July 22, 2024

⏰ Estimated read time: 13 minutes

Business insurance helps protect your company and its assets when you face property damage, injuries, lawsuits or other claims that might arise from your work.

The best business insurance companies make getting coverage easy and offer a smooth claims experience so you can get back to running your business. To determine the top insurers that do this, NerdWallet evaluated their financial strength, complaint records, digital features and customer service channels.

Here are our picks for the best small-business insurance. Choose an option to learn more about that provider — or keep reading to learn more about business insurance and what it covers.

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Best business insurance providers:

Best business owner’s policy: Chubb

Pros:

  • Received fewer commercial property insurance complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size.

  • Simple online shopping experience.

  • BOP includes business interruption and extra expense coverage.

Cons:

Why we like it: Chubb’s business owner’s policy offers a few types of coverage that aren’t always included in BOPs: business interruption insurance and extra expense coverage, plus coverage for accounts receivable. And while the company has more than a century in business, its online experience for small businesses has contemporary features, like a bot that helps you choose coverage and buy a policy online. Read NerdWallet’s review of Chubb business insurance.

Best online business insurance: Next

Pros:

  • Received fewer commercial property and commercial auto insurance complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size.

  • Up to 10% discount if you buy more than one policy.

  • Provides a digital certificate of insurance that you can share with anyone who needs it.

Cons:

Why we like it: Next sells all the business insurance policies most entrepreneurs need online. You can shop using Next’s highly specific industry-tailored packages and buy several policies in one transaction. Next also offers a digital certificate of insurance, which should make it easy to quickly prove you have insurance when a client or landlord asks. Read NerdWallet’s review of Next Insurance.

Best for commercial auto insurance: Progressive

Pros:

  • Fewer than expected commercial auto insurance complaints filed with state regulators between 2018 and 2021 based on its market share — which is the largest by a wide margin, according to the Insurance Information Institute
  • Specialized insurance products for truckers, including owner-operators, motor carriers and driver carriers.

  • Commercial auto insurance includes roadside assistance, including the cost of towing.

Cons:

  • Progressive refers shoppers to other companies for additional types of business insurance. If you have to file a claim, you’ll work with those companies, not Progressive.

Why we like it: Progressive’s commercial auto insurance policies can cover cars, trucks, buses, limousines and other business vehicles. The company also offers access to a network of car and truck repair shops and around-the-clock service by phone or online. Read NerdWallet’s review of Progressive business insurance.

Best for short-term coverage: Thimble

Pros:

  • Policies available one job, month or year at a time. 

  • If you’re a contractor or you manage contractors, you can use Thimble’s Certificate Manager tool to ensure that everyone has compliant coverage.

  • Thimble’s unique “event insurance” policies include liquor liability and general liability coverage.

Cons:

Why we like it: Thimble is a useful option for very small businesses that need coverage to comply with contractual requirements — for instance, if you need general liability insurance before vending at a farmer’s market or teaching a fitness class. You can get coverage online and buy a policy that lasts only a short time, if that’s the best fit for your company. Read NerdWallet’s review of Thimble business insurance.

Best for professional liability insurance: Hiscox

Pros:

  • You can get a quote and purchase a professional liability insurance policy online.

  • E&O insurance covers work done overseas. 

  • Hiscox can connect shoppers to medical malpractice insurance through a third-party partner.

Cons:

Why we like it: Like Chubb and Travelers, Hiscox is a longtime commercial insurer that now delivers a solid digital experience. You can purchase basic policies, like general and professional liability insurance, online. If you need help, you can call during long hours — 7 a.m. – 10 p.m. ET on weekdays — and speak to an agent. Read NerdWallet’s review of Hiscox business insurance.

Best for working with an agent: Travelers

Pros:

  • Offers virtually every type of commercial insurance, including specialized coverage like key person insurance and surety bonds.

  • Received fewer commercial property insurance complaints and far fewer commercial auto insurance complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size.

  • You can access your certificate of insurance and track your claims through an online portal.

Cons:

Why we like it: Travelers earned high marks from NerdWallet for its financial strength, low number of customer complaints, wide variety of coverages and customer support features. It has one key drawback, however — you can’t get a quote or buy a policy online. Instead, you’ll need to work with an independent agent. But if you’d prefer a personal touch and aren’t in a hurry to get coverage, Travelers is tough to beat. Read NerdWallet’s review of Travelers business insurance.

Best for additional business services: Nationwide

Pros:

Cons:

Why we like it: Nationwide is a longstanding insurance company that offers virtually every type of coverage — plus other services that can be difficult to manage on your own, like setting up retirement plans for your staff. You can get a quote online to understand how much coverage might cost, then work with an agent to make sure you have everything you need. Read NerdWallet’s review of Nationwide business insurance.

Other business insurance companies

The right insurance for your business will depend on your industry, company size and location, among other factors. The following insurers didn’t make our list of top choices, but their unique offerings may make them a good fit for you.

NerdWallet recommends getting business insurance quotes from several providers so you can find the best coverage at the best price.

Want to compare quotes from multiple insurance companies at once? Consider using an online broker, like these:

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Tivly works with over 200 insurance providers, matching you to the one who fits your needs!

What kinds of business insurance are there?

General liability insurance and commercial property insurance — and in some cases, business income insurance — are often packaged and sold as a business owner’s policy, or BOP.

BOPs are fairly standardized, but you may be able to add certain endorsements. For instance, The Hartford offers data breach coverage as an add-on, and State Farm will allow you to add professional liability coverage to a BOP.

A BOP may provide enough coverage for some small businesses that don’t have employees.

What is a business owner’s policy?

  • General liability insurance.

  • Commercial property insurance.

  • Business income insurance is usually but not always included.

A BOP is a good choice for small businesses that rent space, use valuable tools or stock inventory. If you don’t have employees, it may provide all the coverage you need.

Look for a business owner’s policy that includes business interruption insurance. Review the optional endorsements your provider offers, too — for instance, The Hartford offers data breach coverage as an add-on, and State Farm will allow you to add professional liability coverage to a BOP.

What business insurance coverage do you need?

  1. Find out what coverage is required by law. Some business insurance, like workers’ compensation, is required by law. Check the workers’ compensation regulations in your state to make sure you’re in compliance. Be on the lookout for industry-specific regulations as well; for example, state law might require lawyers to carry legal malpractice insurance.
  2. Find out if your contracts require insurance. Landlords, lenders and contractors may require certain types of coverage before doing business with you.

  3. Talk to a professional. If you’re unsure about what kinds of business insurance you need, a licensed commercial insurance agent near you can help you evaluate your risks.

  4. Get an online quote. Lots of online business insurance providers ask questions during the quote process and suggest certain kinds of coverage as a result. For instance, if you say your business works in a professional services industry, they might recommend professional liability insurance. Getting a quote can highlight certain risks and help you understand how much insurance might cost.

How much does business insurance cost?

To get a ballpark figure, try getting a quote from an online business insurance company. They can usually show you a price estimate in a matter of minutes, based on some basic information about your business.

The best way to find affordable business insurance is to get quotes from several different providers and choose the best option for you.

Reassess your business insurance needs regularly

As your small business hires employees, adds locations or grows its product line, your insurance needs will grow too. Check on your insurance policies every year to make sure they still provide the best coverage for you.

What’s the best fit for your business?

Answer a few questions and we’ll match you with an insurance partner who can help you secure quotes.

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