As the head of your small business, you probably feel the weight of responsibility on your shoulders. Your business is an investment you need to protect — it’s not only the service or product you provide but the financial livelihood of you and your employees.
Small businesses need comprehensive insurance protection, and Benzinga has done the research to take the burden off of you. Take a look at our guide to better understand the insurance needs of small businesses and find the best small business insurance provider for you.
Best Small Business Insurance Options:
- Best Overall for Small Business Insurance: HIG (The Hartford)
- Best for General Liability Insurance: Thimble
- Best for Self-Employed: Hiscox
- Best for Professional Liability Insurance: CNA
- Best for Antique Vehicles: Zurich
- Best for Workers’ Compensation: Travelers
Best Small Business Insurance Options
Every small business has different assets to protect, but no matter what, you want the best. Here are some of our top picks for the most common types of small business insurance.
1. Best Overall for Small Business Insurance: HIG (The Hartford)
HIG can be a one-stop-shop for your small business insurance needs. It offers several products, including general liability insurance, professional liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance. Keeping all of your business insurance policies with the same provider can help ensure complete coverage and also earn you some discounts.
HIG allows you to file your claims by phone or online 24/7. The customer service team is also available by phone.
2. Best for Liability Insurance: Thimble
It’s not often that you see something new in the insurance space but Thimble has come up with something unique — flexible small business insurance. You can buy liability insurance policies by the month, the day or even by the hour. Even better, you can apply in under 60 seconds.
Thimble has relatively limited small business insurance options, but it has the essentials covered for most self-employed professionals and contractors.
If you make a mistake in your work and it results in a financial loss for your client, professional liability insurance will help cover claims. It helps to cover alleged or actual negligence, legal costs and settlements. This insurance is also known as errors and omissions insurance.
3. Best for Self-Employed: Hiscox
Hiscox can help you find small business insurance policies that can work for your needs and your budget if you’re self-employed.
Hiscox will work with you to tailor your policy with the appropriate amount of coverage.
The company also allows its self-employed customers to make monthly payments with no additional fees.
4. Best for Professional Liability Insurance: CNA
CNA is an insurance provider that specializes in helping you evaluate the risks of your business. Once those risks have been identified, CNA will also work with you to create solutions for your business.
Doing this can help you reduce the number of claims you receive and then file with the company. You can also combine your professional liability insurance policy from CNA with its other small business insurance policies.
5. Best for Antique Vehicles: Zurich
Zurich can offer you a wide range of small business insurance products, but the company can also help you create an incredibly specific general liability insurance policy.
For example, Zurich writes policies to cover animal handling and driving rare antique vehicles.
No matter the focus of your business, Zurich offers flexible payment options and policy language that makes coverage easy to understand.
6. Best for Workers’ Compensation: Travelers
As an employer, you’ll want to have an insurance company that will have your back if an employee is injured at work.
You’ll have access to local claims professionals that can offer you personalized service that is tailored to your business with Travelers.
Travelers can send out an investigative team to carefully look into it when an employee makes a claim. Travelers also offers safety resources to help you and your employees stay safe on the job and avoid workplace injuries.
Types of Small Business Insurance
There are numerous types of small business insurance policies. Each is designed to do something different. That’s why it’s important to work with a trusted insurance agent or advisor to help you purchase the right policies for your business and industry. Here’s a look at the most common types of small business insurance, as well as the types of losses that are covered.
General liability insurance is also referred to as business liability insurance. It’s the insurance that protects both you and your business from general claims that involve property damage and/or bodily injuries. The purpose of this type of insurance is to help cover medical expenses and attorney fees associated with these claims. This policy type lowers the financial setback that can come with claims against your business.
Each policy and provider vary in coverage, but here’s a look at what is generally covered — and not covered.
- Property damage and/or bodily injury caused by your products
- Property damage and/or bodily injury caused by your services and operations
- General liability could function like renters insurance and cover the site where your business operates if your business is held responsible for damage caused to the property.
- Auto accidents
- Employee injuries
- Intentional acts to damage or harm
- Professional mistakes
If part or all of your business operation includes manufacturing products, product liability is crucial. Even if you take precautions to ensure that your product is in compliance with the highest standards, there’s always the chance that something could go wrong.
If your product causes damage to someone else, your business will be held responsible, and you may find yourself facing a lawsuit. Product liability insurance can cover the legal fees that you need to pay to defend your business, as well as medical costs, compensatory and business damages.
Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial property insurance protects the physical aspects of your business. This includes:
- The building where your business operates
- The furniture and equipment inside your building
- Your business’s inventory
- The signage outside of your business
- Outdoor fences and landscaping
You can select a range of coverage for your commercial property insurance. A basic policy should cover losses due to fire, lightning, wind, hail and acts of vandalism. Depending on where you live, you might want to add additional coverage to protect you from earthquakes and other types of damage. If your business suffers from a covered loss, you’ll file a claim with your insurance company. The company can pay for the losses so you can either replace, repair or rebuild.
You need to have workers’ comp insurance if you have employees. This insurance will protect you as the business owner and your employees in the event of a work-related injury.
Employees benefit because medical costs for the injury are covered. Employees can also receive financial assistance during recovery. Claims require many forms to be completed within a timely manner for the coverage to take place.
Professional Liability Insurance
Professional liability insurance is important if you provide a specialized service to your clients, customers or patients. As with any insurance policy, your professional liability insurance will offer coverage for situations included in your policy documents.
Generally, your policy should cover you if your client or patient claims that you made an error, omitted information or were otherwise negligent. Your professional liability insurance policy will help you even if the claim made against you is totally unfounded.
You may want to consider a professional liability insurance policy if you are:
- An accountant
- A business consultant
- A lawyer
- A medical provider
- A real estate agent
Cost of Small Business Insurance
The cost of your small business insurance policies will depend on a number of factors, including:
- The industry you work in
- Where your business is located
- The size of your business
- The deductible you choose for your policy
- The amount of coverage that you choose for your business
For many small businesses, the cost is always a concern. There are many ways you can save money on the cost of your small business insurance policies.
- Most insurance providers offer several types of business insurance and the ability to bundle multiple policies for a discount. You may also be able to bundle your business insurance policies with other types of insurance policies, such as home insurance or car insurance.
- Some insurance companies may offer discounts to businesses that actively work to lower risks in their business. For example, you may be able to earn a discount on a workers’ compensation policy by offering regular safety training for your employees.
- If you remain a loyal customer to your insurance provider, it may reward you with a discount.
- Insurance companies may also offer you a discount if you switch to their company from a competing insurance provider.
- Some insurance companies offer discounts to businesses that work within a certain profession.
- Policies and premiums vary by business size and industry. To give you a snapshot of cost, a new policy from the Progressive Advantage Business Program came in at the following premiums:
- General liability: $46 per month
- Professional liability: $42 per month
- Workers’ compensation: $68 per month
Which Policies Do I Need?
You don’t want to waste money on something you don’t need. The policies your business needs will depend on the type of business you run, whether you have employees and other factors.
The best way to start your business insurance plan is to collect quotes. Most companies offer free quotes that will give you a good starting point. From there, you can reach out to the companies that seem like the best fit and work with a licensed insurance agent to find the right policy for you.