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5 Best Insurance Companies for Small Businesses

Graphic of 5 canopies on the right to symbolize the list of the 5 best insurance companies for business you can choose

Owning a business can be wildly rewarding personally and professionally—but it also comes with financial risk. Business owners need to worry about protecting their business assets (including inventory, commercial space, and equipment), protecting themselves from liability claims, and making sure that their businesses can survive an interruption to operations. Purchasing small business insurance can help protect your business from liability claims and external damages.

Although the insurance provider marketplace is crowded, the best insurance companies for businesses make it easy to find a plan that fits your needs by offering coverage types, discounts, and customer service options tailored to the needs of small business owners.

7 Common types of business insurance

  1. General liability insurance
  2. Commercial property insurance
  3. Business interruption insurance
  4. Business auto insurance
  5. Professional liability insurance
  6. Workers’ compensation insurance
  7. Business owner's policy

Every business has different insurance needs. Your industry, business structure, and the assets you want to insure will determine the commercial insurance coverage you choose.

To accommodate the small business owner’s needs, small business insurance companies offer business insurance policies with a wide range of coverage types and plan structures.

These insurance types are among those commonly retained by small businesses:

1. General liability insurance

General liability insurance covers claims made against your business by third parties, such as a customer or another business. It can protect business owners from liability for accidents that occur on a commercial property and result in bodily injury or damage to a property. General liability insurance can also provide protection against personal or advertising injury claims made by others, such as claims of copyright infringement or reputational damage. This insurance type is sometimes referred to as commercial liability insurance or as business liability insurance.

2. Commercial property insurance

Commercial property insurance, also known as business property insurance, covers damage to your physical property (like offices or storefronts) and typically also covers damage, theft, or loss of equipment and inventory contained within the property, such as computers, office equipment, refrigerators, etc.

3. Business interruption insurance

Business interruption insurance (also known as business income insurance) can replace a small business owner’s lost income in the event they have to throttle or completely shutter their business temporarily due to a covered incident, typically theft or a natural disaster.

4. Business auto insurance

Business auto insurance (sometimes called commercial vehicle insurance or commercial auto insurance) covers damage to commercial vehicles and liability for an accident involving those vehicles. Most states require businesses with commercial vehicles to carry this type of insurance. Commercial vehicles are those which are used specifically for business purposes, such as delivery trucks, food trucks, or semi-trucks.

5. Professional liability insurance

Professional liability insurance (also known as errors and omissions insurance) covers liability for harm caused by negligence in the performance of professional services. If you make a mistake while conducting business and your customer sues you for damages because of that mistake, your professional liability insurance will help shield you from those costs.

6. Workers’ compensation insurance

Workers’ compensation insurance covers medical and rehabilitation costs for workers who are injured on the job. It can also cover a portion of lost wages for the affected employee, and death benefits for an employee’s family. Many states require business owners who have employees to carry this coverage type.

7. Business owner’s policy

A business owner’s policy is an insurance package that bundles multiple types of business insurance (typically, commercial property insurance, business income insurance, and general liability insurance) into one insurance package, which is typically offered for a discounted rate. Business owner’s policies are generally only available to small and mid-size businesses in lower-risk industries such as food service or retail.

Insurance companies also offer many additional coverage types (such as cyber liability insurance and commercial umbrella insurance), as well as industry-specific policies designed to meet the needs of businesses in industries like retail, manufacturing, food service, and professional services.

5 of the best insurance companies for businesses

  1. Progressive
  2. State Farm
  3. The Hartford
  4. Nationwide
  5. Hiscox

 There are many insurance providers in the marketplace. These six business insurance companies offer strong customer support services and a wide range of coverage types, making them popular choices for small business owners.

Here are the coverage options, advantages, and disadvantages of each.

1. Progressive

Progressive is the largest commercial vehicle insurer in the US, which can make it a good option for business owners who want to bundle commercial vehicle insurance with other types of business insurance.

With the exception of commercial vehicle insurance, Progressive’s business insurance plans are provided through partnerships with third-party insurance companies.

What types of business insurance does Progressive offer?

Progressive’s coverage plans include:

  • Commercial vehicle insurance
  • General liability insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance
  • Professional liability insurance
  • Cyber liability insurance
  • Business owner’s policies

Progressive’s business owner’s policy typically includes general liability insurance and business property insurance.

Advantages of Progressive

  • Discounted commercial vehicle insurance when combined with a BOP or with general liability insurance.
  • Commercial vehicle insurance covers dual-use vehicles (i.e., vehicles that are used for both business and personal purposes).

Disadvantages of Progressive

  • Many business insurance plans are offered through a partnership with a third party, which means that some claims cannot be filed through Progressive.
  • Discounts are not available in all states.

2. State Farm

State Farm is a large insurance network, with over 19,000 agents operating nationwide. Because State Farm agents are independent business owners, State Farm offers business clients a personal relationship with a fellow small business owner. This can also translate to variable customer service quality—your relationship with your agent will determine your individual experience.

What types of business insurance does State Farm offer?

State Farm’s offerings include:

  • Commercial property insurance
  • General liability insurance
  • Professional liability insurance
  • Employment practices liability insurance
  • Commercial vehicle insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance
  • Commercial liability umbrella coverage
  • Business owner’s policies

State Farm’s business owner’s policy typically includes general liability insurance, commercial property insurance, business interruption insurance, and equipment breakdown coverage.

Advantages of State Farm

  • A nationwide network of agents is available.
  • Discounts are available for bundling business insurance with home insurance and personal auto insurance.
  • Professional liability coverage can be added to a BOP for certain business types.

Disadvantages of State Farm

  • Commercial insurance quotes aren’t available online.
  • Business insurance claims can’t be filed online.
  • Discounts are not available in all states.
  • The customer service experience can vary since you interact with independent agents.

3. The Hartford

The Hartford is a large Connecticut-based investment and insurance company that offers business, renters, home, and auto insurance. The Hartford also provides discounted home and auto policies to people over 50 years of age, in partnership with AARP.

Founded in 1810, The Hartford has a storied history as an insurance company, and says it has provided disability insurance to Babe Ruth and home insurance to Abraham Lincoln. In 2021, The Hartford ranked as the 13th largest property and casualty insurance company in the US.

What types of business insurance does The Hartford offer?

The Hartford’s business insurance offerings include a wide range of insurance types and a business owner’s policy with customization options:

  • Commercial vehicle insurance
  • Commercial property insurance
  • General liability insurance
  • Business income insurance
  • Professional liability insurance
  • Data breach insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance
  • Commercial umbrella insurance
  • Business owner’s policies

The Hartford’s business owner’s policy stands out for its flexibility and customization options. The company’s standard BOP typically includes business interruption insurance, general liability coverage, and commercial property coverage. The Hartford offers BOP policy add-ons including cyber liability insurance and professional liability insurance. Unlike most insurance companies, it also allows business owners to add commercial auto insurance and workers’ compensation insurance to a BOP.

Advantages of The Hartford

  • Online quotes are available.
  • A wide range of coverage types is offered, including data breach insurance, commercial umbrella insurance, and workers’ compensation insurance.
  • Business owners can design a policy that fits their needs. Should their needs change, they can add different coverages or policy types over time.

Disadvantages of The Hartford

  • Coverage is not available in Alaska, Hawaii, or New Jersey.
  • Business insurance claims can’t be filed online.

4. Nationwide

Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company is a group of financial services and insurance companies headquartered in Columbus, Ohio. Nationwide offers a full range of business insurance coverages, as well as industry-specific coverages for offerings tailored to businesses in industries including construction, commercial real estate, manufacturing, and food processing.

What types of business insurance does Nationwide offer?

Nationwide offers the following coverage types:

  • Commercial property insurance
  • General liability insurance
  • Commercial vehicle insurance
  • Business income insurance
  • Professional liability insurance
  • Cyber liability insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance
  • Employment practices liability insurance
  • Equipment breakdown insurance
  • Accounts receivable insurance
  • Builder’s risk insurance
  • Business owner’s policies

Nationwide’s business owner’s policy typically includes general liability insurance, business income insurance, commercial property insurance, and equipment breakdown insurance. Nationwide also offers industry-customized BOPs for industries including, retail, wholesale, professional services, and others.

Advantages of Nationwide

  • Industry-specific coverages are offered for construction, food processing, manufacturing, commercial real estate, and others.
  • A wide range of coverage types is available including workers’ compensation insurance, equipment breakdown insurance, and accounts receivable insurance.
  • Discounts are available for purchasing multiple policies.

Disadvantages of Nationwide

  • Coverage is not available in Alaska or Hawaii.
  • Must contact an agent to purchase a policy.

5. Hiscox

Headquartered in Bermuda, Hiscox is an insurance company that offers policies through an online system and through independent Hiscox agents. Hiscox specializes in general liability insurance, cyber liability insurance, and business owner’s policies for professional services businesses. Other insurance types are offered through partner agencies.

What types of business insurance does Hiscox offer?

Hiscox offerings include the following coverage types:

  • General liability insurance
  • Professional liability insurance
  • Cyber liability insurance
  • Short-term liability insurance
  • Workers’ compensation insurance
  • Commercial vehicle insurance
  • Employment practices liability insurance
  • Business owner’s policies

Hiscox’s business owner's policy includes general liability insurance and commercial property insurance.

Advantages of Hiscox

  • Quotes are available online.
  • Discounts are available when two or more policies are purchased.
  • Over 180 professions can be insured.

Disadvantages of Hiscox

  • BOPs are typically only available to businesses with 10 employers or fewer.
  • Coverage is not offered in Alaska.
  • Short-term liability, workers’ compensation, commercial auto, and employment practices liability insurance are offered through a partnership with a Hiscox insurance partner and cannot be purchased directly from the company.

Best insurance companies FAQ

What are the different types of business insurance?

There are multiple different types of business insurance available. Business insurance companies commonly offer the following policy types:
  1. General liability insurance
  2. Commercial property insurance
  3. Business interruption insurance
  4. Commercial vehicle insurance
  5. Professional liability insurance
  6. Business owner’s policies
  7. Workers’ compensation insurance

Does a business need insurance?

Most businesses need some type of insurance, as many states require companies to carry commercial vehicle insurance or workers’ compensation insurance, and to pay into the government’s unemployment insurance.

How do I choose insurance for my business?

To choose the right insurance plan for your business, consider your specific risks, assets, and ability to absorb the financial implications of an accident or a lawsuit. Then solicit multiple quotes and compare coverages, insurance rates, and exclusions.
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