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Purchasing small business insurance is vital for a growing company. Having the right insurance coverage can help your business overcome an unexpected situation. But it’s not just about the right coverage—it’s also about using the right small business insurance company. Your provider will have a big impact on your premium cost, claims reporting, and which policies you end up buying—all of which directly impact your bottom line.
In this guide, we’ll cover the eight best business insurance companies for small business owners. With these companies in mind, you should be able to find the right provider for you. To put this list together, we researched each provider’s scope of coverage, average premium costs, customer reviews, and the ease of getting a quote. Keep in mind that you might end up choosing different business insurance companies for different coverages—or for convenience, you might buy all of your coverages from the same insurance company.
When purchasing insurance, small business owners share a common goal: to protect their company, their team, and their assets. However, every business differs in terms of budget, risks, and priorities. We looked at the following factors in order to find the best business insurance companies in different categories:
We gave good ratings to insurance companies that offer policies most small business owners need, such as general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, property insurance, and workers compensation. Some insurance companies offer several basic coverages under one policy, called a business owner’s policy (BOP). A BOP allows small business owners to save on premiums. A few of the insurance companies included here offer specialized types of coverage, such as insurance policies for international businesses and tech startups.
In order to get the best idea of cost, you’ll need to get a quote from the insurance company. However, where possible, we used a quote for general liability coverage as a way to compare these insurance companies apples to apples. We generated a sample quote for a software company based in Maryland that has one owner, five employees (including the owner), payroll of $250,000 per year, and annual revenue of $1 million. In addition to premium costs, we also considered other cost factors, such as whether an insurance company provides discounts or charges extra for monthly premium payment.
When possible, we spoke directly with customers of these insurance companies. We also scoured the internet for customer reviews. We incorporated customer feedback into the pros and cons section under each insurance provider.
AM Best Company is a global credit rating firm that ranks insurance companies based on several factors. Their most important rating is the financial strength rating (FSR). Higher ratings indicate a high level of financial stability. We’ve indicated the AM Best Rating for each insurance company. We recommend that small business owners buy insurance coverage only from providers who are rated A or higher.
Lastly, we considered the process for getting a quote from each of the best business insurance companies. Ideally, an insurance company should allow business owners to get a quote online. However, some insurers still require customers to go through an agent or broker, or make a phone call, to get a quote.
Source: Next Insurance
Sometimes, a small business owner needs to buy insurance right away. Maybe you’re applying for a business loan, and the lender wants to see proof of insurance, or you can’t close on a deal with a potential vendor until showing proof of insurance. In these cases, finding a broker or going through a traditional insurance company might not be fast enough. Next Insurance is an online insurance company that speeds things up. They leverage technology to let you request a quote and buy coverage that’s specifically tailored for your industry in minutes. You can also instantly make updates to your policy or download proof of insurance from your online account.
Although Next Insurance isn’t available in all states (New York and California are notable exceptions for certain types of coverage), they are quickly expanding.
Next Insurance currently offers four business insurance products:
Although Next would benefit from adding a larger range of insurance products, these four coverages are often the most essential for small business owners.
By leveraging technology and digitizing their application, underwriting, and policy issuance, Next offers some of the lowest premiums on the market. Their general liability policy starts at just $14 per month. In our sample quote, a software company based in Maryland could get $1 million, zero-deductible general liability coverage for $25 per month.
Here’s a review of Next from one of their customers, Arthur Ruth, vice president of operations at Memphis Maids:
“Next has great customer service, and they are always really quick to respond to any issues we have. We have general liability and professional liability through Next. They love small businesses and they make everything easy to set up, to call, and to respond. Being quick to respond is the best thing that any insurance company can offer.”
It’s free and easy to get a quote on Next’s website. You simply fill out a few pages of information about your business. The details you’re asked to provide will differ based on the insurance product or products you select. When you’ve completed the form, you’ll instantly get a quote and be able to purchase a policy online. You can also call, email, or live chat with a Next rep for more assistance.
Source: State Farm
State Farm earns our nod for best customer service among business insurance companies. They rank in the top five on J.D. Power’s ranking of the best small commercial insurance companies. State Farm sells policies nationwide through 19,000 agents who service their individual neighborhoods and understand the demographics and needs of businesses in the area. These agents are captive, meaning they only work on behalf of State Farm and no other insurer. As a result, State Farm agents have a deep understanding of State Farm products and can help their clients select appropriate coverage.
Many people think of State Farm only for its consumer insurance policies, but they have several offerings on the business side. Here are the business coverages from State Farm:
Note that there might be some variation in coverage based on where your agent and business are located.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t obtain specific cost information for State Farm’s business insurance policies because they operate only through their network of agents. In order to get a quote, you must provide an agent with your business’s information. That said, many customer reviews indicate that State Farm is competitive on price with other large insurance companies.
Here’s what one of State Farm’s customers, Dominic Serra, CEO of Metro Wireless, had to say:
“We have workers compensation, general liability coverage, and umbrella coverage. We LOVE our carrier, State Farm with Blake Weldon. Best competitive pricing, and he is always on call if we need documents, which we do often due to our nature of work in telecom. We also tried [other insurance companies] and were with them for some time, but the rates came back about 30% lower with State Farm.”
Unfortunately, one downside to applying for business insurance with State Farm is that you can’t get a quote online. The only way to get a quote is by speaking with a local agent in-person or by phone.
If you’re like most small business owners, your goal is to find the most comprehensive, tailored coverage for the lowest cost. Insureon has helped more than 350,000 small businesses reach that goal. Insureon is not a carrier, but an insurance marketplace that partners with several carriers. Instead of going separately to each provider for a quote, you fill out one questionnaire with Insureon to get quotes from multiple A-rated carriers. You can then compare each carrier in terms of price, extent of coverage, exclusions, deductibles, and other factors.
Insureon allows you to purchase more than a dozen different types of business insurance through their partner carriers:
On top of these offerings, Insureon also partners with carriers to offer more specialized types of coverage, such as liquor liability insurance for restaurants and builder’s risk insurance for construction companies.
The advantage of Insureon is that you get to see quotes from multiple insurance carriers and accept the best price. A quote for our sample software business started at $26 per month for basic $1 million per occurrence coverage.
In order to get started with Insureon, you’ll need to fill out their online questionnaire. It takes about 15 minutes, and you’ll need to answer a series of questions to generate quotes. For some insurance products, Insureon doesn’t provide an online quote, and you must call and speak with a representative to get a quote. You can buy a policy by speaking to a rep as well.
Source: The Hartford
The Hartford is the ideal business insurance company for small businesses that need a BOP. A BOP, as we mentioned before, brings together several types of coverage under one policy. Almost any small business can benefit from a BOP, but it’s particularly useful for brick-and-mortar businesses that have fewer than 100 employees and less than $5 million in annual sales (the eligibility cutoff for most BOPs).
We recommend The Hartford for their flexible, customizable BOP. Many insurance companies only include general liability and property insurance under a BOP, but The Hartford goes a step further, including business interruption insurance (BII) as well. BII reimburses your business if you lose income in the aftermath of a natural disaster or forced closure. The Hartford also allows you to add “stretch endorsements,” which means adding other coverages a la carte or grouped together based on industry (e.g., a set of standard insurance policies for restaurants). Adjusting limits is easy both on the overall BOP and on individual policies included in the BOP.
The Hartford is a full-service insurance company, offering a wide range of business insurance products:
General liability coverage for our sample software business has a monthly premium of $25.75 for $1 million of coverage per occurrence. If you convert this into a BOP, the price goes up to $72.58 per month. You can save approximately 25% on premiums by choosing the BOP, as opposed to buying the included coverages separately.
You can get a quote online with The Hartford, or you can contact an independent insurance agent near you to get a quote.
If you travel frequently for business, send employees overseas, or import or export products internationally, consider purchasing your business insurance from Chubb. They have two insurance packages—the International Advantage Package and Foreign Package—both of which offer support for businesses with international interests. The latter package is specifically designed for small businesses that send employees overseas on company matters, such as to attend conferences for example. It’s available for employers that have fewer than 100 foreign trips per year, less than $30 million in foreign sales, and send employees in groups of six or less per flight. The former package is geared at larger businesses, such as those with a full-scale exporting division.
Chubb offers a wide variety of “run-of-the-mill” business insurance coverage, as well as more specialized coverage for international businesses. Here is a breakdown of the primary types of coverage from Chubb:
Chubb’s international package and foreign package offer the following types of insurance:
In addition to the coverages noted above, Chubb’s global insurance packages also include a 24/7 emergency assistance phone number for travelers.
Chubb focuses on comprehensive coverage and quality of coverage over cost. Our example software company would pay $74.83 in monthly premiums for $1 million of general liability coverage. That’s significantly costlier than the other companies we’ve reviewed in this article.
For the following products, you can get an online quote from Chubb: general liability, professional liability, BOP, cyber liability, umbrella liability, and workers compensation insurance. If you’re interested in buying other types of insurance, then you’ll need to either call Chubb or find an agent near you. Chubb agents are independent, which means they can work on behalf of multiple insurance companies.
Source: Lloyd’s of London
Most small business owners have no trouble obtaining insurance coverage. However, in riskier industries, such as finance, health care, and construction, finding an insurance company that’s willing to work with you can be very challenging—even impossible. Lloyd’s of London offers surplus lines insurance to help businesses that are in this situation and that have been rejected by regular insurance companies. Be aware that surplus lines insurance premiums are often costlier than usual because the risks of being insured are more significant.
Lloyd’s of London underwrites nearly one-quarter of surplus lines insurance in the U.S. They offer surplus lines policies in all of the following areas:
This isn’t a complete list, as Lloyd’s can create custom insurance policies for over 60 types of insurance and across dozens of industries.
Lloyd’s of London doesn’t provide cost estimates for their surplus lines insurance products. The reason is that the surplus lines industry caters to a very diverse set of companies with very different insurance needs. That said, you can expect to pay higher premiums if you belong to a riskier industry and have been declined by traditional insurance carriers.
The only way to obtain a quote from Lloyd’s of London is through one of their approved brokers or agents. Once you find a broker near you, ask them about their surplus lines insurance coverage to get started.
Source: Founder Shield
Startup companies have unique business insurance needs and priorities. For example, a startup that’s putting a leadership team together might need directors and officers (D&O) insurance, and a startup with a unique consumer product might need product liability insurance. Founder Shield markets itself specifically to the founders of high-growth startup companies in a range of industries, such as fintech, ecommerce, biotech, and mobility/ridesharing. Founder Shield works with more venture-backed companies that any other brokerage in the world.
Founder Shield, like Insureon, is not a direct insurer, but partners with insurance companies to get quotes for their customers. They suggest different insurance packages based on how much funding your startup has raised, as indicated in the screenshot above, but you can change and customize coverage as you see fit. Founder Shield’s application and underwriting processes are fully digitized, making this insurance company a good option for busy startup founders.
One of the advantages of Founder Shield is that they won’t try to sell you on coverages that a startup in your industry doesn’t need. They focus on the core coverages that a high-growth company will need to protect itself as it scales, including the following:
Unfortunately, we weren’t able to obtain a quote on Founder Shield’s system, and they aren’t transparent about pricing. However, we expect that rates will be a little higher than average because Founder Shield works with newly formed businesses, which are riskier than established companies. In addition, the group of companies they work with are venture-backed with more money to spend on insurance.
You’ll be able to get a quote on Founder Shield’s website after answering just a few questions. Founder Shield does require a few more pieces of information than other providers, including your business’s employer identification number (EIN) and an investor deck. After providing the required information, you will receive a quote. Founder Shield also has sales reps who are trained in the culture of the startup community and who can help you determine your coverage needs.
Source: Progressive Commercial
If your business is in the transportation industry or relies heavily on delivery or transit, then you should try Progressive for your business insurance. They are the top commercial auto insurer in the country, covering business cars, trucks, and trailers in all 50 states.
You’ll get several advantages from buying a Progressive commercial auto insurance policy. These include 24/7 policy service and claims adjusters who receive special training in business auto claims. Progressive also sells something called “any auto coverage,” which means you can be covered for any vehicle that you or your employees own for business purposes. Most other insurance companies sell different policies for different vehicles. Plus, if you have an experienced, clean driving record, an established trucking business, or combine commercial auto coverage with other coverages (even if you hold these policies with another insurer), then you can earn discounts off your Progressive policy.
Along with commercial auto insurance, Progressive sells several other types of business insurance. However, the catch is that many of these products aren’t provided directly by Progressive. Acting sort of like a marketplace, Progressive teams up with other carriers to provide the coverages. For example, they partner with Hiscox to provide general liability insurance.
Here is a full list of insurance products that you can buy through Progressive:
Although the range of coverages isn’t what you’ll get with The Hartford or Chubb, Progressive does offer the most essential coverages that a small business owner would want.
Progressive customers paid an average of $165 per month for commercial auto insurance. Truck insurance costs significantly more, ranging from about $561 to $795 per month. The average cost for a general liability policy through Progressive’s partners is $52 per month. Our sample quote for a software development business came to $29.16 per month.
We found it very easy and quick to get an online quote with Progressive. They only ask a few open-ended questions. The majority are yes/no questions that you can quickly run through.
Shopping for business insurance is certainly not one of the easiest things you’ll do in your journey as a business owner, but with these companies to help, it can be a positive experience. These best business insurance companies are well-equipped to help companies in any industry secure essential coverage.
At the end of the day, you might end up going to different insurance companies for different coverages, and you might have to make some tradeoffs.
Loretta Worters, vice president of media relations with the Insurance Information Institute, has this advice for small business owners who are shopping around for insurance:
“Certainly cost is a factor, but you don’t want to be blinded by cost alone. It’s important to consider customer service and how quickly a claim is processed. Check with others who are in the same business as you. What have their experiences been when they filed a claim with their insurer? Were they happy with the service provided? Did the agent or broker clearly explain to the business owner the risks their business had and educate them on the right type and amount of coverage to obtain? Was their claim handled fairly and quickly? Also check with industry and trade associations you belong to for carrier recommendations.”
Whatever options give you peace of mind as you run your business are the best business insurance companies for you.