Get business insurance

Business insurance protects you from the unexpected costs of running a business. Accidents, natural disasters, and lawsuits could run you out of business. Protect yourself with the right insurance.


Pick the type of business insurance you need

You get some protections from the kind of business structure you choose.  A limited liability company (LLC) or a corporation status can protect your personal property from lawsuits. However, that protection has limits.

Unexpected catastrophe? Business insurance can fill in any gaps in coverage. This will make sure both your personal and business assets are fully protected..

You also may be legally required to purchase certain types of business insurance.

The federal government requires every business with employees to have the following:

  • Workers’ compensation 
  • Unemployment
  • Disability insurance

Some states also require additional insurance. Laws requiring insurance vary by state. Visit your state’s website to find out the requirements for your business.  

Six common types of business insurance

After you purchase insurance that's required by law, you can find insurance to cover any other business risk. As a general rule, you should insure against things you wouldn’t be able to pay for on your own.

Speak to insurance agents to find out what kinds of coverage makes sense for your business. Then compare terms and prices to find the best deal for you. Here are six common kinds of business insurance to look for:

Insurance type

Who it's for

What it does

General liability insurance Any business This coverage protects against financial loss as the result of bodily injury, property damage, medical expenses, libel, slander, defending lawsuits, and settlement bonds or judgments.
Product liability insurance Businesses that manufacture, wholesale, distribute, and retail a product This coverage protects against financial loss as a result of a defective product that causes injury or bodily harm.
Professional liability insurance Businesses that provide services to customers This coverage protects against financial loss as a result of malpractice, errors, and negligence.
Commercial property insurance Businesses with a significant amount of property and physical assets This coverage protects your business against loss and damage to company property due to a wide variety of events. These include fire, smoke, wind and hailstorms, civil disobedience and vandalism.
Home-based business insurance Businesses that are run out of the owner’s personal home Coverage that’s added to homeowner’s insurance as a rider can offer protection for a small amount of business equipment and liability coverage for third-party injuries.
Business owner’s policy Most small business owners, but especially home-based business owners A business owner’s policy is an insurance package that combines all of the typical coverage options into one bundle. They simplify the insurance buying process and can save you money.

Four steps to buy business insurance

  • Assess your risks. Think about what kind of accidents, natural disasters, or lawsuits could damage your business. Is your business located in a commercial area that is at risk from seasonal events? Commercial property insurance will help protect against loss.
  • Find a reputable licensed agent. Commercial insurance agents can help you find policies that match your business needs. They receive commissions from insurance companies when they sell policies, so it's important to find a licensed agent that’s interested in your needs as much as his or her own.
  • Shop around. Prices and benefits can vary significantly. You should compare rates, terms, and benefits for insurance offers from several different agents.
  • Re-assess every year. As your business grows, so do your liabilities. If you have purchased or replaced equipment or expanded operations, contact your insurance agent. You should discuss any changes in your business and how they affect your coverage.
To get business insurance: assess risk, find a reputable agent, shop around and re-assess annually.

Need help? Get free business counseling

Last updated April 8, 2024