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General Liability Insurance in California

You can save up to 25% in discounts.*

General Liability covers a wide range of incidents

Bodily injury

Bodily injury

Someone trips over your tools and breaks their leg.

Property damage

Property damage

Yikes! You drop equipment and damage a client’s hardwood floor.

Advertising harm

Advertising harm

You’re sued for improper image use in your advertising.

Court and legal fees

Court and legal fees

You need an attorney for a lawsuit, even though you did nothing wrong.

What is General Liability insurance coverage?

Small businesses are crucial to California’s economy. The state has over 4 million small businesses, collectively employing 48.5% of its workforce. These businesses also create two-thirds of new jobs in the state.1

To ensure they’re protected financially, small businesses in California need the right insurance. General liability insurance covers common accidents that can happen at any business, like customer injuries or property damage. There are several situations where general liability insurance can help protect businesses, such as:

  • A customer gets injured at a retail store in San Jose when a product display falls over.
  • A cleaning company in Palm Springs knocks over an expensive vase and it shatters into pieces.

With a general liability policy in place, your small businesses will have protection from costs related to these types of accidents.

Commercial general liability is a common insurance for small businesses and self-employed professionals. Because it protects against so many everyday risks, general liability is a popular purchased by new businesses.

Is General Liability insurance required by law in California?

Generally, small businesses are not required to have general liability insurance in California. But even though the state doesn’t mandate it, there are a number of advantages to having this insurance.

Financial protection

General liability insurance offers broad coverage that helps to protect your business financially. This type of California business insurance covers risks that affect almost every business, including third-party injuries (like customers) and damage to someone else’s property. In addition, there is coverage for certain types of legal disputes, like accusations of libel or slander.

Business licenses

Depending on where you work in California, you may need general liability insurance in order to obtain business licenses, permits or certifications. Check the official website for your local city or county government, or contact your city clerk to find out if there are any insurance requirements for your business.

Client contracts

In some industries, it’s common for clients to request proof of coverage before signing a contract. If you don’t have general liability insurance, you may lose business from potential clients.

Lease agreement

Commercial leases sometimes include requirements for general liability insurance. If you plan to rent commercial property for your business, the landlord may require a minimum level of coverage as part of the lease agreement in case an accident damages the property.

NEXT  offers a convenient way to explore your coverage options for thousands of different types of businesses. You can do everything online, and the whole process only takes about 10 minutes. Our U.S.-based insurance advisors are available to help you every step of the way.

Start a free online instant quote to explore your options for general liability insurance for California small businesses.

What types of businesses might need General Liability insurance in California?

Because this coverage is applicable in just about every industry, all business owners should consider the potential benefits of having commercial general liability insurance in California. The amount of coverage you want depends on your appetite for risk.

For example, a general contractor in San Diego has a greater risk of client injuries and property damage than an accountant in the same city. The former may want a higher level of coverage for general liability insurance for California contractors to ensure they’re fully protected if an accident occurs.

However, accidents can happen in any line of work, including desk jobs. So even if the risk of accidents is lower for your industry, it’s still a good idea to get general liability coverage to protect your business.

How does General Liability work in California?

General business liability insurance in California provides coverage from accidents that physically harm someone or cause damage to someone’s property.

For example, say you own a real estate agency in Sacramento and one of your employees knocks over and breaks an expensive vase during a showing. Your general liability coverage would cover the costs to repair or replace the vase.

Or, if you run a pressure washing business in San Francisco and a client trips over the cords to your equipment and fractures their wrist, this insurance would help pay for their medical expenses.

Keep in mind that general liability doesn’t cover injuries involving employees and business owners. For that, you’ll need workers’ compensation insurance, which is required for all California businesses with employees.2

General liability insurance also provides coverage for libel, slander and defamation. If your competitor sues you for making negative comments about them in an advertisement, this insurance can help cover legal fees, settlements or judgments.

How much is General Liability insurance in California?

General liability insurance in California costs more for industries that have a higher risk of accidents. However, other factors can influence the amount of monthly insurance premiums, including:

  • The number of employees you have
  • The type of work you do
  • Your insurance claims history
  • The locations where you do business
  • How high you set your policy limits

NEXT insurance offers cheap general liability insurance for California businesses. 50% of our customers pay less than $25 to $45 per month on general liability insurance**. You can customize your policy to make sure you get the coverage you want so you don’t overpay.

How NEXT Insurance helps California businesses

NEXT offers general liability insurance in California for small businesses. We also provide affordable general liability insurance for sole proprietors in California.

With our convenient online services, it only takes about 10 minutes to get a quote, review coverage options, purchase insurance and get a certificate of insurance.

Start an instant general liability insurance quote in California today.

Need some help finding the right insurance? Our team of licensed insurance advisors is standing by to assist you.

Other business insurance policies that are important in California

General liability insurance provides a number of essential protections, but it doesn’t cover all the potential risks your business faces every day. You’ll want to include additional coverage with your business insurance package for more comprehensive protection.

Most California businesses also consider these options:

Workers’ Compensation insurance

Workers’ compensation insurance covers costs related to workplace injuries, including medical treatment and lost wages. It’s required for all California businesses with employees.

Professional Liability insurance (E&O insurance)

Professional liability insurance or errors and omissions (E&O) provides financial protection if a client accuses you of professional mistakes or negligence. Many businesses choose to bundle this insurance with general liability to ensure they have the most comprehensive coverage.

Commercial Auto insurance

You’ll need commercial auto insurance for any business-owned vehicles or personal vehicles used for work-related purposes. This coverage protects your business from unexpected expenses if you or your employees are involved in an accident. The state of California requires all vehicles to have minimum auto insurance coverage of $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident and $5,000 for property damage.3

Sources

Customer reviews

I am so excited
I am totally excited about my new insurance for my small business. I am happy that the price was in a range that I can afford, the terms were easy to understand and it was so simple to purchase my first policy. I look forward to doing business with you in the future.
Curzella J.
Easiest insurance purchase – EVER!
I was looking around trying to compare insurance and I am so lucky I found NEXT. I was able to compare levels of coverage, and all the options, without pressure from a salesperson or time limits. I was able to check out prices and it was more coverage for less than the “traditional” company I looked at.
Michael W.
Happy small business owner!
I needed liability insurance for my new small business brick & mortar location. I got the run around from another company, but NEXT provided a competitive insurance quote in a timely manner. I now have the insurance that I need and it was stress-free!
Nicole E.

Let’s find the coverage you need for your business

Business insurance is divided into different policies. We offer seven types so it's easy to design the coverage that fits your business.

General Liability insurance
General Liability

Protect yourself from accidents that cause physical injury or damaged property.

Professional Liability or Error and Omissions Insurance
Professional Liability/E&O

Shield yourself from lawsuits that claim your work errors caused financial losses.

Workers' Compensation Insurance
Workers’ Compensation

Cover medical bills and lost wages if your employees have an accident at work.

Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial Auto

Stay on the road with coverage for dents, tows and damage to someone else’s vehicle.

Tools & Equipment Insurance
Tools & Equipment

Upgrade your general liability coverage to protect any gear that’s stolen, damaged or lost.

Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial Property

Keep your building, inventory and equipment protected from fire or water damage.

Business Owner’s Policy Insurance
Business Owner’s Policy

Combine general liability and commercial property into one policy to protect your business.

Take a look at some helpful blog posts
What’s the difference between libel and slander for business owners?
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What’s the difference between libel and slander for business owners?

Bodily injury vs. personal injury: what’s the difference?
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Bodily injury vs. personal injury: what’s the difference?

General liability vs. professional liability: What's the difference?
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General liability vs. professional liability: What's the difference?

* To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten, not all applicants may qualify. Individual rates and savings vary and are subject to change. Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. Certain discounts apply to specific coverages only.
** The cost data presented here are based on NEXT active customers in the U.S. who purchased general liability insurance over the previous 12 months. These data should not be considered a substitute for obtaining a quote specific to your business. These data were updated in July 2022.
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Issuance of coverage is subject to underwriting. Not available in all states. Please see the policy for full terms, conditions and exclusions. Coverage is dependent on actual facts and circumstances giving rise to a claim. Next Insurance, Inc. and/or its affiliates is an insurance agency licensed to sell certain insurance products and may receive compensation from insurance companies for such sales. Policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the issuing insurance company. Refer to Legal Notices section for additional information.