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General Contractor Insurance

As a general contractor, risk is nothing new to you and you know that you need general contractor insurance. You understand both the financial and physical risks present in your business. Physical risks such as someone getting hurt on a job site can lead to devastating financial losses if you don’t have insurance.

General contractor insurance is a combination of policies available to you that help you protect against the financial losses of specific risks. For example, a trip and fall claim could lead to tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills for an injured party. Without general liability insurance, you’re paying those costs on your own.

The type of insurance policies that you get will depend on how your business structure and what kinds of risks your company faces. General contractor insurance often includes general liability, workers’ compensation, and inland marine insurance.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common general contractor insurance policies for you to consider adding to your business protection plan.

General Contractor Insurance

General Liability

Many people consider general liability the baseline insurance policy because it protects you from common and often costly risks. Often, people refer to this policy as a “slip and fall policy” because it protects you from third-party claim where someone gets hurt because of your business operations. Slip and fall accidents happen to be common, but for a general contractor, you may be more concerned with bystanders and customers moving around your tools and equipment.

As you know, even if you have safety standards in place to protect people, things can go wrong, and you are liable for injuries. For example, a child impales their foot with your nail gun, requiring immediate medical attention. You have the financial protection to pay for the child’s medical needs with general liability insurance.

Inland Marine

General contractors need tools and equipment to get the job done. For the most part, your tools and equipment travel with you from job site to job site, often using a work truck or van to transport them. An inland marine policy protects your tools and equipment while they are in transit.

For example, you stop at a coffee shop before going to your worksite, and someone steals several power tools from the back of your truck. Without inland marine insurance, you’re responsible for paying for this loss entirely out of pocket. With inland marine insurance, you pay a deductible, and the insurance pays the rest of the claim so that you can buy new tools to replace the stolen ones.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

You’ll most likely need workers’ compensation insurance if you have one or more employees. Most states have laws requiring it, so you will want to check on the requirements where you work. Even if you aren’t required to have it, you will most likely want to get it if you have any employees because contracting work has a lot of incidents where workers get hurt.

Workers’ compensation insurance pays for medical bills and lost wages of an injured worker who gets hurt on the job. For instance, if you have an apprentice who cuts himself with a power saw, he’ll likely need to go to the emergency room to get stitches. He may also miss out on work because of his injuries. Workers’ compensation insurance covers these costs.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance is a necessity for any general contractor who is using a truck or van as their primary work vehicle. While the DMV requires all vehicles to have insurance in order to have registration issued, personal auto insurance won’t cover claims for vehicles used for work purposes. This means that your work truck or van must have commercial auto insurance to protect it.

It pays for claims that happen in an at-fault accident or have a vehicle loss due to theft or vandalism. For example, if someone steals your work truck, your commercial auto insurance can pay to replace the truck, while your inland marine policy would pay to replace the stolen tools. To be fully covered by a commercial auto insurance policy, you must have comprehensive and collision coverage. These two coverages pay for losses to your vehicle for different types of claims. The collision coverage pays to repair your car after an at-fault accident, while comprehensive coverage pays to repair or replace the vehicle from theft, vandalism, or natural disasters.

Surety Bond

Surety bonds are not insurance but are a type of insurance product. With insurance, you pay a premium, and the company pays the claim – you don’t think about it after that. With a surety bond, if you don’t meet your contractual obligations, the customer can make a claim on the bond. If the insurance company pays that claim, you must reimburse the insurance company for the payment.

States or counties might require surety bonds to get a business or general contractor’s license. The bond is also helpful in presenting yourself as an industry professional to prospects and clients. If you aren’t bonded, potential clients may not award you contracts. The surety bond is an inexpensive way to improve your work prospects.

Excess Liability

You probably already know that an insurance policy has limits. Look at a general liability insurance policy. You will often see the limits starting at $100,000 and going up to $1 million – sometimes more. But what happens if you have a claim exceeding the general liability limits? You’re on the hook for the difference between the claim value and the maximum limits. That is unless you have excess liability insurance.

Excess liability insurance is a secondary policy that kicks in once your general liability limits have maxed out. It is an inexpensive way to increase your coverage to provide the most protection.

General Contractor Business Insurance Cost

Estimating the cost of general contractor insurance is no easy task. Costs will depend on:

  • Which policies you choose to buy 
  • How much coverage you get 
  • The industry you work in
  • The amount of revenues you generate 
  • Claims history

Most general contractors start with general liability insurance. For a small general contractor with no employees, you may expect premiums to start at $77 per month. Get a quote to receive the most accurate number – quotes are always free.


$ 77

  • Unlimited Certificates
  • $100,000 to $5,000,000 Limits
  • $250 Deductible Available
Get a Quote


$ 299

  • Unlimited Certificates
  • $100,000 to $1,000,000 Limits
  • Medical Care Coverage
  • Disability Coverage
Get a Quote


$ 17

  • Unlimited Certificates
  • $10,000 to $500,000 Limits
  • Trailer Coverage
Get a Quote


$ 99

  • Unlimited Certificates
  • $100,000 to $1,000,000 Limits
  • Hired /None Owned Cvg
Get a Quote

General Contractor Insurance FAQ

Why Do General Contractor Need Insurance?

State laws or some clients may require general contractors to have insurance. Even if they aren’t required to get insurance, they should consider the risks to their business and the possible financial devastation that claims can bring. A significant claim could be enough to bankrupt a general contractor who doesn’t have large savings and is without insurance.

What Are The Risks Facing General Contractors?

General contractors are a high-risk industry because they work with a lot of tools and equipment and may even work at raised levels while building a home. These all add risk for injuries that include severe lesions or broken bones. Even general contractors with rigid safety protocols in place are at risk for these injuries and more.

Is Insurance Required For General Contractor?

Check with your local business and licensing departments to determine if general liability insurance is a requirement for your general contracting business. The law doesn’t require insurance in all cases but risk experts highly recommend it. One area where insurance is usually required is where contractors have employees and need to get workers’ compensation insurance.

What Type Of Insurance Do General Contractors Need?

There are a variety of general contractor insurance policies available to cover specific situations.

A great first choice is general liability insurance. This is a must for any general contractor. General liability insurance will provide protection for damage and lawsuits involving property damage, bodily injury, advertising injury and much more.

But, general liability insurance doesn’t necessarily cover every possible risk you might face. When potential risks aren’t covered by your existing coverage, we call that an “insurance gap.” Common insurance gaps in general liability insurance for general contractors include damage to or caused by vehicles, pollution, and others.

Surety bonds are also very common in the construction industry. They act as a financial guarantee that bids on projects are made in good faith, that projects will be completed on time and according to applicable standards, and that subcontractors are paid as agreed.

How Much Is General Contractor’s Insurance?

There are several factors to determine the cost for each insurance.

General liability coverage, for example, could run anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand dollars a year. Factors such as revenue, number of employees, the state where your business is registered and the kinds of work your business performs are key factors.

These decisions can be complex. We can help.

Have You Considered A Custom General Contractor Policy?

USA Business Insurance Services prides itself in providing 100% custom insurance policies based on the needs of your business. We will go over your application and make sure every aspect of your business is properly covered. We’ll make sure you’re paying only for what you need.

Once we’ve put together the right policy for you, you’ll have the peace of mind you need to focus on your business. You focus on your building projects. We’ll focus on you.

How To Get General Contractor Insurance

While most people find it a hassle to get insurance, it doesn’t need to be. You can get a general contractor insurance policy from an insurance broker after a simple conversation about your business. The broker will help you assess your risk and thus help you determine which policies make the most sense for you. They will also help you identify appropriate coverage limits to ensure you are adequately covered.

Once you’ve chosen all of this, you can ask the broker to run a couple of different deductible scenarios so that you can ascertain how much, if anything, you want to pay in a claim. Higher deductibles help keep insurance costs down. If you shop for insurance, make sure that the quotes match coverage and limits. That’s how you compare apples to apples when it comes to business insurance.