It only takes one lawsuit or natural disaster to put many companies out of business. You could lose everything if your business is uncovered or has coverage gaps. Because of the vast amount of money spent on commercial lines products, it is essential to know how to choose the right company for your business.
Commercial insurance can cover physical risks like office buildings and equipment, factories, warehouses and retail stores. In addition, it can protect you with liability coverage for lawsuits alleging negligence or wrongful acts by your employees.
The 6 Biggest Commercial Insurance Companies
The biggest commercial insurance companies in the United States are some of the most well-known names in the business. They offer various products and services, from workers' compensation to environmental pollution liability.
These companies have been around for decades, so they have learned how to remain financially stable while providing excellent customer service. Below are some of the most prominent commercial insurance companies in the United States.
No. 1: Chubb Ltd.
Chubb Corp. is a publicly traded global diversified insurer operating in 54 countries. It was founded in 1882 by American industrialist Walter Chubb, and its primary business segments are property and casualty insurance, life insurance and retirement services. The company is highly rated for its financial strength and market position.
Chubb is one of the largest commercial insurers in the world. The company offers coverage for businesses both domestically and internationally. In the U.S., Chubb's market share is 5.52%, making it the most prominent business insurer in the country.
The product offerings include commercial property/casualty (CPC) insurance and commercial specialty insurance. The CPC division offers broad protection for businesses' assets (including physical assets like buildings or equipment) and liabilities.
Chubb covers specialty industries such as financial institutions, healthcare organizations and municipalities. You can get commercial insurance products in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
No. 2: Travelers Cos. Inc.
Travelers is headquartered in Hartford, Connecticut, with operations throughout North America and Europe. Its international presence gives it access to a wide range of expertise to help its clients with business or personal insurance needs.
Travelers Commercial Insurance Group offers commercial auto insurance, workers' compensation, general liability and business owner's coverage. It also sells healthcare plans for self-funded employers. These plans are like health savings accounts, allowing employees to pay for their medical expenses with pretax dollars.
The company also offers property and casualty policies, including coverage for boats, RVs and other vehicles not covered under standard car insurance policies. Travelers Casualty & Surety Co. (TCSC) provides surety bonds and fidelity bonds to protect against employee theft or fraud losses. It can provide coverage for all types of businesses, from large corporations to small mom-and-pop shops.
Travelers’ market share in the business insurance segment is 5.39%, not far behind Chubb. It is the second-largest writer of U.S. commercial property casualty insurance and the third-largest writer of U.S. personal insurance through independent agents.
No. 3: Liberty Mutual Group
Liberty Mutual started in 1912 as a mutual fire insurer called Massachusetts Farmers Mutual Fire Insurance Co. In 1988, Liberty Mutual acquired a competing mutual insurance company called Safeco Corp. of Seattle and changed its name to Liberty Mutual Group. In 1985, it became a public company via an initial public offering.
Today it has a 4.89% market share and offers home, life, health and commercial insurance products. The company also has various financial services, including investments, retirement planning and annuities.
One of the biggest commercial insurance companies in the U.S., Liberty Mutual offers a broad range of specialty and property/casualty coverage to businesses across the country. Liberty Mutual Commercial Insurance provides coverage for commercial auto, workers' compensation, general liability, property insurance and more.
Aside from its headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts, Liberty Mutual has offices throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. Liberty Mutual offers commercial insurance products to businesses across all industries, including retail, manufacturing, wholesale distributors, restaurants and hospitality businesses and construction companies.
It also offers various commercial vehicle policies that can be customized to meet your business needs. The company also provides a business owner's policy (BOP), combining general liability and property coverage into one package deal.
No. 4: Zurich Insurance Group
Zurich offers property and liability insurance policies to businesses throughout the United States. It also provides coverage for workers' compensation and bodily injury liabilities. In the U.S., Zurich has a 3.83% market share.
Zurich Insurance Co. was founded in 1872 by Alfred Escher, the founder of Credit Suisse, as a fire insurance cooperative called Schweizerische Feuerversicherungs-Gesellschaft. It still exists under this name as part of Zurich Financial Services. In 1874, the first policies were issued, and two years later, the first branch office opened in Basel, Switzerland. In 1880, the company began offering liability policies as well.
In 1972, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. was formed when Schweizerische Versicherungsgesellschaft merged with Zurich Insurance Co. Ltd. to form one large insurance group. Based on the British model, each business unit operates independently but shares an information technology infrastructure and other services.
It is a top commercial insurance provider covering all types of businesses, from restaurants and retail stores to accounting firms and medical offices. You can get commercial property and liability coverages, including business interruption, crime, fire and extended perils, fidelity bonds and cyber liability. The company also offers customized solutions for small- to medium-sized businesses with high risks.
No. 5: AIG
American International Group Inc. (AIG) is an American multinational insurance corporation with operations in the United States and 80 other countries. AIG provides a wide range of property-casualty, life, retirement and general insurance products and services to individual consumers, businesses, insurance companies and government entities worldwide.
It was founded in 1919 as the American International Group by Cornelius Vander Starr and Maurice Greenberg. Today, it is a global company with over 50 million customers worldwide. The company offers a wide range of insurance products, including personal and commercial insurance, life insurance, retirement planning and asset management services.
AIG is a global insurer with over 100 years of expertise in complex risk solutions. It also competes with a comprehensive portfolio of property and casualty, life insurance, retirement services, annuities and mutual funds. Today, it has a 3.38% market share.
For business owners, AIG can help guard against risks and liabilities that could damage your assets. The company is known for having an innovative approach to risk management and the use of advanced technology to provide tailored protection. Some examples include loss mitigation, marketing expertise and fraud protection.
No. 6: Berkshire Insurance Group
Berkshire Hathaway is a conglomerate of over 300 companies covering a range of industries. It has subsidiaries in many different industries, including insurance, manufacturing, energy and utilities, with a 3.31% market share.
The Berkshire Insurance Group has been in the insurance business for a long time and offers a wide array of commercial insurance products. The company was founded by Warren Buffett and his business partner Charlie Munger in 1962 under the name Buffett-Munger Insurance Associates.
Berkshire provides insurance coverage against risks such as property damage, liability claims and workers' compensation claims. The company offers commercial property insurance policies that cover losses such as fire damage, vandalism or theft. It also provides business interruption insurance coverage if a business can no longer operate because of damage caused by natural disasters.
In addition to the standard commercial insurance products, the company offers other types of coverage, including environmental liability protection and professional liability coverage for professionals like attorneys or accountants.
The reinsurance segment provides property catastrophe, excess casualty, specialty property and marine reinsurance products.
What to Look for in Commercial Insurance Companies
A good commercial insurance company will cover all types of risks that businesses face today. They should also have a wide range of coverage options available so that you can customize your policy to fit your business needs.
If you are shopping for a commercial lines policy, consider looking at the factors below:
No. 1: Financial stability
No. 2: Years in business
No. 3: Reputation
No. 4: Specialties
No. 5: Customer service reviews
You want to be sure the company has been in business for a long time and has a good reputation. You also want to ensure they have a lot of experience in your industry. In addition, it is essential to choose an insurance provider that understands your needs and offers competitive rates.
Common Lines of Commercial Insurance
Commercial lines of business are generally divided into commercial property and commercial liability. The main difference between these two broad categories is that commercial property insurance covers damage or loss to physical assets like buildings, machinery and equipment. Commercial liability insurance protects a business from claims for damages caused by the company.
Below are 11 of the most common commercial insurance policies.
1. Business owner’s policy (BOP): A BOP is an all-in-one policy that includes property, liability and other coverages needed by most small businesses. It protects your business from property damage, bodily injuries or other losses that may occur while operating your business.
2. Business property insurance: This commercial insurance covers damage to buildings and other structures on your premises.
3. Commercial auto: Covers damages to other people's property and medical expenses if you or an employee is at fault
4. Environmental pollution liability – This policy protects you if you are liable for environmental damage caused by your company's products or operations.
5. Executive liability: This policy covers executives for claims that occurred before employment with your company began.
6. General liability: This policy protects businesses from claims made by third parties injured on your business premises or while using your products or services.
7. Professional liability coverage: A professional liability policy protects against lawsuits alleging professional negligence by an insured professional like a doctor or lawyer whose services are provided to clients through independent contractor relationships.
8. Professional liability (errors and omissions): This type of policy covers any damages caused by errors or omissions made by employees during their work for your company.
9. Surety bonds: Contractors use these to agree in advance to fix any problems they cause while working on another person's property
10. Umbrella liability: This coverage protects against uninsured losses exceeding the limits of your underlying policies, such as general commercial liability.
11. Workers' compensation: Workers' compensation covers medical expenses and lost wages if an employee is injured on the job.
Your industry, the number of employees, location and other risk factors determine which policies your business needs. These insurance policies include everything from property insurance to cyber and professional liability.
Compare the Biggest Commercial Insurance Companies
The six biggest commercial insurance companies have many similarities and differences. Depending on your company's specific coverage needs, one provider may be better suited for your business than others.
Benzinga has insights and reviews on each insurer to help make your decision easier. You can compare the companies' offerings in the list below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need business insurance?
Business insurance is a way of protecting your business and its assets. It can also help you deal with any issues that may arise, such as damage to property, injury or illness. You can use business insurance to protect yourself from financial losses such as theft, fire, storm damage and other significant losses.
Business owners also use business insurance to cover their legal liability for accidents that happen at work or during a business trip. This coverage includes medical expenses and the cost of replacing any damaged property. These can cost thousands of dollars if they are not covered by insurance.
What does commercial insurance cover?
The type and amount of commercial insurance coverage you need depend on your business and your expected risk exposure. For example, if you have a restaurant, you will need coverage for food poisoning and other food-related risks. If you run a construction company, you will need construction equipment coverage for equipment damaged during work.
Benzinga crafted a specific methodology to rank commercial insurance. We prioritized carriers based on coverage options, specialized industries, customer service experience and how quickly and easily you're able to get insured including online tool usage. We also included commercial insurance quote aggregators in lists to make it easy and efficient to compare policy quotes and options. To see a comprehensive breakdown of our methodology, please visit see our Commerical Insurance Methodology page.