The cost, coverage and providers of insurance for business owners

A business owner’s insurance policy (BOP), covers general liability as well as commercial property. It is designed to cover the most common risks faced by businesses. A BOP is often cheaper and easier to purchase than purchasing separate policies. BOP insurance costs on average $500 to $4900 depending on what coverage is selected and which industry it covers.

Since 1983, The Hartford helps small businesses find the right coverage. The agents can help you find the best policy to suit your needs. Get a free, no-obligation quote online in minutes.

BOP Insurance Prices

Small business owners should look into BOP insurance because it is affordable. The average cost of a business owner’s policy is between $500 and $4900 per year. If purchased separately, however, the cost of BOP insurance’s two most common coverages, general liability and commercial properties, can easily reach $500. The industry and the coverages of the business will determine the costs for general liability and commercial properties.

Costs of Business Owners Insurance Depending on Industry

Industries (Professions) Coverage Limits Annual Premium Ranges
Construction & Contracting (Handyman) $1 Million occurrence – $2 Million aggregate From $500 to $4,300
Architects (Landscape Architecture) $1 Million occurrence – $2 Million aggregate From $500 to $3,900
Cleaning (Janitorial & Cleaning–Residential) $1 Million occurrence – $2 Million aggregate $630 – $4,900
Beauty Salons – Personal Care $1 Million occurrence – $2 Million aggregate $630 to $3,000
Nonprofessional Services (Photographers). $1 Million occurrence – $2 million aggregate From $500 to $2,900
Financial Services (Accounting Services) $1 Million occurrence – $2 Million aggregate From $500 to $1,900
Management Consulting (Business Consultants) $1 Million occurrence – $2 million aggregate 500 to $2,000
General Physicians – Health Care $1 Million occurrence – $2 Million aggregate $630 to $2.100

The cost of your policy will depend on the industry you work in. Certain industries, such as construction and retail, are more susceptible to liability claims. Business consultants, while not having many property exposures, may be more vulnerable to liability lawsuits.

When calculating BOP insurance cost, the insurers also consider:

  • Claims history Insurers want to protect their bottom lines, so they charge business owners who have made multiple claims.
  • Numbers of employees: BOP Insurance doesn’t cover employee injuries. However, the higher your staff is, the greater the risk of theft and the possibility of liability lawsuits.
  • Property Value: Knowing the actual value of any property owned by a business can help you decide on the right limits. Co-insurance is required for most policies. It’s the percentage of your property that you have to insure.
  • Policies terms: Higher coverage limits can cause your premiums increase. You can request a higher deductible to lower your cost, but only if you are able to afford it.

What is BOP Insurance?

BOP insurance is a combination of insurance policies that include general liability, commercial property and, most often, business interruption coverage. BOP insurance is a great option for small businesses because it offers the necessary protection and costs less than buying separate policies. It also reduces the number policies that business owners need to manage.

Not all businesses qualify for BOP insurance. Each insurer has its own rules. However, BOPs are usually reserved for low-risk businesses with less than 100 employees and less than $1,000,000 in annual revenue.


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Did you know?

There are two types of commercial package policies: a BOP and a commercial policy. A BOP policy is best for smaller, Main Street-based business owners. The underwriting guidelines are very strict and limit the coverage available to businesses with lower revenue and square footage. A commercial package policy, however, offers coverages that are tailored for larger businesses.


Home-based business owners policy

Many homeowners insurance policies do not cover business activities or exposures. You might want to get a BOP to protect your business’s property and liability. Some home insurance providers also offer business riders. Before deciding whether to purchase home-based, business insurance, it is a good idea to discuss your options with your agent.

What BOP Insurance Covers

BOP insurance covers both general liability and commercial property. This policy covers many of the most common risks business owners face. General liability covers property damage or injury that policyholders cause to others, while commercial property covers damage to policyholder’s personal property.

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Many small business insurance companies also offer business interruption insurance. This is usually added to the policy for business owners. This coverage, also known as business income insurance is used to pay for lost income or ongoing expenses if the business is shut down by perils not covered under the property section.


Did You Know?

Business owners have the option to add additional coverages to their BOP, which allows them to package commercial property and general liability at a lower cost. A BOP also offers “actual loss sustained” coverage, which protects against loss of business income.


BOP Insurance – General Liability

Your business is protected by the general liability coverage included in your BOP insurance. It covers third-party property damage and bodily injury, as well as advertising injuries such defamation or copyright infringement. These costs could include the medical and repair bills of the injured party or your legal fees in case they sue.

These are some situations that could trigger the liability section of a business owner’s policy:

  • Smoke damage from a nearby business caused by a fire in your store
  • Slip-and-fall by a customer that results in physical injury
  • An allegation by a graphic designer that you have used their work without permission

If you deal with the public, liability claims could be your biggest financial risk. Therefore, it is important to have general liability coverage.

BOP Insurance – Commercial Property

The coverage of commercial property is also included in a business owner’s policy. This covers damage to business assets. These assets usually include equipment, inventory, fixtures, furniture, equipment and fixtures.

You have the option to either insure your business property at its actual or replacement cost value. The actual value option insures items at the market value. This means that your insurer will pay the replacement cost less depreciation. This option typically has a lower premium that insuring for replacement cost.

BOP Insurance offers Business Interruption Insurance

When a covered event forces you to suspend your business operations, business interruption insurance will cover lost income and ongoing expenses. These costs are typically covered by insurers for twelve consecutive months. However, it is becoming more common to have 18-month or two-year coverage for business interruption.

Your BOP insurance may include business interruption coverage.

  • Lost revenue
  • Wages for employees
  • Rent
  • Utilities
  • Relocation expenses

If your business is forced to close for any length of time due to a fire, burst pipe or other emergency, you can get business interruption insurance that will help you survive.

BOP Insurance may also offer other coverages

Insurance companies tend to be fairly uniform in their BOP coverage. This means that it usually includes commercial property and general liability coverage, regardless of which insurer it is offered. Other coverages are available to business owners. These coverages are known as endorsements or riders.

Some examples of coverage that insurers offer as a rider on their BOP insurance are:

  • Insurance : Covers the costs of a data breach/cyberattack
  • Professional Liability Insurance: Covers legal costs if clients claim that they have suffered financial loss as a result of your negligence. Also known as errors and omissions insurance (E&O insurance),
  • Inland Marine Insurance: Covers your business property while in transit
  • Temperature change and Spoilage: Insures that perishable items are not spoiled after a power outage or mechanical malfunction.
  • Accounts receivable Protects you from financial losses that may result from damaged records of your accounts receivables due to a covered peril
  • Earthquake Insurance: Covers damages caused by earthquakes and mudflows.
  • Employee dishonesty, Covers financial losses due to employee theft or other illegal activities

What is not covered by BOP insurance?

Small business owners can use a business owner’s insurance policy as a foundation. Some situations might require additional coverages, which are not usually included in BOP insurance.

Other policies that small business owners may need include:

  • Commercial auto coverage: Covers injuries, damages, and lawsuits that result from an accident involving business-owned cars
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: This insurance covers employees for work-related injuries or illnesses, paying their medical bills, and replacing wages
  • Business overhead expense(BOE): Covers overhead expenses while the owner of the business is disabled. Also known as business expense insurance


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Did You Know?

Many small business owners do not think about getting disability insurance policies that cover business overhead expense (BOE). One option for a sole proprietor is to get one. Without it, the business will cease to be viable.


Top BOP insurance providers

Many insurance companies that deal with small businesses offer BOP coverage. They often create endorsements or add coverages in order to stand out from the crowd or attract business in particular industries. Business owners need to consider both the price and the policy terms in order to determine which BOP provides them with the best coverage.

A few national, large carriers specialize in small business insurance or have dedicated teams for it. An online broker can also help business owners to compare quotes from several top-rated insurers.

Top BOP insurance providers

Provider Best for
The Hartford For business owners who wish to customize their BOP insurance according to their particular risks
Hiscox Computers and electronic data are a necessity for professionals who rely on them.
Insurance Business owners who wish to compare rates between multiple BOP insurance companies
Travelers Construction business owners and contractors who need BOP insurance that includes employee dishonesty coverage
CNA For business owners who require up to 24 months of interruption coverage

The Hartford

The Hartford, a large national insurer, does an excellent job meeting small business insurance needs. The BOP policy includes general insurance, business interruption and commercial property insurance. Business owners can also customize the coverage to suit their specific risks. You might be able to choose coverage for employee dishonesty or data breaches depending on your industry.

The Hartford is the best choice for small business owners looking to personalize their BOP because of its combination of small-business experience and extensive industry endorsements. Business owners save an additional 5% by paying their premium upfront. They can also save up to 10% if they purchase a workers’ comp or a commercial auto policy.


Hiscox, a specialist in small business insurance, designs policies that fit a wide variety of industries. It is especially strong for business owners who provide professional services such as accountants, marketers, and consultants. Hiscox offers BOP insurance for businesses up to $3,000,000 in annual revenue. Pricing starts at $41 per month.

Hiscox’s professional service BOP also covers income lost due to computer interruptions or recovery of electronic data. These perils are covered up to $10,000 automatically, which makes it ideal for professionals who rely on technology.


Insureon, an online brokerage, specializes in finding insurance for freelancers and small businesses. Insureon is a small-business insurance brokerage that partners with top-rated companies to provide clients with business insurance that meets their needs.

Insureon is the best choice for business owners looking to compare BOP policies before choosing an insurance company. Insureon allows business owners to select from multiple quotes. They can then bind their BOP online, or discuss their options with an insurance professional.


Travelers can provide insurance to a wide range of businesses. Because of its size, the carrier can offer BOP insurance to industries that other carriers don’t cover such as artisan contractors or construction companies.

Travelers can offer coverage for artisan contractors who are difficult to insure. It also offers coverage up to $25,000 for theft and can be extended to client property. Contractors who need protection in the event that their employees are accused of illegal acts by clients will love this coverage.


CNA, one of the country’s most prominent property and casualty insurers, offers a wide range of insurance policies to small businesses. The BOP policy provides broad coverage, including protection for identity theft, employee dishonesty and equipment breakdown.

CNA’s BOP makes CNA the best choice for business owners looking to purchase business interruption insurance. CNA’s BOP is a 24 month policy, which unlike most other insurers, doesn’t have a waiting period and no payroll limit.

Bottom line

Small business owners can get BOP insurance at a fraction of the cost. Insurers can sell BOPs at a lower price by combining general liability and property coverage into one package. However, business owners have only one policy and one premium.


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