Best Business Insurance in New York

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Contributor, Benzinga
June 4, 2020

With over 2 million businesses, The Empire State embodies the American entrepreneurial spirit. Small business insurance offers a way for New York business owners to protect their investment or even cover operating expenses if the unexpected happens. Here’s how to choose the best business insurance for your New York company.

Best Business Insurance Options in New York

The best small business insurance choice for your company may be different than for other New York businesses in the same industry. Rates can vary based on a number of factors. To be thorough, get some quotes to compare and be sure to ask questions before binding coverage. Just use the quote form on this page to get started. You can adjust your coverage features and limits to meet the unique needs for your business — as well as plan for future growth.

1. Best Overall for Business Insurance: The Hartford

With over 200 years of service, The Hartford has become one of the most trusted choices in business insurance. You’ll find the full gamut of coverage options, making The Hartford a great choice for both new and established businesses in a wide range of industries. 

With The Hartford, you can use a business owner’s policy to insure your primary risks, such as general liability, business property coverage, and loss of income. But you can also add specialized coverage like data breach insurance or professional liability coverage. It’s hard to beat The Hartford when comparing coverage depth. Be sure to get a quote when you’re shopping for business insurance in New York.

2. Best for Tailored Coverage: Simply Business

Simply Business offers a comprehensive suite of business insurance that specializes in making it easy to insure your business. Whether you’re looking for construction workers' insurance or insurance for your startup, Simply Business helps you find the right coverage at the right price. 

Tell Simply Business a little bit about your business and you'll get almost-instantaneous affordable quotes from top insurance providers. You can look into workers’ comp insurance, liability plans, business owner’s policies and more that will cover everyone on your team, and you can get covered in accordance with New York law without overspending. 

Building your business is hard enough. Let Simply Business make it easier. Get a quote from Simply Business today.

3. Best for Small Businesses: Hiscox

  • securely through Hiscox's website
    securely through Hiscox's website
    Best For:
    Small businesses with both part and full-time employees
    Read Review

Boasting coverage options for over 180 business professions, Hiscox ranks among the best choices for business insurance in New York. One-stop shopping makes Hiscox a logical choice for small business owners who need multiple types of coverage. From comprehensive business owner’s policies to workers’ comp coverage or even specialized professional liability coverage for your industry, Hiscox eliminates the need to use multiple insurers. They even offer a handy tool to help you choose coverage if you’re not sure what your small business needs.

Most small businesses can get started with Hiscox with a general liability policy that costs about $30 per month or less. You can add other coverages as needed, customizing your total coverage to your unique business.

4. Best for Self-Employed: Nationwide

If you’re self-employed, you may not have a showroom or warehouse. You might even work from home. The wide variety of structures for self-employed business people means that you’ll want coverage that fits your business like a glove. Package policies can leave risk-specific gaps. Basic commercial liability may not be enough. Nationwide lets you choose the coverages you need and allows plenty of room for growth as your business expands. 

From errors and omissions coverage to cyber liability or even inland marine coverage to protect products in transit, Nationwide covers more than just the basics and lets you tailor your coverage to match your small business needs.

5. Best for Low-Cost Coverage: Progressive

Buying business insurance on a budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice important coverages. For many types of New York businesses, Progressive’s business coverage may be the easiest on the wallet, but the 80-year-old company also offers a wide range of coverage so you can fine-tune your protection to match the risks for your business. 

Businesses that own autos can enjoy the affordable rates that helped make Progressive famous, but you can also add specialized coverage such as errors and omissions insurance or workers’ comp for New York businesses that have employees.

6. Best for Easy Coverage: biBERK

  • securely through biBERK's website
    securely through biBERK's website
    Best For:
    Staying compliant with state and federal regulations
    Read Review

As a Berkshire Hathaway company, you can expect consumer-friendly coverage from biBERK. The insurer’s own customers rate their experience at an impressive 4.8 out of 5 stars. Many customers start with a business owner’s policy, but easy coverage doesn’t mean your options are limited. You can still choose from a wide range of coverage types including professional liability coverage, workers’ comp or even an umbrella policy that extends your liability limits without breaking the budget.

biBERK’s easy process had us well on our way to coverage in just minutes. An online questionnaire recommends insurance types based on the type of business you have and whether you have employees. If you need a hand choosing coverage or limits, an experienced rep is just a phone call away.

Types of Business Insurance

The types of business insurance you’ll need for your New York business depends on what your business does and how it’s structured. For example, a company with employees needs workers’ compensation coverage but not every business needs product liability coverage. Here are some of the most common types of coverage and how each insurance type protects your business.

General liability: Your general liability coverage provides protection against certain types of lawsuits. These can include injuries to customers or visitors, such as slip and fall accidents. General liability can also cover damage to the property of others. Your commercial general liability coverage can also protect your business against losses due to libel, slander, advertising injury and several other risks. It’s important to note, however, that injuries to employees are not covered by general liability insurance. 

Many insurers bundle general liability coverage with commercial property coverage in one policy called a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP).

Product liability: If your business makes, distributes or sells products, you’ll want to explore coverage options for product liability insurance. This coverage insures your business against losses due to defective products and injuries caused to others. With average jury awards of over $5 million, product liability presents a large risk to businesses of all sizes, so you’ll want to be sure your New York business is protected.

Commercial property: Often sold as part of a BOP package policy, commercial property insurance protects property owned by your business and can also be purchased as a standalone policy. Even smaller businesses often have a significant investment in equipment and fixtures. Some may also own the building they use to operate the business. Your commercial property insurance can help protect the things (and buildings) your business owns from a wide range of risks. 

While commercial property coverage protects your building and its contents, be aware that some businesses may need additional coverage for specialized equipment and for vehicles in particular. Much like personal insurance policies, business property coverage doesn’t extend to vehicles.

Workers’ Compensation: In New York, all businesses with employees must have workers’ compensation coverage. The state does allow some exceptions and even some self-insured businesses, but these are rare. If your New York business has employees, plan to invest in workers’ comp insurance. This coverage protects both workers and the business by creating a defined compensation structure if workers are injured on the job. In most cases, a worker cannot sue the employer if a workers’ comp policy is protecting the business. 

While workers’ comp is mandatory for most New York businesses with employees, it also offers a cost-effective way to manage costs for employee injuries. Accidents can happen, and workers’ comp coverage guarantees benefits regardless of who is at fault.

Professional liability: Also known as Errors and Omissions (E&O), professional liability insurance protects your business against losses due to several types of human error. If the advice or guidance your business offers (or neglects to offer) causes financial harm to others, your E&O coverage can prevent situations where you have to pay for damages out of pocket. 

Professional liability insurance costs vary based on the type of business you have and which services your business provides. For example, malpractice insurance, carried by doctors, is a type of professional liability insurance. But professional liability can also protect accountants, writers, programmers, insurance agents and more.

Cost of Business Insurance in New York

Business insurance costs in New York can vary based not only on the types of coverage you purchase but also on the size of your business. For example, commercial liability coverage premiums can change based on business revenue. Workers’ comp coverage costs vary based on payroll totals and industry. 

Progressive, one of the leading providers featured in our roundup, reports median monthly premiums for workers’ comp coverage at $68 per month on new policies. For business owner’s policies, Progressive’s median premiums come in at $62 per month. Bear in mind that rates can vary based on risk and business history. You may also need additional types of coverage.

Bundling can be a great way to save on insurance costs for your New York business. For example, if your business has vehicles, consider buying your commercial auto insurance through the same company that provides your commercial liability coverage. Combined coverage discounts are common and many insurers even offer convenient packages that bundle popular types of coverage.

Also, ask your insurer about discounts. You may be able to save money on premiums based on safety factors for your business. Some insurers also offer trade group discounts or loyalty discounts.

Choosing the Best Business Insurance in New York

Business insurance can be trickier than personal insurance lines because businesses may be vulnerable in more ways. Get some quotes to compare prices but also compare coverages. 

Making the decision to buy business insurance is the first step. However, it’s also important to understand your coverage limits and where your coverage may leave gaps. In most cases, a paired policy or choosing an optional rider could be all you need to ensure your business health even if the unexpected happens.