Best Small Business Insurance Companies

Best Small Business Insurance Companies

While many insurance companies sell commercial insurance, some do a better job of supporting small businesses than others. Which insurers satisfy small business owners the most? Both J.D. Power and the Chamber of Commerce have answered that question through ratings or recommendations. J.D. Power provides insurer ratings based on overall customer satisfaction, while the Chamber of Commerce recommends seven insurers, which it designates the "best small business insurance companies."


J.D. Power's Small Commercial Insurance Study

For the past eight years, J.D. Power has conducted its U.S. Small Commercial Insurance Study to measure small businesses' overall satisfaction with their insurer. All survey participants are small businesses with fifty or fewer employees.

The study determines what services business owners want, need, and expect from their insurers. To do so, it identifies key industry trends and issues in the small business commercial insurance market. Insurers can use the study results to improve their service, upgrade their products, and increase customer satisfaction.

J.D. Power measures customer satisfaction based on five factors, listed in order of importance: interaction, policy offerings, price, billing and payment, and claims.

For each insurer, J.D. Power calculates a total satisfaction score on a 1,000-point scale.

In 2020, J.D. Power broadened its survey approach to give insurers more insight into customers' preferences. The company added questions about customers' perceptions of insurers' brands, their experiences with shopping and quoting, and their opinions about insurers' products and policies.


How COVID-19 Impacted J.D. Power's Study

In 2019, small business owners’ satisfaction with their insurance providers reached an all-time high—resulting in an industry average score of 844—according to J.D. Power's 2019 Small Commercial Insurance Study. J.D Power attributed the unprecedented satisfaction to investments insurers had made in “technology, servicing, product expansion, and dedicated infrastructure designed to support small business customers.”

When J.D. Power conducted its 2020 study, it found that overall customer satisfaction (the industry average) declined from 844 to 836. This was the first time in the study's history that satisfaction had decreased. J.D. Power blamed the pandemic for the drop in satisfaction, as many small businesses were suffering and felt that insurers had done little to help them weather the storm.

The 2020 J.D. Power study showed that 59% of small commercial insurance customers were unaware of efforts their insurers had made to assist them, such as modifying policy terms or waiving fees.


2020 J.D Power Small Business Insurer Results

The results of the 2019 and 2020 satisfaction studies appear in the table below, with insurers listed in descending order based on their 2020 score. The 2019 list included 13 insurers while the 2020 list included only nine. Insurer Ratings for Overall Satisfaction Insurer 2020 Score 2019 Score Chubb 853 858 State Farm 852 854 Erie Insurance 850 844 Liberty Mutual 850 836 Farmers 840 858 Travelers 835 835 Allstate 829 848 Nationwide (Allied) 829 868 The Hartford 827 830 American Family N/A 864 Auto-Owners N/A 853 AIG N/A 851 The Hanover N/A 823



2020’s Best Insurance Companies Explained

The following summaries highlight the type of policies each insurer offers and, in some cases, how long the insurer has been in business:


If you're shopping for a new insurer, talk with a local insurance broker and other business owners in your industry to find out which insurer they do or don’t recommend. Get details about which policies they paid for and what the claims process was like.

  • Chubb: An international company that's been in business for more than 200 years, Chubb sells a broad range of coverages through independent agents.


  • State Farm: Founded in 1922, State Farm is a well-known name in the insurance world. The company’s small business policies can be tailored to industries and cover 24 different coverages including commercial auto, liability umbrella, and business owner policies.


  • Erie Insurance: Erie is more than 90 years old and has five million policies in force. It is one of only two companies in J.D. Power’s 2020 rankings to increase its score compared to 2019. The company provides all the basic business coverages, but its footprint is limited to 12 states and the District of Columbia.


  • Liberty Mutual: In business for more than a century, Liberty mutual provides the coverages you’d expect from a big insurer, but also offers policies for niche industries such as nonprofits.
  • Farmers: A large company that offers standard coverages, but also serves niche markets like religious and education groups. Customers obtain quotes by filling out an online form and then speaking with an agent.


  • Travelers: A large company that's been in business for more than 165 years. Offers standard insurance products, as well as solutions for specific industries like construction, finance, health care, and technology. Travelers is known for prompt service and quick claim settlements.


  • Allstate: Founded in 1931, the company provides auto insurance across many industries. It offers other small business coverages based on the industry you’re in, too.


  • Nationwide: A Fortune 100 company, Nationwide is a large provider that offers a wide range of coverages and excellent customer service. Customers obtain quotes by filling out an online form and then speaking with an agent.


  • The Hartford: Provides excellent customer service and offers a multitude of insurance policies. Offers liability coverage for home-based businesses.  




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