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Pennsylvania Business Insurance: Cost, Coverage, & Providers

Pennsylvania has much to offer small businesses. Pennsylvania is strategically located about halfway between New York City and Washington, D.C., and has one of the lowest costs of living in the Northeast. Although it ranks a dismal 41st on a list of the top states to start a business in, Pennsylvania is trying to grow its economy and make itself more attractive to entrepreneurs. Either way, if you’re interested in starting a business in the Keystone State, you’ll need business insurance. Here is where you can get reasonably priced coverage. 

The 6 best business insurance companies in Pennsylvania

  • CoverWallet: Best for online quotes
  • Travelers: Best Overall
  • Chubb: Best for customer service
  • Liberty Mutual: Best for specialized coverage
  • Employers: Best for workers compensation insurance
  • Hiscox: Best for professional liability insurance

CoverWallet: Best for online quotes

If you want to comparison shop in a hurry, you should look into CoverWallet. You enter your information once, and CoverWallet will present you with two or three quotes for insurance that meets your needs. CoverWallet partners with many top insurance companies, like Liberty Mutual, Chubb, Progressive, Hiscox, and more. It doesn’t always work instantly—sometimes you’ll have to wait a day before it’ll return quotes, but it’s still worth a look. 

Travelers: Best Overall

Travelers is the second-largest small business insurance provider in the U.S. They offer comprehensive insurance plans, perfect for a large or growing business. Their workers’ compensation claim allows everyone involved—the company, the employee, and the care providers, to view the claim and keep up to date. They also have a great library of risk management resources, so you can create a safe workspace. The only drawback to Travelers is that you will have to call and speak to an agent to get a quote: they don’t do online quoting. Once you have insurance through them, complaints are lower than average, and they are rated 3.8 out of 5 by WalletHub. 

Chubb: Best for customer service

Chubb offers a wide range of business insurance, and they can cover you no matter what your business. You can get up to $4 million in liability coverage, making Chubb an excellent choice for larger businesses. If that’s not enough coverage, Chubb can offer you up to $10 million in umbrella coverage. 

What sets Chubb apart, though, is the attention and service they give to their business insurance customers. In 2020 they were ranked first in overall satisfaction by J.D. Power, although they slid by a few points in 2021. Since they work through agents, your experience will vary according to the strength of your agent. 

Chubb offers online quoting for general liability insurance, professional liability insurance, BOP, and cyber insurance. A BOP policy from Chubb includes business income insurance (also known as business interruption insurance).  If you need other types of insurance, you’ll have to work with an agent. Chubb is not terribly transparent about its rates, and from what we’ve read online, rates seem to be on the higher side. 

Liberty Mutual: Best for specialized coverage

Liberty Mutual offers a wide variety of business policies, including some that are very specialized and unique, such as:

  • Third-party administration
  • Specialty property and casualty insurance for high-risk businesses
  • Absence management
  • Environmental liability
  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Equipment breakdown
  • War and terrorism

There’s more, too—Liberty Mutual has so many business insurance options that it’s impossible to list them all. Liberty Mutual has flexible coverage designed for your needs. Although the website has some worthwhile risk management content, you won’t find much information about prices, and Liberty Mutual does not offer online quoting of any kind. You’ll have to call to work with an agent. They claim this allows them to provide coverage specifically tailored to you and your business. This is true, but sometimes you just want a quick quote. 

Employers: Best for workers compensation insurance

Employers provides workers’ compensation insurance to 46 states. They have pay-as-you-go options, which might save you money since it’s based on actual payroll instead of estimates. This also helps small business owners with fluctuating or seasonal payroll manage their bills more effectively. Employers covers over 30 industries. If an employee is injured, they can receive their benefits from an Employer’s debit card called InsurCard®. 

Employers doesn’t offer online quotes, and it doesn’t offer a chat bot either. Some reviews on the internet complain about how long it takes customer service to respond.  

Hiscox: Best for professional liability insurance

Hiscox provides protection for over 180 professions for over 400,000 small businesses. Online quoting is a breeze—no matter what we throw at Hiscox, they always come back with a quote. Once you have your quote you can purchase most types of insurance online with a credit card. You can also file a claim online 24/7. For busy business owners, Hiscox is very easy to deal with and customer service is friendly and helpful. They have agents as well, if you’d prefer to talk to someone about your needs, or if you’re just not sure what your needs are. 

Professional liability insurance from Hiscox covers you no matter where work is done in the world, and you can get a limit of up to $2 million. You can also tailor your professional liability coverage to your specific profession. 

Hiscox gives you a 5% discount if you buy more than one policy, and they have a 14-day money-back guarantee, so you can read through everything and decide if their insurance is for you. 

What insurance coverage do I need for my small business in Pennsylvania?

There are many types of small business insurance, all of which protect you from lawsuits. What kind of lawsuit they provide protection from is where they differ. 

General liability insurance in Pennsylvania

General liability coverage protects against third-party bodily injury claims, third-party property damage claims, and personal and advertisement liabilities claims. Most small businesses need this coverage, especially those whose business operations take place in a physical location. Learn more at the best general liability insurance companies and the cheapest general liability insurance companies.

Commercial property insurance in Pennsylvania

Commercial property insurance protects the building you own or rent and its contents from fire, explosions, vandalism, water damage from burst pipes, and storms. Learn more at the best commercial property insurance companies.

Business Owners Policy (BOP) insurance in Pennsylvania

BOP bundles general liability and commercial property coverages in one policy to make it easier and cheaper for small businesses to get and manage their insurance. In some cases, it also includes business income interruption coverage. Learn more at the best BOP insurance companies.

Commercial auto insurance insurance in Pennsylvania

Vehicles you use to conduct business (except for commuting back and forth) must be covered under a commercial auto insurance policy. Learn more at the best commercial auto insurance and the cheapest commercial auto insurance.

Workers compensation insurance in Pennsylvania

Any small business with employees in Pennsylvania is required to have workers’ compensation insurance. It pays for medical costs, lost wages, and other benefits when your employees are injured or become ill at work. Learn more at the best workers comp insurance companies and the cheapest workers comp insurance companies.

Errors & Omissions (E&O) insurance in Pennsylvania

E&O insurance, also known as professional liability or malpractice insurance: This coverage covers the mistakes you make or things you fail to do in the context of your job.

Inland marine insurance in Pennsylvania

Inland marine insurance protects your business property while it’s in transit—commercial property insurance only protects your property while it’s on-site. Learn more at the best inland marine insurance companies.

Cyber liability insurance in Pennsylvania

Cyber liability insurance protects your business from data breaches or hacking attempts. Learn more at the best cyber insurance and the best data breach insurance companies.

Liquor liability insurance in Pennsylvania

If you have a business, such as a restaurant, that serves alcohol, you’ll need liquor liability insurance. It protects you from lawsuits if someone causes an accident because they were intoxicated. Learn more at the best liquor liability insurance companies.

What business insurance is required in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania requires workers’ compensation if you have any employees—full or part-time. Pennsylvania is also one of ten states that offer a competitive state fund for workers’ compensation insurance. Unlike monopolistic states, you don’t have to get your insurance through the state fund, it’s just an option. You could also seek out a private insurance company, and get quotes from both the state fund and several other companies. 

Commercial auto insurance is also required if you use a vehicle in the course of your business. The requirements are the same as for personal auto insurance: 15/30/5, or $15,000 in bodily injury, $30,000 per accident, and $5,000 in property damage. These limits are quite low, so you might want higher limits for your commercial auto policy. 

How much does business insurance cost in Pennsylvania?

How much you pay for business insurance in Pennsylvania depends on several factors, such as:

  • Location
  • Industry
  • Claims history
  • Amount of revenue
  • Size of business
  • Coverage levels
  • How much experience you have in your field
  • Structure of your business (sole proprietor, LLC, corporation, partnership, etc.)

A general liability policy in Pennsylvania costs between $300 and $5,000 a year. An industry with little risk, such as a locksmith, will pay less than, say, a roofer or a construction company. 

Learn more about the general liability insurance cost, workers comp insurance cost, and professional liability insurance cost.

How to find cheap business insurance in Pennsylvania?

The easiest and fastest way to save money on business insurance is to shop around. Get quotes from at least three companies. In addition to price, evaluate the coverage you’re getting, and look at online reviews of each company. You don’t want to buy insurance from a cheap company if they’re impossible to get a hold of and difficult to work with. 

Bundle your policies—you can get a 5% to 10% discount if you bundle your insurance. This goes for your personal insurance as well—if you buy your homeowners insurance and a general liability policy from the same company, ask about a discount. 

Lastly, try to provide a safe working environment. Clean spills right away. Post safety standards where everyone can see them. Make sure these standards are followed. Make sure your workspace is clean and well-kept, and there are no hazards lying around. 

Different business insurance coverages for different business types in Pennsylvania

Business typeTypes of business insurance needed
Small restaurant in HarrisburgGeneral liability
Liquor liability 
Workers’ compensation
Food contamination/food spoilage
Commercial auto (if they deliver)
Primary Care doctor’s officeProfessional liability insurance
General liability
Employment practices liability insurance
Cyber liability
Commercial cleaning serviceGeneral liability
Commercial property
Inland marine
Commercial auto
Small construction company (residential)General liability
Builders’ risk
Professional liability
Commercial auto
Worker compensation
Cyber liability
Commercial property
Inland marine

You may have noticed that we recommend general liability for all of these businesses. General liability will protect you from accidental slips, falls, and injuries (to customers, not to your employees), third-party property damage, advertising injury, and copyright infringement. Not only is it the biggest bang for your buck, but in many cases, clients won’t work with you unless you have it. 

Last thoughts

Pennsylvania boasts a great location, with easy access to the east coast, New York City and Washington, D.C. There are six airports in Pennsylvania, so you can reach anywhere within just a few hours. They also have great food, great sports teams, and great universities. Pennsylvania is a great place to start a business and raise a family—just get some insurance and you’ll be all set. 

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