Understanding Commercial Liability Insurance in NY

New York is one of the most entrepreneurial states in the U.S. and is known to be the leading nation in small business. New York state has more than 2.1 million small businesses, which is 99% of all New York businesses. The small business industry adds to the employment opportunities to 4 million people or almost half of New York and its private workforce. Since New York’s growth in businesses is increasing and becomes competitive, the NY state law also has strict insurance requirements. It becomes essential for small business owners to obtain liability insurance, NY.

What is General Liability Insurance NY?

Commercial liability insurance New York or known as General liability insurance provides business insurance coverage for businesses against claims due to bodily injury, property damage, or personal injury.

In New York, if someone in your place of business got injured, commercial liability policy covers the medical costs. The same goes if someone else’s property incurred damage and your business is responsible, your business insurance will cover the replacement or repair expenses. On the other hand, if someone’s reputation has been stained due to your employee’s mistake, the associated costs can be covered.

About Commercial Liability Insurance For Businesses

Commercial liability insurance New York with known names as business liability insurance NY and commercial general liability insurance NY offers protection to businesses in New York from financial losses associated with medical expenses and property damage due to injury or damage claims caused to others by you, your business, or employees. This insurance covers:

Bodily Injury

If physical damage affected another person at your place of business caused by you or an employee. One example is if a client trips over a personal trainer’s bag during the training session and injures his ankle. A general liability policy will cover the claim for medical fees up to the coverage limits.

Property Damage

Property damage is the damage caused by you or an employee to someone’s property. For example, a tax preparer is contracted to make a prime corporation’s taxes on site. While preparing for the task, the task preparer accidentally spills his drink over its server, resulting in irreparable damage. This is where general liability comes in as it could cover the claim up to the policy limits.

Advertising Injury

It protects a small business from losses caused by their advertising. It can be in the form of libel, slander, or copyright claim. An example would be if you were in a news interview, and you explain your advantage against your competitor. They can sue you for harming their reputation. You can also get sued for using photos for your website without the owner’s permission, and he may file for copyright infringement. In this situation, having this business liability insurance can protect you from paying out of your pocket for your legal defense and other costs.

Legal Defense and Judgments

This insurance covers legal costs against real and flippant suits up to the limit of your policy. However, it does not include negligence claims or willful misconduct.

Other Insurance To Consider For Your New York Business


  • New York business with at least one employee, whether working full or part-time is required to have workers compensation insurance. Sole business owners, with partners, one or two-person corporate officers without employees, are not required to obtain workers compensation insurance in New York. 
  • The New York state law requires employees to provide employee disability coverage insurance other than workers compensation. It will be needed to file for disability income for employees off-the-job illness or injury. It can be valid for up to six months, starting from the seventh day of illness or injury.
  • New York mandates that all drivers must have minimum automobile insurance. If you are using your vehicle for business transactions, buying a commercial vehicle policy insurance is a must.

When Do You Need General Liability Insurance?

As a New York business owner, you are responsible for getting hurt or if their property is damaged while they are in your business place or due to something you may have caused. Any small business is at risk at this kind of incident, ensure that your business is protected.

You should think of obtaining general liability insurance if you or your employees:

  • Meet with your clients face to face. If you are visiting your client’s place of business, or clients visit yours. You cannot be confident, as anytime someone could get hurt who may need medical treatment.
  • Have access to your customer’s property. If your customer’s property is damaged while at location or business site, general liability insurance could take care of the repair or replacement cost.
  • Use advertising to promote your company. If you are promoting your company and accidentally use words under copyright or trademark, this business insurance will take care if someone files a claim.
  • Use third-party locations for business-related activities. If someone other than yourself or your employee got into an accident in your job site where you have the legal responsibilities, this business insurance covers the medical costs.
  • Require coverage to be considered for a project. It is sometimes required in making deals or to win bidding on specific contracts.

How do I get a general liability insurance policy?

In New York, to obtain commercial liability or general liability insurance coverage is, to begin with searching for the right business insurance provider. You can do it online or through some recommendations from your friends or relatives. Some applications can be made online, where you have to fill out the application form. However, you need to provide the necessary information about your business, including your business name, business operations, and the number of employees.

How Much Does General Liability Insurance Cost?

Each industry’s situation is unique but has a general guideline for all types of New York businesses. Your business and the products you manufacture decide how much commercial liability insurance you need. For small businesses in New York, the range of their coverage is between $500,000 and $1million. But this can vary depending on the risks your business is exposed to. Those who are in building trades or have frequent interaction with the public like retail stores should consider increasing their coverage. Bear in mind that if you are operating your business outside your home in New York, homeowner’s or renter’s insurance has limited business liability and loss coverage.

General liability insurance New York costs $30 per month or lower based on a survey conducted on 50,000 small business owners. About 95%, small business owners pay below $50 per month, while 1% of small businesses pay more than $100 a month.

Factors that influence the cost of general liability insurance

General liability insurance depends on various factors. One of these factors is your type of business or the industry it is operating in and its location. New York businesses with higher risks need to pay higher coverage compared to lower risk businesses. So if your business is in the area where the risk is more significant, you may control the cost of a general liability insurance policy through adjusting your limits to show your actual need. At the same time, your policy insurance cost can be influenced by your payroll and annual revenue.

Other factors that may influence the cost of your New York business insurance coverage includes your company’s:

  • Years of experience
  • Location
  • Size
  • Building condition
  • Insurance claims history2

Specific details of your insurance can also affect your rate, such as your coverage limits, making it cost more. Choosing higher deductibles can help lower your premium cost. 

Ways to manage your general liability insurance costs, New York

Choose the right limits. Your limit is the amount your business insurance provider will have to pay for a single claim or for all the claims during the insurance policy period, which is usually for one year. However, your insurance providers have the rights reserved to grant the claim if you fail to comply with the requirement. The higher limits you have, the higher your business insurance cost is. So you have to choose the business insurance that can protect your business while not too expensive.

Make sure your New York business liability insurance is correct. You can ask your insurer for tailored policies covering the risks your business faces. So you won’t be paying for the coverage that you do not need instead of the only one that you and your business required.


Commercial liability insurance New York is not only advisable for your business protection alone, but it can be a requirement in making deals, especially if you are a contract company. A certificate of general liability insurance is the document that you can present as proof that your business is insured. Since business insurance New York has been a vital component of a successful business, some companies may have to obtain it as soon as possible. Working with the right licensed insurance broker will help them to get covered quickly. Obtaining commercial liability insurance New York can help you secure your business’ future, which you will later be thankful for having.