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In our increasingly litigious society, it's wise to get the right coverage to protect you in the event that someone falls while visiting your business, your location is damaged during adverse weather conditions, or an employee is injured while on the job. In fact, many states - and many industries - require such coverage just to remain in operation.
However, getting the best policy for your needs can be a frustrating process. Insurance is one of those areas where you spend money on a product you hope you'll never need, yet you're grateful to have it when the unexpected occurs. How can you tell exactly what types of coverage you need and how much? Rather than going directly to a local agent, who may not have the small business expertise to help you answer those questions, you may want to start the process online.
Thursday, January 28th
Hiscox has been in business internationally for over a century and entered the US insurance marketplace over 15 years ago. This company makes it easy, affordable and fast to get business insurance for almost every type of company and has insured more than 300,000 small businesses over the years.
Many Insurance Needs
With respect to online quotes, Hiscox offers General Liability, Professional Liability and Business Owners Policies (BOPs). If you need other types of coverage, like Commercial Auto, Umbrella, Workers Compensation and so on, you can still get a quote online - but Hiscox will redirect you to one of their third-party insurance partners to do so.
If you're not sure what kind of insurance you need, we recommend that you use Hiscox's tool; you'll find that in the bright red box that says, "Find out in 20 seconds". Click on a series of questions that delve into what kinds of service(s) you offer, whether you own or lease your business space, and so forth; you'll then get a recommended list of policy types. There's also a wealth of information on the main page for Hiscox business insurance, so if you need a deeper explanation of what each type covers you'll find it there.
Choose Your Coverage
To continue on with the quote process, you enter your state and profession. From there, the quote generator will recommend insurance types that match the services that you offer. Once you select the coverage you want, the remaining questions are designed to gather pertinent details about your company, such as number of employees and whether it generates any tangible goods.
Detailed Quote Online
Unlike many business insurers, Hiscox doesn't leave you hanging there, waiting to speak with an advisor to get an actual quote. Instead, they provide you with a detailed quote for the type of coverage you specified. It was a breath of fresh air not to feel like we had to play some kind of guessing or waiting game just to get insured!
Very Affordable Policies
Hiscox policies are extremely reasonable; for the small business quote we requested for General Liability, our monthly premium was an affordable $29.16 per month or $350 per year as a one-time payment. And, on that page, it was easy to add any extra coverage we wanted, like Professional Liability or Business Property and Equipment, and see exactly how it would impact our premiums.
Finish In Minutes
From that point on, it only took a few minutes to finish the application, make payment, and get confirmation that our policy was in effect. That's a huge advantage over most providers of business insurance, who often take hours (if not days!) to get you covered.
Trustworthy And Friendly
Hiscox is about as trustworthy as it gets when it comes to business insurance. If their "A+" rating from the Better Business Bureau isn't enough, you might be reassured by the more than 2,000 client reviews that give the company a perfect 5-star rating. Small business customers across the board say that Hiscox representatives are extremely helpful, friendly and knowledgeable, and any problems are addressed immediately. Even for last-minute coverage needs, Hiscox is known for coming through and getting it taken care of.
Some Freelancer Businesses Not Included
We did find that some contractor/freelancer businesses weren't included in their drop-down list of available industries. For example, we didn't see any kind of pet/animal services (like dog walking) or child care in the list of covered professions. That might leave some smaller business operators without options here.
But, at the end of the day, most companies will find the coverage they need when shopping for insurance at Hiscox. This insurer is reliable, affordable, and makes every effort to meet the needs of small business owners from start to finish. Hiscox earns our first place rating among services that offer business insurance.
Thimble is an innovative way to get insurance coverage for your business. Originally started under the name of Verifly in 2016, bringing liability insurance to drone operators, this company has expanded to offer on-demand insurance for more than 100 small business professions. All of their Commercial General Liability policies are underwritten by Markel Insurance Company, which is an A-rated A.M. Best Fortune 500 enterprise. Thimble has sold more than 100,000 policies since inception, with over $122 billion in coverage.
Wide Range Of Businesses Covered
Which industries are ideal candidates for business insurance through Thimble? You can easily search for your particular field; some examples include Contractors/Handymen, Landscapers, Janitors/Cleaners, Event Organizers/Vendors/Entertainers, Freelancers/Consultants, Photographers/Videographers, Hair & Beauty Professionals, Fitness/Personal Trainers, and even Pet Sitters!
Short Term Policies Available
What makes Thimble so unique? Let's say you need to show proof of insurance to apply for a job, but you're not sure that you'll be hired. Do you want to spend lots of money for coverage you don't need? Of course not! Thimble lets you buy a short-term policy - for an hour, a day, or a month - and get your Certificate of Insurance right away. Or, if you've got an event that spans two days, why pay for a whole month of protection?
Great For Small Non-traditional Businesses
Thimble is the ideal source of insurance for small businesses who need non-traditional coverage and probably can't get the policies they need with another insurer. That's likely why 75% of Thimble customers never had business insurance before getting a policy through this service.
Plus, you can sign up for a Thimble policy right through their smartphone app. If you're on-the-go and need coverage in an instant, this is the only service that can get it done. You can even add extra people to the policy in real time; hire as many as you need for your crew with no worries that they won't have insurance coverage.
Of course, you can get a quote without installing the app first. On the Thimble website, you'll enter your zip code and the kind of work you're doing. Be sure to check out which activities are included in your policy so that there are no surprises. For example, Pet Sitting includes sitting, grooming, training and walking, but not any injuries that may come to the pet you're caring for.
We absolutely love how transparent Thimble is with their pricing: most insurance companies make you jump through a million hoops, which often requires speaking with an agent, but everything through this service is upfront. Again, checking out pet sitting business insurance as an example, we could get a monthly plan for $72.44 per month, or on-demand coverage for the timeframe of our choice (for example, one day was $39.12, a week was $75.62, and so forth).
Run The Calculations
Did you notice the math on that? You'll pay more for a shorter-term plan in many cases. According to the Thimble explanation, that's because of some "insurance-y math that accounts for risk". That means it might be worth it to pay for longer coverage, even if you're not sure you'll need it; just be sure to run the calculations for your particular situation and needs. Best of all, if you cancel before your policy period ends, Thimble will refund you the prorated amount remaining - no cancellation fees!
Thimble earns rave reviews from clients. 95% of people who have used this company for their business insurance give them a 4- or 5-star rating, with plenty of compliments for being easy and affordable. Many say that the ability to get a Certificate of Insurance within minutes was a lifesaver, both for making proposals that met prospective clients' requirements and for getting paid for jobs that had already been completed (but were being held up waiting for proof of coverage).
New To The Industry
And, even though Thimble is quite new to the insurance industry, compared with the heavy hitters who've been in business for decades, the Better Business Bureau still gives this company both a flawless "A+" rating and accreditation. In fact, at the time of this review, Thimble didn't have a single complaint registered with the BBB.
Coverage Types Limited
The only downside to using Thimble for business insurance is that they are hyper-focused on industries that may only need coverage for a small window of time - which limits the types of coverage they offer. For example, you won't find Commercial Auto or Workers' Compensation here. For company owners with more traditional insurance needs, they'll likely need to turn to another insurer.
One Of The Best
We can't say enough good things about what this company has to offer, especially for freelancers, gig workers, and the self-employed. Thimble is priced affordably, and offers an unparalleled flexibility when it comes to getting business insurance coverage almost instantly. They easily earn one of our highest rankings.
In Good Hands
As one of the most well-known names in the insurance industry, Allstate wants your business to be "in good hands" with policies that meet your company's needs. Their website is extremely informative, with ample explanations of the various types of business insurance coverage, how to file a claim, and many other topics you'll find helpful as a small business owner.
Click on "Get a quote" if you'd like to get an idea of what coverage is available for your business. In order to provide a quote, the Allstate Business Insurance site will need several pieces of information: your industry, type of coverage needed (BOP, Business Umbrella, Workers' Compensation, Transported Tools and Equipment, Commercial Auto, or Professional Liability).
Business Credit Search
You'll have to enter accurate information to get your Allstate quote: we appreciate that, at the bottom of the quote page, it lets prospective clients know that the company will be searching for a business credit rating and/or consumer reports related to the business owner details you provide.
Depending on the information you enter, you may be redirected to a third-party site to continue your quote. For example, when we went through the quote process for a translation company, our quote process went entirely through Allstate Business Insurance; on the other hand, when searching for a policy to cover a food truck business, we were redirected to another insurance quote service.
One of the perks of getting coverage through Allstate is the ability to get a customized policy. For example, your bakery might need a Business Owner's Plan that bundles property insurance if you own the building where you operate, liability insurance if a customer is injured on site, business interruption coverage to recover lost income and expenses during a covered claim, and equipment breakdown coverage if there's a power surge that damages your tools.
Wide Range Of Add-ons (riders)
Allstate has multiple add-ons that you may want to consider for your policy. These include Outdoor Signs, Data Compromise/Identity Theft Protection, Cyber Attacks, Employee Dishonesty (!), and more. While you can typically get a quote for basic business insurance policies using their online tool, you may need to speak to an agent to get these riders added on to your coverage. You'll see the "Find an agent" button right below the "Get a quote" button throughout the Allstate site.
Allstate has a rock-solid reputation, shown by an "A+' rating from the BBB and over 80 years in business. Plus, their local agents are all small business owners themselves, which means they'll have the advice you need that is specific to your state's requirements for insurance coverage.
Although some types of companies won't be able to get a quote directly through the Allstate Business Insurance site (and we would have liked to see a list that specified which ones can and can't), most business owners will be able to get the coverage they need. Allstate is a good option for business insurance policies.
Basic Information Provided
Since the 1920s, USAA has been helping military professionals and their families to get the banking services and insurance coverage they need. As a current or former member of the military (or the spouse/child of one), you can get several different types of business policies through USAA. You won't find a wealth of resources for small businesses here, but just the basic details you'll need to understand the various kinds of coverage before you start the process to get coverage.
7 Business Insurance Coverages Offered
To get a quote, enter the usual required information about your business: which industry, how many employees, your business structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, and so on), and location. From there, you'll have to specify which types of coverage you need among the 7 kinds offered through USAA: Business Owners Policy (BOP), Workers' Compensation, Commercial Auto, General Liability, Cyber Liability, Professional Liability (E&O), and Umbrella.
Redirected To Partner Insurance Site
When we tried to generate a quote for a small translation service, we got a pop-up informing us that USAA didn't have coverage to meet our needs, with a redirect to Hartford that then required us to log onto the USAA site. So, bear in mind that if you're hoping to use USAA for your business policy, you may wind up being sent to a third-party insurer for your coverage.
Available Only For Armed Forces Members
One of the bigger drawbacks when considering USAA for business insurance is that their clientele is limited to the Armed Forces: if you aren't active duty or retired military (or the spouse/child of someone who is/was), you're ineligible for their coverage. Of course, if you meet those criteria, you may appreciate this company's focused attention on your specific needs, including access to banking, investments, and even advice for military life.
BBB Alerts Cause Concern
Also of concern are the alerts regarding USAA on their Better Business Bureau listing. These alerts describe actions taken against USAA by the Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and are probably part of the reason that USAA's rating dropped from an "A+" to an "A-" since the time of our last review. And, while most of the complaints registered with the BBB have little to do specifically with business insurance, the fact that there were nearly 600 of them in the most recent 12 months is worth noting.
For all of these reasons, USAA has dropped slightly in our rankings since our previous evaluation. The company still gives every indication of being a solid option for most types of insurance, including business policies, but they may be trending downward. If you qualify for their coverage and are considering them for your company, we would suggest taking a quick look for any changes on their BBB profile before signing on the dotted line - and also comparing the coverage they offer against quotes from some of the non-military insurance services in our review.
CoverWallet is a part of Aon, a well-established business that provides solutions for retirement, risk and health. This service is a referral platform that seeks to connect small- and medium-sized companies with insurance coverage tailored to their specific industries.
Starting Your Search
In order to get quotes from multiple insurance companies, you'll need to answer a series of questions about your coverage needs. These will include the number of employees and annual revenue to start, and then the type(s) of insurance for which you want quotes.
Choose Your Insurance Type
There's no limit there, so you can choose as many as you want from the following:
Evern More Types Offered
Those are the insurance types included in the main list. Clicking on the "View More" button adds a wide range of additional products, including Cyber Liability, Medical Malpractice, Liquor Liability, Disability Insurance, and many others. You can also select the "I don't know or I'll decide later" option, but don't be surprised if CoverWallet doesn't return a list of matches if you don't specify a coverage type!
From there, you'll provide greater detail about your business, including its name and address, the year it was started, projected annual revenue, entity and industry type. Expect to spend at least five minutes completing CoverWallet's online application.
Personal Advisors Available
If you're not sure what you need, or if you've got questions that aren't answered on the site, you'll see a name, photo and contact information for a CoverWallet advisor on almost every page of the quote process. There's no charge for working with an advisor to get your business insurance coverage.
Do They Provide Any Onlie Quotes?
You may need to do that anyway: just like we experienced at the time of our previous review, we got a message saying that there were no policies available to be quoted online when we filled out the application for General Liability coverage. CoverWallet went on to say that "there may be a number of options available by phone". Given that, even using different parameters, we were never able to actually get a quote using this site, it seems that this platform is designed to connect you with an advisor instead of giving you coverage options online.
CoverWallet also came up a little short when we considered customer feedback. Despite having an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau, this company had more than one complaint that described policies canceled without warning and difficulties securing proper documentation to prove that coverage was in place.
Of course, given that CoverWallet is a referrer and not an insurer, it stands to reason that those issues were directly related to the companies that actually issued the business insurance policies and not CoverWallet's fault. And, it's worth mentioning that this service has drastically improved their reputation since the time of our last review, going from a "B" to an "A+" from the BBB.
Trending In The Right Direction
Because CoverWallet has made improvements since our last review, the company has earned a higher rating and ranking. If you don't mind going through a detailed quote process that's likely to leave you working directly with an advisor, this is a decent option for getting almost any type of business insurance you could need. We're optimistic that CoverWallet is trending in the right direction and think that with additional improvements over time, this could become one of our preferred sources of business insurance in the future.
General Liability Insure was created by insurance agent Ethan Kosmin as a platform for helping business owners to quickly get the coverage they need. This service is licensed in approximately two dozen states and uses affiliate agencies in the rest, so no matter where your company operates you should be able to get a quote using this site.
Wide Range Of Insurers And Policy Types
When using this business insurance resource, you can expect to get access to a wide range of insurers and policy types. General Liability Insure only sources coverage from companies that have a minimum rating of "A", such as Zurich, Liberty Mutual, and many others. You can get basic liability coverage, commercial auto insurance, commercial property policies, or practically any other type of insurance your company requires.
Recurring Marketing Communications
Don't expect that you'll get a business insurance quote directly. You'll specify your industry and your contact information, and then General Liability Insure will pass your details along to one of their insurance specialists. We weren't very excited to see that the quote process included consenting to receive "recurring marketing communications" from the company or their marketing partners. Spam, anyone?
Difficult To Tell
It is difficult to know whether General Liability Insurance is trustworthy when it comes to providing small business insurance quotes. We couldn't find a company listing with the Better Business Bureau, independently-verified reviews from satisfied site users, or any other means of confirming how well the service matches business owners with the coverage they need. Even the company's Facebook page had zero reviews and no new posts in the three years preceding this evaluation. Is General Liability Insure really staying on top of the industry? That wouldn't appear to be the case.
Where Are They?
And, as a smaller detail, the company's Wall Street address in New York appears to be a virtual office instead of an actual in-person business location. For all we know, General Liability Insure is run out of someone's basement in the middle of nowhere.
Well That's One Positive
The only slightly positive lead we found was for the insurance agency operated by General Liability Insurer's principal, Ethan Kosmin. His agency, EK Insurance, has an ""A+" from the BBB: there were no complaints registered there and the service had received two positive customer reviews. Also, the quote process for General Liability Insure specifically references EK Insurance - and then specifies that the quote service is powered by yet another company, Commercial Insurance. We definitely felt like we were going down the rabbit hole, so to speak, but we were glad to see that this third company had an "A+" rating and accreditation from the BBB.
Could Be Better
Could you get decent business insurance coverage at a reasonable price through General Liability Insure? Maybe. Will it be a smooth customer experience that doesn't pass you along to several third-party entities before issuing your coverage? Definitely not. For those reasons, this provider winds near the bottom of our rankings.
netQuote is an online insurance marketplace that provides referrals to local insurance agents across the spectrum: home, renter, life, auto, and business policies are all covered here. This service has been in operation since 1989 (though given that use of the internet was not widespread at that time, we're sure it was known under a different name and business model back then!).
Types Of Cinsurance Coverages
When getting a quote for business insurance through netQuote, you'll need to specify which types of coverage you need. You have eight options to choose from, which is not quite as robust as some of the higher-ranked sources of business insurance we evaluated, who offer several dozen types of coverage. You can get quotes for as many or as few as you prefer:
Besides specifying what kind of policy you want, you'll also enter details about your business. These include the name, number of employees, years in business, annual revenue, industry division/group/service, and your contact information.
Referral Service, Not An Insurance Company
netQuote collects your application information and passes it along to the insurance partners in their network. netQuote is a service of All Web Leads Inc, a company that enjoys an "A+" rating and accreditation from the Better Business Bureau. We found a handful of complaints there, but the majority came from insurance agencies who pay AWL to send them leads from customers (like you) who are looking for coverage.
Complaints From Partner Insurance Companies
Those complaints are important because they're the other side of the coin when considering customer issues with using netQuote. Agencies criticize this platform for providing bogus leads: numbers that are invalid, names and contact info for people who don't even want insurance quotes, and so on. Similarly, many people who have tried to use netQuote to get coverage quotes say that filling out the online form only results in numerous contacts (texts, emails, etc.) from local agents wanting to sell them a policy. In other words, you've got customers getting unwelcome inquiries from insurance agents, and agents paying for leads that don't actually want to be contacted. That's a lose-lose no matter how you look at it!
Look Elsewhere First
If you've got the time to sift through emails and phone calls from insurance agents, you'll love the netQuote experience. However, if you place a high value on your time and want the most direct, efficient route to getting the business insurance you need. This service is not that kind of option. We're confident you'll have a less time-consuming experience if you get a quote through a different provider.
Many of the largest names in the insurance industry offer a wealth of information on their websites, to help narrow down what kind of policy is best for your company so that you don't purchase coverage you don't need. Better yet, there are many options for getting an insurance quote online without any pushy sales tactics.
As you consider the different options for getting business insurance coverage, here are several criteria to keep in mind:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best business insurance providers available today. We hope this information helps you get the coverage you need to protect your company from expensive lawsuits, liability claims, and other unforeseen situations!
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