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Small-Business Insurance: Find the Best Coverage for You

Most businesses need liability protection, commercial property insurance, commercial auto insurance and more.
Written by Rosalie Murphy
Edited by Ryan Lane
Last updated on December 6, 2021
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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.
There are many types of business insurance available from lots of providers. These include well-known insurance companies, like Geico; providers focused on business insurance, like The Hartford; and digital-first insurtechs, like Next Insurance.
The right choice for you will depend on your company. To find the best business insurance, assess your risks to decide which types of coverage you need — then shop around to find the best coverage at the best price.

What's the best fit for your business?

Answer a few questions and we'll match you with an insurance partner who can help you secure quotes.

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.

How to find the best business insurance

NerdWallet recommends getting quotes from multiple providers to find the best business insurance for you. While the right fit will ultimately depend on your industry, company size and location (among other factors), some insurers stand out in certain areas.

If you need insurance quickly

Many insurers don’t allow small-business owners to actually purchase policies online. But if your insurance needs are simple and you prefer a quick, all-online shopping experience, consider:
  • Next Insurance. This all-online commercial insurance provider allows shoppers to get quotes and purchase policies online in a matter of minutes. Next will send you an electronic certificate of insurance that you can show to anyone who asks, like a landlord or contractor.
  • Chubb. Chubb also offers a full online experience, including getting quotes and purchasing policies, for common types of business insurance. You can buy a business owner’s policy, professional liability insurance and umbrella insurance online and add endorsements like data breach and employee dishonesty coverage.

If you want help from a professional

If you’re unsure about what kinds of business insurance you need, a licensed commercial insurance broker or agent can help you evaluate your risks and compare various insurance policies. Brokers and agents earn money from commissions, but they can also provide valuable advice.
If you like working with an insurance agent and want highly rated customer service, consider:
  • Allstate. Allstate won top marks for customer satisfaction in the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Small Commercial Insurance Study. You can get a quote online, work with an agent to customize your coverage and then manage your policy online.
  • State Farm. State Farm boasts a large network of agents and insurance packages customized for dozens of industries. This insurer finished second for customer satisfaction in the 2021 J.D. Power study.

If you need a business owner’s policy

If you know you want a business owner’s policy, consider:
  • The Hartford. The Hartford offers a straightforward business owner’s policy that includes general liability, commercial property and business interruption insurance. You can tack on data breach coverage and professional liability insurance, too.
  • Hiscox. Hiscox offers a BOP with lots of useful add-on options, including business interruption insurance, electronic data loss coverage, hired and non-owned auto coverage and commercial crime insurance. However, note that coverage isn’t available in every state.

If you need commercial auto insurance

Most business insurance companies provide commercial auto insurance, but some specialize in it. If your top concern is auto insurance, consider:
  • Progressive. Progressive’s commercial auto insurance can cover cars, trucks, trailers 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.
  • Geico. Geico insures box trucks, food trucks, pickups and more, though not semi trucks or tractor-trailers. Geico’s customer service hours are more limited than Progressive’s, and service and claims support is unavailable on Sunday.
Both Progressive and Geico offer commercial auto insurance themselves, but send customers to third-party insurers for most other types of coverage.

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.

What's the best fit for your business?

Answer a few questions and we'll match you with an insurance partner who can help you secure quotes.

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