AdvisorSmith evaluated financial strength, customer satisfaction, ease-of-use, and more to find the best general liability insurance companies.
Commercial general liability insurance (CGL) is a crucial coverage that almost all businesses will need to acquire. This type of insurance protects your company if your activities cause third-party bodily injury, property damage, or personal injury. There’s always a possibility that someone who is not employed by you could be accidentally injured on your premises; CGL can provide financial support to protect you from the costly lawsuits and expenses that could result if this happens.
Many insurance companies offer CGL, and selecting the right coverage can be a complex task. Your CGL coverage requirements will differ depending on your industry, as some industries have a much higher risk level than others. However, it’s always important to choose an insurer that is financially strong, meaning it will be able to pay out large claims even if a disaster affects the company. It’s also a good idea to consider how satisfied insurers’ customers are with their services.
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To determine the best general liability insurance companies, AdvisorSmith considered a number of factors, including financial strength ratings from AM Best and Standard & Poors, customer satisfaction data from several J.D. Power studies, complaint ratings from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, available features and options, and availability of information and ease of use of the insurers’ websites. We scored insurers out of a total of five points and only included those companies that scored 3.5 or higher.
It’s important to note that cost was not a factor in our evaluation, though you can take a look at our analysis of the average cost of general liability insurance for pricing information.
The Best General Liability Insurance Companies
|1||Chubb||5.0 / 5.0|
|2||Berkshire Hathaway Guard||5.0 / 5.0|
|3||Travelers||5.0 / 5.0|
|4||Great American||4.2 / 5.0|
|5||The Hartford||4.2 / 5.0|
|6||Progressive Commercial||4.0 / 5.0|
|7||Zurich||3.9 / 5.0|
|8||Liberty Mutual||3.9 / 5.0|
|9||Cincinnati Financial Group||3.7 / 5.0|
|10||Nationwide||3.7 / 5.0|
|11||Hiscox||3.5 / 5.0|
|12||Farmers Insurance||3.5 / 5.0|
|13||CNA||3.5 / 5.0|
*Not all insurance companies provide coverage in all states.
More on the Best General Liability Insurers
AdvisorSmith found and rated the top commercial general liability insurance companies on a five-point scale, based on financial strength, customer satisfaction, ease-of-use, and a number of other factors. While many insurers were evaluated, only those with a score of 3.5 or more are listed below.
5.0 / 5.0
Chubb has an A++ rating from AM Best and an AA rating from Standard & Poors, indicating excellent financial strength. Chubb is also highly ranked by several J.D. Power studies of commercial insurance satisfaction. The company also offers general liability insurance for many industries.
Chubb’s general liability insurance policies may offer a global extension for overseas business. Vendors and lessors are included as insureds. Chubb’s advertising and personal injury limit is not subject to an aggregate limit, and the company has an expanded definition of bodily injury that includes mental injury, humiliation, and shock.
Berkshire Hathaway Guard
5.0 / 5.0
Berkshire Hathaway Guard has an AM Best rating of A++ and a Standard & Poors rating of AA, meaning it is financially very strong. It covers a variety of industries, including manufacturing, wholesalers and distributors, resorts, golf courses, and more. Industry-specific endorsements and customizations are also available.
Berkshire Hathaway Guard offers aggregate limits of up to $6 million. Premium discounts are available based on the age and condition of the insured’s building, the experience level of employees, and the care, condition, and type of premises to be covered.
5.0 / 5.0
Travelers Insurance is considered financially strong, with a rating of A++ from AM Best and AA from Standard & Poors. The company offers general liability insurance for a wide range of industries.
Travelers’ policies are customizable, with specialized endorsements designed for auto dealers, architects and engineers, colleges and schools, technology companies, health care providers, and more. Travelers also offers specialized contractors liability coverage.
4.2 / 5.0
Great American received A+ ratings from both AM Best and Standard & Poors, indicating a high level of financial stability. The insurer’s website provides information on loss prevention for businesses. Great American’s general liability coverage can easily be extended with pollution coverage and automatic additional insured coverage.
4.2 / 5.0
The Hartford has been given an A+ rating by both AM Best and Standard & Poors. The company offers liability coverage to companies in many industries, including those with a higher level of liability risks, such as manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors, and importers. The Hartford offers risk engineering consulting services that can provide guidance to help reduce risks.
4.0 / 5.0
Progressive Commercial has an AM Best rating of A+ and a Standard and Poor’s rating of AA. The company’s general liability insurance coverage is designed for small businesses. Coverage for contractors includes blanket additional insured status automatically.
Progressive Commercial also offers online quotes. The company’s Progressive Advantage Business Program may be an easy way to get multiple quotes for multiple types of coverage and could provide discounts on your commercial auto insurance policy.
3.9 / 5.0
Zurich has a rating of A+ from AM Best and AA- from Standard & Poors. It provides coverage for many industries both domestically and internationally, but it focuses in particular on health care, hospitality, restaurants, financial services, manufacturing and wholesale, and food and beverage operations. Zurich has the ability to tailor programs to your specific business needs and offers risk engineering services that can help reduce the likelihood of claims.
Zurich allows online claim reporting and tracking, but you will have to contact an agent or broker to get a quote and purchase insurance.
3.9 / 5.0
Liberty Mutual offers coverage in 150 countries and holds strong financial ratings. The company received A ratings from both AM Best and Standard & Poors and was ranked above average in J.D Power’s customer satisfaction study for small commercial customers, but below average in J.D. Power’s study of large commercial insurers. Liberty Mutual’s general liability coverage can range from policies for small businesses or sole proprietorships to policies for large organizations.
Liberty Mutual’s website does not provide extensive information on general liability coverage; you’ll need to contact an agent or broker for more information.
Cincinnati Financial Group
3.7 / 5.0
Cincinnati Financial Group’s insurance company has A+ ratings from both AM Best and Standard & Poors. The company offers business liability coverage worldwide for companies that do business outside the U.S. It also offers a broadened CGL endorsement option that can increase limits or add commonly requested coverages such as automatic additional insured status, employee benefit liability coverage, and additional liability and medical payments coverage.
3.7 / 5.0
Nationwide received A+ ratings from both AM Best and Standard & Poors. It offers customizable options in general liability coverage for a wide range of industries, including retail, professional offices, contractors, auto service shops, food and beverage, medical clinics, and self storage facilities, among others. Nationwide focuses on small and midsize businesses. You can apply for online quotes with Nationwide.
3.5 / 5.0
Hiscox received A ratings from both AM Best and Standard & Poors, meaning it is financially strong but not at the highest level of financial strength, according to those ratings agencies. Hiscox specializes in insurance for small businesses, focusing on those in professional services industries. Its general liability insurance policies include electronic data liability coverage, which is a common concern for professional services companies. It also automatically includes temporary employees in coverage.
3.5 / 5.0
Farmers Insurance received A ratings from both AM Best and Standard & Poors.
Farmers’ general liability coverage is customizable and specifically targeted at small businesses, and the company does provide online quoting options. Farmers, however, does not provide detailed information through their website; you will need to speak to an agent to receive more details about coverage and options.
3.5 / 5.0
CNA received an A rating from AM Best and an A+ from Standard & Poors. The insurer offers endorsements designed for specific industries such as manufacturing, construction, real estate, and architecture, providing the most frequently requested coverage for those industries. It also offers product withdrawal and recall coverage.
General Liability Pricing
The average cost of general liability insurance in the U.S. is $597 per year or $50 per month for small businesses. Because the risk of property damage or bodily injury varies widely and is strongly dependent upon the type of business, one of the primary drivers of insurance cost is the industry in which a business operates.
The table below lists the average insurance cost in a selection of industries as studied by AdvisorSmith. These costs reflect average insurance premiums for small businesses with under $500,000 in revenue for coverage limits of $1 million per occurrence / $2 million aggregate.
|Industry||Average Annual Cost|
|Construction & Contracting||$1,076|
|Food and Hospitality||$776|
|IT / Technology||$418|
|Photo & Video||$461|
|Sports and Fitness||$477|
In addition to the type of business, other major factors in the cost of general liability insurance include coverage level, company revenue, number of employees, physical location, and size of business’s physical location.
In order to determine the best commercial general liability insurance companies, AdvisorSmith considered a number of factors that reflect an insurer’s financial strength, customer satisfaction, and ease-of-use. Using our own proprietary scoring algorithm, we weighted the various factors based upon what we believe to be important for small and midsize business owners. These factors included carrier ratings from AM Best and Standard & Poors, customer satisfaction data from several J.D. Power studies, complaint ratings from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, an evaluation of each insurer’s policies, options, and website features, and more. Our algorithm outputted a score out of five total points. While we considered a number of insurers, we only included in this article those companies that scored 3.5 or higher.
The AdvisorSmith rankings are based upon our editorial team’s quantitative and qualitative analysis, and they are intended to serve only as a guide for our readers. We encourage our readers to conduct their own research when selecting a commercial insurance provider, shop and compare quotes, and make a decision based on their own unique business needs.
AdvisorSmith is in no way compensated for any of our reviews.