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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.

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.


1
The HartfordBest Overall General Liability - Contractors
Score:99

5/5

LLC Affordability

4.9/5

Sole Proprietor Affordability

5/5

Customer Satisfaction

4/5

Financial Stability

4/5

Online Quote Process

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

The Hartford has the lowest general liability insurance cost for contractors of all the companies we analyzed, especially for LLCs.

More About The Hartford

The company has strong customer satisfaction and financial strength scores. However, compared to other companies, The Hartford has a slow online quote process. Online quotes may not be available nationwide. The Hartford offers other types of business insurance general construction contractors might consider, like business income insurance, commercial auto and property insurance and workmans’ compensation for businesses with employees.

2
Nationwide
Score:92

3.3/5

LLC Affordability

3.4/5

Sole Proprietor Affordability

5/5

Customer Satisfaction

4/5

Financial Stability

3/5

Online Quote Process

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

Nationwide is another affordable option for sole proprietor and LLC-structured general contractors.

More About Nationwide

It has few customer complaints and superior financial strength to pay claims. But Nationwide has the slowest quote time of all company picks, so may not be the best choice if you need a fast quote. We also could not get online quotes in Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, New York or Oklahoma. Besides general liability insurance coverage for contractors, Nationwide offers surety bonds, inland marine for tools and equipment, commercial property and auto, workers’ compensation and commercial umbrella coverage.

3
biBERK
Score:89

0/5

LLC Affordability

4.8/5

Sole Proprietor Affordability

4/5

Customer Satisfaction

5/5

Financial Stability

3/5

Online Quote Process

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

biBERK — part of the Berkshire Hathaway Insurance Group — offers affordable rates for sole proprietors, though it lacks quotes for general contractor LLCs.

More About biBERK

It also has strong financial stability to pay its obligations, including claim payouts. biBERK may not be available where your business is located, however, because it only offers general liability coverage in 27 states. It also has a long online quote process, though not as long as Nationwide’s. Depending on where you are in the country, you may be able to also buy worker’s compensation, professional liability, commercial auto, business owners’ policy or commercial umbrella policies from biBERK.

4
Hiscox
Score:89

0/5

LLC Affordability

5/5

Sole Proprietor Affordability

4/5

Customer Satisfaction

4/5

Financial Stability

4/5

Online Quote Process

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

Hiscox has strong financial stability and customer satisfaction scores, making it a good contender for general liability insurance coverage for contractors.

More About Hiscox

It offers fast quotes online with affordable rates for sole proprietor general contractors, but no online option for LLCs. Hiscox only offers online quotes to contractors depending on employee count and business structure. We could not get online quotes in Alaska, so general contractors there may need to speak with an agent for a quote. Contractors can also purchase professional liability and business owners policies (BOP) through Hiscox.

5
Thimble
Score:87

1/5

LLC Affordability

4.5/5

Sole Proprietor Affordability

2/5

Customer Satisfaction

4/5

Financial Stability

5/5

Online Quote Process

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

Thimble offers the fastest online quote time of all companies and is widely available nationwide. It offers online quotes in every state, plus the District of Columbia.

More About Thimble

General contractors can also get commercial auto and property insurance, workers’ compensation and business equipment protection policies through Thimble. It also has a strong financial stability rating. Thimble isn’t the most affordable option, and it has a low customer satisfaction score compared to competitors. If these factors are important, it may be best to get quotes from the other insurance companies offering the best general liability insurance for contractors.

6
Next
Score:76

0.5/5

LLC Affordability

1/5

Sole Proprietor Affordability

0/5

Customer Satisfaction

2/5

Financial Stability

4/5

Online Quote Process

Geek Quick Take
Geek Quick Take

Next offers another option for general contractors with a fast online quote process that is available in almost all states. We could not get quotes online in Maryland or New York.

More About Next

It offers several other policy options for general contractors, including workers’ compensation, BOP and commercial auto insurance. However, its general liability for contractors policy comes at a high cost for both LLCs and sole proprietors. Next also has high customer complaints, giving it a low customer satisfaction score.

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.

About Mandy Sleight, Licensed Insurance Agent


Mandy Sleight, Licensed Insurance Agent headshot

Mandy Sleight is a licensed insurance agent and has worked in the industry since 2005. She has her property, casualty, life and health licenses. Mandy has worked for well-known insurance companies like State Farm and Nationwide Insurance, and most recently as the Operations Coordinator for a startup employee benefits company.

Mandy earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Baltimore and her Master of Business Administration from Southern New Hampshire University. She uses her vast knowledge of the insurance industry and personal finance combined with her writing background to create easy-to-understand and engaging content to help readers make smarter choices with their budgets and finances.