Why do I need business insurance coverage?

As a business owner, you need business insurance to protect yourself, your employees, your customers, your assets and the future of your company. Think about the high costs associated with worker injuries, lawsuits, temporary business closures and data breaches. Without business insurance, any one of those examples could jeopardize the future of your business. Also, your state may require you to carry certain types of business insurance.

Types of business insurance products

Businessowners policy

A businessowners policy (BOP) combines business liability, commercial property, business income, and equipment breakdown coverages into one cost-effective package for businesses. BOPs can be general in nature, or personalized to meet your business’s industry-specific needs. Standard BOPs include commercial property insurance, business liability insurance, business income insurance, or equipment breakdown insurance.

Get a BOP quote

Business liability

This type of coverage can provide reimbursement for the resulting medical, repair and legal expenses if your business is held liable for injuring someone or damaging their property. For example, if a customer slips and injures themselves on your property, business liability insurance can help pay for any medical costs or lawsuits that may arise from the incident. Such a policy can also be supplemented with additional coverage endorsements—including fire legal liability and employment-related practices liability—based on your business’s unique risks and exposures.

Start your business liability quote

Commercial property

This form of coverage can help protect your business’s building, as well as any commercial property surrounding the building and the contents within. These assets may include fencing, signage, furniture, equipment and inventory. If a covered event—such as a fire, burst pipe, storm damage or vandalism—damages or destroys your business’s building or its contents, commercial property insurance can recoup the cost of rebuilding, repairing or replacing the property. Commercial property insurance policies typically utilize one of the following valuation methods:

  • Replacement cost coverage pays for the cost of rebuilding, repairing or replacing your business’s property as new (with similar materials and quality), without any deduction for depreciation.
  • Actual cash value coverage reimburses your business for the cost of replacing the damaged or destroyed property, based on the depreciated value of the building or contents prior to the incident.

Get a commercial property insurance quote

Commercial auto

This type of coverage can provide protection for the vehicles your business uses to conduct its operations—including cars, trucks, vans and more. Commercial auto insurance typically includes three forms of coverage:

  • Auto liability coverage can cover medical expenses and legal costs in the event that you or an employee causes an accident that injures another person or damages their property.
  • Collision and comprehensive coverage can recoup the price of repairing your business’s vehicle(s) after an accident or other covered event.
  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage can help pay for any vehicle damages or injuries that result from an accident caused by a driver who doesn’t carry adequate insurance (if any).

Begin your commercial auto insurance quote

Workers' compensation

In the event that one of your employees experiences an occupational injury or illness, workers’ compensation insurance can cover their associated medical expenses and rehabilitation costs, and—in some cases—recoup a portion of their lost wages from the incident. This form of coverage can also help pay death benefits to an employee’s family if they are killed on the job. For example, if an employee injures themselves while operating workplace machinery at your business, workers’ compensation insurance could cover their resulting hospital bills and physical therapy costs. This coverage is required in most states, although specific policy standards vary.

Business income

This coverage can help you cover payroll, pay for relocation expenses and replace lost income when a covered loss forces your business to close temporarily.

Crime insurance

This coverage helps protects your business against, burglary, robbery, forgery, computer fraud, employee dishonesty and other crimes.

Employment practices liability

This coverage can help protect your business from employee lawsuits resulting in alleged discrimination, wrongful termination, harassment or other employment-related issues.

Cyber liability

This type of coverage can help your business recoup expenses associated with a cyberattack or data breach. These costs may include legal fees that result from the breach, expenses related to informing customers of the incident and investigating the cause of attack, and the cost of recovering lost data or repairing damaged technology systems.

Errors and omissions (E&O)

Errors and omissions insurance is a type of liability coverage that protects your business against client lawsuits caused by alleged negligent acts, errors or omissions. E&O insurance typically cover you, your employees and your subcontractors.

Equipment breakdown

This coverage helps protect you against equipment failures, including mechanical malfunctions, power surges and operator error, and any associated losses.

Umbrella insurance

Especially useful in high-loss situations, an umbrella policy can act as an added layer of protection to your business’s liability policies. Such a policy can provide coverage when the cost of a claim exceeds your policy’s limit of liability. For example, if your business receives a $1.5 million general liability claim after a customer injures themselves on your property, but your general liability policy limit is only $1 million, an umbrella policy could help cover the remaining $500,000.

Inland marine

This coverage helps protect your property in transit, as well as fine artwork and computer equipment and data.

Builder's risk

This coverage helps protect your construction projects throughout every phase, from groundbreaking to ribbon cutting.

Management Liability solutions

Our coverages guard against a wide array of risks companies encounter each day. Many organizations seek an added measure of financial protection to guard against claims that can stem from missteps their leaders or staff members might make, which could affect the financial well-being of the organization.
  • Crime & Fidelity
  • Cyber
  • Directors & Officers Liability
  • Employment Practices Liability
  • Fiduciary Liability
  • Financial Institutions
  • Private Company Management Liability

Surety bonds

Nationwide has been providing contract, commercial and fidelity bonds for more than 60 years. Different than insurance, a surety bond is designed to guarantee your:
woman holding a tablet

Integrity and honesty

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Performance and financial responsibility

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Compliance with a law or contract

Explore business insurance member resources to learn about services and benefits.

A leader in small business solutions

We specialize in small business products & solutions for:
  • Auto service & repair
  • Consulting offices
  • Contractors
  • Food service
  • Photography studios

What type of small business insurance do I need?

The kinds of commercial insurance coverage you need depend on the kind of business you have. For example, a tree removal service working with potentially dangerous equipment would have different risks and needs than a freelance web designer. Another factor to consider is where your business is located. It's important to talk to an agent about your business before you purchase to help make sure you have coverage that meets your specific needs.

Things to consider when buying small business insurance

checkmark   Do you create and sell a product to customers?
checkmark   Do you have employees?
checkmark   Do you have one or more company vehicles?
checkmark   Do you offer a service to customers?

Why choose Nationwide as your business insurance company?

checkmark  Strength and stability

We’re a Fortune 100 company with strong ratings.

checkmark  More than 90 years of business experience

Our first farm policy was issued in 1926 as the Farm Bureau Automobile Insurance Company.

checkmark  Friendly and dedicated business agents

Thousands of agents across the nation are ready to find the right coverage for you and your business.

checkmark   Loss control & risk management

Our customers get loss control tools and resources, including a Loss Control Services team who can review your operations, procedures and programs.

checkmark   Business Solutions Center

Nationwide provides free resources and tools on a variety of important topics to help small business owners start, grow and run their businesses.

checkmark  We serve companies of all sizes

We are open and ready, serving over half a million small businesses like yours across the nation.

Industry insurance solutions

We also specialize in larger business products and solutions for:
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