Whether you’re a pet sitter or an IT specialist, a caterer or a beautician, a contractor or a retailer, you have something in common with all small business owners. You need specific business insurance.
We’ve waded through all the information to bring you a comprehensive guide. We’ve included business insurance companies, businesses insurance website that help you shop and quick definitions of common terms.
No matter which company you choose, here’s an important thing to know upfront: It’ll be tough for you to get theft or vandalism claims paid if you don’t have a security system. The process of getting claims paid is greatly improved if you’ve taken steps to protect your property and equipment.
Best Small Business Insurance Companies
These companies offer the best insurance options for small businesses. The majority have the same basic insurance offerings: general liability, commercial property and/or auto, and workers compensation. All have a high rating for claims processing and customer service and they have insurance franchise outlets throughout most of the country and in some cases around the world.
We’ve researched some specifics offered by the companies, to help you learn about specific or customized features. These insurance companies definitely aren’t all the same. One of them may be the right one for specific types of business insurance your company might need. The good news is you will find an insurer the can take care of your small business needs.
1. State Farm
State Farm has earned a great reputation. In addition to basic small business insurance offerings, State Farm has some specialties for business owners:
Builder’s Risk Insurance – This policy is in place no matter what a contractor is building, such as an addition, a pool or deck, a fence or a retaining walls. The policy protects supplies such as lumber, as well as personal property (chop saws, tile saws, etc.) kept at the jobsite.
Customized Combos – By combining several types, such as commercial auto, workers compensation and general liability, you’ll get a discount.
Comprehensive General Liability – Most general liability policies protect against bodily injury and property damage. The State Farm Comprehensive general liability insurance adds advertising injury.
Also known as Continental Casualty, CNA specializes in commercial insurance. The company has basic policies and more than 300 options for add-ons.
For example, beginning with a general liability insurance, the add on options include crime protection, commercial auto coverage and workers compensation. Typically these offerings are considered separate policies. With CNA they are add-ons, and the bundling saves you money.
CNA is known for being staffed with commercial specialists who will work with you to develop a personalized policy.
Unfortunately, CNA is only sold through whole brokers and agents. That means you may not be able to find CNA where you live. It may not be available. CNA is limited to certain markets by zip code and larger cities.
Progressive was the first insurance company to offer monthly premiums. It offers the standard business insurance selections, such as general liability, commercial property, workers compensation and commercial auto. Those policies are offered in house.
Other policies are written by third-party insurers. Those include business income interruption, cyber/data protection, contractor’s insurance and others.
Commercial property insurance is broken into three levels. Basic covers wind or fire damage. Broad adds water damage coverage to wind or fire. Special includes wind, fire and water damage. Basically, with special, everything is covered.
4. The Hartford
Hartford Insurance is sold through a network of independent agents. It is known for its association with the AARP.
The Hartford has a long history in the insurance world. It started in 1810. It covered policy holders after the Chicago Fire of 1871, and after the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906.
Today, The Hartford commercial insurance line include the usual small business insurance offerings. You can also get special commercial insurance for coverage on Marine or Livestock business.
Through The Hartford you can also find group benefit policies for your employees, to include group life, accident and disability insurance, and group retiree health to individual members of employees’ groups.
5. Nationwide – Best for Liability Insurance
If all the small business insurance companies offer liability insurance, why is Nationwide considered the best?
Nationwide in considered the best small business insurance because it offers specialized liability insurance. For example, you can opt to include equipment breakdown insurance, and you’d be covered for repair or replacement costs is a piece of equipment fails. Or, add a related policy to cover business income interruption, to cover monies lost because the equipment failed (loss of net profit).
Nationwide’s customized umbrella insurance can provide higher limits that what it standard in a policy. With customized umbrella insurance, you’d be covered for a higher claim amount.
6. Hiscox – Best Insurance Company for Self Employed
The globally respected Hiscox is delivered through a network of brokers. The company’s focus is on professional liability. Through the wide network of brokers, Hiscox will find the best policy to cover risks that are specific to a certain business or occupation or line of work.
Its small business reputation is built on insuring the self-employed and Hiscox has branched out to include more small businesses. Along with the standard offerings of general liability and commercial property insurance, Hiscox business coverages include marine and aerospace companies, as well as (tech) hacker insurance and political risk insurance.
7. Liberty Mutual
Liberty Mutual got its start as a worker compensation specialist. The business liability insurance standards include general liability, workers compensation provider, commercial property insurance, business owners policy (bop) coverage, professional liability, and errors and omissions insurance. , Liberty Mutual offers some less common coverages:
Liquor Liability – for businesses which sell, serve or distribute alcohol.
Commercial Auto – includes vehicles which are owned, leased, and non-owned but hired. The coverage includes the drivers.
Crime – Losses and property damage caused by the acts of criminals.
Liberty Mutual Business insurance for small businesses such as energy companies, educational facilities, food and beverage manufacturers, agricultural/farm businesses, building maintenance companies, and contractors.
Suracy has a full menu of typical business insurance offerings and also provides coverage for specific small business owners.
One of its insurance options is Paid Family Leave insurance. The policy provides up to 12 weeks of paid leave for employees with a new child, a family member with a medical condition, or a family member who is active military.
The specific small businesses covered include franchises, non-profits, religious organizations, unions and other business organizations.
Suracy also provides employment liability insurance, to protect against lawsuits for discrimination or wrongful termination, filed by current or past employees. The company offers medical malpractice insurance.
9. BUA Express
BUA Express is a specialty insurance designed to provide coverage to businesses or organizations which hold events.
Event cancellation insurance is called ShowDown. ShowDown can be provided for events such as trade shows, expositions, conventions, meetings, sporting events and entertainment venues, such an concerts.
ShowDown can provide coverage to refund money if a event is cancelled, disrupted, postponed or relocated, for reasons beyond your control.
Geico has a strong lineup of liability insurance, both personal (for self employed or independent contractor) and commercial. It offers general liability insurance, including coverage against property damage.
Geico also offers professional liability insurance, workers compensation, cyber liability, medical malpractice and commercial auto insurance.
Through an insurance partner, Berx, Geico has added small business insurance for companies involved in wellness and fitness, such as gyms and yoga studios.
In addition to general liability insurance, Geico customers can choose from a varied menu for specifics to add for umbrella coverage. For example, an independent contractor can add identity protection insurance.
11. Progressive Commercial – Best for Commercial Auto Insurance
What is the difference between Progressive and Progressive Commercial Auto?
Progressive Commercial Auto branches out to much more than just Auto. The policy covers vans, tow trucks, box trucks, dump trucks and food trucks.
Food trucks include vending trucks where food is prepared and served, and also catering trucks, where food is delivered. Food trucks include ice cream trucks.
Van coverage includes food delivery (such as from restaurants), florist delivery trucks and trades people (such as plumbers or heating technicians) making service calls. Van coverage also includes courier delivery vans.
12. Travelers – Best for Commercial Property Insurance
Travelers is sold by independent agents. The company is presently the third largest insurer of commercial property. It’s rated #1 in 9 states and in the top five in 49 states.
What’s behind the high ratings? The general liability insurance rate is discounted as other policies are added, such as Business Owners Policy (BOP).
Its data breach insurance is through. It covers cyber extortion, and the costs for data restoration and notifications to customers. The data breach insurance covers the cost of legal representation and public relations.
Another top offering in business liability insurance is Travelers Employment Practices Liability Insurance. This covers business owners if workers claim that an accident or illness has been caused by unsafe working conditions. To date Travelers does not provide professional liability insurance.
13. Embroker – Best for Tech Startups
Tech startups go to Embroker for insurance. That’s where the company built its business.
Embroker has branched out and business owners are learning about its other commercial policies. Those are also geared to startups.
Those types of business insurance include coverage for boiler and machinery, commercial property and auto, builders risk, business interruption, cyber liability/data breach, liquor liability, inland marine, flood and earthquake, product liability or recall, special events and kidnap/ransom.
Embroker offers umbrella policies which pick and choose from those coverages to form the combo that is best for businesses.
14. Zurich – Flexible General Liability Insurance
Zurich specializes in insurance needs for home-based businesses. The company general liability insurance for these types of businesses includes coverage for theft, fire and wind damage – as would be common in most home insurance policies.
The general liability insurance coverage is flexible and if needed, you can include coverage for special equipment needed for your home based business. The policy would cover loss, damage or theft, and also include costs of repair, replacement and loss of profit.
You can further protect your business by including typical office contents, such as computers and printers. Or you can opt to include special equipment.
15. Berkshire Hathway GUARD
Berkshire Hathway’s GUARD coverage options include a business owner’s policy or BOP as a base, with a wide range of coverage for an expanded commercial package.
Commercial insurance products options include the standards, such as business liability, the business owner’s policy, commercial auto insurance, and other liability coverage.
With an umbrella package, small business owners have options for the amount of liability coverage. In typical umbrella packages, the top amount is $1 million. With GUARD, small business owners can increase that to $5 million.
GUARD also specializes by developing policies for certain businesses: resort hotels and inns, travel plazas and truck stops, country clubs, golf courses, manufacturers, and wholesalers and distributors.
16. Chubb – Best for International Coverage
Chubb got its start as a marine insurance company for business owners in the NYC area. It’s now the largest publicly traded casualty and property insurer in the world.
In additional to general liability policies, small business insurance options include professional liability insurance. The professional liability insurance includes directors and officers, errors and omissions, employment practices liability and cyber crime. Chub develops professional liability insurance using more than 25 business categories.
Chubb also offers health and accident policies, such as health and life insurance for employees.
Chub has expanded to include special risk coverage options for companies who are hosting events.
17.TechInsurance – Best for Tech Startup Business
TechInsurance first focused on business owners in the IT industry. With all the types of business insurance, it is still best known for that type of business insurance. It even provides a guide on how to grow and sustain an IT business.
TechInsurance now offers many types of business insurance, including options for home based business, construction, finance, real estate and health care. It specializes in developing commercial policies for independent contractors and freelancers (including professional liability insurance coverage).
The company’s commercial general liability coverage covers bodily injury to client/customer, advertising liability, cyber attack/data breach insurance for small business, and more.
Best Insurance Websites to Get Comparisons and Quotes in Minutes
How can a business owner find the right insurance for the businesses needs? How can you make sure you’ve gotten the coverage you need, at a fair price?
The coverage you need depends on your specific business needs. When you’re shopping insurance providers, you get a quote or quotes from insurers as part of the process.
Getting an insurance quote via an insurance website can streamline the process. An insurance agent isn’t just researching coverage options from one company. Instead, an insurance agent is searching multiple insurance policies from multiply insurers.
Using an insurance website is a way to make sure you are getting the coverage your business needs. You can review the responses from insurance providers and review information on a number of small business insurance policies. You can make sure you’re getting the right coverage for your business needs.
18. Mylo Choose- Best Overall
One of the reasons Mylo Choose is considered one of the 7 best sites to find small businesinsurance policies is due to its thorough information gathering.
You’ll answer questions about your coverage needs, such as: number of employees, whether or not you use company vehicles, information about your office or brick and mortar location, and details about your physical product or customer services.
Mylo Choose will then use that valuation of businesses need to recommend the best coverage from multiple carriers.
Mylo Choose also searches for small group health, dental, vision and life insurance group rates for companies with 2-99 employees.
TrustedChoice searches for typical small business insurance policies and also searches for a wide range of businesses. The site is knows for finding the best insurance policies for builders risk and inland marine.
TrustedChoice also handles a variety of professional liability policies for a wide range of businesses: doctors, lawyers, pharmacists, chiropractors, engineers (design liability), IT specialists and teachers.
20. Thimble – Best for Flexibility
Thimble stands alone for length of time insurance protects your business. The insurance protects time lengths can be as short as hourly. In addition to hourly coverage, Thimble can provide daily, weekly or monthly options.
Customer choices for types of insurance include general liability, professional liability, error and omissions, and business equipment protection.
Typical customers include photographers/videographers, fitness and personal trainers, entertainment professionals, hair stylists and pet sitters/dog walkers.
Thimble now offers drone insurance and is adding event insurance. Reviews for customer service are extremely favorable.
21. Simply Business
Best site if you’re seeking a policy for a home-based business. Simply Business specializes in self-employed occupations in businesses to include:
beauty/cosmetology, carpenters, cleaners, handy persons, contractors, real estate agents, janitors, landscapers, lawn care specialists, painters, photographer and plumbers, to name a few.
22. Insureon – Best for Hassle-Free Business Insurance
This search tool is a favorite amongst businesses that serve retail clients. Insureon supports third party insurance companies to deliver commercial insurance products. The products include business and professional insurance.
Insureon is known for its extremely fast on line application process, and bindable quotes from insurance companies.
The site platform allows users to shop insurance from a wide variety – more than 40 – carriers. Some of the carriers it searches include Chub, Hiscox, Nationwide and Progressive. Coverhound is know for finding the most affordable rates.
The search process uses Data Driven Matches using a comprehensive assessment. The advisors are compensated on service, not commission.
24. CoverWallet – Best for Comparing Liability Insurance
The policy search is based on specific business needs. As part of the search process, the company does a risk analysis.
CoverWallet looks at specific risks such as workers compensation, legal liability, property damage (remember to gets claims paid easily, have a security system), and liability.
CoverWallet also looks at available add ons such as ocean marine and professional liability needs for service-based businesses.
25. Next Insurance
Designed for self employed and entrepreneurs, from general contractors to personal trainers. The company boasts a claims response of 48 hours.
Next Insurance has a “hired and non-owned” auto insurance offering for businesses that use rented cars or employee-owned vehicles for work.
What Kind of Insurance do I Need for a Small Business? Common Terms You Need to Know
You need liability coverage for a small business. If you have employees, you need workers comp insurance.
Here are definitions you need to know:
General Business Liability Insurance
This is the basic business policy you need for claims to be paid for your business if you, your employees, or your products or services cause bodily injury or property damage. It’s basic protection against claims.
To protect against claims arising from use of the business products. You need this for your business on products that you make, or on products that someone else makes, and you sell.
This coverage provides defense for a business against claims for damages caused by someone’s failure to provide, or improperly render, professional services.
For employees who are injured on the job. You need this if you have W-2s.
To cover a business for data breach of sensitive or nonpublic information about clients or employees.
Crime and Financial Liability
Covers a business for loss of money or other assets because of employee theft, fraud by third parties or loss due to impersonation fraud (also called social engineering).
Commercial Property Insurance
For a business property and equipment, including office equipment, tools, inventory. Protects against theft and vandalism.
Commercial Auto Insurance
For company vehicles used to transport employees, products or equipment.
BOP Insurance – Property and Liability
An insurance package that includes business interruption, property and vehicle insurance, liability and crime.
How do I get insurance for my small business?
- You can start with the insurance company you use for homeowners, renters and personal vehicle, if that company also offers commercial insurance.
- You can call individual commercial companies in your area.
- You can use websites to search online.
Does every small business have insurance?
Every business should have insurance. Each business has specific needs, which range according to size and type.
For example, a pet groomer and an IT firm with employees may both have brick and mortar locations, but that’s where the similarities end.
The best business insurance advice for owners is to enlist the help of a professional to determine which coverages are needed for your specific business operations.
What is covered by business insurance?
Insurance for small businesses can cover property, products and vehicles. It can also protect those who offer professional services, such as beauticians or engineers.
Each type of small business may have specific elements that require coverage tweaks. Many general policies have available addons. You can choose what fits from a menu of addons.
What is the average cost of small business insurance?
The average cost for a basic small business insurance policy ranges from $20 to $140 per month. So much depends on the elements of the business.
Factors include location, size of business and of course, type of business.
Addons to coverage increase the cost, but you can also group policies in umbrella policies to save money.
What is the cheapest business insurance?
You’ll never know which company offers the cheapest policies unless you can compare them. The best way to compare policies efficiently is through applying through online comparison website, such as Mylo Choose and others.
Do I need business insurance for my LLC?
An LLC is formed to protect owners of a company, but that doesn’t mean someone can’t launch litigation against individual members due to the actions of the company.
If an LLC has employees, it needs workers compensation insurance.