We’ve compiled the most frequently asked questions to help you compare policies and decide which insurance is right for your small business.
Business liability insurance is any commercial insurance that involves a business’s responsibility for losses, injuries, or damages. Types of liability insurance include:
Learn more about business liability insurance.
Business insurance, also called commercial insurance, provides crucial protection for any small business. If there’s an accident at your business, you could face a lawsuit. The high cost of litigation, medical bills, and property damage claims is the primary reason businesses need insurance.
The risks you face determine which policies you need. The policy most businesses purchase is general liability insurance, which protects against customer injuries and other common accidents. You may need additional policies if you have employees, own a building, own a business vehicle, or provide expert advice.
Learn more about why a business might need liability insurance.
No single insurance policy covers everything. In general, there are two broad areas of coverage:
Learn more about what business insurance covers.
In certain cases, business insurance is required by law. Most states require businesses with employees to obtain workers’ compensation insurance. Business-owned vehicles must be insured with commercial auto insurance.
State laws may also require some businesses to obtain insurance as part of the licensing process. For example, bars typically need liquor liability insurance as a prerequisite for a liquor license.
There are several situations in which businesses are required to obtain commercial insurance. For example, most states require businesses with employees to purchase workers’ compensation insurance. Business-owned vehicles must be covered by commercial auto insurance.
Business insurance costs vary based on the policies you purchase and your coverage limits. Other factors include your industry, number of employees, revenue, and location. Small, low-risk businesses – especially those that qualify for a business owner’s policy (BOP) – pay less for insurance than larger companies.
Every business can save money on insurance. One of the best ways is to explore what different providers are offering. You can contact insurance companies directly and request rates, but you’ll have to provide your business details each time you apply.
You can buy a policy online and get a certificate of liability insurance with Insureon in three easy steps:
1. Complete an online application
Complete Insureon’s free online application, which asks for details about your business. It takes only a few minutes to complete. You’ll receive quotes from top-rated U.S. carriers when you finish the application.
2. Compare quotes and choose a policy
Compare your quotes and choose a policy that provides your desired amount of protection and fulfills the requirements of your commercial lease or client contract. At this point, you can chat with a licensed Insureon agent to make sure the policy contains everything you need.
3. Pay for your policy and download a certificate
Pay for your policy or sign up for a payment plan. After the policy is issued, you can download a certificate of insurance. The certificate will include:
View a sample ACORD 25 form: certificate of liability insurance [PDF] or learn more about how to get business insurance.
A certificate of insurance is free. Much like a receipt, the document is proof that you’ve paid for a policy and you’re insured.
The cost of the policy depends on the type of insurance, your policy limits, and business factors, such as revenue and number of employees. See our small business insurance cost analysis for details about insurance costs.
General liability and workers’ compensation insurance can both cover medical costs when someone is injured at your business.
General liability covers non-employee injuries, such as a client tripping in your office. Workers' comp covers employee injuries, such as a lifting injury or an employee slip-and-fall accident. You may need to purchase workers' compensation to fulfill your state's requirements.
Professional liability and general liability insurance both offer financial protection against lawsuits.
Professional liability insurance covers the cost of a lawsuit if a client sues your business over the quality of your professional services. That includes lawsuits over missed deadlines, errors, and oversights. Consultants, professional service businesses, real estate professionals, and other experts likely need this coverage.
General liability insurance pays for lawsuits related to third-party bodily injuries, property damage, and advertising injuries (libel, slander, and copyright infringement). Most businesses should strongly consider general liability insurance, especially retailers and others who engage with the public.
Both general liability insurance and a business owner's policy provide basic protection for your business.
General liability insurance covers the cost of common third-party lawsuits, such as a client slip-and-fall injury in your office. A business owner's policy bundles general liability with commercial property insurance, which pays for repair or replacement of business property that is damaged, stolen, or destroyed.
A BOP costs less than purchasing each policy separately. However, only small, low-risk businesses are eligible.
Commercial auto insurance and hired and non-owned auto insurance (HNOA) both provide financial protection against lawsuits if you or an employee gets into a vehicle accident. Commercial auto insurance can cover vehicle damage and theft, as well.
Commercial auto insurance covers business-owned vehicles, while HNOA covers personal, leased, and rented vehicles driven for business purposes. Most states set minimum requirements for commercial auto insurance coverage. HNOA is recommended, but not required.
When comparing policies, it's also important to make sure that you have the right insurance partner to help you find the coverage you need.
Insurance agents and brokers are both licensed professionals who act as intermediaries between insurance buyers and the insurance market, and can offer coverage quotes for different policies.
However, there are two key differences between agents and brokers:
Brokers can search for policies from multiple different carriers, while an agent must sell policies from one or more of the insurance providers that they represent.