Do Independent Contractors Need Liability Insurance?

As a 1099 contractor, it’s important to have the right insurance protection. You can get sued just as easily as any other small business owner, and liability claims can be very expensive. If you don’t have coverage, and a client or customer sues you, you’ll have to pay the costs out of pocket. And that can be enough to close your business.
That’s why we offer independent contractor liability insurance, which is a type of general liability insurance (GLI). This coverage can help protect your business from certain liability claims.

What Does Contractors General Liability Insurance Cover?

General liability insurance for contractors, which you can think of as 1099 insurance, can help cover claims of:
  • Property damage or bodily injury that your business causes.
  • Reputational harm as a result of malicious prosecution, slander, libel and more.
  • Advertising injury, such as copyright infringement in your advertising.

Who Needs 1099 Contractor Liability Insurance?

It’s a good idea to have general liability insurance for independent contractors no matter what industry you’re in. But some examples of contractors who need it include:
  • Independent construction contractors
  • Plumbers
  • Carpenters
  • Electricians
  • Painters
  • Repair contractors
  • House and carpet cleaners
  • Freelance writers and editors
  • Graphic designers
  • Independent hair stylists and salon professionals
  • Horse or dog trainers

How Do 1099 Contractors Get General Liability Coverage?

If you’re wondering how to get general liability insurance, there are two ways:
From your client: Your clients can add you to their general liability insurance policy as an additional insured. This covers you while you do the job, but it can be costlier for your clients.
From an insurance provider: Getting your own coverage is typically the more cost-effective option for your clients. When you get your policy, ask for a certificate of insurance so you have proof of coverage.

What Other Kinds of Insurance Does an Independent Contractor Need?

It’s a good idea to have other types of insurance coverage to round out your protection. Some additional types of insurance that can help protect you and your business are:
Commercial auto insurance if you use your vehicle for work. This can help cover damages if you get into an accident while driving for business.
Workers’ compensation insurance if you have employees or classify yourself as an employee of your business. This coverage provides benefits to employees with a work-related injury or illness.
Errors and omissions insurance to help protect you from claims that you made a mistake in your professional services. This coverage is also known as professional liability insurance.
Business income insurance, which helps recover income you lose if you can’t open because of a covered loss.
Commercial property insurance to help protect tools and equipment you use for your work, whether they’re owned or rented.

Contractor Liability Insurance FAQs

How Much Is Liability Insurance for an Independent Contractor?

The cost for liability insurance for independent contractors varies. Your business’ general liability insurance cost can depend on your:
  • Risk exposure
  • Business location
  • Experience
  • Policy details, such as your coverage limits and deductible amount

What Is the Difference Between Contractor Insurance and Independent Contractor Insurance?

Both contractor insurance and independent contractor insurance offer the same coverage against certain liability claims. They’re essentially different names for general liability insurance.
So, like independent contractor insurance, general liability insurance for contractors can help protect you from claims of bodily injury or property damage.

Source: The Hartford, “Do Independent Contractors Need Liability Insurance?” website. Accessed November 10, 2020.

© Copyright 2020. All rights reserved. This content is strictly for informational purposes and although experts have prepared it, the reader should not substitute this information for professional insurance advice. If you have any questions, please consult your insurance professional before acting on any information presented. Read more.


  1. Robert Little on January 13, 2023 at 4:14 pm

    I am Robert I have had a business license for a Drapery installation company . What kind of insurance? do I need for 2023

  2. Robert Little on January 13, 2023 at 4:16 pm

    I need insurance and I install draperies

  3. Robert Little on January 13, 2023 at 4:18 pm

    just help me what insurance do I need to

  4. Robert Little on January 13, 2023 at 4:37 pm

    what insurance do I need for my sole proprietor as a drapery installer

  5. Robert Little on January 13, 2023 at 4:38 pm

    I do not have any other questions

  6. Robert Little on January 13, 2023 at 4:41 pm

    I keep filing this and it just wipes it off.
    I need liability insurance

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