If your career involves having your own business, business insurance is essential for protecting yourself and your company against unexpected loss. As the labor force changes, and more people are independent contractors, consultants and freelancers, insurance for small businesses must change with the trend. Each business has its own unique requirements, and with so many insurance providers out there, it can be difficult to know which to turn to in order to get the most bang for your buck. We put together this guide to the best business insurance providers to help you narrow down your options, so you can find the right policy for your small business.
We compared 22 of the best-known small business insurance providers based on their coverage, customer service and financial strength. We didn’t dig too much into price because this can vary significantly depending on the size of your company and the types of coverage you need. We did take into account customers’ general opinions on the affordability of the policies, though. In the interest of keeping our recommendations accessible to everyone, we only focused on large regional and national insurance providers.
We ended up with three companies we felt comfortable recommending. Each of them has excellent financial strength ratings from A.M. Best, Moody’s and S&P. They also scored above average in J.D. Power’s most recent customer satisfaction study. Farmers Insurance was our favorite because of its comprehensive policies, affordable rates and outstanding customer service. We recommend getting a quote from it, but we also suggest you check out our other finalists to see if they can offer you a better deal.
The 3 Best Business Insurance Companies For The Self EmployedOur top three business insurance companies are listed below. Click on the links to learn what we had to say about each of them and to get a quote from each company.
The Other 19 Business Insurance Companies We Considered
These are the other business insurance providers we reviewed. Ultimately, we didn’t choose them because they fell short of our finalists in terms of financial strength, coverage options or customer service. But if you don’t find anything you like with one of our top picks, you may have better luck with one of these.
American Family Insurance
Hanover Insurance Group
Zurich North America## How We Chose the Best Business Insurance Companies
We evaluated each business insurer based on its financial strength ratings, policy offerings and customer satisfaction ratings.
Financial strength is a measure of how likely it is that the company will be able to pay out any claims it owes you. A low score suggests a company that isn’t very stable and may go under within the next couple of years. We made sure each of the companies we chose had at least an “A” rating from A.M. Best and a correspondingly high rating from either Moody’s or S&P. These are companies with a long history of insuring businesses, and they’re going to be around for a long time to come.
Then, we looked at each company’s policy offerings. Most companies offer, at a minimum, general liability, professional liability, product liability and property insurance. Many provide commercial auto and workers compensation coverage as well. Depending on what business you’re in, you may also want to look into additional options, like cyber-crime and loss of income coverage. All of our finalists do a good job in this category, but Chubb stands out the most. It has a number of unique coverages, like global casualty and environmental products, that you won’t find with the other companies on this list.
J.D. Power regularly conducts customer satisfaction studies on business insurance providers. We looked at the most recent report and compared each company’s ratings. The survey provides data on policy offerings, pricing, billing, company interaction and claims handling. Our finalists — Farmers, Allstate and Chubb — were the three highest-ranked companies in the survey, each scoring a four or a five. Farmers was the overall winner with near-perfect scores across the board.
A Note on Price
The cost of your business insurance policy will vary depending on which coverages you choose and the size of your company. While it’s common to look for the cheapest policy, this isn’t always the smartest choice. Sometimes, a low price requires you to sacrifice something in customer service, and you won’t appreciate that when the time comes to file a claim. Instead, get quotes from multiple companies and look for the one that offers you the best protection for the most reasonable price.## Full Reviews of the Best Business Insurance Companies
Best for customer support
Farmers was the only company to earn a five-star rating in J.D. Power’s latest review. Customers have reported that most of their interactions with the company have been positive and its claims handling is excellent. Policies are comprehensive and include property, liability, crime, auto, and workers compensation coverage. Farmers will help you build a custom policy that protects your business against all risks, but unfortunately, this personalization means you cannot get a quote online.
What to Expect
Farmers offers business liability and property protection — the two most popular types of business insurance — as well as several other coverages. Its crime insurance is a broad protection covering theft, forgery and cyber liability while business auto insurance covers any company vehicles. Many states also require businesses to carry workers compensation insurance in case an employee gets hurt on the job, and Farmers can help with this as well. Life insurance is another option available to interested companies, and if you need some other coverage that doesn’t fall under one of these other categories, you can always add on an umbrella policy.
Those familiar with business insurance can start choosing their coverages right away, but if you’re new to the space, you may want to check out one of Farmers’ handy cheat sheets. They give suggestions on what types of coverages you may want to consider for a variety of industries, including auto service and repair, hospitality and restaurants. You can always reach out to a Farmers agent directly for some advice if you’re confused. You’ll have to call them anyway when you’re ready to get a quote.
In the unfortunate event that you need to file a claim, you can do so online or over the phone. While every insurance company claims to work with you until you reach a satisfactory solution, Farmers actually delivers, according to their customers. Most are pleased with the timeliness and fairness of the payouts and the interactions they’ve had with company representatives. And in the midst of a stressful situation like filing an insurance claim, excellent customer service cannot be understated.
Best for affordable policies
Allstate scored the highest in the J.D. Power review when it came to pricing. The company consistently offers some of the most affordable rates for business insurance policies, and the coverage isn’t bad either. Choose from property, liability, workers compensation and business auto coverage. You can build a custom policy and purchase it all online. If Allstate has one downside, it’s the mixed reviews it’s received on its claims handling. That isn’t a guarantee that you’ll have an issue, but it is something to bear in mind when you’re comparing quotes.
What to Expect
Allstate’s business property and liability coverage are broad categories that cover theft, data compromise, personal property and even spoiled food in your company fridge. Workers compensation and business auto insurance are also available. You can manually choose how much of each kind of coverage you’d like or go with one of the company’s suggested packages based on your industry. There are options for everything from locksmiths and bakeries to automotive parts dealers and real estate companies.
You can get a quote by talking to an agent at one of the company’s branch locations or over the phone. There’s also an online quote tool if you feel confident enough to select your coverages and policy limits on you own. You just fill out some basic information about your company, property and employees and you’ll be presented with a quote. Once you’ve reviewed all the information and chosen the policy you want, you can pay for it right online without needing to speak to a representative.
If you need to file a claim, you can do so online, over the phone or through the company’s mobile app. An agent will be in touch with you to evaluate the damage and get you your money. The company promises a hassle-free experience, but according to the J.D. Power survey, they don’t always deliver. Allstate received just average ratings for company interaction and claims handling. This isn’t a guarantee of problems — and many companies scored even worse — but if you’re looking for the simplest possible claims process, you may want to think about paying a little more to go with a company like Farmers.
Best for customizable policies *
Chubb is the only one of our finalists to serve both small businesses and enterprises. As such, it’s a good fit for rapidly growing companies and those that need more than what a traditional small business policy can offer. These include global casualty, product recall and specialty catastrophe products. Wading through all of these different options can be confusing, but an agent can help walk you through your choices when you call for a quote.What to expect
You can review Chubb’s long list of coverages individually or check out one of the many industry-specific packages to view suggested policies. There are options for many common industries, like manufacturing, hospitality, entertainment and food. Each policy covers basic property and casualty coverage to protect you against natural disasters, equipment breakdown or injured workers. They also cover all manner of liability, including crime, cyber crime, employment practices and errors & omissions liability.
These will form the basis of your policy, to which you can add things like business auto coverage and more unique protections like product recall coverage for businesses manufacturing goods for sale. Larger businesses that are considering going multinational may want to check out Chubb’s global solutions. And of course, you can purchase umbrella coverage if you need additional protection above what your basic policy provides.
Customers have reported largely positive interactions with the company, but according to the J.D. Power survey, they could stand to improve their claims handling. Chubb earned a below-average rating in this category, with customers expressing dissatisfaction with the company’s procedures and the fairness of settlements. Ideally, you’ll never have to file a claim and this won’t be an issue for you, but it is something you should take under consideration when comparing quotes. If you do need to file a claim, you can do so online, over the phone or by contacting your local Chubb agent.
Frequently Asked Questions about Business Insurance
Business insurance can be confusing, especially if you’ve never had to purchase it before. We’ve answered some of the most common questions new business owners have below to help you figure out how business insurance works, what types of coverages you need and how to score the best deal possible.
Does my company need to have business insurance?
That depends on the kind of business you have, but most likely yes. The exact requirements vary by state, and you can learn more about your state’s specific requirements by visiting its Department of Insurance website. In general, though, most businesses are required to carry the following types of insurance coverages.