Best Small Business Insurance Of May 2024 – Forbes Advisor

Managing Editor, Insurance

Updated: May 6, 2024, 9:33am

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We analyzed the official complaint records of 28 insurers and found that Allianz and Clear Blue are the best small business insurance companies.

A good policy will cover your small business for a wide range of problems like lawsuits, injuries to employees, stolen business property, fire and severe weather. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all the options available, we can help you identify the best small business insurance company.

Summary: Best Small Business Insurance

The Best Small Business Insurance Companies


Allianz

Allianz

A.M. Best financial strength rating

Allianz

Our Expert Take

While Allianz may be better known for insuring large global enterprises, small businesses can also take advantage of its insurance industry acumen.

  • Provides risk consulting for all industries.
  • Allianz’s Crisis Management team helps businesses navigate terrorism, political violence and hostile environments.
  • Recognized as a Sustainable Insurer by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in 2022 because of its work to integrate sustainability and climate actions into its global business.

Drawbacks

  • Does not offer small business insurance quotes online.

Clear Blue Insurance

Clear Blue Insurance

A.M. Best financial strength rating

Clear Blue Insurance
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Our Expert Take

Clear Blue provides business insurance through partner agencies, not directly to small businesses. Available coverage types include all the essentials such as general liability, inland marine, commercial property and employment practices insurance.

  • Operates in all states and Washington, D.C.
  • Specializes in providing insurance programs by partnering with managing general agencies, reinsurers and others.

Drawbacks

  • Does not sell directly to small businesses. You’ll need to go through one of Clear Blue’s partner agencies.
  • Does not offer business insurance quotes online.

Allstate

Allstate

A.M. Best financial strength rating

Allstate

Our Expert Take

You probably know Allstate for its auto and homeowners insurance but the company also sells business insurance with a stellar complaint track record. An Allstate agent can help you select the coverage that’s right for your particular business.

  • Covers many  industries including retailers, food and beverage, medical, photographers and more.
  • Can provide insurance for small businesses that operate out of homes.
  • Website has lists of coverage types you may need based on your  industry.
  • Offers online quotes for business owners policies.

Drawbacks

  • Does not offer online claims filing. You’ll need to call Allstate to file a business insurance claim.
  • Does not sell workers compensation insurance.

Farmers Insurance

Farmers Insurance

A.M. Best financial strength rating

Farmers Insurance

Our Expert Take

You’ll find a wide variety of commercial coverage types and the assistance of a Farmers agent.

  • Provides useful information on its website explaining business insurance coverage types.
  • Offers workplace safety videos and material, called MySafetyPoint, without extra charge to its business insurance customers.
  • Has online business insurance quotes.
  • You can submit a business insurance claim online.

Drawbacks

  • Does not sell business insurance in all states.

Acuity

Acuity

A.M. Best financial strength rating

Acuity

Our Expert Take

Acuity works through local agents to provide insurance for a wide variety of businesses, from hotels to auto repair shops to retailers and restaurants.

  • The Acuity Nurse Helpline can facilitate access to the appropriate health care for your injured employees.
  • Provides on-site loss control consultation and training.
  • Offers a free online newsletter that addresses the specific concerns of truckers.
  • Has a variety of videos with insurance information for various professions, such as construction and retail.
  • Offers online business insurance quotes.

Drawbacks

  • Does not sell business insurance in all states.

CNA

CNA

A.M. Best financial strength rating

CNA
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Our Expert Take

CNA has an excellent complaint track record. With over 300 coverage types available from CNA, you’ll have plenty of options to find the right business insurance fit.

  • Industries that can be covered by CNA business insurance include construction, health care, financial institutions, law firms, manufacturing and more.
  • CNA’s PrepWise provides a number of risk management services, such as cybersecurity awareness and ways to improve ergonomics in the workplace.
  • Offers a pay-as-you-go workers compensation insurance option, so that small businesses can budget better.
  • Has online business insurance quotes.
  • Offers online claims filing.

Drawbacks

  • Has a lower financial strength rating compared to other top competitors but still solid.

Travelers

Travelers

A.M. Best financial strength rating

Travelers
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Our Expert Take

As one of the largest insurers for commercial insurance on our list, Travelers also boasts very few complaints about its business insurance. Its wide range of commercial insurance solutions are available through independent agents.

  • Offers TravPay, a pay-as-you-go workers compensation system that links your payroll directly to your workers compensation premiums, so you don’t have to guess the amount of annual payroll.
  • Travelers’ TravComp is a workers compensation claims system that includes a dedicated return-to-work team of nurses and claims professionals with the goal of getting employees back to work quickly.
  • Risk control resources include self-service material such as checklists.
  • A variety of online services includes bills and payment histories, certificates of insurance and checking the status of claims.

Drawbacks

  • Does not offer online business insurance quotes. You will need to contact an agent.

Frankenmuth Insurance

Frankenmuth Insurance

A.M. Best financial strength rating

Frankenmuth Insurance

Our Expert Take

Frankenmuth has customized, business-specific insurance packages for operations such as retail stores, manufacturing and small offices. Frankenmuth is a regional carrier operating in 15 states in parts of the Midwest and Southeast.

  • Frankenmuth insurance is sold by local independent agents.
  • Types of businesses that can be insured by Frankenmuth include retail stores, contractors, personal services and wholesalers.

Drawbacks

  • Only available in 15 states.
  • Does not offer online business insurance quotes.

Cincinnati Insurance

Cincinnati Insurance

A.M. Best financial strength rating

Cincinnati Insurance
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Our Expert Take

Cincinnati Insurance sells its coverage through local independent agents who will tailor coverage to fit the needs of a business. Cincinnati’s business insurance is available in most states.

  • Industries that can be covered include craft beverages, dentists, manufacturers, medical facilities, retail and more.
  • The CinciPlus package combines expanded coverage types at a cost-savings from buying them separately. Cincinnati Insurance also offers CiniPak, which bundles coverage geared toward business types such as retail stores.
  • Cincinnati’s three-year commercial package policy lets you lock in rates that won’t increase for the duration of your policy term. (Rates may change if your business’s needs change.)
  • Complimentary loss control services can help you identify and manage workplace accidents, injuries and other problems.

Drawbacks

  • Not available nationwide.
  • Does not offer online business insurance quotes.

Westfield Insurance

Westfield Insurance

A.M. Best financial strength rating

Westfield Insurance
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Our Expert Take

Selling business insurance in 21 states, Westfield Insurance has a notable track record for low complaints.

  • With its Westfield Signature Series you can bundle together optional coverage types to address your specific business size and type.
  • Among the top sellers of farm business policies.

Drawbacks

  • Only available in 21 states.
  • Does not offer online business insurance quotes.

Chubb

Chubb

A.M. Best financial strength rating

Chubb
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Our Expert Take

Chubb’s small business insurance targets small businesses with up to $30 million in revenue.

  • Chubb offers insurance for operations such as cultural institutions, food services, health care, manufacturers, retail stores and technology.
  • Small business owners may want to check out Chubb’s Business Owners Policy (BOP), which provides a blanket limit for property coverage so you have flexibility in where to spend a claim payment after a loss.
  • Chubb’s BOP can be customized with coverage types such as flood insurance, electronic data liability, equipment breakdown, professional liability and other valuable protection.

Drawbacks

  • Only offers online business insurance quotes for businesses with a current or projected annual gross revenue of $2 million or less.

What Are the Different Types of Small Business Insurance?

When buying small business insurance, your coverage decisions depend on your business’s type, size and specific risks. Common types of small business insurance include general liability, commercial property, and workers’ compensation insurance.


ASK THE EXPERT

How Do I Get the Best Small Business Insurance?

Jason Metz

Jason Metz

Insurance Lead Editor

Amy Danise

Amy Danise

Insurance Managing Editor

Michelle Megna

Michelle Megna

Insurance Lead Editor

Start With a BOP

I recommend starting with a business owners policy (BOP). It combines three essential small business insurance types: liability insurance, commercial property insurance and business interruption insurance. It’s usually cheaper to buy a BOP than purchasing each coverage type separately.

Jason Metz

Add Other Coverage as Needed

A BOP won’t cover everything, so I recommend adding more coverage types as necessary. For example, a BOP won’t cover car accidents. If you get into an accident with your work vehicle, you’ll need to add commercial auto insurance. Similarly, if you have employees, you’ll need to add workers’ comp insurance in most states.

Amy Danise

Reassess Every Year

I think it’s a smart move to reassess your business risks every year. As your business grows, you’re bound to take on more risks, such as buying new equipment or adding more responsibilities for your employees. For example, you can add equipment breakdown insurance to cover equipment like refrigerators, computer systems and manufacturing equipment.

Michelle Megna

How Much Small Business Insurance Coverage Do I Need?

We recommend looking at several factors to determine how much small business insurance you need, such as:

  • Your business type. Your industry has certain risks that are associated with it and you’ll need to buy the appropriate coverage types for those risks. For example, if you are an accountant who gives tax advice, you’ll want to buy professional liability insurance.
  • The size of your business. As your business grows, you may need to increase coverage such as your liability limits. If you want to add an extra layer of protection, we recommend buying a commercial umbrella insurance policy.
  • Your business location. You may need certain types of small business insurance required by law, depending on your city or state.
  • Contractual requirements. Your client may require coverage such as general liability insurance, professional liability insurance or a surety bond.


How Much Does Small Business Insurance Cost?

The average cost of small business insurance is $57 per month, according to Insureon. That’s for a business owner’s policy (BOP), which bundles general liability insurance, commercial property insurance and business interruption insurance. It’s generally cheaper to buy a BOP rather than buying each policy separately.

Your small business insurance costs depend on several factors:

  • Industry. Industries with a higher risk will typically pay more than industries with a lower risk. For example, a construction company with multiple employees would cost more to insure than a graphics designer who works on their own.
  • Size of payroll and annual revenue. The higher your operating costs and expenses, the more you can expect to pay for liability insurance.
  • Number of employees. The greater the number of employees, the higher the risk of accidents.
  • Location. If your business operates in a high-risk area with higher crime rates, you may pay more for business insurance.
  • Building age and size. Older and larger buildings cost more to insure than newer and smaller buildings.
  • Coverage amount and types. The higher your coverage limits and the types of business insurance policies you buy impact your costs. For example, if you have a business vehicle, you need to buy commercial auto insurance, which increase your overall business insurance costs.
  • Claims history. If you have a history of filing claims for your small business, it could increase your premiums.

The best way to find cheap business insurance is to compare business insurance quotes from several different insurers. You can find business insurance quotes online or by speaking with an independent insurance agent.

Average Monthly Costs of Small Business Insurance

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Methodology

Ratings methodology

We ranked business insurance companies based on complaint data for commercial liability and commercial property insurance in 2020. Complaint data is based on complaints upheld by state insurance departments in every state and collected by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

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Other Small Business Insurance Companies We Rated


Best Small Business Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I need small business insurance?

The vast majority of small businesses would suffer financially if they were sued or experienced a devastating loss, such as losing inventory in a fire. For those businesses, commercial insurance is a must.

 

Without small business insurance, you’d have to pay for the legal costs of lawsuits and find a way to pay for damage to your business property. General liability insurance and commercial property insurance are good places to start. Commercial auto is important if you have cars, trucks or vans that you use for business.

 

And workers’ compensation insurance is required in most states.

What does small business insurance not cover?

Certain types of accidents are generally excluded from small business insurance policies, including floods and earthquakes. You can typically buy separate policies to cover these types of problems, such as a commercial flood insurance policy.

 

Small business insurance also excludes coverage for fraudulent and intentional acts that you commit. For example, if you assault a customer, general liability insurance won’t cover your legal costs.

Do I need business insurance if I have an LLC?

It’s a good idea to get business insurance for your LLC. That’s because business insurance covers your business assets. For example, if someone slips in your store and gets injured, general liability insurance can pay for medical bills as well as legal costs if you get sued because of the accident.

 

While business insurance is essential for high-risk industries, such as manufacturing and construction, it’s also a good idea if you’re in a lower-risk industry, such as freelancing or bookkeeping. For example, if you get hit with a copyright infringement claim for one of your digital ads, your general liability insurance can cover your legal costs.

What type of insurance is best for a small business?

A good place to start is with a business owners policy (BOP). It bundles three essential coverage types: general liability insurance, commercial property insurance and business interruption insurance. Combined, these three policies cover problems like accidental injuries and property damage, reputational harm, damaged or stolen business property, and income replacement if you can’t open your business due to a problem covered by your policy.

 

But a BOP alone may not cover all your needs. You may need to buy other types of small business insurance to cover the risks that affect your company. For example, if you have a work vehicle, a BOP won’t pay for repairs if you get into a car accident. You’ll need to add commercial auto insurance. It’s a good idea to speak with your insurance agent to make sure your business insurance policy meets the specific demands of your industry.

Do remote businesses need insurance?

Yes, remote businesses need business insurance to cover risks such as lawsuits, accidents and stolen business property. For example, if you own business property like computers and office furniture, you’ll need commercial property insurance to cover problems like theft and fire.

 

Your remote business may need other types of small business insurance. For example, if you visit clients, you’ll need commercial auto insurance. Or if you store sensitive data, such as client’s contact information and credit card numbers, you’ll want to consider cyber liability insurance.

Do you need a business owners policy (BOP)?

You need a business owners policy (BOP) if you want coverage for problems like lawsuits, lost business income and damage and theft of your business property. Without a BOP, you’ll have to cover these problems out-of-pocket, which could be financially devastating to your small business.

 

You can add other coverage types to your BOP. For example, if you drive a vehicle for work purposes, add commercial auto insurance.


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