Commercial insurance, sometimes also called business insurance, is insurance meant to protect a business owner from losses occurring from some unforeseen event. Every business is unique and has different risk profiles, and as a result, commercial insurance tends to be highly bespoke and customized for each business’ needs. In this manner, the relationship between the business owner and the insurance broker is much more akin to the relationship a business owner has with their CPA or trusted legal counsel, and typically rely on their expertise to recommend an adequate risk management strategy for their business.
This variety in insurance policies between different businesses is the reason why most business insurance is still purchased offline in 2020, while a large portion of the personal insurance market has moved online and largely done directly with the insurance carriers without an intermediary.
Think of purchasing online business insurance as being like having a Quickbooks account. Your accountant will still be the one you consult on for all major decisions and even carry out the day to day accounting activities, but you as the business can also access the account and process basic reports. In a very simple business, you could even do everything yourself. The most basic coverages are usually property insurance and a Commercial General Liability policy (CGL).
In the past few years, several companies have attempted to provide a fully online solution precisely for businesses who have simple insurance needs, or need a standardized package for a portion of their business. Thankfully, the past couple of years have seen a lot of progress in this area, and below we cover a few of the main options on the market at the moment.
- Zego could be an option if your business is based in the UK and you are looking for a solution to insure your fleet. Zego focuses exclusively on auto insurance, so you would likely need to purchase a policy from another carrier for your remaining insurance needs.
- Progressive was one of the first companies in the market to innovate and go direct to consumer with a technology model. It is no wonder they are also experimenting with going direct and testing out online solutions for business owners. Progressive also has a robust set of products, including worker’s compensation and cyber insurance. Note that the only policies Progressive actually underwrites and carries are the commercial auto policies, but for most of the other coverages Progressive will place you with a partner.
- Coverhound offers quite a robust product going beyond just the typical policies one would expect from an online broker. They offer Professional Liability (also known as Errors and Omissions), Worker’s Compensation, Commercial Auto Insurance, Directors and Officers Insurance and even Cyber Insurance.
The above coverage options are certainly worth considering if you believe your business would be adequately served by these policies. That being said, do not try to fit a square peg in a round hole. Online commercial insurance is still very limited, and if it’s not providing exactly what you need, then it is best to go to your trusted insurance advisor and work out a package that exactly fits your business needs.