Business insurance is necessary to protect your livelihood. It's is a vast category of insurance coverage specifically designed for businesses. This coverage guards your business against financial losses from physical damage to your company property or products, intellectual losses or even legal damages through a lawsuit.
Your business risks closing after a loss — especially if you don’t have the right insurance. Take a look at Benzinga’s guide to learn more about types of business insurance, associated costs and our top picks for the best business insurance providers.
The Best Business Insurance
- Best for Comprehensive Coverage: The Hartford
- Best for Tailored Coverage: Simply Business
- Best for Self Employed: CoverWallet
- Best for General Liability Insurance: Thimble
- Best for Contractors: Progressive
- Best for Matching You to The Provider That Fits Your Needs: Tivly
1. Best for Comprehensive Coverage: Hartford
The Hartford has the business insurance knowledge you need. The company takes pride in customizing each insurance policy to meet your specific requirements and save you money. HIG serves large corporations, sole proprietors and mid-sized businesses.
Policies include event insurance, employment practices liability, directors and officers, bonding and surety, flood insurance, restaurant insurance, loss of business income, workers’ compensation, technology omissions and errors and more.
2. Best for Tailored Coverage: Simply Business
- securely through Simply Business Insurance's websiteBest For:Tailored coverageRating:
With Simply Business you can compare quotes and coverage options from multiple companies to determine what’s best for you. Simply Business works with top providers like Hiscox, Travelers and Axis Insurance Company.
You can get policy options online in less than 10 minutes, and if you need more guidance or have questions, its licensed agents are just a phone call away.
Simply Business is a great fit for businesses and sole proprietors. You can look at its recommended insurance options based on the type of work you do, whether it’s landscaping, accounting or photography.
While Simply Business doesn’t handle your claim directly (the provider you decide to purchase from does), it’s there to help you if you run into any issues. It can get you new copies of your policy documents and help you get in touch with your provider if you need assistance.
3. Best for Self Employed: CoverWallet
Shopping for business insurance can be a tedious process. It takes time to collect and review quotes and coverage unless you visit CoverWallet. CoverWallet makes it easy to get quotes from multiple insurance providers.
With CoverWallet, you can start by talking with an insurance advisor or start directly with quotes. You can get quotes from multiple reputable insurers, including Hiscox, Chubb and Progressive. Choose from a wide range of coverage options to protect every area of your business, including workers’ compensation, general liability and commercial property insurance.
Once you decide on your insurance coverage, you can manage your policies through MyCoverWallet. This online dashboard allows you to send copies of your insurance certificates when needed, file claims and pay premiums. It keeps your policies organized and allows you to reach out to an expert at any time.
CoverWallet also offers extensive educational resources. You can review its recommended coverage by industry. You can also dig into more specific information based on your industry, location, number of employees and annual revenue.
4. Best for General Liability Insurance: Thimble
Business insurance is an important part of every small business’s toolkit. Whether you’re a freelancer, business owner, or have 20 employees, there are coverage options available to fully protect your business. With flexible options from Thimble, you can get by-the-job coverage (for as little as an hour), or monthly or annual policies to cover your business round-the-clock. Some of the most essential coverages include:
- General liability insurance, which protects a business against third-party claims of non-employee bodily injury, property damage, and personal and advertising injury.
- Commercial property insurance, which covers a business’s property and items on the premises from accidental loss, damage or theft.
- Workers’ compensation, which helps protect you from liability if an employee is injured or gets sick at work.
You can learn more about these coverages, along with others including Business Equipment Protection, business owners policies, professional liability, on their website.
Buy a policy online at Thimble.com, in the mobile app, or over the phone in minutes and get an instant Certificate of Insurance. Get to work before the other guys even call you back.
5. Best for Contractors: Progressive
Progressive is a trusted car insurance provider, so it’s a great option if your business has a commercial fleet. Trucking businesses with tractor-trailers and long-haul semi-trucks can benefit from Progressive’s comprehensive coverage.
Save up to 5% on premiums if you have been in operation for at least 3 years. A 15% discount off your commercial auto policy is also available if you pay everything upfront.
Progressive also offers cyber insurance, business owner policies, professional liability, workers’ compensation and general liability insurance. The company also sells “any auto coverage” that covers vehicles you or your employees own and use for business purposes.
Tivly offers 1-stop shopping for a range of business insurance policies using its convenient online website. Fill in the criteria online and get a quote for your business. Tivly is partnered with over 200 providers and will match you with the one that fits your needs, especially when you are looking to protect your bottom line.
Tivly works with providers on our list like Progressive, The Hartford, Liberty Mutual and Gallagher. Therefore, you can purchase business income insurance, liability coverage and more to protect your life’s work.
The Main Types of Business Insurance
Just being in business brings risk, and you can’t plan to pay out of pocket for the unexpected. Even if you operate a smaller business, you’ll need several types of policies to guard against your possible losses. Here are the common insurance types most businesses need to look into.
Also known as business liability insurance, general liability insurance covers you if you, your employee, your services or products cause bodily injury or property damage to 3rd parties. General liability provides coverage for all your legal expenses and damages if you’re sued, as well as the medical fees of those who are harmed by your business.
Product liability is a must if you’re a manufacturer, retailer or distributor. This type of insurance covers property damage and bodily injury resulting from the manufacturing, handling, distribution or sale of a product. The coverage also includes representation and warranties, as well as coverage for providing instructions and warnings. Product liability provides coverage in the case of product malfunction.
Commercial property coverage is essential if your business has a physical presence. This policy covers not only your business premises but also your assets, including furniture and computers, as well as inventory crucial to the operation of your business.
You also have protection in case of theft, fire or smoke damage. Consider adding on loss of earning or business interruption insurance to cover income lost if the property is damaged to the point your business can no longer operate.
Workers’ compensation insurance covers employees injured on the job. This includes medical benefits and wage replacement — no matter who's at fault. In exchange for the benefits, your employees give up the right to sue you for the accident. Most states require employers who have at least 3 to 5 employees to carry workers’ compensation. The penalty for non-compliance can be hefty.
Also known as errors and omissions insurance, professional liability insurance provides coverage when you do not perform your professional services as promised — even when you don’t make a mistake. This can include improper performance, faulty advice, incorrect recommendations and more. Every profession has specific concerns that should be addressed through a customized policy.
A commercial auto policy insures any vehicle you use in your business operations. It pays for bodily injury or property damage caused by the operation of your business vehicles. If you don’t have company vehicles but employees use their personal vehicles for business operations, you should buy non-owned auto liability in case your employee doesn’t have insurance or coverage is inadequate.
How Much Does Business Insurance Cost?
The cost of business insurance is difficult to predict since it’s based on numerous factors. Nevertheless, online resources like Insureon can help you perform your own estimate with quotes from a variety of carriers. According to its calculator, a business can expect to pay a median of $40 monthly premiums or $500 annually for general liability insurance. Adding additional policies will increase that premium.
What Determines the Cost of Your Business Insurance Premiums?
Your insurer considers numerous factors to determine your policy premium. An agent will need the following to customize your coverage:
- Size of your business. The physical area covered by your business (in square footage) will affect your premiums. The larger the area, the more you pay.
- Number of employees. The number of employees on your payroll will influence the cost of your policy. You should expect to pay higher premiums if you have more employees. You will also need to buy workers’ compensation insurance.
- Your industry. Businesses carry different risks based on their industry. Your insurer will assess your application based on this risk. You’ll pay higher premiums if your business operates in a hazardous industry, such as logging or electrical power line installation.
- Location. The cost of business insurance also differs by state. Local information like population, geographical risks and the laws come into play. Commercial property insurance is particularly affected by location since your business may be located in an area prone to crime or natural disasters.
- Claims history. Your claims history also affects the cost of your premiums. You’ll pay less if you have no prior claims history and more if you’ve made frequent claims in the past.
- Years of operation. Lower premiums are available for well-established businesses with increasing revenue.
Although these factors will affect the rate of your premiums, it’s still smart to shop for discounts. Look at bundling policies, choose a higher deductible or pay your premiums upfront in full to save.
Find the Best Business Insurance
Your business can easily overcome the unexpected with the right coverage. It isn’t all about the right coverage, it’s also about having the right carrier.
Your insurance provider will have an important impact to ensure your coverage is comprehensive and your premiums are affordable. Once you’ve purchased your policies, you also want to be sure quality service is maintained when you go through the claims process at some point. You might eventually choose different carriers for different policies or buy all coverages from 1 insurance provider.
Do some comparison shopping and identify instances where you can save on your policy. Our recommended providers can serve businesses in almost any industry. Enter your ZIP code for a free quote today.
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About Janet Hunt, Insurance Agent
Janet has been working in, and writing about, the insurance industry for over 20 years.