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If you’re an independent contractor or freelancer, you should at minimum have liability insurance. Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions (E&O), helps pay your legal costs due to claims of negligence, bad advice, or breach of contract. Many 1099 contractors also need general liability coverage for customer claims of physical injury, property damage, or reputational harm from your business operations. If you have a business premises, you’ll also want commercial property. And depending on your profession, you might need other protections as well.
Some independent contractors will appreciate the convenience of a business owner’s policy (BOP), which packages general liability, commercial property, and often business interruption insurance. But not everyone will need that level of coverage.
Best Independent Contractor Insurance Companies of January 2023
Best Overall : BiBerk
BiBerk offers excellent pricing on professional liability policies and is backed by the superior financial stability of the Berkshire Hathaway Group.
A++ financial strength rating from AM Best
Excellent pricing for professional liability policies
Online quote and application
Additional insured may cost extra
BiBerk is part of Berkshire Hathaway Group, and all of its subsidiaries are rated A++ (Superior) for financial strength by AM Best, so you can count on the company to have the resources to pay claims. BiBerk also offers excellent pricing, with professional liability policies starting at around $300 per year. BiBerk makes it easy to get a quote and apply for instant coverage with only a few simple questions. And customer reviews about the company on third-party sites are excellent.
You can get professional liability, general liability, and cyber liability from BiBerk, and if you have a business premises, you can also tailor a business owner’s policy to meet your needs, with dozens of endorsements available. BiBerk also makes it easy to access your certificate of insurance, but adding an insured may result in an additional premium. Some other companies allow you to add unlimited insureds for free.
Best for Licensed Professionals : Hiscox
Hiscox is focused on serving independent contractors, with freelancer-friendly options like monthly payments, dedicated claims representatives, and customization options for your field.
Offers both professional liability and medical malpractice coverage
Relatively high coverage limits for professional liability
Monthly payment options
Excellent customer service reviews
More complaints than expected with the NAIC
The company offers both professional liability (E&O) and medical malpractice insurance for a variety of professionals. Hiscox offers aggregate limits that are relatively high compared to other companies, and you can add umbrella coverage through CyberPolicy for an extra layer of protection. Independent contractors who need cyber liability, general liability, or a business owner’s policy can get those coverages from the company as well.
You can get a quote and buy coverage online, or you can get help from a licensed insurance agent by phone. Once you’re a policyholder, you can also manage your policy and start a claim online. Hiscox holds an A (Excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best, highlighting excellent reliability when it comes to paying claims. The insurer also has positive customer reviews on other websites, like Trustpilot and ConsumerAffairs. However, a higher number of complaints than expected over the last three years indicates the company may have some issues with customer satisfaction.
Best for Quick Coverage : Next Insurance
Next offers low premiums, same-day coverage, and a live certificate of insurance that you can easily update with additional insureds and instantly share from anywhere.
Instant quote and online application
Access to a live certificate of insurance for sharing
Excellent pricing for liability insurance
Fewer endorsements than some other companies
Next offers a same-day application process, plus low premiums and discounts, making liability coverage accessible to the most cash-strapped independent contractors. Professional liability insurance costs as little as $220 per year, and some low-risk independent contractors can get general liability for as low as $11 per month. Plus, you can save up to 25% on your premiums with a variety of discounts from Next, including a 10% discount for bundling two policies.
Next offers general liability, professional liability, and a business owner’s policy, but doesn’t offer as many endorsements as other companies. For example, you can’t get cyber liability coverage from the company. Next has an A- (Excellent) financial strength rating from AM Best and had fewer complaints with the NAIC over the last two years than were expected based on the company’s size.
Best for High Coverage : Huckleberry
Huckleberry has some of the highest liability insurance coverage limits of any of the insurers we reviewed, making it a great option for independent contractors with a high level of risk.
High coverage limits up to $10 million
Online quote and application
Liability coverage underwritten by Markel or Chubb
May not offer monthly payments
Not available in Ohio, North Dakota, Wyoming, or Washington
You can get a quote from Huckleberry in just five minutes and apply for coverage entirely online. Plus, policyholders have great things to say about the process on Trustpilot. Huckleberry offers professional and general liability coverage, a business owner’s policy (BOP), and many supplemental coverages, like equipment breakdown coverage.
Liability policies from Huckleberry are underwritten by Markel, which has an A (Excellent) financial strength rating with AM Best, or Chubb, which is rated A++ (Superior). Both companies also have fewer complaints with the NAIC than expected, given their size. Depending on your underwriter, however, you may not be able to pay your premiums in monthly payments. Huckleberry is not available in Ohio, North Dakota, Wyoming, or Washington.
Best for Temporary Coverage : Thimble
Freelancers who work events, need seasonal coverage, or are just seeking insurance for a short-term contract will appreciate Thimble’s flexible options and occurrence-based liability coverage.
Buy coverage by the job, month, or year
Access a variety of educational resources
Excellent customer service reviews
Occurrence-based liability coverage
Event insurance not available everywhere
You can get an on-demand general liability policy from Thimble starting at just $5 per hour or $17 per month. This is great for certain types of coverage, like insurance for photographers, whose coverage needs are event-based. Thimble also offers a freelancer’s package that includes both general and professional liability insurance, and you can add other coverages as well, including cyber insurance and business equipment insurance. Coverage from Thimble is occurrence-form, so as long as a covered incident occurred while your policy was in force, you’re covered no matter when you bring the claim.
Thimble’s site is packed with educational resources you can use to make decisions about the type of coverage your business needs. And the company has excellent customer service reviews with the Better Business Bureau and on Trustpilot. Thimble works with several different insurers to provide its policies, but each has at least an A- (Excellent) financial strength rating with AM Best. Most coverages are available in all states, but a few states are excluded from event insurance coverage.
Most Coverage Options : Chubb
Chubb is an A++ (Superior) insurer that offers a wide range of niche professional liability packages in a variety of fields.
Wide variety of liability coverages for a range of professions
Ranked second by J.D. Power for customer satisfaction
Can purchase either claims-made or occurrence-based liability coverage
A++ financial strength rating with AM Best
Must speak with an agent to start your policy
Media professionals, lawyers, public officials, tech professionals, educators, and contractors can all get specialized coverage from Chubb. Chubb offers general liability insurance as well, and you can purchase your policy either as occurrence-form or claims-made, depending on your needs. However, unlike some other insurers we reviewed, Chubb does not offer a streamlined digital application. You’ll need to speak with an agent to start your policy. However, working with an agent is often a good idea, especially if you have high or niche coverage needs.
Chubb has very strong ratings, with an A++ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best and high customer satisfaction ratings. The company was ranked second in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Small Commercial Insurance Study and received fewer complaints with the NAIC over the last three years than expected. The company is a great option for a business owner’s policy (BOP), due to the wide range of coverages it offers.
BiBerk offers affordable pricing, many endorsements, and strong ratings, making the company a great option for most independent contractors. However, certain professionals needing more specialized coverage may be better served elsewhere. Medical professionals should check out Hiscox, while tech professionals and lawyers may also find that Chubb is a good option.
Professionals in high-risk industries who need high coverage limits, should consider Huckleberry as well as Chubb, and those who work events or short-term projects may need temporary occurrence-based coverage offered by Thimble. For cheap, fast, and straightforward coverage for independent contractors with basic needs, we recommend Next Insurance.
What Is Independent Contractor Insurance?
Independent contractor insurance is any combination of coverages that protect independent contractors from financial risks. At the very least, freelancers often need professional and/or general liability insurance. You may also require a business owner’s policy or business personal property insurance, and depending on your industry, you may need to add special endorsements as well.
What Does Independent Contractor Insurance Typically Include?
Independent contractor insurance typically includes professional liability insurance, which pays for your legal costs if a client claims your advice or negligence caused them a financial loss. This is also sometimes called errors and omissions insurance. General liability insurance is another common coverage that protects your business against claims of physical injury, property damage, and reputational harm.
Does General Liability Insurance Cover Independent Contractors?
Yes, you can purchase a general liability policy as an independent contractor. This will help protect you from claims that your business was responsible for causing harm to a customer or client. For example, if you are a handyman and you drop a heavy piece of equipment on a customer’s foot, that customer could sue you for the injury. It’s different from professional liability insurance, which covers legal fees resulting from inaccurate advice or professional negligence.
Do Independent Contractors Need Insurance?
Yes, most independent contractors need at least some form of minimum liability insurance coverage. And many states require that independent contractors in certain professions, such as legal and medical fields, carry professional liability insurance. Even if it’s not required for your industry, it’s important to have insurance to protect your personal finances, especially if you’re a sole proprietor. Liability insurance helps to ensure a lawsuit won’t wipe away your personal or business assets.
How Much Does Independent Contractor Insurance Cost?
Independent contractor insurance can cost as low as $11 per month for a general liability policy, and professional liability insurance starts around $18 per month. But cost depends on the type of business you have, the coverage limits you choose, your deductible, and your location.
For example, a very robust business owner’s policy could cost thousands annually.
To determine the best independent contractor insurance companies, we considered the largest and most prominent providers of independent contractor insurance in the space. We collected 53 unique data points for 19 different companies in order to compare them on the basis of cost, coverage, accessibility and state availability, and the application process (in particular, whether online quotes and applications are available), as well as each company’s financial standing and the experience of its customers. For more information, look at our full methodology for best small business insurance companies.