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General Liability Insurance

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What is general liability insurance?

General liability insurance icon

General liability insurance

General liability insurance covers common business risks like customer injury, customer property damage, and advertising injury. It protects your small business from the high costs of lawsuits and helps you qualify for leases and contracts.

Does your small business need general liability insurance?

Most small companies need this insurance, especially if you rent or own an office or commercial space. And many client contracts include requirements for general liability insurance.

Even if these don’t apply to you, small businesses that work directly with clients and customers usually benefit from commercial general liability insurance, also known as a CGL policy. This insurance policy can keep your company financially stable if you’re sued by a customer or competitor.

Because general liability insurance provides such important coverage, most small business owners buy the policy right after they start their business.

What does commercial general liability insurance cover?

General liability insurance provides coverage for common liability claims from third parties (people outside your business).

Commercial general liability insurance covers legal defense costs if someone sues over a bodily injury, property damage, or advertising injury. Your CGL policy can pay for everything from hiring a lawyer to court-ordered judgments and settlements.

Read more about what general liability insurance covers.

General liability coverage is essential if your business:

  • Has a location that is open to the public
  • Works closely with customers or clients
  • Handles client property
  • Rents or owns commercial property

Is general liability insurance required by law?

Generally not, but states may mandate it for certain industries like construction. While general liability insurance isn’t typically required by law, it’s still likely required by your landlord, mortgage company, or clients.

A landlord or client may ask your business to show a certificate of insurance as proof of your general liability insurance coverage. This document verifies that your business can handle any personal injury or property damage lawsuits.

And more importantly, the certificate gives your property manager, bank, or customer peace of mind that they won’t be stuck paying the costs of a lawsuit against your company.

Find out more about when general liability insurance is required.

How does commercial general liability insurance protect my business?

General liability insurance can help pay for legal fees from common third-party lawsuits. Here are a few common situations where general liability coverage protects home businesses, contractors, and small businesses.

How do I get a general liability insurance policy?

You can start by filling out Insureon’s free online application for general liability insurance. To apply, you’ll need to provide a little basic information about your business. That includes your:

  1. Business name
  2. Business operations
  3. Number of employees

Learn more about our general liability insurance application.