The Best Business Insurance Providers
Just like your business, your coverage needs are unique. Protect yourself and your company from liability for employee injury, property damage, and other common mishaps by securing a business insurance policy from a reliable, communicative provider. We researched 56 of them, honing in on the top ten by comparing policy options and customer service.
Best Business Insurance
A.M. Best FSR Rating A+
A.M. Best ICR Rating aa-
Moody's Rating A1
Standard & Poor's FSR Rating A+
Best Small Business Insurance
A.M. Best FSR Rating A
A.M. Best ICR Rating a
Moody's Rating A3
Standard & Poor's FSR Rating A
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- January 23, 2018 - We’ve refreshed our review of business insurance providers to offer a broader perspective on our top choices and their stand-out features. We’ve also updated the stats to reflect the most current policy options.
The Best Business Insurance
- Nationwide Insurance
Best Business Insurance Provider
Best Small Business Insurance Provider
The best business insurance provider offers a broad selection of coverage options, plus multiple channels to communicate with knowledgeable representatives when and how you choose. The best business insurance provider for you can tailor a policy to your unique needs, protecting you from possible losses in your line of work.
Most business insurers deliver a broad selection of policies and coverage options to meet the needs of many different kinds of businesses. However, few insurers excel in every type of business insurance product. For example, a company might deliver top-quality commercial auto policies, but offer relatively inflexible business liability policies. Most also don’t offer many online tools and resources, including support channels.
We chose Nationwide because of its comprehensive policies joined with its exceptional customer service resources — one call and we were talking to business insurance specialist. Nationwide also boasts one of the strongest financial ratings in the industry.
How we chose the best business insurance provider
We evaluated every business insurance policy offered by 56 providers, tallying their inclusions and exclusions, limits and terms to surface the best of the bunch. Here are the features we considered.
- Basic Coverage refers to business insurance policy options that cover broad risks common to most industries and to most business operations, both large and small. General liability coverage protects businesses in the event that an employee or another business representative causes property damage or injury to a third party. Business property coverage protects buildings, business equipment, and other property from unexpected damage from fire, vandalism, and other events.A business owner’s policy, or BOP, includes both of these Basic Coverage options in one comprehensive policy. The Basic Coverage category also includes commercial auto and workers compensation coverage. Basic Coverage is a very important category to virtually every business looking for all-around protection for their business operations.
- Additional Coverage includes specialized policy options designed to cover risks that not all businesses face. Product liability risk, errors and omissions liability risk, and personal and advertising injury liability risk are some examples. It can also includes coverage for data breaches, equipment breakdown, and business crime. When you combine Basic Coverage with tailored Additional Coverage, you get a comprehensive policy, one that can meet any business’ all-around needs.
- Claims encompasses the methods available to policyholders to file an insurance claim on their policy. The category includes both standard telephone claims filing and online claims filing tools. A 24/7 claims center is a huge benefit, as is the option to chat online or visit a local brick-and-mortar agency.
- Payment Options includes payment and submission methods for both one-time full premium payments and recurring monthly payments. Since maintaining your insurance protection depends on timely payment of your premium, this category ranks high in importance.
- Industry Protection covers the package policies insurers offer to businesses in specialized industries like contracting, hospitality, retailing, or auto repair. These package policies combine options from both the Basic Coverage category and the Additional Coverage category to create a comprehensive policy that covers common industry risks. But there’s typically still flexibility to modify the policy options to meet a given business’ special needs. This category is important to small businesses and new business owners who may not be familiar with their business insurance options and need some assistance creating a comprehensive policy.
- Learning Materials provide insight and guidance for prospective and existing policyholders on business insurance, policy options, claims filing procedures, online account management tools, and payment options. We liked to see insurance glossaries, articles, educational videos, policy guides, and buyer’s guides, all organized into a knowledge base on the company website.
- Online Tools assist current and prospective policyholders from getting quotes to locating agents to managing your policy. Great features include document-viewing tools and communication channels.
- Support provides options for asking questions and getting general support, via telephone lines, email exchanges, and social media services. Policyholders use these contact methods to get explanations of policy features and options, to get assistance with bill payment and online account management tools, and to learn more about the process for filing a policy claim.
Our Top Picks for the Best Business Insurance
Best Business Insurance Provider - Nationwide Insurance
With a comprehensive selection of coverage options, Nationwide allows you to select a standalone general liability or business property policy, or combine the two options into a single business owner’s policy (BOP). Then select additional coverage as your business needs. Specialized liability coverage options provide you extra protection against certain claims common to your industry, such as claims of negligence, claims of injury from faulty products, or claims of slander or libel.
While Nationwide offers insurance protection packages for businesses in more than 10 different industries, it does lack policy packages for a couple of important sectors, including manufacturing, hospitality, and real estate. The lack of policy packages for these industries doesn’t mean you’re ineligible for Nationwide business insurance if you operate a factory, a hotel, or a real estate agency. However, it does indicate Nationwide does not target these types of businesses in the same way they target others.
While virtually every major national insurance company provides 24-hour call-center support, few operate a dedicated telephone support line just for business insurance customers. Instead of talking to a support agent who may deal with life, auto, property, travel, and business insurance in the course of a single day, Nationwide business policyholders get to speak to experts who specialize in nothing but business policies. With Nationwide, you won’t ever have to struggle to find someone who can answer your business policy questions clearly and efficiently.
Nationwide offers state-specific discounts, so you may be eligible for a bargain price depending on where you live. And if you hold more than one business policy through Nationwide (such as a business owner’s policy and a commercial auto policy), you’re eligible another discount. Additionally, if you renew your policy over several years without suffering any major losses, you may be eligible for yet another discount.
And we can’t forget about those stellar financial ratings. Financial ratings provide insight into a company’s current operations and market standing and indicate the company’s financial outlook going forward. Nationwide Insurance garners A+ ratings for financial strength from the likes of Standard and Poor’s and A.M. Best, two of the top ratings agencies in the country. These ratings reflect a very strong to superior capacity to meet financial commitments. Moody’s, another top ratings agency, gives Nationwide Insurance an A1 rating, indicating a low credit risk going forward. If you’re looking for an insurance company to rely on for the long haul, Nationwide is worth a careful look.
Best Small Business Insurance Provider - CNA
CNA’s strong business insurance specialization means that it doesn’t split focus between consumer and commercial sectors. With focused care, the company offers flexible, accommodating policies buildable for any size of business. CNA’s standard business owner’s policy is designed primarily for small and medium-size businesses, but delivers more than 300 different coverage options to make sure your policy is cut to order, scalable as your business concerns require. CNA delivers virtually every major add-on coverage option out there, including the industry- and business-specific ones. The flipside of CNA’s laser-focus: the availability is not nationwide, instead sold only through affiliated agents.
Others to consider
- Allied Insurance: Comprehensive policies plus optional add-ons, but it’s missing packages for some relatively common industries. Whether you’re looking for a stand-alone general liability policy or a comprehensive business owner’s policy, Allied Insurance delivers the options you need to protect yourself against the liability risks common to your industry, from storms and fires to theft and vandalism. Whether you operate a small storefront on main street or a bustling office complex, Allied Insurance provides the coverage you need to fully protect your business property.
- Allstate: Solid, basic coverage with key add-ons, though not all. Allstate is a terrific option if you’re looking for a business owner’s policy (BOP) that covers all the major risks faced by the typical small business. Whether you own a professional office, a service establishment, a restaurant, or a retail shop, Allstate delivers the property and general liability coverage you need to protect the financial viability of your business operations. Allstate’s standard BOP policies include coverage for equipment breakdown, building glass, and up to 12 months of business income losses resulting from a covered claim. Allstate has also partnered with a number of industry trade associations to deliver business insurance policy discounts to small-business owners across the nation. But it lacks certain specialized options, meaning that it won’t be a great fit for all industries, such as those needing coverage for errors and omissions or personal and advertising injury liability.
- Erie Insurance: Tailored, industry-specific coverage in 11 states. Erie Insurance offers packaged policies for nearly a dozen different industries, from contracting to wholesaling and car repair to retail sales. Industry packages are built around the company’s comprehensive Ultrapack Plus policy product, which delivers broad coverage of business property and equipment, including everything from your desktop to your outdoor water feature. Start with an industry-targeted UltraPack Plus policy, then work with a local Erie Insurance agent to identify the add-on coverages you need. Local is the keyword: Erie Insurance covers a relatively small part of the U.S. (Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.) If you live in one of these 11 states, take advantage of Erie’s smartly designed plans as well as their well-written auto policies, whether it’s for a single company car or a whole fleet.
- Farm Family: An excellent pick for agricultural businesses. Farm Family’s standard business owner’s policy includes property and liability coverage, loss of income insurance, and a host of additional coverages designed to protect you from all kinds of common small-business risks. Farm Family also offers comprehensive commercial vehicle insurance options for virtually any kind of business vehicle, from delivery vans and service trucks to 10-wheelers and dump trucks. You can also get your workers compensation policy through Farm Family in most states. But where Farm Family really excels is in the special package policies for agricultural businesses and equine operations. Note that Farm Family does things the old-fashioned way, with no online portal for accessing accounts or making payments.
- Farmers Insurance: Knowledgeable agents, carefully crafted policies. Farmers Insurance business policies are written and sold exclusively in locally owned Farmers agencies in neighborhoods across the country. Most others sell through independent agents, without the same depth of knowledge about the products they offer because they offer so many. That personalized care carries over into policies: Choose from basic coverage options for general liability, business property, business vehicles, and workers compensation. Then select the add-on coverage you need to protect your business from the special risks that exist in your industry. Farmers also offers a plethora of online tools so you can handle both payments and policy with ease, though there’s a dearth of available discounts.
- Foremost Insurance: Thoughtful policies for hundreds of business types. Whatever your business, Foremost Insurance has a comprehensive package to protect you. On top of standard business owner’s policies that cover general liability and property, Foremost delivers a range of specialty coverages, including everything from loss of income insurance all the way to targeted coverage for sewers and drains. In fact, the company’s policy options are so flexible they’re able to meet the special needs of more than 600 different businesses in total. Although Foremost Insurance is not as well known as other national insurers, it’s a top-notch provider and a member of the Farmers Insurance family of companies. But Foremost Insurance operations are largely independent, and are responsible for their own unique line-up of policies and company practices.
- The Hanover Insurance Group: Wide variety of protection packages tailored for larger businesses. Hanover Insurance Group delivers one of the most comprehensive business policy listings in the industry. If you have a small business, choose a basic business owner’s policy (BOP) for general liability and property coverage or select a comprehensive industry package to get the targeted protections you need to cover all your business interests. Alongside their superb small-business policies, Hanover Insurance Group also offers a full selection of policy packages designed specifically for medium-size companies with between 50 and 1,000 employees. These packages are built to deliver enhanced protections and coverage options to address the special risks associated with large operations. While policies are sold by local agents, Hanover provides an excellent selection of online resources and tools for account management. Make individual online payments or set up an auto payment from your checking account. Hanover makes it easy for you to manage your money, but has had less success dealing with its own. Mixed financial ratings means Hanover falls beneath many of our other top picks.
- Progressive: Superb commercial auto policies and general services. Progressive is not just a massive commercial auto insurer, it’s also an impressive one, with tons of coverage options plus special add-ons for bespoke coverage. Progressive has the policy options to provide you with comprehensive coverage for all the risks you and your employees face on the road, and is exceptionally well-suited to cover long-haul semi trucks and tractor trailers. You can also take advantage of commercial auto discounts. However, all Progressive’s business policies are underwritten by third-party insurers, meaning that beyond commercial auto insurance, Progressive doesn’t touch your policy or any claims after making the sale. It’s important to know who you’ll actually be interacting with before signing on the dotted line.
More Business Insurance Reviews
We’ve been looking into business insurance for years now, and have taken a closer look at some of the largest providers.