Cover Your NJ Small Business With These 5 Leading Insurers

New Jersey is a leading state for small business owners; nearly one million small businesses operate in the Garden State — the tenth-highest number in the country. 

If you have a business in New Jersey, finding the right insurance is key. New Jersey businesses face unique challenges and threats, such as the increased risk of flood damage, so they may require different insurance policies than businesses in other states. 

We evaluated 22 leading small business insurance companies and identified the five best options for New Jersey business owners based on their available coverage, industry specialties, customer service and financial stability (view our full methodology): 

The 5 best small business insurers in New Jersey of 2024

  1. Best Overall: Nationwide 
  2. Best for Landlords: The Hartford
  3. Best for Commercial Auto: Allstate
  4. Best for Flood Insurance: Philadelphia Insurance Companies
  5. Best for Independent Contractors: CoverHound

*Last updated February 16, 2024

New Jersey small businesses employ 1.9 million employees — nearly 50% of the state’s workforce. Many industries operate within the state; the top five are professional services, real estate, transportation, construction and healthcare.  

Whether you’re an independent contractor or have dozens of employees, you likely need one or more business insurance products. To help you research your options, we identified the five best small business insurers for the state of New Jersey (we’ve also have’ve also identified the best insurance companies for small businesses across the entire country): 

Best Overall: Nationwide

About: Since 1925, Nationwide has been a leader in the insurance industry. It sells personal and commercial insurance policies, and it works with over 11,000 independent insurance agents nationwide. 

The company sells a variety of insurance products that can benefit New Jersey business owners, including essentials like general liability and workers’ compensation insurance. It also sells specialty products for common New Jersey industries, such as commercial auto coverage and inland marine insurance. 

  • AM Best Rating: A (Excellent)
  • J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Ranking: 1st out of 13 insurers
  • Number of Small Business Products: 14
  • Customer support: You can contact Nationwide customer support via phone, and you can request coverage quotes online or work with an independent insurance agent. 

Our verdict 

Whether you have a beach-side shop in Ocean City or run an auto repair center in Newark, Nationwide has comprehensive coverage options. You can bundle multiple products together to customize your coverage, and Nationwide is well-known for stellar customer service. In fact, J.D. Power chose Nationwide as the top company for small commercial insurance customer satisfaction, placing it above 12 other top insurers. 

Best for Landlords: The Hartford

About: The Hartford has been in operation since 1810, and it serves over one million small businesses. In addition to the typical business insurance products that most companies sell — such as general liability, professional liability and workers’ compensation insurance — The Hartford also sells specialized products designed for specific industries, such as shipping or real estate.

  • AM Best Rating: A+ (Superior)
  • J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Ranking: 10th out of 13 insurers
  • Number of Small Business Products: 17
  • Customer support: You can request a quote online or through a local agent, or you can contact The Hartford’s customer support team via phone. 

Our verdict 

The Hartford is best for New Jersey business owners who rent out properties short- or long-term. New Jersey presents excellent opportunities for landlords; approximately 36% of Garden State residents rent, and the state’s median rent is higher than the national median. But as a landlord, you have several risks and liabilities to consider. 

With The Hartford’s landlord insurance policies, you can purchase coverage for your property and any attached structures, and the company has optional add-ons you can use to customize your coverage. These add-ons can be particularly helpful for landlords who need to cover other structures, such as sheds or garages. 

Best for Commercial Auto Coverage: Allstate

About: Initially launched in 1931, Allstate is a well-known insurer with a significant presence in television ads. It’s the ninth-largest commercial auto insurer based on direct premiums written, and it insures a variety of vehicles, from passenger cars to utility trucks.

  • AM Best Rating: A+ (Superior)
  • J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Ranking: 6th out of 13 issuers
  • Number of Small Business Products: 6
  • Customer support: You can reach Allstate’s customer service department via online chat or phone, or you can contact a local agent for a commercial auto quote or to adjust your coverage. 

Our verdict 

Allstate provides comprehensive options for businesses in need of commercial auto insurance. Transportation and warehousing are some of the biggest industries in New Jersey; as of 2022 — the last available data — over 113,000 small businesses operate in those industries within the state.

With Allstate, you can purchase collision, comprehensive and liability protection for all of your commercial vehicles, and you can also get add-ons like rental car coverage. Allstate may also help you save money by enrolling in Drivewise, Allstate’s telematics insurance program that bases your premiums on vehicle use and driver habits. 

Best for Flood Coverage: Philadelphia Insurance Companies

About: Philadelphia Insurance has been in business since 1962 and, as its name implies, its headquartered just outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although it’s a smaller regional insurer, it has over 2,000 employees, and New Jersey business owners can purchase a range of commercial insurance products through the company. 

  • AM Best Rating: A++ (Superior)
  • J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Ranking: Not ranked
  • Number of Small Business Products: 22
  • Customer support: Philadelphia Insurance doesn’t offer online quotes, but you can contact customer support via phone, email, live chat, or by speaking with a local agent. 

Our verdict 

The risk of flood damage is a growing risk in New Jersey, and not all business insurance companies offer flood insurance. With Philadelphia Insurance, small business owners can purchase flood insurance to protect commercial buildings and their contents. Flood policies can also include business interruption coverage, reimbursing you for income lost when your business needs to close due to flooding. 

Best for Independent Contractors: CoverHound

About: Unlike the other companies on our list, CoverHound isn’t an insurer. Instead, it’s an insurance marketplace that allows you to get quotes from multiple insurance companies at once. It’s part of Brown & Brown, Inc., an insurance brokerage firm that has been in operation since 1939. Through CoverHound, small business owners in all 50 states can purchase a variety of business insurance products, including professional liability and cyber risk coverage. 

  • AM Best Rating: Not applicable. 
  • J.D. Power Customer Satisfaction Ranking: Not ranked. 
  • Number of Small Business Products: 13
  • Customer support: CoverHound’s customer support team is accessible via phone or email. 

Our verdict 

CoverHound is best-suited for independent contractors and freelancers since you can get quotes for basic coverage and you can even purchase policies online. In New Jersey, 29% of the workforce operate as independent contractors, so CoverHound is a useful resource for Garden State residents who need business owners policies, general liability or cyber risk insurance coverage. 

What to know about Small Business Insurance in NJ

If you operate a small business in New Jersey, you likely need coverage, even if you’re the only employee of the company. Small business insurance can protect you against lawsuits and damages resulting from storms, theft or fires, and it can prevent you from losing your income if your business operations are interrupted. 

Depending on your business size and industry, you may need one or more of the following forms of small business insurance: 

  • Liability: Liability insurance kicks in if your business is sued for injuries or damages. It helps cover your legal expenses and any settlements. There are several forms of liability coverage, but the most common are general liability, professional liability and product liability. 
  • Property: If you own office buildings, warehouses, commercial vehicles, expensive business equipment or inventory, you’ll likely need property insurance. This form of coverage protects you against losses that occur as a result of storm damage, fires or vandalism. 
  • Business owners policy (BOP): A BOP is a suite of basic small business insurance products, combining multiple forms of coverage into one easy-to-manage policy. 
  • Commercial auto: If you transport clients or make deliveries, you’ll likely need to purchase commercial car insurance. It protects you from losses that result from accidents or lawsuits resulting from collisions. 
  • Worker’s compensation: Workers’ compensation insurance provides a level of protection for your workers. It compensates them for any injuries that occur during their working hours. 

In New Jersey, most forms of small business insurance are optional, but there are a couple of exceptions:

  • Workers’ compensation: All employers with workers, including sole proprietorships who have other workers, must maintain workers’ compensation insurance. 
  • Liability coverage: At the end of 2022, New Jersey passed new legislation that requires business owners or the owners of rental units to maintain at least $500,000 in liability insurance for bodily injuries or deaths. You can satisfy the requirement by purchasing a commercial general liability policy, or you can use a personal liability or umbrella policy. 

How to choose a Small Business Insurance in NJ

According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are over 60 property and casualty insurance companies in New Jersey. When deciding what coverage you need and what insurer to work with, ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What risks does my business face? Risks vary by business. For example, New Jersey businesses may need flood insurance in addition to workers’ compensation and liability coverage. Common considerations include the type of products you sell and whether you handle sensitive information online. 
  • Do I have employees? If you have employees, you’ll need workers’ compensation coverage. But you may need other forms of coverage too, such as commercial auto coverage for your workers. 
  • Do clients visit my business in person? If customers visit your office or shop in person, you’ll need general liability insurance to protect against lawsuits involving injuries. 

Frequently asked questions

How much does business insurance cost in New Jersey?

Although several factors affect the cost of small business insurance, the cost of general liability insurance in New Jersey ranged from $40 to $95 per month. 

Do I need insurance for my LLC in New Jersey? 

If you have an LLC in New Jersey, you need to know that business owners and owners of rental units must have at least $500,000 in liability coverage for injuries or deaths that may occur. If you have employees, you’ll also need workers’ compensation coverage. 

Do New Jersey sole proprietors need to get workers’ compensation coverage? 

If you’re a sole proprietor, you may not need workers’ compensation insurance if you do all of the work for the business yourself. But if you hire one or more workers, you must have workers’ compensation coverage. 

Our methodology 

To identify the best small business insurance companies in New Jersey, we evaluated companies on the following: 

  • Financial stability: AM Best is a credit rating agency that evaluates insurers’ financial stability. We only included companies with a rating of A (Excellent) or better. 
  • Availability: We looked at what products and optional add-ons are available in New Jersey. 
  • Customer satisfaction ratings: Companies ranked above the industry average in the  J.D. Power’s Small Commercial Insurance Study were given higher priority. We also looked for companies with better-than-typical complaint indices with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). 
  • Discounts: Companies that provided at least one discount program for small business owners were given additional consideration. 

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