General liability insurance or “CGL” provides coverage against third-party claims for property damage, bodily injury, and personal and advertising injury. That means the everyday accidents that can happen on the job: slip and falls, flying tools, or spilling coffee on a customer’s laptop—you get the idea. CGL is one of the most basic types of insurance for small businesses.
What is small business insurance?
Small business insurance isn’t one policy you can buy; it’s a whole category of different insurance policies that protect your business from the everyday liabilities and risks you run when you’re on the job. From a customer’s bodily injury to your own equipment breaking down, having the right small business insurance policy helps you plan for the unexpected and manage your bottom line better. Let’s break down the best business insurance for your needs, what it covers, and how to get a quote—fast.
What does small business insurance cover?
Small business insurance should cover your exact business’s needs (because it’s not just one policy, remember?). There are no one-size-fits-all solutions in commercial business insurance; think about all of these as options you can “Add to Cart” to cover all your operations and assets. Here are the top most common types of small business insurance, used by entrepreneurs everywhere:
Professional Liability Insurance
Professional liability insurance, also called errors & omissions (E&O) insurance, covers claims of financial loss as a result of providing—or failing to provide—professional services properly.
Business Equipment Protection
Business Equipment Protection is a type of first-party insurance that covers business equipment that you own, rent or borrow and is used in connection with your business. (Other insurance companies for small businesses call it inland marine insurance, but we like to keep things clear and simple.)
Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial property insurance covers costs as a result of direct physical loss or damage to a building or its contents in situations like a fire or windstorm. Even your accounts receivable can be protected by commercial property coverage.
Business Owners Policy
A business owners policy or “BOP” is all the coverage most small businesses need in one easy package with two main areas: commercial property insurance and general liability insurance.
Workers’ compensation covers the costs related to your employees’ workplace injuries and illnesses, and it’s required in just about every state. Your team is your most valuable asset, so it’s crucial that you protect your business and team.
How much does small business insurance cost?
The cost of small business insurance is based on a few main factors, like which state you’re in, what you do, your coverage limit, and the size of your team.
For example, if you have a large crew working in a more dangerous profession, you can expect to pay a bit more for your small business insurance than a sole proprietor who runs their business from home. Along with any extra coverages you need, these factors all add up to your business insurance premium (the price you’ll pay).
No two businesses are exactly the same, but general liability insurance from Thimble starts at $17 per month.
What other types of business insurance does my small business need?
Business interruption insurance
Business interruption coverage can seriously keep your business afloat if you’re forced to close up shop. If you suffer direct physical loss or property damage at your premises, like in a fire, you could recover payroll for up to two months and lost income and operating expenses for up to a year. It’s available as an additional coverage to BOP.
Equipment breakdown coverage
Equipment breakdown coverage insures the cost of repairs and lost income when your equipment breaks down. It’s available as an additional coverage to BOP.
Product liability insurance
Product liability insurance protects crafters, makers, and manufacturers against the costly consequences of injury or damage arising from the sale of products like jewelry, candles, or soap. It’s available as part of general liability insurance coverage on Thimble’s monthly and annual policies.
Cyber liability insurance
Cyber liability insurance includes first and third-party liability coverage that shields small businesses against the consequences of a cyber breach or data theft.
Hired & non-owned auto coverage
Hired and non-owned auto coverage is designed to cover work-related accidents in your employees’ personal vehicles or ones you rent. Liability coverage for personal autos or rental vehicles that your business uses for work but doesn’t own. It’s available as an additional coverage to BOP.
Auto liability insurance
Commercial auto liability insurance protects you against the risks associated with vehicles that your business owns and operates.
Small business insurance state by state
Prices vary between states, but every state also has its own unique rules on insurance for the small businesses that call it home. Learn more about the small business insurance requirements across the U.S.
How do I get small business insurance?
By the job, month, or year—in minutes—from Thimble.
We make the process simpler than ever. Just decide what type of policy you need, and click “get a quote” here or in the Thimble app. You’ll answer a few basic questions about your business and choose your desired coverage length. You’ve got options to make getting a policy painless: you can either buy your business insurance online or chat with a real, non-robot human on our Support team. In a matter of minutes, you’ll have insurance that’s customized to fit your business’s exact needs, so you can take on every opportunity with the confidence that you’re covered.
Small Business Insurance FAQs
Why do you need small business insurance?
The bottom line is that small business insurance protects your bottom line. It can help you protect your profits from expensive claims, inspire confidence in current and potential clients, and help you access more business opportunities. In fact, clients and businesses across industries often ask for proof of insurance from the people they contract with. Some states even require insurance and proof that you have it. That means that if you want to get the best jobs, you’ll want to have a Certificate of Insurance (COI) readily available.
What’s the difference between a small business insurance quote and a small business insurance policy?
We know—this stuff can be confusing! So now that you understand the basics, let’s cover some of the legal jargon that insurance companies throw around when you’re on the search for business insurance. A small business insurance quote is an estimate of the premium (or price) for insurance coverage. This isn’t an actual offer for an insurance policy, but whether you get it online or call an insurance agent, a quote is the best guess of what you should expect to pay for the coverage you selected.
After you get a quote, an insurance policy is the actual contract you enter with an insurance provider that describes the final premium, deductible and coverage limits you agreed to. In the world of commercial small business insurance, every new person you come into contact with can be considered a risk, so your provider will likely lay out exactly the types of claims that are covered in your policy documents.
What’s a “first party” in business insurance?
The first party in insurance for a small business is most often the insured (that’s you) or your insurance provider. That means first-party insurance covers losses to your own property or person, like Business Equipment Protection, also known as inland marine insurance, if your own gear breaks.
What’s a “third party” in business insurance?
A third party is an individual or entity involved in an insurance claim who is neither the policy holder, Named Insured, Additional Insured or the insurance provider. For example, a third party could be a customer whose floors you damage when you come to make repairs around their house.
To recap: When you purchase a policy, based on the coverage you chose, the costs from first-party (your own) and third-party (other people’s) claims go to your insurance company, and you save your business’s money. Easy, right? We think so too.
People like you like Thimble.
We're trusted by over 40,000 small businesses.
(And thanks. We like us too.)
4.6/5 stars from 852 reviews
Fast & Easy
This is fast and easy and works great for me! I am a one man freelance landscaper and this gives me the ability to purchase insurance directly from my phone anytime and anywhere I need it.
Super easy to use! Thought of everything
This app is beautiful and super easy to use! It’s super easy to get insurance for the weddings I shoot where the venues require insurance. I can just buy it on the app with 3 clicks and I’m done.
I love this idea ????!! I needed to have proof of liability to present my proposal; got it on the spot. I didn't win the bid but I didn't get stuck with costly insurance, either!!
So Easy!!! I LOVE IT
It was so easy, quick, and simple. The PDF package I received contained everything I needed. This was the best experience I've ever had obtaining insurance...thank you!!!
I was very impressed with your monthly rate on general liability coverage! Much less than 1/12 of everyone else's annual rate.
I love the convenience
I love the convenience of this insurance app, its the best thing since sliced bread????????