Business insurance brokers can help you find the best coverage because they have access to multiple carriers. We researched two dozen popular brokers to find the six top insurance brokers for small business owners. The final six come out on top based on eight criteria, including price options, available carriers, coverages, and customer service.
6 Top Insurance Brokers for Small Businesses 2019
How We Evaluated Business Insurance Brokers
Small business owners know they need insurance, and they want to get it fast and at a good price. We kept that in mind when evaluating business insurance brokers. Our top criteria focus on the ways brokers help you get affordable coverage quickly: price, carriers, coverages, applications, customer service, and reviews.
We used the following criteria to compare top insurance brokers:
- Price – Premium is up to the carrier, so we looked for brokers who offered discounts or payment plans. We also checked their compensation disclosures to see if they charged a broker’s fee. Generally, brokers charge 15% of the premium. Large national brokers may not charge anything.
- Carrier options – Any premium quoted through a broker depends on the insurance carrier, so the more carriers one can quote, the better chance you have of finding an affordable policy.
- Policy options – Some businesses only need one policy. For the rest, having all your insurance though a single broker can simplify payments, servicing, and renewals.
- Ease of use – The most important factor here is the broker’s application. We looked for streamlined applications with clear and relevant questions.
- Online options – Most brokerages have online applications, but some also let you pay for the policy, download certificates, add insureds, and amend coverage.
- Customer reviews – First, we researched customer reviews from a number of sources, including Feefo, the Better Business Bureau, and Consumer Affairs. But we also evaluated responsiveness through email and online chat features.
- Additional benefits – Our main focus is each broker’s access to commercial lines products, but we also took note of brokers with other policy options.
When it’s time to buy insurance, brokers can be a big help, according to Ralph Blust, President of Insureon Solutions.
“Providers can vary based on the line of insurance, but the best solution for anyone in this position is using an independent agency model. Independent agency has access to hundreds of options and can tailor the policy and budget shop at the same time. It’s a win/win.”
– Joshua Martin, President, Good Life Protection
Brokerages can share a lot of similar qualities, but AP Intego took the top spot. It received high marks for carriers, coverage, online options, and pricing, making AP Intego our pick for top insurance broker for small businesses.
AP Intego: Best Overall Business Insurance Broker for Small Businesses
AP Intego is our pick for best overall business insurance broker. Workers’ compensation insurance may be its bread and butter, but the company also offers most common small business policies from quality carriers without charging broker fees. Its online application is only a few pages and quotes appear instantly.
AP Intego Costs
AP Intego is the only brokerage on the list that offers pay-as-you-go workers’ compensation. Instead of submitting payments based on your payroll estimates, AP Intego’s plan lets you pay monthly. Your payroll service sends a copy of your recent payroll, and AP Intego uses it to charge your premium.
AP Intego Coverage & Carriers
AP Intego works with seven top-notch insurers to bring small business owners quality insurance. A few of these are household names. Others may be less recognizable, but that simply broadens your options and increases your potential for quotes.
Here are a few of the carriers AP Intego works with:
- Berkshire Hathaway Guard
- Oyster Insurance
Working with seven carriers means AP Intego can offer all kinds of small business policies, but its standout product is workers’ compensation. AP Intego knows how to apply each state’s workers’ compensation laws to specific risks, helping business owners avoid fines. Plus, AP Intego can also quote less common liability policies, like cyber, employment practices, and umbrella coverage.
AP Intego Customer Reviews
Reviews for AP Intego are sparse. In general, they trend positive, hovering between 4.0 and 4.5. In addition to pay-as-you-go workers’ compensation, customers often mention they’re impressed with the company’s responsiveness. Where they had to call other business insurance brokers several times, AP Intego representatives return calls quickly.
What AP Intego Is Missing
AP Intego’s online application is easy to use and sends workers’ compensation quotes instantly. However, quotes for other policies, including general liability, sometimes require talking with a broker. Plus, you can’t make online service requests. Other brokers on our list have instant quotes for all policies, and a few have better online servicing.
How to Apply with AP Intego
You can apply for workers’ compensation, general liability, professional liability, and cyber insurance online at AP Intego. Quotes for other coverages require messaging an agent, which the system lets you do automatically.
Insurance321: Best Business Insurance Broker for Local Expertise
Insurance321 helps you get the right coverage for your business by connecting you with local agents who know your industry. This service is invaluable for business owners who are unsure about what policies to buy and want to save money by comparing quotes. Even with the extra step, Insurance321 can return quotes within four minutes.
Because Insurance321 works with multiple agencies, getting a cost estimate depends on entering your information and talking to an agent. That said, those agents should be able to give you quotes from multiple carriers so you can compare prices, policies, and payment plans.
Insurance321 Coverage & Carriers
Insurance321 lists six fundamental business insurance policies on its site. But since you’re connected to a local insurance agent, your coverage options are only limited by the agent’s access. And since that agent specializes in your industry, chances are they can quote the policies you need.
Insurance321 Customer Reviews
Customers appreciate the fast, friendly service they get from Insurance321. Representatives call immediately to find out more about your business so they can get you connected to the appropriate agent.
What Insurance321 Is Missing
Working with an insurance professional is a big plus when it comes to matching your risk to the appropriate policy, and that’s Insurance321’s biggest strength. Unfortunately, the online experience is somewhat limited compared to other brokers on this list that provide instant quotes for some policies.
How to Apply with Insurance321
Once you enter your contact information on Insurance321, a representative calls to confirm and puts you in touch with a local agent. That agent then evaluates your risks and walks you through the appropriate application.
CoverHound: Best Business Insurance Broker for Commercial Auto Insurance
CoverHound offers an array of business insurance products, but it’s the standout broker for commercial auto coverage. It’s one of the only brokers that can take your auto information directly from the DMV. Picking this option speeds up the application and reduces error.
CoverHound works with many carriers, so it can’t provide standard pricing. That said, the company claims it can get a discount for people who buy more than one policy in most cases. Also, CoverHound doesn’t charge a broker’s fee, which can keep costs down compared to other business insurance brokers.
CoverHound Coverage & Carriers
CoverHound works with over 40 insurance carriers. On the site, it lists a number of high-quality carriers, such as Progressive, The Hanover, and Acuity. These carriers sell basic business insurance plus a few policies you don’t see everywhere, like directors and officers liability and crime insurance.
CoverHound Customer Reviews
Customer reviews for CoverHound tend to be positive. Most positive reviews mention the easy application and low cost, but many also approve of how CoverHound uses their information after they apply. CoverHound never sells or shares client data with outside agents.
What CoverHound Is Missing
An easy application and multi-policy discounts are big selling points for CoverHound. However, CoverHound only sells policies online. Any extra requests, like adding insureds or getting extra certificates, goes through the insurance carrier.
How to Apply with CoverHound
Because CoverHound offers commercial and personal lines, you have to first select the business insurance option on the homepage. Once there, you can start an application. Applying takes just minutes and returns quotes instantly.
BizInsure: Best Business Insurance Broker for Price Transparency
According to its site, BizInsure intends to revolutionize business insurance by reducing costs and increasing price transparency. Its application is more thorough than other business insurance brokers, but that results in more precise pricing information on your initial quote.
Like most brokers, BizInsure’s primary compensation is commissions, fees, or a combination of the two. When it charges broker fees, the amount is clearly listed in your quote. Additionally, BizInsure lets you select annual, quarterly, or monthly premium payments and includes those amounts in its proposals.
BizInsure Coverage & Carriers
BizInsure lists over 30 industries and occupations it covers on its site. The company specializes general liability, business owners policy, and professional liability. In addition to these essential coverages, BizInsure also offers a range of industry-specific policies, like glass coverage and machinery breakdown.
BizInsure works with eight top-notch small business carriers:
- The Hartford
- Liberty Mutual
BizInsure Customer Reviews
Customers like the online quoting BizInsure offers, describing it as quick and painless. They also appreciate being able to call a customer service representative during regular business hours for additional assistance.
What BizInsure Is Missing
BizInsure lets you apply, purchase, and access your policies online 24/7. Plus, you can contact a licensed agent throughout the process. The main drawback to working with BizInsure is the limited number of policies. Many small businesses need more coverage than BizInsure can quote.
How to Apply with BizInsure
The easiest way to apply for insurance with BizInsure is online. Go to the website and click on the “Get Instant Quotes” button to fill out a two-page application. The process takes less than 10 minutes.
Embroker: Best Business Insurance Broker for Online Experience
Embroker takes the paperwork out of the insurance industry. Not only can you apply online, but you can manage your policies in Embroker’s digital policy vault—including policies written through another broker. Combine this with Embroker’s easy-to-navigate site, and you have the best digital business insurance broker.
Embroker’s compensation disclosure claims the site periodically charges clients a fee. However, the platform is free to use even if you aren’t looking to buy coverage today. Some startups may qualify for premium credits.
Embroker Coverage & Carriers
The list of policies offered by Embroker is huge. It covers everything from standard business coverages, like general liability, to industry-specific insurance, including trucker’s cargo, builder’s risk, and third-party fidelity. Embroker even offers an insurance program custom-built for startups.
Embroker Customer Reviews
Customers give Embroker high marks for its Risk Review service. You upload your current policy, and Embroker provides coverage gaps and potential savings at no cost to you.
What Embroker Is Missing
Embroker’s strength is its digital innovation. Most business owners would benefit from having all their insurance information in one, easily accessible place. And Embroker goes a step further by creating digital notecards describing your specific coverage. Surprisingly, the one thing that’s missing is instant quotes. Other business brokers take just minutes to send insurance rates.
How to Apply with Embroker
Embroker’s application is a good balance between the possibly too short applications of some online brokerages and the bloated, super-detailed ones that take too much time to complete. The only hitch is creating an account. Once you register and fill out an application, you have to remember to click “Start” on your dashboard. After that, you can track its progress.
Insureon: Best Business Insurance Broker for Hard-to-Insure Businesses
Businesses that are declined by other insurance brokers can usually get policies through Insureon. The company’s strong stable of quality carriers lets it write policies for businesses with operations that other brokers can’t cover. That’s especially true for construction businesses, retailers, and restaurants.
According to its website, Insureon does not charge fees except when required to for surplus lines taxes. That last bit means some of the hard-to-place businesses that get coverage are probably going to pay more. However, Insureon also has strong markets for business owners policies, and that’s a good way to keep costs down.
Insureon Coverage & Carriers
Insureon works with nearly 200 insurance carriers. With so many relationships, Insureon can typically find coverage for businesses in 23 industries.
Many of Insureon’s carriers are also listed in our best small business insurance companies article, including:
- The Hartford
- Liberty Mutual
Coverage options include the basics, like general liability and commercial property, but it also offers specialty policies by industry.
Insureon Customer Reviews
Customer review site Feefo show Insureon earning 4.8 out of 5 stars. Most customers praise the quote speed and the price options.
What Insureon Is Missing
Insureon is the old-timer of the Insurtech world. That experience shows through in its ability to cover many industries fast. But its application is a behemoth—over 10 pages compared to five or six from its competitors. The detailed questions help get more accurate quotes, but it’s definitely going to take more time to complete than the other brokers on our list.
How to Apply with Insureon
The Insureon website has a double drop-down menu. The first asks for your industry, and the second for your specific profession. Once you select these, click the “Get Free Quotes” button. The application takes about 10 minutes to complete. Quotes can come immediately, and others follow via email.
Time and money are always top of mind for small business owners, but you also want to cover your specific risks. Working with a top insurance broker lets you compare premiums and policies more efficiently so you can the right insurance fast.
With multiple quality carriers, a broad range of coverages, and a pay-by-the-month workers’ compensation policy, AP Intego makes buying insurance easy. Fill out a short application to get quotes in minutes.