Top General Liability Markets for Contractors in New York

As a contractor in New York, having general liability insurance is vital to avoid financial ruin if an accident occurs on your job site. However, finding the best insurance provider can be challenging with the number of options available. This article will discuss the top general liability insurance markets for contractors in New York and the essential factors to consider when selecting an insurance provider.

Understanding General Liability Insurance for Contractors

As a contractor, it’s crucial to understand the importance of general liability insurance. Before diving into the top insurance markets, let’s first define general liability insurance and why it’s necessary.

General liability insurance is a policy that protects businesses from financial loss resulting from bodily injury, property damage, or personal injury caused by the contractor or their employees on the job. This insurance covers legal, medical, and settlement costs up to the policy limit.

Imagine a scenario where a contractor works on a client’s property and accidentally causes a fire. Without general liability insurance, the contractor would be responsible for paying for the damages out of pocket. This could be a significant financial burden for the contractor.

Why Contractors Need General Liability Insurance

Contractors need general liability insurance because of the various risks associated with their work. Additionally, some clients require contractors to have insurance before they can win contracts.

It’s important to note that general liability insurance is not just for large construction companies. Even small contractors who work on residential properties should have liability insurance. Accidents can happen anywhere, and it’s always better to be prepared.

You can learn more about why contractors need general liability coverage here.

Critical Components of General Liability Insurance

General liability insurance typically has two primary components: Bodily injury and property damage coverage.

  • Bodily injury helps cover costs related to injuries on the job site, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and legal fees.
  • Property damage covers the cost of damage to a client’s property or equipment on the job site.

It’s important to note that general liability insurance does not cover everything. For example, it does not cover the contractor’s property or equipment damages (unless endorsed on a package or BOP). It’s essential to read the policy carefully and understand what is and is not covered.

Top General Liability Insurance Providers in New York

General liability insurance is a must-have for any business, as it can protect against third-party claims for bodily injury, property damage, and advertising injury. Learn more about New York Labor Law and third-party coverage here.

In New York, several insurance providers offer this type of coverage, but not all are created equal. Here are the top insurance providers in New York that you should consider:

Liberty Mutual

Liberty Mutual is a popular insurance provider for specific classes of contractors in New York (if outside the five boroughs).

  • They offer a range of coverage options tailored to contractors’ needs, including New York Labor Law/Action Over coverage. They understand the unique risks associated with the construction industry and provide coverage for property damage, liability, workers’ compensation, commercial auto, and more (the excess coverage can be limited depending on the class of business).
  • Liberty Mutual has a reputation for excellent claims support and customer service, which is why many contractors in New York choose them as their insurance providers.
  • Liberty Mutual offers risk management resources and tools to help contractors minimize potential risks and improve safety practices.


Travelers is another top insurance provider in New York, offering general liability insurance for contractors.

  • Travelers has construction insurance products and services designed to meet contractors’ unique and challenging exposures.
  • They offer a range of risk management services. For example, they have a Risk Control team to help contractors identify potential hazards and develop mitigation strategies. They also offer online training courses to help contractors stay up-to-date on the latest safety regulations and best practices.
  • Like Liberty Mutual, they offer a range of coverage options tailored to contractors’ needs, including New York Labor Law/Action Over coverage.
  • They will write in the five boroughs of New York, depending on the class and size of the business.

Utica National

Utica National Insurance Group is a reputable regional insurance company that offers various insurance solutions for businesses in New York. Here are a few reasons why a contractor might consider Utica National for their business insurance:

  • They offer a range of coverage options that can be customized to meet the specific requirements of contractors. This includes general liability insurance, property insurance, commercial auto insurance, workers’ compensation, and more.
  • Based in New York, Utica National has in-depth knowledge of the local market and understands the unique insurance requirements of contractors operating in the state. They can provide personalized service and guidance based on their familiarity with local regulations and industry trends.
  • Utica National is known for its efficient and responsive claims-handling process. In the event of a covered incident, contractors can expect prompt assistance and fair claims settlement, ensuring minimal disruption to their business operations.
  • Like the other two carriers above, they offer a range of coverage options tailored to contractors’ needs, including New York Labor Law/Action Over coverage.
  • They will write in the five boroughs of New York, depending on the class and size of the business (They will not write excess policies for contractors as of 2023).

Specialty Programs

You may qualify for a specialty program depending on your specific work type. For example:

  • Specialty Trade Contractors who subcontract 70% or more of their operations, specifically drywall contractors, carpenters, painters, electricians, HVAC Installers, masonry, communication equipment installation, stone & marble work, and siding installation.
  • Residential Paper General Contractors involved solely in the construction of single-family homes, which will subsequently be sold to individual unit owners.
  • If you’re dealing with hazardous materials or have an environmental exposure
  • Residential Paper General Contractors involved solely in the renovation/remodeling of single-family homes, co-ops, or condos, working on behalf of individual unit owners.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a General Liability Insurance Provider

Not all insurance providers are created equal, and choosing the right one for your business needs is crucial.

Here are some additional factors to consider when selecting an insurance provider:

Coverage Options

Choosing an insurance provider offering coverage options relevant to your business is essential. For example:

  • If you run a roofing company, you’ll want to ensure your insurance policy covers potential risks associated with roofing work and doesn’t have a height limitation. Review the policy’s fine print to confirm that you have adequate coverage and no hidden exclusions that could leave you vulnerable to financial losses.
  • Additionally, consider whether the insurance provider offers additional coverage options that could benefit your business, such as tools/equipment or installation floater insurance.
  • If you’re a contractor who hires subcontractors or will work for another entity, you will want a policy that contains New York Labor Law coverage.
  • If you’re a contractor who does commercial work or is hired by other general contractors, you will want a policy that includes a blanket additional insured endorsement along with a possible blanket waiver of subrogation and primary non-contributory endorsement.

You can read more about what an additional insured is here.

Pricing and Deductibles

While choosing an insurance provider that offers adequate coverage is essential, you also want to ensure the policy is affordable. Compare pricing and deductibles across insurance providers to choose an option that fits your budget while providing the best coverage for your business.

Remember that the cheapest option may not always be the best choice. A low-priced policy may have higher deductibles or exclusions that could cost you more in the long run.

Reputation and Financial Stability

Choose an insurance provider with a reputation for excellent customer service and claims handling. You can research reviews or ratings for the insurance company online to get a general viewpoint. Look for an insurance provider with a history of paying out claims promptly and fairly.

Additionally, ensure that the insurance provider is financially stable. You can check the company’s financial ratings with independent agencies such as A.M. Best or Standard & Poor’s. A financially stable insurance provider is better equipped to cover your financial losses when you have a claim.

Customer Service and Claims Handling

Customer service and claims handling are essential when selecting an insurance provider. You want to work with a friendly, helpful, responsive insurance broker. Look for a local insurance broker specializing in construction that offers multiple communication channels, such as a direct line to the agent, video calls, email, and text.

Additionally, consider the claims handling process. A fast and efficient claims-handling process can help you return to business quickly after an incident. Look for an insurance provider that has a streamlined claims process and offers support throughout the entire process.

By considering these factors when choosing a general liability insurance provider, you can ensure you have the right coverage to protect your business against potential risks and liabilities.


As a business owner, you understand the importance of protecting your investments. Our agency specializes in contractors’ insurance and offers a variety of policies to fit your unique needs. From liability to workers’ compensation, we’ve got you covered.

Don’t let unexpected events put your business at risk. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about our comprehensive coverage options.

You can call or text us at 631.517.9211

I’m excited to introduce you to a new way of viewing your insurance program.

Thank you,

Shawn Fitzgerald

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