Business Health for Healthcare Businesses
How Insurance Keeps You Strong

Chapter 1: How Business Insurance Protects Allied Health Practitioners
Part 2: Which Insurance Policies Meet the Needs of Sole Proprietors and Independent Healthcare Practitioners?
General Liability Insurance for Sole Proprietors and Independent Contractors

General Liability Insurance (GL) is one of the first policies you'll need to safeguard your business. This policy offers a foundational layer of coverage for some of the most common third-party liability risks a business owner faces: bodily harm that happens on your premises (but is unrelated to your services), property damage, and personal injuries. GL covers legal defense costs, settlements and judgments, docket fees, and other court expenses (up to your policy limits).

A "third party" is anyone who doesn't work for your practice or your insurance company: patients, clients, patients' family members, and even deliverymen could sue your business. When that happens, your GL policy can cover lawsuits over…

  • Premises Liability. Because your office is open to the public, anyone could walk in, slip, and break a bone — and then slap your practice with a lawsuit to cover their medical expenses. Because this is one of the most common tort claims, General Liability Insurance is sometimes called "slip-and-fall" insurance. According to the National Safety Council New browser window icon., slips and falls are among the leading causes of unintentional injuries in the United States. Each year, these injuries trigger approximately 8.9 million visits to the ER.
  • Property Damage. When you work on someone else's property, there's always the chance that the unfamiliarity of your surroundings could lead to accidents. Say, for example, while setting up a home oxygen tank, you knock a laptop off the bedside table. General Liability Insurance can cover the cost of replacing your patients' property if they sue for damages, so long as the property was valuable enough and damaged while you delivered your services.
  • Personal Injuries. If you advertise your medical services, beware of competitors! Should they accuse you of copying their advertising and sue for damages, your GL can cover the cost of litigation. It can also cover lawsuits over character damage due to libel or slander. For more on your advertising injury exposure, visit the insureon blog's special section on Advertising Injury New browser window icon..

If you're an independent contractor who operates from home — say, from a home-based marriage counseling office — you'll want to note that your Homeowner's Insurance policy will not cover bodily injuries that happen on your property. Even if you have liability coverage included in your policy, it will not cover business-related liabilities. That's why General Liability Insurance is a must-have protection.

The cost of General Liability Insurance for independent contractors and sole proprietors depends on the services you offer, how long you've been in practice, your claims history (if applicable), and the amount of revenue you generate. If you run a one-person business, you only have to cover yourself with your policy, which saves you money. Your premium for General Liability Insurance could cost between $500 and $10,000 a year. For more concrete insurance quotes, you can apply for a free insurance quote online.

Next: Property Insurance for Sole Proprietors and Independent Contractors

Grab-n-Go Information

Free eBook
HIPAA, Social Media, and Technology: A Guide for Mental Health Professionals
Browse eBook
Sample certificates
See a sample Certificate of Liability Insurance, the proof of coverage you need for most contracts.
View Sample
Sample Quotes & Cost Estimates
See what insurance really costs: actual quotes by policy & specialty.
Get Estimates
Ask A Question
Submit your questions about small business insurance and get answers from our experts.
Read Answers