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Accidents can happen at your place of business that damage your building or the equipment inside. Whether a kitchen fire eats through your restaurant, someone vandalizes your front windows, or a windstorm damages your roof, the cost to repair the damage might be too much for your business to bear. That’s why small business owners need commercial property insurance to protect their finances from these risks. We’re here to help you narrow down your options and choose the best commercial property insurance provider.
To choose the best commercial property insurance companies, we evaluated 18 commercial property insurance providers in the following categories: building requirements (24%), National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) customer complaint index (16%), standalone commercial property coverage (16%), revenue limits (12%), policy limits (8%), online purchase options (8%), state availability (8%), and financial stability (8%).
Best Commercial Property Insurance
- Best for Small Business BOPs: Thimble
- Easy Online Purchase: Next Insurance
- Best for Large Commercial Properties: CNA
- Best for High-Value Commercial Property: Nationwide
- Most Likely to Pay Your Claim and Treat You Well: State Farm
- Our Top Picks
- Next Insurance
- State Farm
- See More (2)
Best for Small Business BOPs : Thimble
Thimble offers a robust BOP that includes business interruption insurance and limited off-premises property coverage. It’s available in all states, and it’s easy to get a quote and buy a policy online.
Nationwide BOP availability
Purchase online in minutes
Includes limited off-premises property coverage
Highly-rated mobile app
Maximum total insurable value is $1.5 million per location
You can get commercial property coverage with Thimble via a business owner’s policy (BOP), which includes general liability, commercial property, business interruption insurance, and $10,000 in off-premises property coverage. Thimble’s BOP is available in every state and you can purchase coverage online in minutes. The company provides several convenient digital tools, such as a highly-rated mobile app for policy management, and a free certificate manager that makes compliance easy.
Thimble’s policies are underwritten by Markel and National Specialty Insurance Company, which are both rated A (Excellent) for financial strength by AM Best. However, Thimble will only write a policy for up to $1.5 million per location, so it won’t serve businesses with high-value buildings.
Workers’ compensation, business equipment, and professional liability
Read more in our Thimble small business review.
Easy Online Purchase : Next Insurance
Next offers commercial property coverage that includes business personal property, business interruption, and equipment breakdown coverage. Plus, you can purchase online and get a live shareable certificate of insurance.
Offers comprehensive coverage
Easy online quote and application
Rates as low as $17 per month
Live certificate of insurance
Fewer complaints with the NAIC than expected
Tools and equipment coverage only available for contractors and cleaners
Not available in Florida
Limited to $3 million in coverage
Next offers comprehensive commercial property coverage that covers buildings, business goods and gear, plus inventory, equipment breakdown, and business income. The covered losses are standard, and you can add coverage for terrorism events. However, you can’t get earthquake coverage from the company, and inland marine (tools and equipment) is only offered for certain industries.
Purchasing coverage from Next is quick and results in a live certificate of insurance that is easy to share with clients. You can also add free additional insureds at any time. Premiums start at $17 per month, and you can get a 10% discount if you bundle two or more policies. Next has an A- (Excellent) financial strength grade with AM Best and fewer complaints with the NAIC than expected given the company’s size. Next was also our top pick for the best small business insurance companies of 2023.
Best for Large Commercial Properties : CNA
CNA doesn’t have a square footage limit for buildings under $10 million which makes it a good choice if you have a large property you need to ensure.
No square footage limit for buildings under $10 million
Includes equipment breakdown
Comes with business income and extra expense
Includes some off-premises coverage
Not available in Alaska or Hawaii
Not available for online purchase
CNA offers relatively high coverage limits with no square footage maximums for buildings under $10 million. You can purchase standalone commercial property coverage or get a BOP from the company. Coverage is comprehensive—it includes equipment breakdown, business income and extra expense, limited off-premise, and even some protection against identity theft and employee dishonesty.
CNA has an A (Excellent) financial strength rating with AM Best and a low complaint rate with the NAIC over the last three years than expected given the company’s size. Coverage is not available in Alaska or Hawaii, and you can’t get an online quote.
CNA offers 18 industry-specific property endorsements
Best for High-Value Commercial Property : Nationwide
Nationwide covers most businesses with up to $20 million in commercial property and $20 million in annual sales.
Buildings and personal property covered up to $20 million
Ranked third by J.D. Power for small commercial insurance
A+ (Superior) financial strength rating with AM Best
Standalone coverage includes business income and extra expense coverage
Not available in AK, CA, FL, HI, LA, NY, OK
No online application
Few policy details online
Nationwide will cover up to $20 million in buildings and business personal property for businesses with up to $20 million in annual sales, with the exception of wholesalers and manufacturers, which are limited to $5 million. The company offers standalone commercial property coverage that includes business income and extra expense coverage, along with a business owner’s policy (BOP). However, few details about coverage are available on its website, and you’ll need to work with an agent to get a quote or buy a policy.
Nationwide has a third-place ranking from J.D. Power in the 2022 U.S. Commercial Insurance Study and an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best. However, the company had slightly more complaints with the NAIC over the last three years than expected given its size.
Most Likely to Pay Your Claim and Treat You Well : State Farm
State Farm boasts the top financial strength grade from AM Best and the top ranking in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Small Commercial Insurance Study.
A++ (Superior) financial strength grade from AM Best
Top-ranked by J.D. Power for small commercial insurance
Offers a comprehensive BOP
Few policy details available online
Must work with an agent to buy
State Farm has the top financial strength grade from AM Best, and J.D. Power’s ranked it #1 in its 2022 U.S. Small Commercial Insurance Study.
The company offers a comprehensive BOP that includes equipment breakdown, loss of income, and money and securities protection at no additional premium. You can add professional liability to the policy, too. However, few details are available online. For example, State Farm doesn’t disclose coverage limits or square footage limits online, so you’ll need to speak with an agent to find out if your business is eligible for coverage. You can’t buy coverage online, either, but you can get a general cost estimate.
For small businesses without large or high-value commercial buildings, Thimble will be the best option in most cases for a business owner’s policy, while Next makes purchasing standalone coverage quick and easy. It’s worth comparing rates between the two no matter the type of coverage you need. Given State Farm’s exceptional third-party ratings, business owners who don’t mind speaking with an agent should get a quote from the company as well, but make sure to ask for coverage details. If you own a large building, CNA may be your best bet, while Nationwide offers the best coverage for high-value properties.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Does Commercial Property Insurance Cover?
Commercial property insurance typically covers repairs to or replacement of your building and its contents because of the following:
- Burst pipes
Many commercial property policies also cover equipment breakdown and lost income from these same events. If commercial property coverage is part of a business owner’s policy additional coverages may be included as well.
What Are the Limitations of Commercial Property Insurance?
Commercial property insurance comes with several limitations that may lead to gaps in coverage, including:
- Earthquakes and floods aren’t usually covered
- Coverage excludes acts of war
- Coverage excludes deliberate damage by the policyholder
- You may be subject to limits, sub-limits, and deductibles
- May exclude patios, foundations, drains unless you add an endorsement
- Commercial property policies don’t include general liability coverage unless you get a BOP
- Policies written on an actual-cash-value basis likely won’t fully reimburse you for the replacement value of the property you lose
How Does Commercial Property Insurance Protect Your Business?
If your building, equipment, or inventory were damaged or stolen, the cost of repair or replacement may be more than you can afford. Furthermore, if your business needed to shut down for reconstruction after an incident, it might not survive the loss of income. Commercial property insurance, which may also be part of a business owner’s policy, protects against those risks.
Is Commercial Property Insurance Legally Required?
If you rent your place of business, your landlord may require you to carry commercial property coverage. However, you should consider getting commercial property insurance to protect your business assets even if it isn’t required. Many business owners address their need for both commercial property and general liability coverage with a business owner’s policy.
Can a Sole Proprietor Get Commercial Property Insurance?
Yes. A sole proprietor can and should purchase commercial property insurance if they own or rent a commercial space for business purposes, or even if they run a home-based business, as their homeowners insurance probably won’t cover them.
J.D. Power. “2022 U.S. Small Commercial Insurance Study.”