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Best Small-Business Insurance: Compare Companies and Coverage

The best small-business insurance companies are financially secure and receive relatively few customer complaints.
Written by Rosalie Murphy
Edited by Ryan Lane
Last updated on May 13, 2022

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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 it easy to get the coverage you need so you can get back to running your business. They’ve received high marks for their financial strength and lower-than-expected numbers of complaints to state regulators. They also offer helpful digital features, like coverage assistants and online certificates of insurance, and several channels for getting your questions answered.
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The right fit for your company will depend on your industry, company size and location, among other factors, but these insurers stand out in certain areas. NerdWallet recommends getting business insurance quotes from several providers so you can find the best coverage at the best price.

The Hartford: Best overall business insurance provider

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Why we like it: The Hartford sells a wide variety of business insurance policies for businesses of all sizes. For small-business owners, The Hartford’s business owner’s policy can be customized with protections like data breach insurance and professional liability insurance. You can buy coverage directly from The Hartford or work with an independent agent. Read NerdWallet’s review of The Hartford business insurance.
Pros:
  • Received fewer general liability and commercial property insurance complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size.
  • Most business owners can get an online quote in around 10 minutes.
  • Detailed website helps you understand what each policy covers.
Cons:
  • Coverage is not available in Alaska, Hawaii or New Jersey.
How to get coverage: You can get a quote online and then talk to an agent to purchase your policy. Independent agents can also sell insurance from The Hartford.

Next Insurance: Best for businesses that need coverage fast

4.5

NerdWallet rating 
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.
Pros:
  • Received slightly fewer general liability insurance and fewer commercial property insurance complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size.
  • 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:
  • Business owners will need to shop elsewhere for specialized types of coverage like directors and officers insurance.
How to get coverage: You can get a quote and purchase a policy online. If you need help, Next insurance advisors are available via live chat.

Chubb: Best business owner’s policy

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
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. Read NerdWallet’s review of Chubb business insurance.
Pros:
  • Received fewer general liability and commercial property insurance complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size.
  • Chubb had the largest share of the U.S. commercial insurance market in 2020, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
  • Automated “coverage companion” provides an easy online shopping experience for small businesses.
Cons:
  • Online shopping is only available to businesses with less than $1 million in annual revenue.
How to get coverage: Businesses with less than $1 million in annual revenue can buy a Chubb BOP online. If your business is larger, you’ll need to work with an independent insurance agent.

Nationwide: Best for broad commercial coverage

5.0

NerdWallet rating 
Why we like it: Nationwide offers a lengthy list of commercial insurance policies, including specialized coverage like key person insurance and surety bonds. The company’s website offers a helpful coverage assistant to help you understand what insurance policies you need, and you can start the quote process online before connecting with an agent. Read NerdWallet’s review of Nationwide business insurance.
Pros:
  • Received fewer general liability and commercial property insurance complaints to state regulators than expected for a company of its size.
  • Online coverage assistant can help you figure out what policies you need.
  • Nationwide can also help you with employee benefits, like group insurance plans and retirement plans.
Cons:
  • You’ll have to connect with an agent to purchase a policy, so you might not be able to get same-day or next-day coverage.
How to get coverage: You can start the quote process online and then connect with an independent agent to complete your purchase.

Progressive: Best for commercial auto insurance

4.0

NerdWallet rating 
Why we like it: Progressive’s commercial auto insurance can cover cars, trucks, buses, limousines and other business vehicles. The company offers customers access to a network of car and truck repair shops and round-the-clock service by phone or online. Read NerdWallet’s review of Progressive business insurance.
Pros:
  • Had the largest share of the commercial auto insurance market in 2021 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.
How to get coverage: You can get a quote and purchase a policy online or work with a local agent.

What kinds of business insurance are there?

There are many different types of business insurance that protect against particular kinds of risk.
Type of insurance
When it protects your business
Who needs it
Find a provider
If a third party or their property is harmed as a result of your business activity.
All businesses. May be required by a landlord or contractor.
If you’re in an auto accident while working or in a company vehicle.
Businesses that use vehicles in their operations. May be required by law.
If an employee is injured on the job.
Businesses with employees. Required by law in most states.
If a client accuses you of making a mistake or giving them bad advice. This is also known as errors and omissions insurance.
Businesses that provide services for a fee. May be required by law or industry regulation.
If your manufacturing or retail space, office, or assets like equipment or inventory are damaged and need to be repaired or replaced.
Businesses with owned or rented space or a significant amount of property. May be required by a landlord.
If your business can’t generate revenue for a period of time.
Most businesses with recurring expenses.
If a product you manufacture, distribute or sell causes harm.
Businesses that manufacture, distribute or sell physical products.
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 business insurance coverage do you need?

Follow these steps to figure out if your business needs insurance:
  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.

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.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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.

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