Business Insurance: What’s the Best Coverage For You?
Most businesses need liability protection, commercial property insurance, commercial auto insurance and more.
Rosalie MurphyNovember 19, 2021
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Business insurance helps protect your company and its assets in worst-case scenarios, like a fire, data breach or lawsuit.
Every small-business owner faces risks that insurance can help mitigate. But what kind of coverage you need and how much you need depends on what your business does, how large it is and many other factors.
To get the best protection possible, assess potential trouble spots and choose policies and insurance providers that address them well.
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.
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.
Many insurers don’t allow 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. 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’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 covers vehicles for both personal and business use, and discounts are available if you bundle business insurance with an existing auto policy.
Geico. Like Progressive, Geico offers discounts to customers who bundle business insurance with auto coverage. Geico insures box trucks, food trucks, pickups and more.
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 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.