General contractors in the construction industry can benefit from general liability insurance. This policy protects the business and its employees from claims made against them for bodily injury and property damage that occurs from their work. We determined the best general liability insurance for contractors using criteria including affordability, financial strength, customer satisfaction and the online quote process. Our top picks are The Hartford and Nationwide.

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Best General Liability Insurance for Contractors

The Hartford earns the distinction of best general liability insurance for general contractors, earning the highest MoneyGeek score of all carriers we assessed. This insurer has the cheapest average rates for general contractors in the construction industry and has superior financial stability and high customer satisfaction ratings. We also highlight five other lower-ranked companies providing general liability insurance for contractors.

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How Much Does General Liability Insurance Cost for Contractors?

The average general liability insurance cost for LLC contractors in the construction industry with 20 employees is $36,746 per year, or $3,062 per month. For sole proprietors with no employees, the average annual cost is $2,422, or $199 monthly.

There are several factors that determine general liability insurance costs for contractors, including:

  • Industry risk: Construction is considered a high-risk business, which is why general contractors pay higher rates than other industries. Those who perform even higher-risk work, like roofing, may pay even higher premiums.
  • Location: When the business is located in a high-risk area, where crime or flooding is more likely, general liability insurance can be more expensive than in lower-risk areas.
  • Number of employees: The more employees you have and the higher your payroll expenses, the more you could pay for general liability insurance.
  • Previous claims: Having prior claims on your record can also cause higher general liability insurance rates than companies with a clean claims record.
  • Coverage: Better protection with higher coverage limits usually costs more than lower coverage limits.

What Does General Liability Insurance Cover for Contractors?

General liability insurance for contractors protects against several types of claims for attorney fees, damage or medical expenses, including:

  • Bodily injury: If you or one of your employees causes bodily injury while on a job site, the injured party can file a claim for injuries and even sue the contractor.
  • Property damage: This coverage will pay if the contractor or one of its employees causes property damage while working or on the job site.
  • Personal injury: Libel slander, reputational harm and copyright infringement are a few types of personal injury a contractor could cause to another individual or business. If this happens, the harmed person may file suit against the contractor for personal injury or reputational damage.
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PLAN AHEAD

Many clients will require contractors to have general liability coverage in place prior to starting a project. Having general liability insurance in place before submitting an offer for work can also benefit your business by helping you outbid competitors.

What Isn’t Covered for Contractors?

There are several types of claims that general liability insurance for contractors won’t cover, which include:

  • Property damage to the contractor’s equipment, tools or business location
  • Auto accidents involving the contractor’s work vehicles, whether the contractor or employees are driving
  • Injuries or illnesses employees get while on the job
  • Errors or omissions the contractor or its employees make, like missing a deadline or making a construction mistake

Although there are gaps that general liability insurance can’t fill, contractors wishing to cover these types of scenarios can purchase additional business insurance policies to provide coverage for these types of claims.

Additional Business Insurance for Contractors

General liability insurance for contractors provides coverage against bodily injury, property damage and reputational harm claims. But to cover additional risks, contractors should consider additional business insurance coverage options.

Some policies to consider are:

  • Workers’ compensation insurance: This policy will cover employees’ work-related injuries and illnesses, plus meet application state-specific requirements.
  • Commercial auto insurance: A commercial car insurance policy will pay for accidents, injuries and damage to the contractor’s work vehicles.
  • Professional liability insurance: If someone makes a claim citing errors or mistakes the contractor or its employees make on a work project, professional liability insurance, or errors and omissions (E&O) insurance will cover court costs and other fees.
  • Commercial property insurance: This policy covers the business’s equipment, tools and building locations.
  • Business income insurance: If the business cannot operate due to a covered loss, this policy will cover lost income until the business is back up and running.

Frequently Asked Questions About General Liability Insurance for Contractors

Most contractors can benefit from general liability insurance. These answers to the most common questions on general liability insurance coverage for contractors may help you decide if this policy is right for your business.

The Hartford offers the best general liability insurance for contractors, according to data collected and analyzed by MoneyGeek. We also found Nationwide, biBERK, Thimble, Next and Hiscox to be other viable options for construction contractors.

General liability insurance for contractors provides coverage for claims against the contractor for bodily injury, property damage and reputational harm. The policy will pay for medical expenses, damages, attorney fees, court costs, judgments and other costs. The insurance company will defend you, regardless of who is at fault and whether the claims are valid or false.

Besides general liability insurance, contractors should consider additional business insurance policies. Depending on their business structure and if they have employees, this could include commercial auto and property insurance, workers’ compensation, professional liability and business income insurance.

About Mandy Sleight


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Mandy Sleight is a licensed property, casualty, life and health insurance agent with 20 years of experience in the industry. She has worked for major insurance companies like State Farm and Nationwide, and most recently as the Operations Coordinator for a startup employee benefits company.

Sleight holds a business administration and management degree from the University of Baltimore and a master's in business administration from Southern New Hampshire University. She uses her vast knowledge of insurance and personal finance to create easy-to-understand and engaging content to help readers make smarter choices with their budgets and finances.