Small business owners face many risks. That’s why small business insurance is critical. A basic policy can protect you if your company property is damaged or your business is held financially liable for another person’s property damage or injury. Additional coverages such as worker’s compensation and commercial auto are essential if you have employees or use vehicles. Most major business insurers offer a portfolio of coverages that allow you to customize a policy to specific needs.
How to get the best small business insurance
While small business insurance can seem complex, you do have resources. A local agent or broker is a great place to start. You can also contact many insurance companies via phone or their website. Finally, online services such as CoverWallet empower you to compare policies from multiple insurance companies to help you find the best combination of coverage and price.
Here’s our overview of the best small business insurance companies for 2022:
|Company||AM Best Rating||J.D. Power Rating*||Coverages||Best For|
BOP, Workers’ Compensation, General Liability, Cyber Insurance, Foreign Package
Companies that do business internationally
BOP, General Liability Workers’ Compensation, E&O, Commercial Auto, Tools & Equipment, Commercial Property
BOP, Commercial Auto, Equipment Breakdown Inland Marine, Surety, Umbrella, Workers’ Compensation
Small business owners who want a coverage package
BOP, General Liability, Commercial Auto, Business Interruption, Crime Insurance, EPLI, Cyber Insurance, Inland Marine, Builders Risk
Small business owners who prefer to work with a local agent
BOP, Workers’ Compensation, Commercial Auto, Professional Liability, Data Breach
Small business owners who prefer an online experience
BOP, Commercial Auto, General Liability, Workers’ Compensation, Professional Liability, Cyber Insurance
Companies that need commercial auto coverage
*J.D. Power 2022 Small Business Insurance Customer Satisfaction study. Ratings are based on a 1,000-point scale.
The best small business insurance companies
Headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, Chubb is one of the largest and best-known insurers in the world. You may think of the company primarily covering high-net-worth individuals and large corporations, but it also insures businesses with under $30 million in revenue through its Small Business Insurance offering. Coverages include business owners policies (BOP), workers' compensation, liability, and cyber insurance. With the company's global scope, Chubb also offers a foreign coverage package designed to protect U.S. companies with employees operating overseas.
Next Insurance is one of a new breed of companies that relies heavily on artificial intelligence and other technologies to price policies and service customers. And while the company started only in 2016, it's backed by major investors such as Munich Re, one of the world's largest reinsurers. It also has a respectable A- rating from AM Best, signifying its financial strength. Next Insurance specializes in coverage for entrepreneurs and small business owners, providing BOP, liability, workers' compensation, commercial auto, and more.
The Hartford's small business program provides BOP, workers' compensation, commercial auto, professional liability, and data breach coverage. Through the company’s easy-to-use website, owners can key in some information about their business to see a list of recommended coverages, then start a quote online. Current policyholders can access their policy or report a claim through the site. Keynova Group has ranked The Hartford as the number one digital experience among the top 10 small commercial insurance brands for three years in a row.
Liberty Mutual is one of the country's best-known insurance brands. The company offers a suite of coverages, including BOP, liability, commercial auto, equipment breakdown, inland marine, surety, umbrella, and workers' compensation. Their BOP coverage makes it easy for small businesses to get insurance essentials — general liability and property coverage — in a single package. Businesses with more complex needs can choose the company's commercial package, which includes broader coverage options and higher limits. These packages make it easy for companies to get their basic coverages.
Nationwide is one of the highest-ranked companies in [the J.D. Power](https://www.jdpower.com/business/press-releases/2022-us-small-commercial-insurance-study) 2022 Small Commercial Insurance Study, Nationwide offers BOP, liability, commercial auto, workers’ compensation, business interruption, crime insurance, EPLI, cyber insurance, and many other coverages. While the company offers a wide range of free tools and resources to small business owners through its website, it's also represented by more than 11,000 independent agents across the country. With such an extensive network, any small business owner can likely find an agent nearby to discuss coverage needs, buy a policy, file a claim, and receive personalized service.
Many people think of Progressive primarily as a personal auto insurer. In fact, the company has insured commercial vehicles since 1971. Progressive has expanded its business insurance offerings in recent years to include a broader suite of coverages, including BOP, liability, workers' compensation, professional liability, and cyber insurance. But vehicle insurance is where Progressive is really recognized as an industry leader, with customized coverage packages for business auto drivers, contractors, and heavy truck operators.
What are some of the different types of small business insurance?
At a minimum, most small businesses need insurance to protect against lawsuits and help pay to replace damaged or stolen property. Beyond that, needs can vary greatly. For instance, a restaurant owner with 12 employees at a single location; a landscaper with a truck or trailer and tens of thousands of dollars worth of tools; and a beauty shop owner who works solo from a small boutique all face different types of risk. That's why small business policies typically consist of many coverages, each designed to provide financial protection in different scenarios.
- General liability: Protects a business from the financial implications of third-party lawsuits related to injuries, property damage, and other incidents.
- Commercial property insurance: Helps pay to repair or replace business property that is damaged, destroyed, or stolen.
- Business interruption: Helps pay for lost business income arising from an incident such as fire, storm damage, or theft.
- Business owner’s policy (BOP): A package of coverages usually consisting of general liability, commercial property insurance, and business interruption. BOP is usually purchased by small-to-medium-sized businesses. It may be supplemented with additional coverages based on a business's specific needs.
- Professional liability: Protects a business against claims of negligence from customers.
- Cyber insurance/data breach: Helps pay for any financial losses a business may incur related to a data breach or other hacking incident.
- Commercial auto: Coverage for vehicles owned, leased, or rented by the business, and for their employee drivers. Commercial auto coverage is similar to personal auto coverage, with modifications for the specific risks a business faces.
- Workers' compensation: Pays for medical/rehabilitation expenses and lost wages if an employee is injured on the job. Workers' compensation also pays a death benefit to the family of an employee who loses their life while performing their job.
What does small business insurance not cover?
What a policy does and does not cover is dictated mainly by the coverages it includes. If, for instance, a business owner uses vehicles but chooses not to have commercial auto insurance, the policy will likely not provide coverage if the vehicle is involved in an accident while on the job (nor will the business owner’s personal auto insurance policy!)
Beyond that, small business insurance may not cover damage to property arising from flooding or other types of natural disasters, customers' property stored at a company facility, or fraudulent acts committed by employees.
Your small business insurance policy contract should outline any perils that are excluded from coverage. Contact your insurance agent or the company to understand what is and isn’t covered.
How much does small business insurance cost?
Small business insurance costs can vary greatly depending on the coverage selection, type of business, number of employees, claims history, and more.
Small business insurer The Hartford published their 2021 average annual premiums for a handful of small business coverages:
- BOP (general liability and property coverage): $3,125
- Workers' compensation: $840
- General liability: $1,057
To develop our list of the best small business insurers, we gathered information from several of the leading companies. This included information published on company websites, along with third-party ratings. We then analyzed that information against a series of categories to determine our final rankings.
Explanation of third-party ratings:
- AM Best. AM Best is the world's largest credit rating agency, specializing in the insurance industry. The company's ratings indicate an insurer’s financial strength (ability to pay claims and other debts). AM Best uses a rating scale (ranging from A++ to D) to give consumers an at-a-glance understanding of an insurance company’s financials.
- J.D. Power. J.D. Power is one of the world's most recognized consumer insights providers. The company routinely analyzes many consumer categories, including insurance. Its 2022 Small Business Insurance Customer Satisfaction study included results from a poll of 2,254 small business insurance customers.
Frequently asked questions: Small business insurance
What is small business insurance?
Small business insurance provides financial protection for the risks common to a smaller enterprise. Coverages may include general liability, property damage, business interruption coverage, workers' compensation, commercial auto, professional liability, and cyber insurance.
Who has the cheapest business insurance?
The cost of small business insurance varies by company and type of business. Some companies can offer lower premiums to certain kinds of businesses over others. So as with any type of insurance, you owe it to yourself to shop around to find the best combination of coverage and premium. An independent agent or broker can help you with this task while counseling you on your coverage needs to ensure you get the right policy for your business.
Do I need small business insurance for my LLC?
Establishing your business as a limited liability corporation (LLC) helps prevent your personal assets from being attached to your business obligations. Without it, your business creditors may be able to seize personal assets such as your home and savings accounts to satisfy debts.
But that's the limit of what an LLC does. It does not provide financial protection if the business is liable for someone's injury or property damage. Nor does it protect the business owner if their property is damaged. An LLC also does not provide coverages such as workers' compensation or commercial auto, which may be necessary depending on the needs of the business. For this reason, any LLC owner should strongly consider purchasing small business insurance.