According to the United States Small Business Administration (SBA), small businesses make up a considerable part of the economy in Illinois. There are approximately 1.2 million of them. Smaller businesses in Illinois employ 2.4 million workers or more than 46 percent of the state’s workforce.
The one thing all small businesses in Illinois share in common is that they face risks, including things like fires, customer and employee injuries, theft, lawsuits, and more. The most important thing business owners can do to control these risks is to get business insurance coverage, which can protect against all these things and much more.
This article will cover the top seven business insurers in Illinois. We’ll also provide information about business insurance in general and different types of coverage, so you’ll have the knowledge you need to get the right coverage at the best possible price.
- The 7 best small business insurance companies in Illinois
- Why do I need business insurance in Illinois?
- Does Illinois require businesses to get insurance coverage?
- What kind of business insurance do I need in Illinois?
- Should I get commercial flood insurance to protect my small business in Illinois?
- How much business insurance coverage do I need in Illinois?
- How much does small business insurance cost in Illinois?
- How can I find cheap business insurance in Illinois?
The 7 best small business insurance companies in Illinois
Here are our choices for the best business insurers in Illinois.
- CoverWallet: Best for Illinois small business owners who want to compare quotes quickly
- Progressive: Best for discounted business insurance
- The Hartford: Best for Illinois businesses looking for a sound and ethical insurer
- Hiscox: Best for Illinois small business owners who want insurance from an established provider
- THREE: Best single source for all your Illinois business insurance needs
- Insureon: Best small insurance marketplace in Illinois
- Next: Best online insurance buying experience
CoverWallet: Best for Illinois small business owners who want to compare quotes quickly
CoverWallet is a cutting-edge insurance provider. The firm has developed its state-of-the-art platform, based on its own algorithms, to ensure it can connect small businesses with all the business insurance they need at the most reasonable price. The platform makes it quick and easy to get quotes from several providers at once, making it possible to compare coverage and premiums from highly reputable insurers all on a single screen.
The firm’s experts have used their extensive experience to make sure you only input the information needed to generate quick and accurate quotes. The entire process should take ten minutes or less.
You can feel confident knowing that CoverWallet is a part of Aon, an established company that provides advice to businesses on things like risk, health, and retirement.
Once you get your quote, CoverWallet makes it easy to purchase business insurance online or through an agent. When you get your policy through CoverWallet, it’s simple to manage your coverage online, including downloading a certificate of insurance, filing a claim, renewing your insurance, and more.
Here is a general liability insurance quote from CoverWallet.
Progressive: Best for discounted business insurance
Progressive may seem like a less-than-serious company because of its ongoing series of commercials featuring Flo. You might feel concerned about entrusting your operation to the insurer.
The truth: It’s a reputable company in business since 1937. Progressive is known for its flexibility, great rates, and highly responsive service.
Progressive is famous for its discounts, which could help you save on your business insurance. You can earn discounts for things like:
- Purchasing multiple coverages
- Implementing safe worksite practices
- Paying annually rather than in smaller increments
- Agreeing to autopay.
It’s easy to get a business insurance quote online from Progressive. It should take you less than five minutes.
Here is a simple general liability insurance quote from Progressive.
The Hartford: Best for Illinois businesses looking for a sound and ethical insurer
The Hartford is one of the oldest companies of any kind in the United States. It’s offered insurance solutions for more than 200 years and has helped one million-plus businesses with their insurance needs. The company takes pride in the fact that the Ethisphere Institute named it a World’s Most Ethical Company twelve times. The Hartford’s longevity and focus on ethical business practices make it a company with which you can feel good about doing business.
The Hartford’s dedicated and highly experienced small business team is available to help company owners explore their commercial insurance options. If you decide to purchase insurance from The Hartford, you can rest assured knowing you’re entrusting your business to a strong, stable, knowledgeable, and ethical provider.
Here is a simple general liability insurance quote from The Hartford.
Hiscox: Best for Illinois small business owners who want insurance from an established provider
Hiscox is a leading insurer that specializes in small business insurance. It offers a complete array of business coverages but is known for the core property and liability insurance protection every business needs.
Hiscox makes it easy to purchase business property, liability, and other types of insurance online. Hiscox also offers top-tier service and provides fast quotes, instant coverage, and quick claims processing. You can also speak with experienced business insurance experts who can help you customize your coverage to meet your unique company needs.
If you choose Hiscox for your business coverage, you can rest assured knowing you’re entrusting your organization to a firm that’s been in operation since 1901. More than 400,000 companies choose Hiscox for their coverage.
THREE: Best single source for all your Illinois business insurance needs
THREE is another insurer that’s part of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies. It offers a single policy covering different types of businesses in Illinois. The firm prides itself on the fact that it has a simple three-page policy with no fine print or surprises.
The single policy covers:
- Liability: General liability, errors and omissions, and employment practices
- Cyber: Cyber liability, data compromise, and incident response
- Property and business interruption: Fire, theft, flood and water damage, wind and hail, and earthquake
- Business auto: Collision, comprehensive, auto liability, and hired and non-owned
- Workers’ compensation
THREE could be a good provider for your Illinois business insurance if simplicity and comprehensive coverage are essential to you.
Insureon: Best small insurance marketplace in Illinois
Insureon is the top independent online small business insurance marketplace in Illinois and the United States. The company makes it simple for businesses to get and compare quotes from top insurance providers. You can also buy coverage, manage your insurance, and make claims online. You can always work with a trained and licensed agent if you prefer.
Insureon has been in business for more than a decade. It’s provided insurance to more than 350,000 small businesses. It has written more than one million policies.
Next: Best online insurance buying experience
Next is changing how small companies purchase business insurance.
Its operation focuses on delivering the ultimate online insurance experience. Because of this, you’re able to purchase a policy, file a claim, or get a certificate of insurance any place, any time, 365 days a year. Even though Next is an online insurer, you can get expert help over the phone when you need it. The firm is also known for making most claims decisions within 48 hours.
Even though Next is a relatively new and innovative company, you can rest assured knowing it has an excellent rating from A.M. Best, an insurance company rating agency. All the company’s policies are backed by MunichRe, an established insurance company and reinsurer. More than 10,000 business owners have turned to Next for their insurance needs. The firm has earned a solid 4.7 customer rating.
What is business insurance?
Business insurance, also known as commercial insurance, helps protect business owners from unexpected losses.
There are many business insurance options to help cover your operation for property damage, legal liability, and employee-related risks.
What is business insurance for?
Business insurance helps protect you from risks that come with operating a business. Without the right insurance coverage, you’d have to pay out of pocket for claims, which could be costly and would likely put you out of business.
Why do I need business insurance in Illinois?
Some small business insurance coverages are required by laws for all types of small businesses in Illinois, regardless of your industries, so you must have them. These are workers comp insurance and commercial auto insurance.
Some coverages may not be required by the state law, but you employers may require you to have it, below are some examples:
- If work in healthcare such as a nurse, a therapist, or a doctor, etc., your employers may require you to have malpractice insurance.
- If you work as a lawyer or an attorney, you may also need legal malpractice insurance.
The purpose of the insurance is to help protect your Illinois-based business from common risks most companies face, along with industry-specific ones. It can protect the financial assets of your small business, its physical property, employees, and intellectual property from:
- Work-related employee injuries and illnesses
- Property damage
- Loss of income
- And more.
Does Illinois require businesses to get insurance coverage?
The state requires business owners to carry certain types of insurance. All businesses with employees must have workers’ compensation insurance. The state also requires firms to have unemployment and disability insurance for certain employees based on how much they work and how much you pay them.
You also need to get commercial auto insurance if you drive for business reasons.
How do I prove I have insurance coverage in Illinois?
If you must prove you have certain types of insurance, you’ll need a certificate of insurance (COI). You should be able to download one right away as soon as you’ve purchased coverage.
What kind of business insurance do I need in Illinois?
The most common types of business insurance coverage small companies in Illinois purchase include:
- Workers comp insurance
- Commercial auto insurance
- General liability insurance
- Business Owners Policy (or BOP) insurance
- Professional liability insurance or E&O or malpractice insurance
What is workers’ compensation coverage, and do small businesses need it in Illinois?
If your business has employees, the state of Illinois, with few exceptions, will require you to carry workers’ compensation coverage. This insurance provides benefits to your employees to help them recover from work-related injuries or illnesses. Some examples of these include:
- A clerk at your store is stocking shelves, slips off a ladder, and breaks her leg. This makes her unable to do her job.
- An administrative assistant at your business has been working on a computer while sitting on a cheap old chair and comes down with carpal tunnel syndrome. She can no longer do her job because she’s in pain.
- A carpenter at your cabinet factory has been breathing in sawdust and chemical fumes for years and comes down with lung disease. His doctor will not allow him to return to work.
Workers’ comp pays funeral expenses and death benefits to immediate family members should an employee pass away because of a job-related incident.
Learn more about workers comp insurance at the best workers comp insurance companies in Illinois and the cheapest workers comp insurance companies.
Commercial auto insurance in Illinois
Commercial auto insurance pays for damage to vehicles and the cost of medical care if you or an employee is involved in an accident while driving for work-related reasons. State laws require you to have commercial auto insurance for your business. Personal auto insurance doesn’t cover you and your vehicle if you drive for work.
If you don’t have proper business vehicle insurance, when you are involved in an accident as you are driving for work, your personal auto insurance company will refuse the claim and might drop you from their coverage as well. Learn more about the differences between commercial auto insurance and personal auto insurance and why small businesses need to have commercial auto insurance coverage.
Commercial auto insurance is usually a bit more expensive than personal auto coverage, but without it, you may have to pay out of pocket a lot more. Learn more about how to find cheap commercial auto insurance.
General liability insurance in Illinois
General liability insurance, also referred to as commercial liability coverage, helps protect your business against claims of bodily injury and property damage that happen in your workplace or while your employees are doing their jobs. This includes customer injuries resulting from a slip and fall in your office or workplace or client property damage that occurs because of a worker incident in a client’s home.
Illinois state laws don’t require general liability insurance for most small businesses. However, it is probably the most widespread coverage for small businesses to carry. Learn more at the best general liability insurance in Illinois and the cheapest general liability insurance companies.
What does a Business Owners Policy (BOP) cover in Illinois?
A Business Owners Policy (BOP) will help protect your business property, income, and financial assets. A BOP typically includes three types of coverage:
- Business property coverage protects the buildings your business operates out of, whether you own or rent them, and the equipment used to run your company, including your:
- Physical location
- And more.
- General liability insurance covers legal claims against your business related to:
- Bodily injury
- Property damage
- Reputational harm, such as libel and slander.
- Business income insurance, often referred to as business interruption coverage, helps replace lost income if you can’t operate your business because of property damage covered by your business policy. This includes damage from fire, wind, weather events, and burglaries. Learn more at the best business income insurance companies.
Depending on the specific needs of your business, you can work with your insurance agent or company rep to figure out what other coverages you may need.
Professional liability insurance in Illinois
Professional liability insurance covers you and the people who work for you if a client ever sues you for giving them bad advice or not performing services to their satisfaction.
If you are in the business of providing customers with advice and services, you might need professional liability insurance, also called errors and omissions (E&O) in the real estate, insurance, or finance industries, or malpractice insurance in the healthcare and legal sectors.
The coverage details are slightly different and nuanced in various industries and specialties. Use our guides specific to each sector and specialty to find the coverage that you need:
- Lawyers – Top 5 Providers of Legal Malpractice Insurance & How Much It Costs
- Accountants & CPAs – Professional Liability Insurance (E&O) for Accountants and CPAs
- Tax preparers – The Best E&O Insurance for Tax Preparers
- Doctors – The 5 Best Providers of Medical Malpractice Insurance
- Consultants – Professional Liability Insurance (E&O) for Consultants
- Real estate agents – Top 5 Providers of Real Estate E&O Insurance & Costs
- Insurance agents – E&O Insurance for Insurance Agents: Cost and Top 5 Providers
- Engineers – Top 5 Providers of Professional Liability Insurance for Architects and Engineers
- Marketing and advertising services
- Psychologists – Top 4 Providers of Malpractice Insurance for Psychologists and Counselors
- Nurses – The Best 4 Providers of Nursing Malpractice Insurance
- Nurse practitioners: The Best Malpractice Insurance for Nurse Practitioners
- Dentists – Top 5 Providers of Dental Malpractice Insurance
- Dental hygienists – The Best Malpractice Insurance for Dental Hygienists
- Physician’s assistants – The Best Malpractice Insurance for Physician’s Assistants
- Physical Therapists – The 6 Best Malpractice Insurance Providers for Physical Therapists
- Chiropractors – 4 Best Choices for Cheap Chiropractic Malpractice Insurance
- Pharmacists – The Best Malpractice Insurance for Pharmacists and Costs
- Social workers – The Best Malpractice Insurance for Social Workers
- Acupuncturists – The Best Malpractice Insurance for Acupuncturists
Should I get commercial flood insurance to protect my small business in Illinois?
Businesses in Chicago should consider getting commercial flood insurance. The city has among the highest percentage of flood-prone properties in the United States. If you think you’re covered for this type of damage by your commercial property insurance, you’re probably wrong. It typically doesn’t cover damage from floods.
Commercial flood insurance helps cover property damaged by floodwater. You can purchase this coverage from your business insurer, which will secure it through the National Flood Insurance Program. The federal government requires a 30-day waiting period for new policies. Make sure you get flood insurance well before a flood heads your way.
Other business insurance coverages that small businesses in Illinois might need
- Commercial property covers losses in your workplace resulting from weather damage, fire, theft, or vandalism.
- Business income interruption will help replace a portion of your business income if your company cannot operate because of covered reasons.
- Product liability covers you if a product you manufacture or sell is faulty and doesn’t perform as intended, and someone sues you because of it. Learn more at the best product liability insurance companies.
- Cyber insurance helps pay expenses related to the theft or loss of critical customer, employee, or business information. Learn more at the best cyber insurance companies and the best data breach insurance companies.
- Directors and officers, or D&O insurance, will help pay legal expenses and damages if a director or officer at your company is sued because of a business-related decision. Learn more at the best D&O insurance companies.
What coverages should Illinois businesses with employees get?
As covered in the section above, Illinois requires businesses with employees to carry workers’ compensation insurance.
You may also want to consider getting employment practices liability insurance. It helps protect your business if a current or former employee makes an employment-related claim. For example, if you are sued for wrongful termination, sexual harassment, or discrimination, employment practices liability insurance can help cover your legal costs.
How can I prevent business losses in Illinois?
Many business insurers offer programs that can help you reduce business-related risks. This includes doing things like eliminating workplace hazards and encouraging safe work practices. By doing these things, you should save on your business insurance costs. Check with your business insurer to find out whether they offer workplace safety programs.
Is there an easy way to get business insurance coverage in Illinois?
The simplest way to get small business insurance coverage is through a business owners policy (BOP), which typically bundles business property and liability coverage. A BOP makes it easy to add on additional types of coverage beyond these.
Learn more at the best BOP insurance companies.
How much business insurance coverage do I need in Illinois?
The types and amount of coverage you should purchase depend on several factors, including:
- Your industry
- The size of your business
- Value of your business property
- It’s location or locations in Illinois
- The number of employees
- And more.
At a minimum, you probably want to have liability and property coverage through a BOP if your business is located at a physical location. If your business doesn’t operate out of of physical building, you will need a general liability insurance policy. Small businesses usually get $1M/$3M coverage limits. However, you can get $100,000/$300,000 or $300,0000/$300,000 coverage limits as well for a cheaper price.
And if you have employees, the state of Illinois will likely require you to get workers’ compensation insurance. When you apply for coverage online, it’s likely that the insurer will suggest the additional coverages you should get. An experienced business insurance agent or company rep will be able to recommend coverages to you, as well.
How much does small business insurance cost in Illinois?
Premium costs can vary dramatically because they’re based on so many factors, including:
- The age and value of your business property
- The contents of your property
- Your business type
- Where in Illinois it’s located
- The limits and coverage options you choose
- Whether or not you select full or partial replacement cost
- And more.
Below are the average cost of some popular insurance coverages for small businesses in Illinois:
|Small business insurance coverages||Average cost in Illinois|
|Commercial auto insurance||$88/month|
|Workers comp insurance||$52/month|
|Professional liability insurance||$55/month|
These are just the average for all small businesses in Illinois. Your own quotes and costs will be very different depending on the nature of your business. What’s important is that you get quotes from multiple providers so you can compare coverages and costs to get the best and most cost-effective coverage for your business.
How can I find cheap business insurance in Illinois?
Here are some tips to help you find the coverage you need at a fair price:
- Shop around. Get quotes from a few companies or compare the multiple quotes generated by a service like CoverWallet.
- Don’t stop shopping around. Make sure you get new quotes before you renew your policy.
- Take advantage of discounts. If they’re not offered to you when getting a quote, ask about them, whether you’re buying online or through an agent.
Taking these steps will help ensure you’re not paying too much for your small business insurance.