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Small business insurance offers essential financial protection from a variety of risks, providing business owners with peace of mind. A business owner’s policy (BOP) is a package of business insurance coverages that includes commercial property insurance and commercial liability insurance.
There are many types of commercial insurance options available to small businesses, such as business interruption insurance, which provides income replacement after a covered loss, may be included as well. Many business owners also need professional liability insurance, commercial auto insurance, and worker’s compensation insurance, which can be purchased separately or added to customize your BOP.?
After conducting research, our experts found that Next is the best business insurance company overall. To choose the best commercial insurance companies for small businesses, we evaluated 19 national and regional insurers offering small business insurance based on 53 criteria in the following categories: cost (25%), quote and application experience (25%), customer satisfaction (15%), coverage (15%), accessibility (10%), and financial stability (10%).
Best Small Business Insurance Companies of October 2023
For a free no-obligation custom quote, contact our partner Gallagher Small Business to speak with a small business expert who understands your needs: 833.810.5726.
Best Overall : Next
Next provides a way to get a wide range of affordable small business insurance coverages entirely online in about 10 minutes. But you also have the option of speaking with a U.S.-based advisor in your area.
Offers a live certificate of insurance for easy sharing
Allows you to customize your business insurance policy with a variety of coverages
100% online quote and application with assistance available
Fewer specialized coverages than some other companies
Next offers a wide array of commercial insurance coverage types, which can be purchased online for same-day coverage. Next offers a business owner’s policy (general liability insurance and commercial property insurance), commercial auto insurance, workers' compensation coverage, professional liability insurance, tools & equipment insurance, and more.
The company also offers a variety of digital policy management tools, including the ability to share a live certificate of insurance and quickly add an additional insured, free of charge. Monthly payments are available, and eligible customers can save up to 25% with discounts.
Next Insurance has an A- (Excellent) financial strength rating with AM Best. However, other companies offer more enhancements and specialized coverages, such as cyber liability insurance.
Best for Independent Contractors : Hiscox
Hiscox offers several solutions for freelancers that make the company our top pick for the best independent contractor insurance among small commercial insurance providers.
Customization options for independent contractors
Monthly payments with no fees
Offers short-term liability insurance
Higher than expected number of complaints with the NAIC
Hiscox offers a straightforward business owner’s policy (BOP) that can be customized with business interruption insurance, electronic data loss insurance, professional liability insurance, and more.
You can also choose standalone policies for professional liability and general liability insurance, and you can get either coverage on demand for short-term projects. Plus, Hiscox allows you to pay for your business insurance policy in monthly payments, which can help freelancers better manage their cash flow.?
Hiscox has an A (Excellent) rating with AM Best, indicating excellent financial strength; however, the company received somewhat more complaints than expected over the last three years given its size. This indicates that Hiscox may have issues with customer satisfaction, although the company did receive fewer complaints each year, indicating improvement. BOPs start at around $500 per year.
Best Restaurant Insurance : Huckleberry
Huckleberry offers a suite of essential restaurant insurance and food business insurance coverages that are suitable for brick-and-mortar restaurants, caterers, food trucks, and more.
Policies underwritten by Markel and Chubb
Excellent customer service reviews on Trustpilot
100% online quote and application
Wide range of customization options
Doesn’t offer employee benefits packages
Huckleberry offers a restaurant endorsement as an add-on to its business owner’s policy. It’s a bundle of food-specific coverages that includes spoilage coverage, food contamination insurance, and ordinance or law equipment coverage, among others. Plus, you can add workers' comp, commercial auto, and liquor liability coverage to customize your business insurance policy as needed. It’s no surprise that small business insurance customers rave about Huckleberry’s customer service on Trustpilot.
What’s more, most policies are underwritten by Markel or Chubb. Both companies have excellent financial strength ratings from AM Best. Like Next Insurance, Huckleberry offers an entirely online quote and application process that allows you to get coverage for your small business quickly. And you can get a certificate of insurance online to share with clients in less than a minute.
Huckleberry’s BOP includes general liability, commercial property, and business interruption insurance and pricing is reasonable. For example, a BOP for a food truck starts at $37 per month.
Best for Financial Stability : BiBerk
BiBerk has an A++ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best, the highest rating available, offers a wide range of industry-specific coverages, and is backed by Berkshire Hathaway.
Backed by Berkshire Hathaway Group
Online quote and application
Excellent customer service reviews
Dozens of endorsements to enhance a BOP
Doesn’t offer group employee benefits
BiBerk is part of Berkshire Hathaway Group, which has decades of experience in the commercial insurance industry. BiBerk’s underwriters are all rated A++ (Superior) by AM Best, indicating a superior ability to meet financial obligations to policyholders.
What’s more, you can get a quote and apply to receive coverage instantly, entirely online. Policyholders have great things to say about the service and coverage on third-party websites like Trustpilot, where it has a 4.2 star average review.
BiBerk can meet the needs of most small businesses, offering many commercial insurance options, such as business owner’s policies, commercial auto insurance, workers' compensation insurance, umbrella insurance, professional liability insurance, and general liability policies. You can add risk-specific endorsements and industry endorsements to your business owner’s policy, such as liquor liability and cyber liability coverage as well. BiBerk BOPs start at about $500 per year.
Best Budget Coverage : Thimble
Thimble offers on-demand policies for general liability insurance starting at $17 per month and for professional liability insurance starting at $36 per month.
Offers monthly and on-demand coverage options
Liability policies start at $17 per month
Offers event insurance
Excellent reviews on Trustpilot
Doesn’t offer commercial auto insurance
Thimble is a great option for small businesses that need quick, temporary, affordable small business insurance, particularly those looking to purchase coverage for an event or on an on-demand basis. The company’s business owner’s policy includes general liability, commercial property insurance, and business interruption insurance, and you can also add professional liability, workers' compensation, and business equipment protection.?
Customers on Trustpilot have great things to say about the ease of the application process. You can get a quote and purchase coverage online or in the app. Several reviews also pointed out that Thimble’s customer service team was communicative and responded quickly.
Thimble works with several different insurance companies, each of which has an AM Best rating of at least A- (Excellent). Thimble policies are occurrence-based, which provides more robust coverage than claims-made policies. You’re covered for incidents that occurred while your business insurance policy was in force, even if you’ve since canceled it.
Best Workers' Compensation Insurance : The Hartford
The Hartford has been around since 1810 and is one of the largest providers of workers' compensation insurance in the country.
Pay-as-you-go billing options
Access to a network of over 1 million providers
2nd-highest financial strength rating
Start claims online
Poor J.D. Power ranking
The Hartford is a top pick among small business insurance providers for the best workers' compensation insurance. The company provides a large network of doctors and nurse case managers to help your employees get healthy, and pay-as-you-go billing options.
When you choose to pay as you go, your premiums are based on actual payroll rather than estimates, which prevents overpayment. The Hartford also allows you to easily start a claim online. And the company uses data analytics to provide injured workers with a toolkit to aid in faster recovery.?
The insurer has an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best; however, the company was ranked below average in the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Small Commercial Insurance Study.
Best for Larger Small Businesses : Chubb
Chubb is ideal for larger small businesses because it supports businesses with revenue up to $30 million and offers a very wide range of coverage options.
Supports businesses with up to $30 million in revenue
Few complaints relative to Chubb’s market share
Highest financial strength rating
Many enhancements to customize a BOP?
Must speak with an insurance agent to start your business insurance policy
Chubb is one of the largest carries (by annual premiums) of commercial insurance and has a well-regarded small business owner's policy. The company has relatively high revenue limits for its small commercial business owner's policies and offers a wide array of customized endorsements for a broad range of industries.
You can enhance your business owner’s policy with electronic data liability coverage, professional liability insurance, a variety of property add-ons, crime coverage, equipment breakdown coverage, earthquake coverage (in certain states), and more. Workers' compensation, umbrella, commercial auto, and cyber risk coverages are also available. Chubb can offer an instant quote, and policies are generated instantly, but you will need to speak with an insurance agent to start your coverage.
Chubb has an A++ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best and is ranked second for customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Small Commercial Insurance Study.
Highest Customer Satisfaction : State Farm
State Farm is one of the top-ranked companies for customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Small Commercial Insurance Study and offers coverage for virtually any industry.
Highest financial strength rating
Customizable business owner’s policies with many coverage options
Must speak with an insurance agent to start your business insurance policy
State Farm has been meeting the needs of small businesses since 1935 and has superior ratings. The company has an A++ (Superior) financial strength rating with AM Best, which indicates a superior ability to pay claims.
It's also ranked second in the J.D. Power 2023 U.S. Small Commercial Insurance Study. NAIC data reveals that State Farm has had just slightly fewer complaints than expected for its commercial liability policies. But, you’ll need to talk to an insurance agent to get coverage. Some business owners may prefer handling the entire transaction online.
The company’s BOP covers commercial property insurance and general liability insurance, plus loss of income, equipment breakdown, and money and securities protection at no extra charge.
You can add professional liability to the package as well. In addition, you can get commercial auto coverage, workers' compensation insurance, and many more coverages. You can also work with State Farm to provide benefits for your employees, such as group life, disability, and health insurance.
The size of your small business may dictate, in part, which insurance company is best for you. For a low-cost BOP and quick online coverage, compare quotes from Next, Huckleberry, and BiBerk. Independent contractors and event workers will be best served by Hiscox or Thimble. Consider The Hartford and BiBerk if you’re most concerned with workers' compensation. If you need extensive coverage, including an employee benefits package, you’ll be best served by companies like State Farm and Chubb.
Keep in mind, you may have specialized coverage needs for your industry that a standard business owner’s policy doesn’t include. Some companies offer more enhancements than others. When narrowing down your options, ensure you choose a provider that can protect you from common risks in your industry.?
What Insurance Do I Need for My Small Business?
Most small businesses need general liability insurance at a minimum. A business owner’s policy bundles general liability insurance with commercial property insurance, and can be customized with additional coverage types specific to your business needs and industry. However, some freelancers may be better served by a professional liability insurance policy, and many businesses need both. Most states also require that you have workers' compensation insurance if you have a certain number of employees, but laws vary by state.
What Does Small Business Insurance Cover?
A business owner’s policy includes general liability insurance, commercial property insurance, and, often, business interruption insurance. General liability insurance covers lawsuits when your business is responsible for harming a third party. Commercial property insurance covers damage to your building. Business interruption insurance helps replace business income after a covered loss.
What Is a Business Owner’s Policy (BOP)?
A business owner’s policy includes general liability insurance and commercial property insurance. A BOP pays for repairs to your building after a covered loss, such as a fire, as well as legal actions against you by customers who believe your business caused them harm. Many BOPs include business interruption insurance, which replaces lost business income due to a covered event.
What Does Small Business Insurance Exclude?
Small business insurance excludes anything that you don’t specifically buy coverage for. For example, if you buy a business owner’s policy, but it doesn’t specifically include business personal property coverage, you won’t get coverage for the items inside your office or warehouse after a loss. There are also some disasters that are not typically covered. For example, you’ll need an endorsement to cover earthquakes and flooding. Certain catastrophic events, like war, won’t be covered at all. Commercial policies also won’t cover a loss if it’s covered by another policy.
What Is the Average Cost of Small Business Insurance?
The lowest annual premium for small business insurance is around $300 for a business owner’s policy, according to our research. That includes some commercial property coverage in addition to general liability coverage. But the premium you’ll pay for small business insurance will depend on the coverages you choose and their limits, what your business sells and how much it earns, your location, and whether you operate out of a rented or owned space.
What are the 3 main types of insurance most small businesses need?
The three most common types of insurance for small businesses are general liability insurance, commercial property insurance, and workers' compensation. General liability provides insurance coverage if your business is negligently responsible for a third party's bodily injury. It can provide money for settlements and the cost of lawsuits against your business. Commercial property insurance can cover both a building and your business' personal property for property damage, while workers' compensation covers your employees for work-related injuries.
How We Chose the Best Small Business Insurance Companies
To identify the best small business insurance companies, we considered 19 national and regional insurance companies, as well as several online brokers, and compared them based on 53 unique criteria. These criteria were identified to determine how easy it is to procure a small business insurance policy from the company, the quality of that policy relative to its cost, and how likely customers are to be satisfied with the purchase process and their experience as a policyholder.?
Criteria include state availability, financial stability, customer satisfaction, whether an online quote and application were available, and policy-specific features, including claim limits, cost, and coverage exclusions. Companies that make coverage widely available have a streamlined quote and application process, offer robust features, and have strong ratings for financial stability and customer satisfaction topped our list. We also considered the types of coverage that companies offer and the industries they specialize in.
Three years of complaint data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) and J.D. Power rankings were used to evaluate customer experience; AM Best ratings were used to evaluate financial stability. To see how criteria contributed to star ratings, see our detailed methodology.