The best overall company for professional liability insurance in California is Next, earning a MoneyGeek score of 96. For LLCs with 20 employees, the average monthly cost is $337; for sole proprietors with no employees, it's $39. Next is also the most affordable option in the state.

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Overall Best Professional Liability Insurance in California

MoneyGeek has ranked Next as California's top professional liability insurance provider, attributing its ranking to robust affordability scores for 20-employee LLCs and sole proprietors without any staff. The table below details the scores and costs for each company on our list to help you compare insurers.

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Cheapest Professional Liability Insurance in California

Next earns the title of the cheapest professional liability insurance in California with average monthly costs of $337 for LLCs with 20 employees and $39 for sole proprietors. Despite Thimble offering slightly lower rates for sole proprietors at $31, its significantly higher LLC rates of $1,824 position it as the second-cheapest insurer overall.

Our affordability ranking is based on a combined assessment of sole proprietor and LLC costs, meaning the cheapest overall may not be the least expensive for both categories.

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Best Professional Liability Insurance for Sole Proprietors in California

Next ranks as the top choice for sole proprietors with no employees seeking professional liability insurance in California, earning a MoneyGeek score of 96. This ranking is based on its stellar affordability, with an average monthly cost of $39, and strong customer satisfaction ratings. Following closely behind, Thimble secured the second-best position with a score of 95.

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Best Professional Liability Insurance for LLCs With 20 Employees in California

Nationwide ranks as California's best professional liability insurance provider for LLCs with 20 employees, earning a MoneyGeek score of 97. This score reflects the company's cheap average monthly premium of $349, high customer satisfaction ratings and comprehensive range of insurance coverages. The Hartford matches Nationwide's score of 97, but its higher monthly cost of $545 positions it in second place. Remember that employee count significantly influences the cost of professional liability insurance; businesses with fewer than 20 employees can anticipate lower costs, while those with a larger workforce should expect to pay more.

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Best Professional Liability Insurance for Fast Quotes in California

Thimble leads the way in California for fast professional liability insurance quotes with an average online quote time of 52 seconds. Speedy online quote processes can minimize downtime and streamline decision-making for business owners, allowing for quick comparisons between providers and plans.

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How Much Is Professional Liability Insurance in California?

In California, the average monthly cost of professional liability insurance is $693 for LLCs with 20 employees and $98 for sole proprietors without employees. These rates are for a policy with limits set at $1 million per occurrence, $1 million aggregate and a $5,000 deductible. Here’s how to understand the policy limits:

  • The per occurrence limit is the maximum amount the insurance company will pay for a single claim.
  • The aggregate limit is the maximum amount the insurer will pay out over the policy's term.
  • The deductible is the amount the policyholder must pay out of pocket before the insurance coverage starts to apply.

A comparison of California's professional liability insurance costs with rates in other states reveals that California is on the higher end of the scale. California ranks in the top 25% for average monthly rates for LLCs with 20 employees. California's costs are around the middle of the pack for sole proprietors without employees compared to other states.

The table below presents a state-by-state comparison of the average monthly cost of professional liability insurance, highlighting the variations in premiums across the country.

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Factors Impacting Professional Liability Insurance Costs in California

The cost of professional liability insurance in California can change significantly from one business to another. This variation is due to several factors that insurance companies consider when determining premiums. Each factor plays a role in shaping the cost of coverage:

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Who Needs Professional Liability Insurance in California?

Professional liability insurance, often called malpractice insurance when applied to certain high-risk industries, is not typically a legal requirement for most businesses. However, specific fields like healthcare and law may have distinct considerations.

  • Legal malpractice insurance: There isn't a mandate for lawyers in California to have malpractice insurance. But a lawyer who knows or should know that they do not have professional liability insurance must inform their client in writing, according to the California Rules of Professional Conduct. This disclosure should occur early on so that clients are aware of their lawyer's insurance status before formal legal representation begins.
  • Medical malpractice insurance: Physicians in California are not legally required to carry malpractice insurance. However, certain hospitals or healthcare facilities might require their visiting providers to have such insurance. Medical professionals may also need malpractice insurance to participate in certain healthcare insurance plans.
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CONSIDER PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY EVEN IF IT'S NOT REQUIRED

Professional liability insurance, even if not legally required, safeguards against potentially extreme costs associated with lawsuits or claims of negligence, misrepresentation or incorrect advice. For example, if a business consultant provides advice that leads to a client's financial loss without professional liability insurance, the consultant may be personally responsible for legal defense costs and potential settlement amounts, which could have severe economic consequences.

Frequently Asked Questions About Professional Liability Insurance in California

Navigating California's professional liability insurance landscape can be complex, with many factors to consider. The questions below cover the top-rated and most affordable providers, the specifics of what professional liability insurance covers and the typical costs associated with these policies in California.

Next takes the top spot for best professional liability insurance in California, earning a MoneyGeek score of 96 out of 100, primarily due to its affordability, customer satisfaction ratings and swift quote process. The best insurance company for you hinges on several factors, including your business size, number of employees and coverage requirements. While Next excels overall, your best fit depends on your business needs.

Next stands out as the cheapest option for professional liability insurance in California, with an average monthly cost of $337 for LLCs with 20 employees and $39 for sole proprietors without employees. Keep in mind that the least expensive policy for your specific situation will depend on various factors, such as your business's location and number of employees.

Professional liability insurance in California typically covers financial losses that may arise due to errors, negligence or malpractice in providing professional services. These policies include costs related to legal defense, settlements and judgments. This type of insurance does not cover intentional wrongdoing or misconduct, criminal acts, bodily injuries or property damage, as general liability insurance usually covers these claims. It also does not cover employee-related issues like harassment and discrimination claims covered under employment practices liability insurance.

In California, the average monthly cost for professional liability insurance varies based on the business. For example, LLCs with 20 employees can expect to pay approximately $693 per month. Meanwhile, sole proprietors operating without employees typically pay a lower monthly premium, averaging around $98.

About Melissa Wylie


Melissa Wylie headshot

Melissa Wylie is a Content and SEO Manager at MoneyGeek. Melissa has worked in the financial content space since 2018 and has spent much of that time focused on all things small business.

Prior to joining MoneyGeek, Melissa held SEO positions at Bankrate and LendingTree. Melissa’s work has also appeared on LendingTree-owned websites ValuePenguin and MagnifyMoney.

Melissa began her career at American City Business Journals in 2015 as a reporter for the company’s women-focused publication Bizwomen. Melissa has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of North Texas. Melissa relies on her foundation in journalism to craft content that simplifies complex financial topics to help everyone feel confident when making decisions with their money.

Melissa's other work can be read on LendingTree and Bizwomen.


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