to you or your employees

Injuries to you or your employees

Company vehicles

Company vehicles

Damage to your equipment or tools

Damage to your equipment or tools

Products you produce

Products you produce

This is a brief summary of your policy and does not supersede the policy documents. If you want full details, please call us.

Calculating the Average Cost for General Liability Insurance

The average cost of general liability insurance varies widely depending on the particular field. A contracting business that does big jobs using dangerous equipment will have to spend a lot more for a comprehensive policy than a freelancer who sits in front of a computer in their own home or office. This means that most insurance companies offer general liability insurance for small businesses that range anywhere from one or two hundred dollars a year to over a thousand. The only way to know what general liability insurance really will cost is to get a quote that is tailored to your business.


What is the Live Certificate?
The Live Certificate is the digital alternative to paper/downloaded Certificates of Insurance. It’s completely online proof of insurance which you can easily and instantly share with anyone, by email or through a link.
Who is Next Insurance?
We're a group of designers, engineers, and insurance geeks based in Palo Alto, California. We want to use our deep industry experience at companies including Intuit, American Express, PayPal, Check, and Oracle to transform insurance for small businesses. We're an insurance agency licensed in all 50 states.
What does Live Certificate cost?
It’s free to all Next Insurance customers. It’s also unlimited; send as many Live Certificates as you need, anytime.
Can I add an additional insured to my Live Certificate?
Yes! When you click "Share Proof of Insurance" from within the customer portal, you'll be asked if you need a general proof of insurance or one with a venue or client as additional insured. As soon as you input the details of the additional insured you're adding, you can add their email address and we'll send them over the certificate for you.
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