General liability insurance is an essential investment for any business owner, as it shields your bottom line against claims of property damage or bodily injury.

To find the best business insurance for sole proprietors, MoneyGeek examined 1,229 quotes from various providers, analyzing each provider’s affordability, customer satisfaction, financial stability and online quote process.

MoneyGeek used a sole proprietorship with the following characteristics to gather general liability insurance quotes:

  • Five years in business in the software development industry
  • No employees and no payroll costs
  • $500,000 in annual revenue

Find out which provider offers the best general liability insurance for sole proprietors and determine which one is best for your business.


Best Overall General Liability Insurance for Sole Proprietors

The overall best general liability insurance for sole proprietors is from biBERK. With a high customer satisfaction score and an average rate of $275 per year — or $23 per month — biBERK is an excellent choice, thanks to its balance of excellent customer service with affordable premiums.


Runner-Up Best General Liability Insurance for Sole Proprietors

Thimble is another strong pick for sole proprietors, scoring highly in affordability and quote time. A high quote time score means that if you request a quote, you’re likely to hear back quickly — which is ideal for business owners who don’t have a lot of time to shop around for insurance and compare quotes.


Cheapest General Liability Insurance for Sole Proprietors

The best business insurance for sole proprietors looking for affordability is Thimble. On average, general liability insurance policies with Thimble cost an average of $22 per month. However, keep in mind that this may change based on your coverage limits, location and more.


Best General Liability Insurance for Customer Satisfaction for Sole Proprietors

Based on complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), The Hartford offers the best customer satisfaction compared to other providers we analyzed due to its low average rate of complaints. For business owners who want a provider with reliable service, The Hartford is a solid option.


How Much Is General Liability Insurance for a Sole Proprietor?

It costs an average of $342 a year for a general liability policy with a $2 million aggregate limit, $1 million occurrence limit and $0 deductible. This can change depending on several factors. Factors that impact the cost of business insurance for sole proprietors include:

  • Industry risks: The kind of industry your business is in can affect costs, as the associated risks will determine your likelihood of making a claim. The riskier the industry, the higher the insurance premiums may be.
  • Location: The risks specific to where your business is located can result in more expensive premiums. For instance, if your area is more prone to wildfires or crime, you might need to pay more.
  • Previous claims: If you’ve made a claim before, your insurance premiums may increase.
  • Coverage: Higher or lower limits can impact your costs. The higher your liability limits, the more you can expect to pay.

It's important to note that if you’re a sole proprietor with no employees, payroll will not impact your insurance premiums. Business owners are not considered an employee in a sole proprietorship. However, if you do have employees, your general liability insurance premiums may be calculated differently.

What Does General Liability Insurance Cover for Sole Proprietors?

General liability insurance typically covers bodily injury and property damage claims made by third parties and reputational damage claims. In general, it covers the following types of claims:

  • Bodily injury: If a customer, vendor or other third party is injured on your business property or due to your business' actions, your general liability policy will cover any medical expenses, lost wages and other damages.
  • Property damage: If your business' products or services cause damage to someone else's property, your policy will cover the cost of repairing or replacing the damaged property.
  • Advertising injury: General liability insurance can also cover allegations of harm related to your business' advertising activities. For instance, if a competitor accuses your business of using misleading advertising or making false claims about your products or services, your policy would cover the legal costs.
  • Slander or copyright infringement: General liability insurance covers allegations of harm that are not physical in nature, such as libel, slander or copyright infringement. For example, if a competitor accuses you of stealing its intellectual property or making false statements about its business, your policy would pay for the cost of going to court.

What Isn’t Covered for Sole Proprietors?

While general liability insurance offers sole proprietors coverage for a variety of claims, there are some types of claims it may not cover. Understanding the limits will allow you to get coverage for other risks your business is exposed to.

Some situations that general liability insurance won’t cover include:

  • Damage to business equipment or property: Damages to the equipment or property are not covered. However, business owners can purchase additional property insurance to provide this type of coverage.
  • Accidents involving work vehicles: Business vehicles are not covered under general liability insurance. Instead, the business owner would need to purchase commercial auto insurance to get coverage.
  • Work-related employee injuries or illnesses: General liability insurance does not cover injuries or illnesses that occur to the business owner or any employees while on the job — workers' compensation does.
  • Professional oversight or errors: If you make an error on the job, you will need professional liability insurance.

Additional Business Insurance for Sole Proprietors

General liability insurance for sole proprietors provides basic coverage against common risks — but it may not protect you against all the risks your business may be exposed to.

Here are a few coverage options you could consider, depending on your industry:

  • Workers' compensation insurance: This is legally required in most states and covers any work-related injuries or illnesses your employees face. For instance, medical bills, lost wages and rehabilitation costs can be covered by workers’ compensation. Requirements can vary by state.
  • Commercial auto insurance: If your business owns or uses any vehicles, commercial auto insurance can provide coverage in the event of an accident, damage or injury.
  • Professional liability insurance: This protects your business against claims of errors or mistakes in the services provided, paying for legal fees, settlements and judgments related to professional negligence.
  • Commercial property insurance: This type of insurance pays for repairs or replacement of damaged property that the business uses from damage or loss due to fire, theft or other covered perils.
  • Business income insurance: This type of coverage provides compensation for lost income if your business is unable to operate due to a covered event, such as a fire or natural disaster.

General Liability Insurance for Sole Proprietors FAQs

Finding the right general liability insurance provider involves careful research and analysis of your business needs. Get a deeper understanding of the best general liability insurance for sole proprietors through our frequently asked questions.

Which company has the best general liability insurance for sole proprietors?
What kind of insurance does a sole proprietorship need?
Can you buy insurance as a sole proprietorship?

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About Melissa Wylie

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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.