The Aloha State is unlike any other place in the United States. Located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, this island paradise is more than just a tourist’s beach escape. Hawaii is a mecca of culture and commerce, and its flourishing business community is anchored by small businesses. There’s no question, Hawaii is a top destination for entrepreneurs.

There’s a universal truth about business that exists no matter what—or where—your business is located. Running a company involves risk. The best way to mitigate that risk is by having insurance. Some business insurance is even required before you can operate legally.

What business insurance am I required to get in Hawaii?

Hawaii workers’ compensation insurance

In Hawaii, you’re required to have workers’ compensation insurance if you have one or more part-time, full-time or seasonal employees. Workers’ compensation insurance exists to safeguard employees from financial impact related to injuries or illnesses sustained on the job. As a business owner, it also protects you from liability related to employee injuries. Workers’ compensation covers expenses and lost wages caused by the following:

  • Work-related accidents and injuries, such as repetitive stress injury, and resulting disability
  • Illnesses caused by or related to employment

Hawaii auto liability insurance

If you drive a car, truck or van as part of your business operation, you’re required to have auto liability insurance or qualify as a self-insurer. Auto liability insurance can protect you and your business from the following types of third-party claims resulting from auto accidents involving your vehicle:.

Property damage – If you get into an accident in which you are at fault, your auto policy’s Property Damage Liability covers the cost to repair or replace the other party’s vehicle.

Bodily injury – If you get into an accident in which you are at fault and the driver or a passenger of the other vehicle is injured, your auto liability insurance coverage will insure the additional costs arising out of bodily injury, including medical expenses and death benefits once the injured party has exceeded all PIP benefits available under their policy. In Hawaii, your auto liability insurance also provides coverage for:

Personal injury protection (PIP) – Personal Injury Protection covers 80 percent of all necessary and reasonable medical expenses up to $10,000 resulting from a covered injury, no matter who caused the crash

Also, depending on the use of your vehicle, the kind of vehicle or if your vehicle is registered or titled under your business name, you may need a commercial auto insurance policy to secure the appropriate coverage and vehicle registration, and avoid penalties.

What other types of business insurance are recommended for Hawaii?

Hawaii general liability insurance

General liability insurance (also known as CGL—for commercial general liability) is one of the most essential and effective ways to safeguard your business. It protects your business from the financial consequences resulting from liability related to third-party non-employee bodily injury or third party property damage that arises from your business operations. It also provides coverage for personal and advertising injury. Without general liability insurance coverage, you could be in financial trouble in the event of an unfortunate accident involving a customer or other third party.

Hawaii professional liability insurance

If you provide professional services and your advice is alleged to have led to one of your clients suffering a financial loss, professional liability insurance can help. When a former customer or client claims—rightly or wrongly—that a mistake in your work led them to suffer a financial loss, professional liability insurance provides you with investigation and defense of the claim as well as making payments of any settlements or judgments.

Inland marine insurance

Inland marine insurance is designed to protect that vital equipment you use to make your business run smoothly. It protects your business by covering costs associated with accidentally damaged, lost or stolen equipment that is on the go with you. Whether you have an expensive tool collection, pricey construction materials, or other equipment you transport to a job site, having inland marine insurance is a no-brainer.

Commercial property insurance

Commercial property insurance protects your company’s building and the contents inside it from all kinds of risks of physical loss or damage, including theft, vandalism, fires and natural disasters such as floods, storms or earthquakes. Commercial property insurance is often included as part of a Business Owners’ Insurance Policy, or BOP.

Professions covered in Hawaii

No matter what your business is, if you’re in Hawaii, you’ll benefit from being insured. If a non-employee slips and falls due to a workplace hazard or you accidentally damage a client’s property while working in their home, the last thing you need is to pay out-of-pocket for damages. In Hawaii, Thimble’s business insurance covers:

Cost of business insurance in Hawaii

At Thimble, the cost of your business insurance depends on a variety of factors. The amount of risk involved in your business, the industry you’re in, and the amount of business you do all play a part in determining your policy premium.

Another important factor is your location. If you’re in Honolulu, you might see higher premiums on average than you would around the other islands.

Finally, Thimble will look at factors such as your crew size, coverage amount and the number of years you’ve been in business before determining how much your premium will be.

Median Hawaii insurance costs

Coverage Period

By the hour

By the day

By the Week

By the month

Median Cost

$12.42

$14.80

$20.02

$70.99

Top cities for businesses in Hawaii

  • Hilo
  • Honolulu
  • Kahului
  • Kapa’a
  • Lahaina
  • Wailuku

Bottom line: Hawaii business insurance

Hawaii is an idyllic place to pursue your small business dreams. If you’re looking to set up shop on one of Hawaii’s beautiful islands, make sure your business is safe. Set yourself up for long-term success by getting all the insurance coverage you need.

Even if you’re just starting up, you can find Hawaii business insurance coverage that’s right for you. Through Thimble, you can get a quote for your general liability insurance, professional liability insurance or Business Equipment Protection in less than a minute and if you decide to buy, you’ll be able to access your policy and Certificates of Insurance (COIs) in your inbox instantly.

Our editorial content is intended for informational purposes only and is not written by a licensed insurance agent. Terms and conditions for rate and coverage may vary by class of business and state.