Small Business Insurance Review Methodology

Commercial insurance is a necessity for virtually all small businesses. General liability insurance, at a minimum, can protect business owners against injury claims from clients or even passers-by. But many businesses need additional coverages, such as commercial property, professional liability, commercial auto, and more. A business owner’s policy (BOP), which combines commercial property and general liability, is one of the most popular policy packages, and can be customized with additional coverage types to address your specific business needs. 

We meticulously reviewed business owner’s policies across multiple companies plus other types of coverage suitable for different industries, such as food businesses, to determine our “best of” lists for commercial insurance. Below, we detail the data we sourced, criteria we used, and methodology we implemented. 

Which Articles Use Our Methodology

We have many articles about the best commercial insurance companies for specific products or to meet the needs of particular readers. This methodology describes the process used for compiling our list of Best Small Business Insurance Companies. Other articles that list the best commercial insurance companies for certain industries use this data plus additional data which follows below. (Examples are: Best Independent Contractor Insurance, Best Food Truck Insurance, Best Restaurant Insurance, and Best Food Liability Insurance.) 

The selection and order of providers are based on data analysis plus additional product-specific criteria and subjective insights from our editors and industry experts.

Literature Review

To determine the companies included in this review, as well as our criteria for evaluating them, our team considered the following factors:

  1. Market share: Business and market insight databases, such as Statista, Plunkett, and Gale, provided graphics and lists of the largest companies providing commercial insurance for business owners by annual dollar amount of premiums written.
  2. Google search results: We considered which companies consumers were most likely to be faced with when searching for key product terms, such as “business owner’s policy.”
  3. Monthly search volume: We considered how many times a company was searched in the context of a particular product type (e.g., “Next business insurance”) to narrow down which companies to include in our analysis.
  4. Competitor analysis: We reviewed articles published by our competitors to confirm we weren’t overlooking relevant companies to include.
  5. Company product pages and appetite guides: We reviewed product pages on company websites and appetite guides designed for commercial insurance agents to assess and itemize important product features.

Data Collection

Data was collected from both third-party rating agencies and the companies directly through company websites, published product pages and brochures, customer service representatives, and media contacts. Our sources also include: AM Best, The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), and J.D. Power

Once collection was completed, the data was verified to ensure integrity and accuracy. Our team cross-referenced citations, links, and important records left on each data point against primary sources. 

Ratings Methodology

We calculated star ratings that reflected our assessment of the quality of each company’s small business insurance plans. We focused on a popular package, called the business owner’s policy (BOP), which includes commercial property, general liability, and often, business income coverage. The factors that influenced our star ratings include:

  • Costs and fees (25%): Annual premium amounts for a business owner’s policy, availability of discounts, monthly payment option.
  • Accessibility (10%): State availability of a BOP and annual revenue limits.
  • Quote/application experience (25%): Ability to get a quote and directly purchase a policy online, from the company’s website, without the assistance of a live agent. (All companies reviewed provide the option to purchase with agent assistance.)
  • Plan quality/customer satisfaction (15%): A weighted average of each company’s complaint index for its commercial lines was calculated over three years, between 2019 and 2021, based on company complaints on file with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). We also considered company rankings in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Small Commercial Insurance Study.
  • Coverage (15%): For BOP’s across companies, we compared maximum claim limits available (the amount an insurer will pay for each individual claim made during the policy period), maximum aggregate limits available (the maximum amount an insurer will pay for all claims made during the policy period), and the lowest deductibles offered.
  • Financial stability (10%): We collected each company’s financial strength rating from AM Best, a credit rating agency that assesses an insurance company’s creditworthiness, or likelihood the company will default on its obligations. 

Other Data Collection

We collected additional data to inform industry-specific business owner’s policies and coverage types. This data includes:

  • Professional liability insurance: availability and maximum claim limits
  • General liability insurance (standalone coverage): availability and maximum claim limits
  • Business personal property insurance: availability and maximum claim limits
  • Commercial auto insurance: availability
  • Workers compensation insurance: availability
  • Product liability insurance: availability
  • Liquor liability insurance: availability
  • Equipment breakdown coverage: availability
  • Food spoilage coverage: availability

Meet the Research Team

Shanker Narayan

Research Analyst

Shanker’s background in Applied Statistics has equipped him with both the tools and logical framework necessary to develop, refine, and execute research methodologies.

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Hannah Kang

Research Manager, Performance Marketing

Hannah has been conducting research for over a decade, with a recent focus on providing data-driven recommendations from synthesizing quantitative data with qualitative data on services and products across finance, health, and lifestyle. 

Prior to joining the Performance Marketing team as a Research Associate, Hannah conducted research for Fortune 500 companies and multinational biotech companies including Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Takeda. Her experience leading rigorous studies for FDA reviews shaped her standard of research integrity which guides her work at Performance Marketing.

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