General Liability vs. Professional Liability Insurance

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General Liability vs. Professional Liability

As a business owner, it can be a challenge to figure out what types of liability insurance you need.  The right policies depend on the types of risks your company faces.
Big and small businesses both face liability risks, but the type of liability can change based on what you do. For example, a contractor might be liable if something they’ve built injures someone, where a consulting business might be liable for a client’s financial losses if they made a mistake in the advice they gave.
Both of these types of liabilities can lead to a lawsuit. That’s where general liability insurance and professional liability insurance come into play.

How General Liability Differs From Professional Liability

general liability vs professional liability The main difference between general liability and professional liability is in the types of risks they each cover. General liability covers physical risks, such as bodily injuries and property damage. Professional liability covers more abstract risks, such as errors and omissions in the services your business provides.

General Liability Insurance Definition and Risks Covered

General liability insurance helps cover:
Bodily injury claims, such as someone getting hurt at your business. This doesn’t include your employees’ injuries, though. Your workers' compensation insurance can help cover their work-related injuries or illnesses.
Medical payments if someone gets hurt on your business property.
Property damage your business or employees cause.
Reputational harm if someone sues you for malicious prosecution, libel, slander, wrongful eviction, privacy violations and more.
Advertising errors if you face a lawsuit for copyright infringement in your advertisement.

Who Should Take Out General Liability Insurance?

professional liability insurance definition General liability insurance is a good idea for most small business owners because it helps protect you from risks you face in many common business situations. This coverage is so important that we’ve bundled it as part of our standard Business Owner’s Policy (BOP).

How Much Does General Liability Insurance Cost?

Your general liability insurance cost typically depends on many factors, including your:
  • Type of business, because if you’re in certain industries, like construction, you face more risks and may pay more for a policy.
  • Years of experience, because businesses that have been around longer usually pay a lower rate than newer ones.
  • Location, especially if you’re in an area that has a higher risk of damage from disasters, like storms or floods.
To learn more about your business’ specific insurance cost, get a general liability quote.

Professional Liability Insurance Definition and Risks Covered

Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions insurance, helps protect your business if your client claims financial damages from the professional service that you provide.
Professional liability insurance can help cover business’ legal defense costs:
  • If a bookkeeper makes a clerical error that costs their client thousands of dollars.
  • If a web developer makes a mistake on a client’s e-commerce site, resulting in missed sales opportunities.
  • If an accountant files an incorrect tax return for their client, resulting in a penalty fee.

Who Should Take Out Professional Liability Insurance?

Some states may require certain businesses to have professional liability insurance. For instance, healthcare professionals need medical malpractice insurance, which is a type of professional liability.
You might have to carry professional liability coverage if your clients require it when you sign a contract. Regardless of whether you’re required to have it by law, it’s important to get the protection you need with professional liability insurance, especially if you work with clients or customers.
Some examples of businesses that should carry professional liability insurance include:

How Much Does Professional Liability Insurance Cost?

Businesses can make different mistakes. That’s why the cost of professional liability insurance varies from one business to another. Some general factors that can impact your professional liability cost include your:
  • Type of business
  • Policy coverage limits
  • Number of employees
  • Years in business
  • Location
  • Claims history
Find out how much a policy might cost you and how this insurance can help protect your business by getting a professional liability quote. You can also call 855-829-1683 to speak with one of our specialists, who can answer your questions and help you get the right coverage.
The Hartford shall not be liable for any damages in connection with the use of any information provided on this page. Please consult with your insurance agent/broker or insurance company to determine specific coverage needs as this information is intended to be educational in nature.
The information contained on this page should not be construed as specific legal, HR, financial, or insurance advice and is not a guarantee of coverage. In the event of a loss or claim, coverage determinations will be subject to the policy language, and any potential claim payment will be determined following a claim investigation.
Certain coverages vary by state and may not be available to all businesses. All Hartford coverages and services described on this page may be offered by one or more of the property and casualty insurance company subsidiaries of The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. In TX, this insurance is written by Sentinel Insurance Company, Ltd., Hartford Casualty Insurance Company, Hartford Lloyd’s Insurance Company, Property and Casualty Insurance Company of Hartford, Hartford Underwriters Insurance Company, Twin City Fire Insurance Company, Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company and Hartford Fire Insurance Company. In Arizona, New Hampshire, Washington and California, the insurance is underwritten by Hartford Accident and Indemnity Company, Hartford Casualty Insurance Company, Hartford Fire Insurance Company, Hartford Insurance Company of Illinois, Hartford Insurance Company of the Midwest, Hartford Lloyd’s Insurance Company, Hartford Underwriters Insurance Company, Maxum Casualty Insurance Company, Maxum Indemnity Company, Navigators Insurance Company, Navigators Specialty Insurance Company, Pacific Insurance Company, Property and Casualty Insurance Company of Hartford, Sentinel Insurance Company, Ltd., Trumbull Insurance Company and Twin City Fire Insurance Company. The Hartford® is The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries, including Hartford Fire Insurance Company.
The Hartford® is The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc. and its property and casualty subsidiaries, including Hartford Fire Insurance Company. Its headquarters is in Hartford, CT.
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