10 Best General Liability Insurance Companies for Small Businesses 2022

Protect your business from costly expenses that could be avoided with general liability insurance.
Best overall
Hartford
The Hartford
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5
Custom pricing
  • pro
    Insurance company
  • pro
    Apply via website or agent
  • pro
    Next-day coverage
Best reviews
Acuity
4 out of 5 stars
4.0
Custom pricing
  • pro
    Insurance company
  • pro
    Apply via website or agent
  • pro
    Same-day coverage
Best for short-term
Thimble
4 out of 5 stars
4.0
Starting at
$17.00
/mo
  • pro
    Insurance producer
  • pro
    Apply via website
  • pro
    Instant coverage
Best online broker
Simply Business
4 out of 5 stars
4.0
Custom pricing
  • pro
    Insurance brokerage
  • pro
    Apply via website
  • pro
    Instant coverage
Best for local agents
State Farm
State Farm
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5
Custom pricing
  • pro
    Insurance company
  • pro
    Apply via agent
  • pro
    Coverage times vary

Data as of 7/15/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

We are committed to sharing unbiased reviews. Some of the links on our site are from our partners who compensate us. Read our editorial guidelines and advertising disclosure.

The bottom line: Most businesses will get the best general liability insurance from the Hartford, thanks to its many years of industry experience and its accessibility.

Operating a business comes with all kinds of risk, including the risk of claims and lawsuits against your business. Fortunately, general liability insurance can help protect your small business from common claims like bodily injury and property damage―protecting your business and your budget from accidents.

But general liability insurance isn’t one-size-fits-all. The Hartford is our top pick for general liability insurance, but we’ve also got nine other companies you might want to consider. Let’s find the right liability insurance for your small business.

Compare the best general liability insurance companies

Brand
Starting price
Fastest coverage
Claim reporting
Learn more
CustomNext dayVia phone or website
CustomSame dayVia phone or website
$17.00/mo.InstantVia website
CustomInstantVaries by carrier
CustomVaries by agentVia phone

Data as of 7/14/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

What does general liability insurance cover?

As the name suggests, general liability insurance can protect your small business from all kinds of liability. That doesn’t mean it stops people from suing your business―but your insurance policy can cover costs for investigating claims, defending against them, and paying damages or settlements for those claims.

For example, a good general liability insurance policy can help pay for costs associated with the following kinds of suits:

  • Bodily injury
  • Property damage
  • Slander/libel
  • Wrongful eviction
  • Copyright infringement
  • Rental property damages

Keep in mind that general liability insurance helps protect your business from claims. So the list above applies to claims against your business (like a customer suing for bodily injury, or a competitor claiming you infringed their copyright). But your general liability insurance won’t pay for you to file suits against others.

Likewise, general liability insurance won’t cover things like medical costs or wages if an employee gets injured. (That requires workers compensation insurance.) And it won’t help with costs for professional negligence or misrepresentation. (In that case, you need professional liability insurance.)

Still, general liability insurance covers enough issues that most businesses can benefit from it. Whether you have a hair salon, a moving company, or even a boutique, your customer-facing business can get valuable protection from general liability insurance.

The Hartford: Best overall general liability insurance for small business

Hartford
The Hartford
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5

Custom pricing

  • Direct insurer
  • Apply via website or agent
  • Next-day coverage available
  • Online and phone support

Data as of 7/14/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

The Hartford offers the best small general liability insurance for most small businesses.

We found plenty to like about the Hartford. For starters, the Hartford provides tons of information about general liability insurance and other kinds of business insurance on its website. So before you even get a quote, you’ll have a good idea of what your insurance policy will and won’t cover (and what kinds of policies you might want to supplement it with).

And speaking of supplementing, the Hartford offers other excellent insurance options for both personal and business coverage, meaning you can get comprehensive coverage from one company.

Plus, the Hartford makes it easy to get coverage. You can choose whether you want to work with an agent or go through the website. EIther way, you can get coverage as soon as the next day. And once you’ve gotten a policy, you’ll have multiple options for contacting customer support and submitting claims.

Now, the Hartford offers insurance policies in most states, but not all. If you’re in Alaska, Hawaii, or New Jersey, you’ll need to find a different insurance company. And while the Hartford gets very positive reviews on its website, sites like Trustpilot and the Better Business Bureau have much more negative reviews.

But clearly the Hartford is doing something right. It’s been around more than 200 years now―which means you can feel confident that you can keep coverage for years to come.

Put simply, its many benefits make the Hartford the best general liability insurance company for small business.

Pros
pro Multiple contact options for quotes, claims, and support
pro Detailed insurance explanations on website
pro 200+ years of experience
Cons
con No coverage in AK, HI, or NJ
con Mixed customer reviews
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Acuity: Best customer reviews

Acuity
4 out of 5 stars
4.0

Custom pricing

  • Direct insurer
  • Apply via website or agent
  • Same-day coverage available
  • Online and phone support

Data as of 7/14/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

For a well-reviewed business insurance company, look no further than Acuity.

Acuity gets consistently great customer reviews across platforms. On Trustpilot, for example, Acuity Insurance earns a 4.5 out of 5 (from more than 1,000 reviews).1 And on its Better Business Bureau profile, Acuity earns a 4.54 out of 5.2 Given that we regularly see companies earn less than a 2 out of 5, Acuity gets some impressive scores.

The secret to Acuity’s success? Speed, for starters. Customers say Acuity moves fast―whether that’s getting you insured or responding to claims. Plus, Acuity customers say it has great, helpful customer service.  That service is limited to business hours, though, and Acuity has shorter support hours than other companies on this list. It also has a less-informative website, so you probably can’t answer most questions yourself.

All the same, Acuity’s excellent reviews could make it a great place to get general liability insurance for your small business.

Pros
pro Excellent customer reviews on multiple platforms
pro Phone and online quotes, claims, and support
pro Few customer complaints
Cons
con Not much information on website
con Limited support hours

Thimble: Best for short-term coverage

Thimble
4 out of 5 stars
4.0

Custom pricing

  • Underwritten by Markel Insurance Company & National Speciality Insurance Company
  • Apply via website
  • Instant coverage available
  • Online support only

Data as of 7/14/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Need short-term liability insurance for a special event? Then look at Thimble.

Thimble specializes in short-term business insurance. You can get a months-long insurance policy, sure―but Thimble also lets you buy an insurance policy for a month, day, or even one hour. That way, you only need to pay for insurance when you need it, and you can save when you don’t. Photographers, DJs, and other event-focused businesses can potentially save a lot that way.

And when you do need a policy, Thimble can get you covered in a matter of minutes. Easy, right? Just note that Thimble insurance policies get underwritten by one a few different insurance companies, so experiences can vary a bit. And Thimble keeps things online only, so you can’t get customer support or submit claims over the phone.

But when you don’t need continuous general liability coverage, Thimble makes getting occasional coverage easy and affordable.

Pros
pro Coverage for as little as one hour
pro Very fast coverage application
pro Positive customer reviews
Cons
con Various underwriting companies
con No phone support or claims

Simply Business: Best online broker

Simply Business
4 out of 5 stars
4.0

Custom pricing

  • Insurance brokerage
  • Apply via website
  • Instant coverage available
  • Support options vary by provider

Data as of 7/14/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Want to compare potential policies and prices? We suggest doing so with Simply Business, our favorite online broker for business insurance.

Like any insurance brokerage, Simply Business works with several different insurance companies to bring you multiple insurance quotes. You then pick the quote that sounds best to you and finalize things with your company of choice. But unlike traditional brokerages, Simply Business’s online application lets you get coverage in just a few minutes. It also offers insurance options in all 50 states.

Plus, Simply Business earns better customer reviews than other insurance brokers we’ve looked at. Keep in mind, though, that costs and procedures will really depend on the insurance provider you go with, so Simply Business may not always get you the cheapest or best policy. Simply Business also works with fewer insurance partners than some other brokers—but we like its partners more.

So while Simply Business does have some of the downsides you’ll find from any insurance broker, it also has some excellent pros that make it our favorite online broker for general liability insurance.

Pros
pro Quotes from multiple insurance companies
pro Good customer reviews
pro Insurance options in all 50 states
Cons
con Costs and coverage vary by provider
con Fewer insurance partners than other marketplaces

State Farm: Best for local agents

State Farm
State Farm
3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5

Custom pricing

  • Direct insurer
  • Apply via agent
  • Coverage speed varies by agent
  • Phone support

Data as of 7/14/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Prefer a personal touch, even when it comes to business insurance? State Farm’s local agents give you exactly that.

Unlike many modern insurance companies, State Farm uses an agent-based model. So you’ll get a quote, apply for coverage, and otherwise manage your policy all through your local agent. That means you can get personalized advice and tailored expertise as you put together your insurance policy. And since State Farm offers both business and personal coverage, you can kill a lot of birds with one stone.

The potential downside? You might not like your local agent―and depending on where your business is, you may not have another choice in town. (State Farm does have a lot of agents, though.) Also, the agent-based model means that State Farm moves slower than other companies. You won’t get an instant quote or immediate coverage, because you have to wait to get in touch with a State Farm agent.

All the same, State Farm’s local agents can offer your business a more tailored business insurance experience than other companies.

Pros
pro Agents in most states
pro Many types of business and personal insurance
pro 100 years in business
Cons
con Experience varies by agent
con No instant coverage options
Schedule employees with ease

Sage HR offers an intuitive interface that visualizes employee schedules.

  • Easily receive employee requests
  • View schedules across numerous timeframes
  • One-click time-off approval and easy schedule templates

Honorable mentions

We recommend getting general liability insurance from the five companies above. If none of them seem like the right fit, though, we have a few other business insurance companies you can consider.

Honorable mention general liability insurance companies

Brand
Starting price
Fastest coverage
Claim reporting
Learn more
CustomInstantVia phone or website
CustomInstantVia phone or website
CustomVaries by agentVia phone or website
CustomVaries by agentVia phone, website, or email
CustomInstantVaries by carrier

Data as of 7/14/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Hiscox

Hiscox
Hiscox

Custom pricing

  • Direct insurer
  • Apply via website or agent
  • Instant coverage available
  • Phone support only

Data as of 7/14/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Hiscox offers general liability insurance, plus many other kinds of business insurance (including specialized policies like cyber security insurance). As an added bonus, you can get a discount of up to 5% for bundling Hiscox insurance policies.

Hiscox only has phone support, which can be a problem for busy business owners who don’t have time for long phone calls. And while Hiscox does get pretty good reviews, it has fewer reviews than some of our top picks.

But overall, Hiscox is a solid insurance pick―especially if you plan to buy more than one kind of business insurance.

Next Insurance

Next-Insurance-logo
Next Insurance

Custom pricing

  • Direct insurer
  • Apply via website
  • Instant coverage available
  • Online support only

Data as of 7/14/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Next Insurance is an online insurance company that focuses on fast coverage for your small business. From general liability insurance to liquor liability insurance, Next Insurance can give you business all kinds of insurance protection.

As an online-focused company, Next Insurance keeps quotes and customer support strictly web-based. You can call claims in, though.

If a web-based insurance experience sounds fine to you, then Next Insurance can offer quick, simple coverage.

Berkshire Hathaway GUARD

Berkshire Hathaway
Berkshire Hathaway GUARD

Custom pricing

  • Direct insurer
  • Apply via agent
  • Coverage speed varies
  • Phone or email support

Data as of 7/14/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Berkshire Hathaway GUARD is a very traditional insurance company, meaning you have to apply for coverage through an agent. GUARD focuses on larger businesses than some of the other companies on this list―think country clubs, golf courses, wholesalers, and resort hotels. Because of that, Berkshire Hathaway GUARD offers high aggregate limits of up to $6 million.

That focus means, though, that GUARD may not work for smaller businesses. And the agent-based model means getting quotes and coverage will take longer than it would from online insurance companies.

So while your hotel or wholesale business may like Berkshire Hathaway GUARD, we don’t widely recommend it.

Travelers

Travelers
Travelers

Custom pricing

  • Direct insurer
  • Apply via agent
  • Coverage speed varies by agent
  • Phone support only

Data as of 7/14/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

As another traditional insurance company, Travelers offers general liability insurance and other kinds of business insurance through its many agents. On the one hand, that means you get Traveler’s more than 100 years of experience, plus personalized guidance for your business.

On the other hand, you’ll need patience as you wait for an agent to get back to you. And of course, some agents are better than others.

But if you don’t mind that tradeoff, Travelers certainly has a long, respectable history.

CoverWallet

coverwallet-logo
CoverWallet

Custom pricing

  • Insurance brokerage
  • Apply via website or phone
  • Instant coverage available
  • Submit claims by website

Data as of 7/14/22. Offers and availability may vary by location and are subject to change.

Like Simply Business, CoverWallet is an online insurance brokerage. In other words, it lets you get and compare quotes from multiple companies. But unlike other brokerages, CoverWallet lets you manage any insurance policies (and other business finance accounts) from one central “wallet” on its website.

It sounds like a great idea and the perfect way to simplify your business finances―but CoverWallet doesn’t get the best customer reviews. So it might be one of those ideas that sounds better in theory than in practice.

Even so, CoverWallet’s unique wallet makes it stand out from other business insurance brokerages out there.

Other places to get general liability insurance

Plenty of companies offer general liability insurance. So if you still haven’t found an insurer you like, you can take a look at providers like these instead:

  • Chubb
  • CNA
  • net
  • Embroker
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Nationwide
  • Progressive Commercial

The takeaway

The Hartford has the best general liability insurance policies for most business owners. Its long history, many insurance products, detailed website, and many contact methods make it a great pick for all kinds of businesses.

If you want coverage from a very well-reviewed insurance provider, stick with Acuity. Thimble can take care of your short-term liability insurance needs. For an online broker that helps you shop around, choose Simply Business. And if you want the personalized help of an agent, go with State Farm.

Whichever provider you pick, we hope you enjoy the peace of mind that comes from having an insured, protected business.

General liability insurance protects your business from many things, but not workers comp claims. Supplement your general liability policy with coverage from one of the best workers compensation insurance companies.

Related reading

Methodology

We analyzed dozens of business insurance companies to find the best general liability insurance providers. We compared contact methods, support hours, customer reviews, complaint indexes, and more to get our scores and rankings.

General liability insurance FAQ

What kind of business insurances exist?

Lots of kinds of business insurances exist, from general liability insurance to cyber insurance. These are some of the most common kinds of business insurance:

  • General liability insurance
  • Workers compensation insurance
  • Professional liability insurance
  • Business owners policy (BOP)
  • Commercial auto insurance
  • Umbrella insurance
What are the most common insurance needs that businesses have? What type of insurance does every business need to have?

The most common insurance needs for businesses are general liability insurance and workers compensation insurance.

Depending on your field and needs, you may also want common coverage like professional liability insurance and commercial auto insurance.

What is the average cost to insure a business?

The average cost to insure a business varies quite widely, as it depends on everything from your insurance coverage needs to your business size to your location.

That said, the average small-business owner pays $50 or less for general liability insurance each month. Honestly, that’s not bad for the protection and peace of mind you get in exchange.

Disclaimer

At Business.org, our research is meant to offer general product and service recommendations. We don't guarantee that our suggestions will work best for each individual or business, so consider your unique needs when choosing products and services.

Sources

  1. Trustpilot, “Acuity Insurance.” Accessed July 18, 2022.

  2. Better Business Bureau, “Acuity, a Mutual Insurance Company.” Accessed July 18, 2022.

Chloe Goodshore
Written by
Chloe Goodshore
Chloe covers business financing and loans for Business.org. She has worked with many small businesses over the past 10 years, from video game stores to law firms. Those years watching frustrated business owners try to sift through their many options gave her a passion for breaking down complex business topics. She wants to help business owners spend less time agonizing over their businesses so they can spend more time running them.
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