The Badger State is home to abundant natural resources. The northern, wooded areas power prolific paper manufacturing. And the 15,000 lakes attract fishermen and boating tourism. In the southern part of the state, the cows of dairyland make Wisconsin the biggest producer of cheese, milk, and butter in the entire country.

Altogether, these factors make Wisconsin an ideal location to start up or move your business. According to the 2020 Small Business Association profile, 456,884 small businesses make up 99.4% of all businesses in the state and employ 49.5% of all private sector workers.1 For all these small businesses to survive, they need insurance.

What business insurance am I required to get in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin workers’ compensation insurance

All employers in Wisconsin with three or more employees are legally required to have workers’ compensation insurance. 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

Wisconsin 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 cover 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 Wisconsin, 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 Wisconsin?

Wisconsin 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.

Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin

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

Cost of business insurance in Wisconsin

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. More populated areas like Madison or Milwaukee might have higher premiums on average than less populated locations like Kenosha or Oshkosh.

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 Wisconsin insurance costs

Coverage Period

By the hour

By the day

By the Week

By the month

Median Cost

$8.70

$15.08

$28.76

$60.16

Top cities for businesses in Wisconsin

  • Eau Claire
  • Green Bay
  • Janesville
  • Kenosha
  • La Crosse
  • Madison
  • Milwaukee
  • Oshkosh
  • Superior
  • Wausau

Bottom line: Wisconsin business insurance

The Badger State may be most famous as the dairy capital of America, but it’s also a fantastic place to open a business. With over 450,000 small businesses in the state, having Wisconsin on your radar for your new venture is a smart move. And as a new (or future) business owner, one of your first orders of business is to secure all the insurance coverages you’ll need to operate legally and worry-free.

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

Source:

  1. U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy – Wisconsin Small Business Economic Profile

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.