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How to Choose Your Best Small Business Insurance Policy

6-minute read

Daisy Kincaid

31 October 2019

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Accidents happen, even to the best of us. No matter how careful we are, we can’t plan for a spate of bad luck.

We can, however, be prepared when something does go wrong.

Like choosing the right insurance coverage for your small business. Your industry, special equipment, the kinds of jobs you take — all the unique aspects of your work — will factor into the coverage you need.

But how do you decide?

If choosing small business insurance feels like information overload, we get it: You’re already busy running a small business, and sorting out different coverages may be unfamiliar territory. You might even be tempted to put off buying that first policy (and just hope your luck holds out).

Hang in there. In a few simple steps, we’ll help you prep, compare, and get small business insurance – and you can do it all online!

7 Steps to Find a Small Business Insurance Policy

1. Prepare in advance.

As a small business owner, you know one thing for sure: Your time is valuable – and always in short supply. You can make your insurance-buying experience fast and easy by taking a few minutes now to assess your small business.

Consider all the kinds of work you do, where it’s done, and how big your business is. As you’re pulling together those details, try using the checklist below to make sure you’ve hit all the important points.

Your Work:

  • The general industry you’re in
  • The types of projects you usually do
  • Any seasonal duties
  • Any specializations or areas of expertise
  • Any plans to expand or change your business in the next year


  • Number of locations
  • Annual revenue
  • Inventory
  • All cars or trucks you use for work


  • Mailing address
  • Physical address
  • Any storage space you own or rent
  • On-site work you do, such as clients’ homes or offices
  • Home-based business activities


  • Computers
  • Office equipment
  • Furniture
  • Tools
  • Machinery
  • Display fixtures or racks
  • Trailers
  • Signs or marquees


  • Part-time or seasonal workers
  • Full-time employees
  • Contractors
  • Subcontractors
  • Family members who work with you

Having these details at your fingertips helps ensure you get the most accurate quotes and appropriate coverage for your small business. It also will help you feeling more confident and reassured that you have the right policies when the time comes to file a claim.

2. Assess your risk.

Using the list above, go through and think what risks are associated with each item. For example, if you have valuable tools, there's a risk they could be stolen; if you have employees, there's a chance one of them could get sick or injured.

Go through each item and record as many possible risks as you can think of.

Before you think that you didn't find too many risks going through the list above, consider that it only takes one incident to put you in financial trouble. 43% of business owners are involved in a civil suit each year, meaning that even if businesses were found not at fault for a claim, they still were impacted by the legal process of defending their business.

It's important to consider what risks you may face so that you're prepared to understand what type of coverage you'll need.

3. Learn about different coverage types.

Now that you know what risks you face in your business, it's time to consider what sort of policy may fit your needs. To do that, you need to learn about policies that you can consider.

There are three coverage types you may want to begin with: general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, and workers compensation insurance.

General liability insurance is coverage that protects you in the case of bodily injury, third party accidents, or property damage. If a customer becomes hurt due to the work you do, or their property gets damaged, you could be held responsible for paying for the damage or medical bills.

With this type of coverage, your policy could help to cover those costs, as well as associated legal costs.

Professional liability insurance is coverage that protects you from claims of negligence and is typically useful for professionals whose services involve advising customers. If a customer sues you and claims that they lose money as a result of working with you, then you could be responsible for those claims.

This type of coverage could help to cover the cost of the assumed damages and legal costs.

Workers compensation insurance is insurance that helps to cover employees if they get hurt or sick while on the job. Each state has different definitions of employees and what types of work belongs under that label, so if you have any of the helpers indicated above, you may want to consider looking into this coverage.

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4. Consider your budget.

Every business owner chooses to prioritize different tools they use for their business and because there's money involved, that isn't always easy!

The great thing about small business insurance is that many carriers will give you the option of paying your premium either on a monthly or annual basis. Depending on your business's current budgeting needs and cash flow, you may decide one is better than the other.

Be prepared to do some math when comparing insurance quotes and keep how you prefer to pay your premium in mind. Some carriers may offer you the option to pay monthly or annually so you can choose a premium payment schedule that works best for you.

5. Get expert advice.

Buying insurance is a big step, especially for a brand-new business. Remember, you should always feel comfortable with the process – never rushed – while making this important decision. Just because you can get small business insurance in ten minutes doesn’t mean you have to. Maybe you’re interested in a little more research and advice from the experts. Knowledge is power, right?

That’s where Simply U comes in - the blog where you’re reading this very article! Think of it as an online classroom for small business owners, with information on everything from insurance policies, to marketing, to dealing with less-than-ideal customers.

The resources at Simply U can help you understand the ins and outs of small business insurance and how it can protect your success. Plus, if you’re looking for how-to articles or step-by-step guides tailored specifically to your industry, start here.

Remember that there are also likely experts to turn to in your own community. Don't be shy about asking others in your industry how they approach small business insurance and if they have any advice.

You also have the option of connecting with a local business counselor through the Small Business Administration (SBA).

6. Spend ten minutes online (really, that’s all).

Checklist in hand, now it’s time to see what kinds of insurance you should consider and compare policies from different carriers. We know, this might sound crazy – but this is the easy part!

Give yourself a few minutes, maybe grab a cup of coffee, and share a few details about your small business by filling out our quick online form. In a flash, we’ll go to work to help you find affordable and personalized business insurance.

You can see exactly what kinds of insurance are recommended for your small business, and you’ll have multiple online insurance carriers to choose from. This means you can compare rates, pick and choose the coverage you want, how you'll pay your premium, and do it all within the comfort of your home or office.

Best of all? The entire process can take as little as ten minutes.

If you’re still unsure about your options, you can always have a one-on-one chat with one of our experienced insurance agents. Tell us about the business challenges that are keeping you up at night. Do you want to add a new location in a year or two? Are you getting ready to hire your first employee? Or maybe you have a truly unique business situation that requires specific advice.

It’s just a phone call away.

We work hard to make small business insurance not just easy to get – but easy to understand.

Try it for yourself. See how insurance helps protect your business, and compare quotes at Simply Business. We specialize in small business insurance, so you can get personalized coverage at affordable prices.

7. Get your small business insurance policy.

Once you've done your research, you're ready to buy your insurance coverage and pay your premium.

Once you do, be sure to request a Certificate of Insurance (COI) so you have proof of your coverage to show potential customers. You can display your COI either in your physical place of business and/or your company website.

You're Ready to Get Business Insurance

By taking the 6 steps to find a small business insurance policy, you've taken great moves to protect your business. As your business grows, you may need to take additional steps to protect your business and all your hard work. Stay up-to-date on what you can do to help your business thrive by checking out Simply U, our blog for business owners.

Written by

Daisy Kincaid

I'm a freelance writer and editor with a passion for entrepreneurship, adventure, and my two rescue dogs. For more than two decades, I've created content for businesses of all sizes, from a small, daily newspaper to a Fortune 100 global giant. I landed my first writing gig at 21, and can't imagine doing anything else.

This content is for general, informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal, tax, accounting, or financial advice. Please obtain expert advice from industry specific professionals who may better understand your business’s needs. Read our full disclaimer

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