Best Online Business Insurance: Compare Providers

You can buy business insurance online from lots of companies. Get quotes from several insurers before choosing one.
Apr 28, 2022

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Online options for buying small-business insurance are becoming more and more common. The best providers make it easy for you to purchase and manage policies digitally. Here are our picks if you want to buy business insurance online.

Best overall online business insurance provider

Next Insurance

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Policy types available online: Business owner’s policy, general liability insurance, commercial property insurance, professional liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance and commercial auto insurance. Hired and non-owned auto insurance, tools and equipment insurance, and liquor liability insurance are available as add-ons to other policies.

Pros:

  • Offers a 10% discount if you buy more than one policy.

  • Underwrites its own insurance policies, so you’ll deal with Next directly when filing claims.

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

Cons:

  • Customer support is primarily offered through live chat.

  • Business owners will need to shop elsewhere for specialized types of coverage like directors and officers insurance.

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 all the coverage you need in one transaction. Its “Live Certificate,” a digital certificate of insurance, should also make it easy to prove you have insurance when a client or landlord asks.

Best for buying a business owner’s policy online

Chubb

5.0

NerdWallet rating 

Policy types available online: Business owner’s policy, general liability insurance, commercial property insurance, professional liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, umbrella insurance and cybersecurity insurance.

Pros:

  • Business owner’s policy has business interruption insurance and extra expense coverage, which aren’t always included in BOPs.

  • Coverage for accounts receivable records is included in Chubb’s BOP.

  • Automated coverage companion provides an easy online shopping experience.

Cons:

  • Chubb doesn’t sell small-business auto insurance online, so you’ll have to look elsewhere if you need that coverage.

  • Only basic policies are available for online purchase; you’ll have to contact an insurance agent for specialized coverage types, like directors and officers insurance.

Why we like it: Chubb’s business owner’s policy offers certain protections, like extra expense coverage and accounts receivable coverage, that isn’t always included in BOPs. Plus, Chubb has the largest share of the U.S. commercial insurance market, according to the Insurance Information Institute. And while Chubb has more than a century in business, its online experience for small businesses has contemporary features, like a bot that helps you choose coverage.

Best online business insurance for restaurants

Huckleberry

4.5

NerdWallet rating 

Policy types available online: Business owner’s policy, general liability insurance, commercial property insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, commercial auto insurance, professional liability insurance, umbrella insurance, cyber insurance, crime insurance, employment practices liability insurance, directors and officers insurance, and fiduciary liability insurance.

Lots of coverage types can be tacked onto a BOP, including hired and non-owned auto insurance, employment practices liability insurance, liquor liability insurance, spoilage coverage and equipment breakdown coverage.

Pros: 

  • Broad list of policies, including specialized coverage types like directors and officers insurance and employment practices liability insurance.

  • Restaurant endorsement for BOPs includes spoilage coverage, food contamination coverage and other specific protections.

  • Can add liquor liability insurance to a BOP.

Cons:

  • Doesn’t sell insurance in North Dakota, Ohio, Washington and Wyoming.

  • Sells policies from other insurance companies, so you’ll deal with those companies instead of Huckleberry if you need to file a claim.

Why we like it: Huckleberry sells more policy types than any of our other online business insurance picks. It also offers policies that are uniquely useful for restaurants, including its specialized restaurant endorsement.

Best online business insurance for contractors

Thimble

4.0

NerdWallet rating 

Policy types available online: Business owner’s policy, general liability insurance, commercial property insurance, professional liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, commercial auto insurance, cyber liability and inland marine insurance (which Thimble calls “business equipment protection”).

Business interruption insurance, equipment breakdown coverage, and hired and non-owned auto insurance can be added to BOPs. Product liability insurance is available as part of general liability insurance.

Pros:

  • Offers policies by the day, month or event.

  • If you’re a contractor or someone who manages contractors, you can use the Certificate Manager to buy an insurance policy that meets contractual requirements or verify that contractors have the right coverage.

Cons:

  • Thimble’s customer service is limited to email and live chat.

  • Sells policies from other insurance companies, so you’ll deal with those companies instead of Thimble if you need to file a claim.

Why we like it: Thimble offers unique features for contractors who work one job or one event at a time. Policies with short terms can help you comply with contractual requirements without buying a year’s worth of coverage. And its Certificate Manager can help businesses that hire other contractors stay on top of everyone’s coverage and make sure it’s compliant.

Best online marketplace for managing multiple policies

CoverWallet

This product is not rated.

Policy types available: Business owner’s policy, general liability insurance, business property insurance, professional liability insurance, commercial auto insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, umbrella insurance, D&O insurance, cyber liability insurance and more.

Pros:

  • You can get quotes from multiple insurers with a single application.

  • CoverWallet’s dashboard lets you manage policies, pay premiums and manage claims from multiple insurers in one place.

Cons:

  • You may not be able to complete the purchase process online.

Why we like it: CoverWallet is not an insurance provider like the companies above. Instead, it’s an online marketplace that can help you get quotes from multiple insurers at once. You can buy insurance through CoverWallet — though you may need to pick up the phone to complete your transaction — then, use its online platform to manage all of your insurance policies in one place.

How to buy business insurance online

You can buy business insurance online in a matter of minutes by following these steps.

1. Figure out what policies you need

Decide what types of business insurance you need based on your business’s risks.

Most online insurance sellers make recommendations as you input information about your business. For instance, if you say you have employees, they’ll recommend that you buy workers’ comp.

But it’s a good idea to check your lease and any contractual agreements to see if they require you to have certain insurance policies. Your state may also require workers' compensation insurance or commercial auto insurance.

2. Get a quote

To get a business insurance quote, you’ll share basic information about your business. This can include the address of any properties you own or rent, how many employees you have, your estimated annual revenue and your employer identification number. Then, the online business insurance company will estimate how much your coverage will cost. That estimate is called a quote.

The cost of business insurance can vary widely depending on what your business does, how big it is and where it’s located. Get quotes from a few different providers so you can compare costs.

To get several quotes at once, try using an online insurance marketplace like CoverWallet or Simply Business.

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3. Compare your options

In general, business insurance policies are standardized. But they may contain different endorsements or exclusions depending on the insurance company. If you have questions about what a policy does or doesn't cover, reach out to the company and ask before you buy.

Take a moment to research customer satisfaction ratings and the financial strength of the insurer, too — especially if you’re buying from a company like Thimble or Huckleberry and will have to work with a different insurance company to file claims.

4. Buy your policy

Buying your policy shouldn’t take more than a few steps with an online business insurance company. Coverage can usually start the same day or the next day.

Methodology

Business insurance ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s business insurance ratings reward companies that offer small-business owners reliability and ease of use. Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including financial strength, customer complaint data, shopping experience and customer service. Learn more about how we rate small-business insurance companies.

These ratings are a guide, but insurance policy details and prices can vary widely from business to business and provider to provider. We encourage you to shop around and compare several insurance quotes.

NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

Insurer complaints methodology

NerdWallet examined complaints received by state insurance regulators and reported to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners in 2018-2020.

To assess how insurers compare to one another, the NAIC calculates a complaint index each year for each subsidiary, measuring its share of total complaints relative to its size, or share of total premiums in the industry. To evaluate a company’s complaint history, NerdWallet calculated a similar index for each insurer, weighted by market shares of each subsidiary, over the three-year period.

Our star ratings consider ratios for both general liability insurance and commercial property insurance. When an insurer sells policies that are underwritten by several different insurance companies, we consider the NAIC complaint ratios of all the underwriters.