Ohio is known as the Buckeye State, but it has a lesser known and perhaps more fitting nickname: the Heart of it All. Yes, Ohio truly is the heart of the Midwest. With 7 metro areas boasting half a million or more people, Ohio is a place where there’s truly something for everyone. And that applies to business as well.

Giant corporations don’t exactly run the game in Ohio. Over 99% of businesses in the state are small companies that employ nearly half of Ohio’s workforce. Those numbers shine a light on just how durable the Buckeye State’s small business community is. And one of the biggest keys to making sure your company stays in it for the long haul is small business insurance.

What business insurance am I required to get in Ohio?

Ohio workers’ compensation insurance

In Ohio, you’re required to have all your employees covered by workers’ compensation insurance. Under most circumstances, this means paying an insurance premium to the state’s Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, the only organization that can provide workers’ compensation coverage in Ohio. If you’re starting or planning to start a new business in Ohio, check in with the Ohio BWC to learn about how to begin coverage.

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

Ohio 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:

Bodily injury – If you get into an accident and the driver or a passenger of the other vehicle is injured, your auto bodily injury liability insurance covers the costs arising out of bodily injury, including medical expenses and death benefits.

Property damage – In the above scenario, it’s extremely likely the other car sustained some damage as well. Your auto policy’s Property Damage Liability coverage insures the cost to repair or replace the other party’s vehicle.

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 Ohio?

Ohio 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.

Ohio 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. At Thimble, we offer inland marine insurance, or Business Equipment Protection as we call it, with coverage for up to $5,000 worth of business property and equipment.

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 Ohio

No matter what your business is, if you’re in Ohio, 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 Ohio, Thimble’s business insurance covers:

Cost of business insurance in Ohio

At Thimble, the cost of your small 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. Large metro areas like Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati might have higher premiums on average than more rural places like Monroe or Pike Counties.

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 Ohio insurance costs

Coverage Period

By the hour

By the day

By the Week

By the month

Median Cost





Top cities for businesses in Ohio

  • Akron
  • Cincinnati
  • Cleveland
  • Columbus
  • Dayton
  • Sandusky
  • Toledo
  • Youngstown

Bottom line: Ohio business insurance

If you’re looking for the perfect place to start your business, Ohio definitely has a lot to offer. Looking to serve a large college population? Columbus has you covered. Perhaps you’re searching for up-and-coming cities like Monroe or Dublin. Or you could make Lake Erie part of your business by setting up shop in one of Ohio’s many lakeside communities. Whichever path you choose, business insurance will allow you to make those brave leaps forward without worrying about certain financial surprises.

Even if you’re just starting up, you can find Ohio 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.