Busy small business owners don’t have a lot of time to search for the best rates on business insurance. Getting quotes online can simplify the process and make comparison shopping easier.
- Where to get business insurance quotes online
- Compare business insurance quotes online: What you need to know
- What kind of business insurance coverage do you need?
- What if a company doesn’t offer online quotes?
- How to figure out what type and how much business insurance you need
Where to get business insurance quotes online
When it comes to getting quotes for business insurance, you have three options:
- Business insurance digital brokers
- Traditional insurance companies
- Insuretech business insurance startups
Getting and comparing business insurance quotes online from business insurance digital brokers
Online insurance websites pair with individual insurance companies to give you multiple quotes at once. These online insurance websites are usually digital brokers. They work with several insurance companies and can pull quotes from these companies for you to compare them easily in one place.
Examples of online insurance marketplaces and digital brokers include:
- CoverWallet – see our review of CoverWallet
- Policy Sweet
- Simply Business
- Huckleberry – see our review of Huckleberry
This can save you a great deal of time, since you have options and prices right away. Another advantage of working with these companies is that you can choose to do everything digitally or on the phone. You can always call to discuss with a licensed and knowledgeable agent about your situation. The disadvantages are that depending on your insurance needs, they may only offer you one quote. Another disadvantage is that they will only offer you quotes from their partners, so it’s not really one-stop shopping. Still, these websites are an excellent place to start.
Getting business insurance quotes online from traditional insurance companies
You can also go to individual companies to get online quotes. Not every company offers online quotes: some prefer that you call and speak to an agent. The advantage is that is you have complex insurance needs or have no idea what types of insurance you need, you’ll have someone to talk you through the process. Depending on your needs, this may actually save you money in the long run. The disadvantages are that it’s more time-consuming. Also, you may receive a hard sell from the agent and it’s more difficult to say no on the phone. Once you purchase insurance, customer service will vary according to your agent.
After getting a few quotes from these companies, you can put them next to one another to compare them. Obviously, this process will take a lot more time than getting several quotes at once from the digital brokers as mentioned above. However, if you really want to have quotes from a particular company and that company isn’t a part of any digital broker network, you need to get quote from them separately.
Some traditional insurance companies that offer online quotes include:
- The Hartford – see our review of the Hartford small business insurance
- Progressive – see our review of Progressive small business insurance
- biBERK, a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway – see our review of biBERK
- Hiscox – see our review of Hiscox
- Geico – see our review of Geico small business insurance
- Nationwide – see our review of Nationwide small business insurance
- Liberty Mutual – see our review of Liberty Mutual small business insurance
Getting business insurance quotes online from insuretech startups
There are also companies called “insurtech” that are newer and offer quotes online. Some of these include:
- Thimble – see our review of Thimble
- Vouch – see our review of Vouch
- Pie – see our review of Pie
- Next – see our review of Next
More insurtech companies are launched all the time, so if you’re interested, keep your eyes open. Insurtech companies often have good pricing, and you can do everything online, including purchasing insurance. If you need a certificate of insurance, they can email you one instantly.
Compare business insurance quotes online: What you need to know
Now you have several quotes for the business insurance coverage that you consider getting for your business. It is time to compare them to select the best one and possibly the cheapest one for your business. As you compare the business insurance quotes, pay attention to the following attributes from each quote:
- Coverage details
- Inclusions and exclusions
- Coverage limit per occurrence or per claim and coverage limit per year
- Pay in full or monthly payment
- If monthly payment, with interests or not
What kind of business insurance coverage do you want?
Some business insurance coverages are easier to get free online insurance quotes than others. The 4 popular business insurance coverages are easier to get free online quotes than others:
- general liability insurance – learn more about how general liability insurance protects your business; its cost; the best general liability insurance companies; and the cheapest general liability insurance companies.
- workers comp insurance – learn more about workers comp insurance; its cost; the best workers comp insurance companies; and the cheapest workers comp insurance companies.
- professional liability insurance – learn more about professional liability insurance; its cost for different professionals; and the best professional liability insurance companies
- BOP (business owners’ policy) – learn more about BOP and the best BOP insurance companies
These four types of insurance are easy to get quotes online, and most insurance companies will be able to give you a quote. If you only need these types of policies, it should be easy to get quotes online. However, once you’ve been in business a few years, you may need more insurance. The following types of policies are more difficult to get online quotes for:
- Cyber insurance – learn more about cyber insurance and why all small businesses need to have it; the best cyber insurance companies; and the best data breach insurance companies.
- Product liability insurance – learn more about product liability insurance and the best product liability insurance companies.
- Inland marine – learn more at the best inland marine insurance companies
- Liquor liability – learn more at the best liquor liability insurance companies
- Employment practices liability
- Management liability (also called Directors and Officer insurance) – learn more about D&O insurance and the best D&O insurance companies.
- Commercial fleet
- Key person insurance
You probably won’t be able to find quotes online for these types of insurance policies.
What industry do you work in?
Insurance is based on risks and risk management. The more risk involved in your business, the less likely you’ll be able to find quotes online. Roofers and general contractors often have to speak to someone so the company can get an accurate picture of the risks involved. These industries are notoriously difficult to get quotes online for:
- Roofers – learn more at the best business insurance companies for roofers
- General contractors – learn more at the best general contractor insurance companies
- Handymen (handy workers) – learn more about handyman insurance and the best handyman insurance companies
- Trucking businesses
Another industry that often involves speaking to someone is the restaurant industry. This is not because it’s especially risky, but because there’s a wide variation in restaurant types. You could have a small café that serves coffee and bagels, or you could have a multi-million-dollar venue that seats 300. Learn more about restaurant insurance and the best restaurant insurance companies.
Industries that find it easy to get quotes include:
- Nurses – learn more at the best malpractice insurance companies for nurse practitioners and nursing students
- Insurance agents – learn more at the best E&O insurance for insurance agents
- Accountants – learn more at the best professional liability insurance companies for accountants and CPAs
- Real estate agents – learn more at the best E&O insurance for real estate agents
Doctors need medical malpractice insurance, but it varies significantly by specialty and what state you practice in. You might be able to get a quote but consider it a ballpark figure. Learn more about medical malpractice insurance and the best medical malpractice insurance companies.
Necessary info to get business insurance quotes
Businesses that offer online quotes usually have a long list of questions, some of which include:
- Type of business
- Number of employees
- How your business is set up (Sole proprietor, LLC, corporation, etc.)
- Work from home?
- How many business addresses do you have?
- Do you use subcontractors?
- Do you rent or own your space?
- What material building is constructed from
- Are there fire alarms?
- Are there burglar alarms?
- Have you had a claim in the last three years?
- Have you ever declared bankruptcy?
What if a company doesn’t offer online quotes?
You ought to be able to get quotes for general liability insurance. You can use that to get an estimate of what kind of rates a company offers. Some companies do not offer online quotes, in which case you’ll have to call to speak to an agent. Or you can try a different company. It’s up to you—you might get a better rate if you speak to multiple agents, or you might just spend a lot of time for not much reward.
How to figure out what type and how much business insurance you need
You don’t want to spend money on business insurance if you don’t have to. On the other hand, you don’t want to be uninsured or underinsured either. Most small businesses need:
- General liability insurance (if you can only afford one type of insurance, it should be general liability)
- Professional liability insurance (protects you from mistakes you make or things you forget)
- Workers’ compensation (usually required if you have even one employee)
- Commercial auto insurance (if you use vehicles to perform your job, you need this). Learn more at the best commercial auto insurance companies and how to get cheap commercial auto insurance quotes.
- Cyber liability (if you keep customers sensitive information online, you need this)
As to how much insurance you need, many businesses purchase $1 million occurrence/1 million aggregate policy. But it depends on how big your company is and how much revenue you generate.
Buying business insurance can be a chore, but it’s necessary. Finding online quotes can make the process go faster, so you can get back to running your small business.