Popular QuestionsPopular Questions About New York Business Liability Insurance

What is business liability insurance?

Business liability insurance protects your business from the costs associated with liability claims—or claims that you, your employees, or your products have caused harm to a third party. A commercial general liability (CGL) policy is an essential part of your business insurance portfolio, and is your first line of defense against costly lawsuits. 

All businesses are at risk for liability claims and lawsuits. Even if a lawsuit is unfounded, you still have to defend yourself, which is costly no matter what the outcome is. A New York commercial general liability policy pays for your attorney fees, as well as any settlements or judgments that you have to pay if you are sued. 

New York commercial liability insurance doesn’t only pay for claims that you have physically injured another person or damaged his or her property. It also provides coverage if an individual or a business claims you have caused financial damage due to libel, slander, copyright infringement, or false advertising. 

While the New York CGL policy offers very broad coverage for a variety of liability exposures, there are some exclusions. You may still need additional policies or endorsements for any special liability risks that you have.

Why do I need New York liability insurance for my business?

While customer slips and falls are some of the most common commercial liability claims, your business can be held responsible for faulty products, reputational harm, and a variety of other negligent behaviors that cause either physical or financial harm to a customer, vendor, or member of the general public. 

  • SMALL BUSINESSES IN NEW YORK (2016) - 2,129,015 
  • NEW YORK COMMERCIAL INSURANCE CLAIMS (2016) - $14,947,682,000

The majority of insurance claims made by businesses are property claims (fire or weather damage, theft, etc.). Liability claims may happen less frequently, but are far more costly. 

40% of small businesses are likely to experience a property or general liability claim in the next 10 years. Here are some examples of the most costly claims:

  • REPUTATIONAL HARM: $50,000 Average Cost Per Claim
  • VEHICLE ACCIDENT: $45,000 Average Cost Per Claim
  • PRODUCT LIABILITY: $35,000 Average Cost Per Claim
  • CUSTOMER SLIP & FALL: $20,000 Average Cost Per Claim
  • STRUCK BY OBJECT: $10,000 Average Cost Per claim
What does New York commercial liability insurance cover?

CGL policies cover three types of liability exposures:

  • PREMISES AND OPERATIONS: Claims against your business for bodily injury and property damage related to the ownership and maintenance of the business premises, or as the result of business operations conducted both at and away from the business premises
  • PRODUCTS AND COMPLETED OPERATIONS EXPOSURE: Claims for bodily injury and property damage that result from faulty products or completed operations (work performed by your business)
  • INDIRECT/CONTIGENT EXPOSURE: Claims resulting from the negligent actions of independent contractors and subcontractors that you hire

Specifically, a CGL policy may pay for the following types of claims, up to the limits of your policy.


  • We call this “property damage liability insurance.”
  • Example: A plumber working on a home remodel forgets to turn off the water and floods the homeowner’s finished basement. 


  • We also call this “bodily injury liability insurance.”
  • Example: A delivery person slips and falls on a restaurant’s recently mopped floor and breaks an arm.


  • We call this “personal injury liability insurance.”
  • Example: Your employee makes slanderous or false statements about a competitor, causing loss of business and reputational harm. 


  • We call this “product liability coverage.”
  • Example: A child’s outdoor play set collapses and injures a child. 
What other types of New York liability coverage do I need for my business?

Your business likely faces numerous liability exposures, and not all of them are covered by your New York commercial general liability policy. In fact, standard CGL policies typically exclude certain types of liability risks (e.g., commercial auto liability) that are common for many businesses. 

If you are at risk for claims and lawsuits that are not covered under your New York CGL policy (e.g., you own commercial vehicles), you may need to purchase an additional specialized liability policy or add a tailored endorsement to your CGL policy. 

  • COMMERCIAL AUTO INSURANCE provides coverage for property damage and bodily injury liability claims, vehicle damage, and medical bills, as well as any costs related to lawsuits due to auto accidents involving your business-owned vehicles. 
  • COMMERCIAL UMBRELLA/EXCESS LIABILITY COVERAGE provides liability protection above and beyond the liability coverage that is included in your CGL policy, commercial auto policy, or business owners policy. A commercial umbrella policy pays for damages when your other liability coverage has been exhausted. 
  • DIRECTORS & OFFICERS (D&O) LIABILITY COVERAGE provides protection for directors and officers of large companies against legal judgments and costs arising from unlawful acts, erroneous investment decisions, failure to maintain property, releasing confidential information, hiring and firing decisions, conflicts of interest, and many other types of errors. 
  • ERRORS & OMISSIONS (E&O)/PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE is recommended for lawyers, accountants, architects, engineers, IT companies, or any company where individuals provide a service to clients for a fee. It offers coverage for lawsuits that arise from rendering negligent professional services or failing to perform professional duties.
  • CYBER LIABILITY INSURANCE covers a range of potential liability exposures that can occur while using, storing, or transferring data electronically for business purposes. Any business that handles electronic data—especially personally identifiable information about its customers—is particularly susceptible to cyber threats. 
  • OTHER LIABILITY ENDORSEMENTS are used to add special coverage to standard CGL policies to fill coverage gaps. The most common commercial liability endorsements include employment practices liability, liquor liability, and employee benefits liability. 
How much does New York commercial liability insurance cost?

The cost of a CGL policy can range from $500 per year to thousands of dollars per year. 

The size of your business, its location, and your industry all play a role in how much you will pay for business liability insurance in New York. You may also pay more or less than average depending on the coverage limits and deductibles that you select.

If you own a business that presents a greater risk to third parties (customers, suppliers, or the general public) than others, you can expect to pay more for your New York CGL policy. A restaurant owner in a busy entertainment district will pay far more for a CGL policy than a freelance marketing consultant. The restaurant owner faces risks from customer slips and falls and several other exposures, while the marketing consultant never has customers on its premises and does not produce a product that can cause physical harm. 

Some industries that typically pay more for liability coverage are:

  • Janitorial and cleaning services
  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail trade
  • Wholesale trade
How do I find the best business liability insurance in New York?

New York commercial liability insurance is one of the basic building blocks of a comprehensive business insurance program. Without it, you could not defend your business from lawsuits and claims of negligence—whether or not the claims are appropriate. The costs of defending yourself in the face of a lawsuit can be overwhelming, especially for a small business. Wouldn’t you sleep better knowing that you’re protected? 

Talk to an independent agent in New York. Independent agents will get to know you and your businesses. They can work with multiple insurance companies; they may even be able to find a carrier who specializes in your line of work. 

  • There are 1,287 independent agents in New York who are ready to help. 
  • In 2017, our agents helped 8,619 New York residents
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An independent insurance agent compares policies from multiple companies to find the best coverage for your needs. 

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InformationFind the Best Insurance in Your City

How Does Your City Measure Up?

New York, NY Business Liability Insurance 

New York commercial liability insurance premiums are based on several variables that are unique to your business. While the location and size of your business are important, the most important factor is your industry. The most prevalent industries in New York City are:


Restaurants and retail stores invite customers and the general public onto their premises every day, and as a result, they can be sued for a variety of reasons. If a person is injured or you somehow cause damage to someone else’s property, you can expect an insurance claim at best, and a lawsuit, at worst. Any business that has a lot of contact with the general public can expect to pay more for the coverage that protects them from these kinds of claims. 

Brooklyn, NY Business Liability Insurance 

Every business has unique risk exposures, and some will pay more for commercial liability insurance. The most prevalent industries in Brooklyn are:


When it comes to liability exposures, construction companies have a lot to worry about. Transportation companies also face an elevated risk for liability claims. If your business can potentially injure someone or cause property damage, you have to take the potential for claims and lawsuits seriously. A New York CGL policy is your first line of defense. 

Rochester, NY Business Liability Insurance 

Business liability insurance premiums vary based on the size and location of your business, and most importantly, by the type of business you own. Businesses with a greater likelihood of being sued for negligence or causing harm can expect to pay more for coverage. The most prevalent industries in Rochester are:


Manufacturers and retailers can both be sued for product-related damages. You may be required to pay for medical expenses and property damage, as well as attorney fees and court costs if you are sued. Healthcare providers face very unique liability risks and likely need specialized professional liability coverage to protect them. In both of these cases, an independent agent can help you find the right types of policies and coverage to protect your business.  

Yonkers, NY Business Liability Insurance

Retail, construction, and healthcare companies dominate the business landscape in Yonkers. These industries face a high risk for liability claims because of the dangers they pose to customers, suppliers, patients, and the general public. 


Avoiding claims for negligence should be a top priority for every business. Retailers can be held responsible for selling faulty products, and they face additional risks with the general public exposed to injuries on their premises. Construction companies frequently cause property damage, and can be a danger to any person who is present on a construction site. Healthcare workers face very unique liability risks related to patient care. No matter what industry you are in, an independent agent can help you find the right coverage for your business.

Syracuse, NY Business Liability Insurance

New York business liability insurance premiums depend on several factors including the size and location of your business, and most importantly, your industry. The most prevalent industries in Syracuse are:


Restaurants and stores face some of the most common liability problems for businesses: customer slips, trips and falls. A New York commercial general liability policy is the best way to protect your business from these types of claims, including any resulting lawsuits. 

Albany, NY Business Liability Insurance

Your industry is the most important variable used to calculate the premium for your New York business liability insurance. Other variables, like your location and the size of your business also play a role. Albany is the capital of New York, so much of the industry revolves around government services. The most prevalent industries in Albany are:


Every business needs a commercial general liability policy to protect against common liability claims. Many of the businesses in Albany offer professional services. These businesses may need additional policies to cover unique or additional risks not covered by the CGL policy. If you offer professional services, your oversights, errors, and omissions can lead to financial losses for your clients. In these cases, you need professional liability insurance to protect you where your New York CGL policy does not. 

New Rochelle, NY Business Liability Insurance

The most common industries in New Rochelle are construction, retail trade, and professional services. All of these industries have different liability risks, and how much they pay for coverage will reflect those risks. 


Whether you are in construction or you are an accountant, you need general liability insurance to protect your business from common liability claims and lawsuits. Depending on your company’s unique risks, you may also need additional policies or endorsements to make sure you have all the bases covered. An independent insurance agent can help you find the best coverage for your needs and budget. 

Mount Vernon, NY Business Liability Insurance

Mount Vernon commercial liability insurance premiums vary significantly from business to business. Rates depend on the location and size of your business as well as the type of industry you are in, and more. The most prevalent industries in Mount Vernon are:


Construction and retail businesses have some of the highest rates for business liability coverage. These types of businesses have a much greater risk for third-party claims of bodily injury and property damage. Construction workers might damage other people’s property while working, and retailers are often blamed for customer injuries on their premises. These and many other types of incidents can lead to costly and disruptive lawsuits. 

Schenectady, NY Business Liability Insurance

Your Schenectady business may pay more or less than average for commercial general liability insurance. It all depends on the type of industry you are in and a few other variables. The most prevalent industries in Schenectady are:


Manufacturers and retailers are more likely to be sued for negligence than many other types of businesses. If your business causes an injury or property damage, you can be expected to pay for repairing and replacing damaged property, medical bills, and more. If you are sued, you have to pay for your defense, which includes attorney fees, court costs, and any settlements or judgments that you are required to pay. New York commercial general liability insurance is your first line of defense against these kinds of claims. 

Utica, NY Business Liability Insurance

Manufacturers, healthcare providers, and retailers are prevalent in Utica. Any business that is more likely to cause harm to third parties is also more likely to pay more for New York business liability insurance. 


Most manufacturers and retailers have product liability exposures. Claims for product-related damages are usually related to manufacturing or production flaws, design defects, or defective warnings or instructions. Healthcare providers have other unique exposures. They can be sued for malpractice and causing harm to patients. If you are sued for some type of negligence, the costs can be devastating for your business. A Michigan business liability policy is your first line of defense.