Comprehensive general liability insurance

Learn more about critical insurance coverage for common business accidents.

Matt Crawford
By Matt Crawford
Published Sep 21, 2023
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Table of contents:

What is comprehensive general liability insurance?

Comprehensive general liability insurance is an outdated term for general liability insurance.

Most insurance companies dropped “comprehensive” from the name of this type of coverage. General liability can provide financial protection from many different risks, but it isn’t exactly comprehensive when it comes to business insurance.

You might need other types of coverage for a more “comprehensive” insurance package, including professional liability insurance (E&O), workers’ compensation or commercial auto.

What does comprehensive general liability insurance cover?

Comprehensive general liability insurance can help cover claims if you or your employees are held responsible for causing an injury to a non-employee or damage to property that does not belong to your business.

Some examples of claims general liability insurance coverage can help with are:

Property damage

You accidentally knock over a valuable vase while working in a client’s house.

Slip-and-fall injuries

A client slips on a wet floor at your business and breaks their arm.

Reputational harm

An employee insults a competitor online and the competitor decides to sue you. This is sometimes called personal and advertising injury.

Advertising injury

You accidentally use a photographer’s picture in an ad without permission and they sue for damages.

Medical payments

Someone (not an employee) gets injured at your business and asks you to pay for their medical expenses.

Liability insurance can help when you are not at fault

The biggest thing to keep in mind is that your business doesn’t have to be responsible for these accidents to be accused.

Comprehensive general liability can help with legal fees and defense costs to defend your business after a claim is made, regardless of fault.

How much does comprehensive general liability insurance cost?

The cost of comprehensive general liability insurance differs for every business. The main factors that will determine your costs are:

Your industry

Simply put, high-risk industries could have higher premiums and lower-risk industries have lower premiums.

Your number of employees

The more people you need to cover, the more your insurance usually costs.

Where you do business

Different states have different insurance requirements. Insurance could cost more if you work in an area with more exposure to weather-related risks or property crimes.

Your claims history

Just like with auto insurance, your past insurance and claims history can impact how much you’ll pay today.

Your work experience

New businesses might pay more than established businesses that have a track record of safety and few claims.

Your deductible

A deductible is how much you have to pay before your insurance will kick in. Higher deductibles generally lead to lower premiums.

Policy limits

The amount of coverage you want will impact how much you pay. The higher you make your per-claim and aggregate limits, the more your policy will cost.

Other liability coverage to consider

If your business is looking for truly comprehensive commercial coverage, some other insurance policies you might consider are:

Professional liability insurance

If you make a business error or are accused of negligence that costs a client money, professional liability (also known as errors and omissions insurance) can help cover legal defense costs and damages.

Commercial property insurance

Commercial property insurance can help protect the physical assets you need to do business, including inventory, equipment and structures, if they are damaged by fire, water, wind or another covered event.

Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)

A Business Owner’s Policy, also called a BOP insurance policy, combines all of the coverage of both general liability and commercial property insurance into a single, more efficient and comprehensive package.

Workers’ compensation insurance

Workers’ comp can help with coverage for medical bills and lost wages if an employee is injured on the job.

Commercial auto insurance

Commercial auto can provide coverage for on-the-job accidents that your personal auto policy would leave out.

Liquor liability coverage

If you serve alcohol at your business, it’s important to know that general liability usually won’t provide coverage for alcohol-related accidents. That’s what liquor liability insurance is there for.

Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI)

Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) can help provide coverage for lawsuits involving discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination.

How NEXT helps small business owners get general liability insurance

Just one insurance policy can’t cover your business comprehensively. NEXT makes it easy to add exactly the coverage you need, 24/7.

Boost your coverage, add additional insureds and get instant access to your certificate of insurance any time you need it online or in our app.

Start a quote, customize your options and access your certificate of insurance online in about 10 minutes.

Start a free quote with NEXT today.

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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 examples are for illustrative purposes only. Your policy documents govern, terms and exclusions apply. 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.

Any starting prices or premiums represented before an actual customer quote are not guaranteed and are representations of existing premiums of active policies as of December 6, 2023. 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.