If you’re looking for small business insurance, one of the easiest ways to compare quotes is to find an online commercial insurance broker. These sites typically look at main insurers and offer multiple quote comparisons. However, it can be hard to find out which are the best, since there are so many of them. So below we’ve rated the top online commercial insurance brokers for small business.
To compare the quote process for each company, we entered a 3-year-old sole proprietorship accounting company with $35,000 in annual revenue and no employees. We selected basic bookkeeping services where we were able and listed that the company was located in Wisconsin. We selected general liability to keep the process the same across all sites.
- Insureon: Best for One-Application Process
- CoverHound: Best for Transparency in the Process
- CoverWallet: Best for Easy Quote Process
- Embroker: Best for Savings
- Founder Shield: Best for Startups, especially High-Growth Ones
- AP Intego: Best for Small Business Policies Customization
- Bizinsure: Best for Speed of Getting Quotes
What is an Insurance Broker?
Before we dig into the online brokers, first it’s important to outline what the difference between an agent and brokers is.
An agent usually works for one or more insurance companies. They execute the policy transaction from start to finish. On the other hand, a broker is more geared to finding policies that work for the client. While they don’t complete the transaction process, often having to hand the account over to an insurer or insurance agent, they have more of a reputation of working for the client who’s looking for the policy.
When looking for local agents and brokers, it’s easier to find agents, who tend to pop up on search results first. That’s where the ease of using online commercial insurance brokers comes in.
Insureon: Best for One-Application Process
Insureon runs itself off the slogan “hassle-free business insurance.” Insurion is partnered with top business insurers, like Liberty Mutual, the Hartford, Hiscox and Chubb, as a few examples. The site works by entering your information just once in an application and then you compare quotes side-by-side.
The quote process seems fairly standard at first. You enter your information and then select a continue button on the bottom of the screen. However, once you get to the third screen, the system wants you to add personal information like your phone number and email. You must agree that Insureon and its partners can contact you with solicitations. For that reason, we did not complete the quote process. So that’s a definite drawback to this site.
CoverHound: Best for Transparency in the Process
CoverHound is another big player amongst the online commercial insurance brokers. This site boasts the slogan, “Compare with confidence. Purchase with ease.” The site states that licensed advisors are not paid on commissions, meaning they are measured more on service expectations and recommendations that are best for your situation. CoverHound is paid on commission by the carrier, so it’s free to the businesses getting the quotes. We like how transparent CoverHound is with the process and how it works.
The quote process is straightforward, asking basic questions about your business, like the length of time you’ve been in business, address and more specific questions like if you’ve filed any past claims. There’s a note stating that the insurers will contact you if you purchase a policy. We got two matches and below is the screen that shows.
The screen does a great job of showing side-by-side comparisons. We like that it shows benefits right next to each other, like limits and deductibles. There’s also a part of the screen detailing what’s covered between the two services, like bodily injury and property damage. Overall, it’s a very smooth and straightforward process. We have no complaints.
CoverWallet: Best for Easy Quote Process
CoverWallet is one of those sites that pops up every time you search for small business insurance. With how easy the process is, it has been a bit of a go-to site for us to compare specific types of insurance rates. An added perk is that you can manage your policies through the site. It also partners with top industry insurers, like Progressive, Chubb, Hiscox and Liberty Mutual.
However, one drawback is that it tends to route you to a phone number to call if the type of business or type of insurance you’re selecting is too specialized. On one hand, that’s nice that the system wants you matched with the best policy for your specific situation. But it also seems to defeat the purpose of finding easy quotes through online commercial insurance brokers.
It also often pops up one option, defeating the purpose of comparing quotes side-by-side. But a positive is that the system also doesn’t require you to agree to be spammed.
In order to detail what the quote process is like, we put in the same business information as above. The system tends to ask one to a few questions per page, making the process seem easier and faster as you advance through the quickly loading screens. The system also asks if you’re interested in other products that suit your business, like professional liability insurance. We got the following screen once we completed the quote process:
This was a pretty good search, as it turned back three options to compare against. It also does a good job of outlining some of the basics, like limits between the policies.
Embroker: Best for Savings
This is another site that, in addition to providing quotes, has an insurance management platform that allows you to manage claims, certificates, and policies. The site also advertises that you can save an average of 20 percent on premiums through the company.
A major downside to this site, however, is that it’s not a site where you can casually compare quotes within an automated system. When you search for quotes, you are essentially filling out an application and all the legally binding requirements that entails. There’s a screen telling you everything you enter must be accurate and honest. You also start by creating an account. For these reasons, we did not complete the application process to get quotes.
Founder Shield: Best for Startups, especially High-Growth Ones
Founder Shield is one of the only online commercial Insurance brokers that specializes in high-growth companies. It’s basically where you can compare quotes if you’re a start-up. As such, you can customize packages based on how many employees and how much funding you have.
Tiers run from Bootstrapper (one through 10 employees and $0 through $1 million in funding) through Premier (over 50 employees and over $30 million in funding). The company also runs the sites AlphaRoot and Reshield.
To get a quote, you must set up an account within the site. One part of the form states “who should we be in contact with?” above the phone number information. So we did not complete the quote process.
AP Intego: Best for Small Business Customization
AP Intego is a small business insurance broker that also offers quotes online. This site also offers APIs and embedded applications to help the companies that need to manage insurance.
However, a major downside to the AP Intego quote process is that it asks for very detailed personal information upfront. By about the second page, it’s asking you to enter your social security number. For that reason, we didn’t complete the quote process.
Bizinsure: Best for Speed of Getting Quotes
Bizinsure is another small business insurance broker that compares quotes from the major small business insurers, like Chubb, the Hartford, Hiscox and Progressive. You can also search for insurance by a variety of different professions. It’s a very straightforward and bare-bones sort of site.
To get an idea of the quote process, we selected an accountant. The quote process goes pretty quickly, with just a few screens full of the usual questions about your business, like square feet of the location and question about any past claims. However, once we completed the process, we only got one quote:
Overall, this is one of the most basic of services on the list. While it’s not the only site that sometimes only gives you one quote, it’s the only site on the list that gave us one quote for a very common type of business and insurance.
Online Commercial Insurance Brokers Final Thoughts
Looking up online commercial insurance brokers can be an easy way to manage and compare your insurance quotes. Some of these sites even let you manage your claims and policies. All of them have their positives and negatives, so it’s important to go with the site that works for your personal preference and business type.
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