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Whether you own a convenience store or run an e-commerce apparel business, you may have difficulties finding an insurance policy that meets your needs, and you may even face issues getting approved for coverage.
The best business insurance for retail stores provides essential protection against a wide variety of risks and has high approval rates. To help you navigate the world of retailer insurance, we researched a dozen different providers to help you choose the right retail insurance company.
We assessed retail insurance companies based on four types of applicants and the following criteria: AM Best financial strength rating (10%), average premium (10%-20%), the rate at which the company provides quotes via Insureon (55-60%), and National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index (10%-30%). Here are the best commercial retail insurance providers for 2023, along with answers to some of your most pressing questions.
Best Retail Insurance of 2023
- Best Retail Insurance BOP: Travelers
- Best General Liability Insurance for Retail: Chubb
- Best Retail Insurance for Small Businesses With Employees: Nationwide
- Best Commercial Auto Insurance for Retail: Liberty Mutual
- Best Workers’ Compensation for Retail Businesses: CNA
- Most Likely to Be Approved for Coverage: Progressive
- Our Top Picks
- Liberty Mutual
- See More (3)
Best Retail Insurance BOP : Travelers
Travelers has the top financial strength rating from AM Best, the fewest combined complaints with the NAIC for commercial property and commercial liability insurance, and a high quote rate for retail businesses.
A++ (Superior) financial strength rating from AM Best
Few complaints with the NAIC
Business owner's policies (BOPs) include computer equipment, data, and media
BOP includes employee dishonesty
90% quote rate
Above-average J.D. Power ranking
Higher average premiums than many competitors
Doesn’t offer employee benefits
No online quotes
Travelers offers a robust business owner’s policy that includes coverage for computer equipment and employee dishonesty. The company also offers several add-ons, including cyber liability/data breach coverage, sewer backup and food spoilage, a global extension for periodic overseas travel, and employment practices liability coverage. You can get workers’ compensation, commercial auto, and umbrella coverage from Travelers as well.
Travelers also has the highest financial strength grade from AM Best and the lowest complaint index with the NAIC for commercial property and liability combined. The insurer is open to a wide range of retail businesses and accepts 90% of applicants. However, average premiums are relatively high, so microbusinesses may want to look elsewhere for coverage. Larger small businesses that need employee benefits coverage may also be better served by another company.
The following are average annual Travelers premiums, according to data from Insureon:
- BOP: $2,486
- General liability: $1,110
- Workers’ compensation: $1,931
Best General Liability Insurance for Retail : Chubb
Chubb offers the lowest average premium for general liability insurance for retail stores, approves 90% of businesses, and has zero complaints with the NAIC regarding its liability insurance.
Lowest average premium for retail general liability insurance
A++ (Superior) financial strength rating with AM Best
No complaints with the NAIC regarding liability insurance
General liability may include privacy liability and data breach coverage
Online quotes are limited to businesses with less than $2 million in revenue
Chubb offers general liability insurance that includes bodily injury, personal and advertising injury, and medical expenses. For some states and businesses, privacy liability and data breach coverage are included at no additional cost. You can also opt for a platinum package with employment practices liability coverage and hired and non-owned auto insurance coverage.
Chubb offers online quotes to small businesses with less than $2 million in revenue, for which coverage options are limited, and also offers a wider array of retail insurance products to larger businesses, for which you’ll need to obtain a quote by phone. The company has the highest financial strength grade with AM Best and no complaints with the NAIC about liability insurance.
Chubb has higher-than-average complaint indices for other products, including commercial property and workers’ compensation coverage.
The following are average annual Chubb premiums, according to data from Insureon:
- BOP: $1,516
- General liability: $494
- Workers’ compensation: $2,429
- Commercial auto: $1,578
Best Retail Insurance for Small Businesses With Employees : Nationwide
Nationwide offers a robust BOP specifically designed for retail businesses in addition to workers’ compensation coverage and a suite of employee benefits.
BOP includes business income and equipment breakdown
Offers add-ons like cyber liability and product liability coverage
Offers loss-control services and risk management
High average premiums for commercial auto and workers’ compensation
For retail businesses that need employee benefits, Nationwide offers options for group insurance and retirement plans. Though average premiums are relatively high, you can also get workers’ compensation coverage. The company’s BOP includes business income and equipment breakdown coverage, but you’ll need to add coverages like product liability and cyber liability. You can also get business auto, crime insurance, employee dishonesty coverage, inland marine, and umbrella insurance from Nationwide.
Nationwide also offers loss-control services and risk management resources for retail stores, which can help small businesses mitigate losses. The company has an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating with AM Best and relatively low NAIC complaint indices across the board.
We found that Nationwide’s average premiums were higher than some competitors, which may be due to larger small businesses gravitating towards the insurer.
The following are average annual Nationwide premiums, according to data from Insureon:
- BOP: $2,477
- General liability: $898
- Workers’ compensation: $3,557
- Commercial auto: $3,505
Best Commercial Auto Insurance for Retail : Liberty Mutual
Liberty Mutual offers a relatively low average premium for commercial auto insurance, according to data from Insureon, along with a 100% quote rate. The company has fewer commercial auto insurance complaints than expected with the NAIC, given its size.
Low commercial auto premiums
100% quote rate for commercial auto
Fewer complaints with the NAIC than expected regarding commercial auto
Risk control services and resources
High NAIC complaint index for commercial liability
Must connect with an agent for a quote
Below-average J.D. Power ranking
Liberty Mutual approves 100% of Insureon customers for commercial auto insurance and provides a relatively low average premium. The company can cover bodily injury and property damage liability, physical damage from numerous risks, uninsured motorists coverage, and more. And the available risk management services and resources may help small businesses prevent accidents. Furthermore, Liberty Mutual offers general liability, management liability, professional liability, property, workers’ compensation, and a small business owner’s policy to meet the needs of retailers.
Liberty Mutual has an A (Excellent) financial strength rating with AM Best and a low complaint index for commercial auto. However, the company has more complaints than expected with the NAIC for other retail insurance products, like commercial liability. You’ll also need to connect with an agent to get a quote for commercial auto insurance.
The following are average annual Liberty Mutual premiums, according to data from Insureon:
- BOP: $1,639
- General liability: $778
- Commercial auto: $1,930
- Workers’ compensation: $2,762
Best Workers’ Compensation for Retail Businesses : CNA
CNA’s average workers’ compensation premiums are relatively affordable, and the company has a high quote rate and an established risk management program.
Fewer complaints than expected with the NAIC regarding workers’ compensation
Low average premiums for workers’ compensation
High quote rate for retail businesses seeking workers’ compensation
Variety of resources to mitigate risk
Offers a BOP and commercial auto as well
Must work with an agent to get a quote
Doesn’t provide employee benefits
CNA offers standard workers’ compensation coverage at an affordable price, along with risk management services and tools to help reduce the chances of a workplace injury or illness. The company also offers a small business owner’s policy with a retailer’s endorsement, along with options such as commercial auto, cyber insurance, general liability, inland marine, and commercial property. The company doesn’t provide employee benefits, however.
CNA has an A (Excellent) financial strength rating with AM Best and fewer complaints than expected with the NAIC regarding commercial auto. However, the company has more liability insurance complaints than expected for a company of its size. Furthermore, while CNA has a high quote rate, you need to speak with an agent to get a quote and purchase coverage.
The following are average annual CNA premiums, according to data from Insureon:
- BOP: $2,225
- BOP plus workers’ compensation: $2,185
- Workers’ compensation: $1,761
Most Likely to Be Approved for Coverage : Progressive
Progressive has the highest quote rate for retail businesses of the insurance companies we reviewed, plus a wide array of small business coverages for retailers, including employee benefits.
97% quote rate for retail businesses
Offers employee benefits
Offers a BOP and other small business coverages for retailers
Most policies are underwritten by affiliated or unaffiliated insurers
Slightly more complaints than expected with the NAIC regarding commercial auto
If you don’t meet the eligibility requirements for other companies, Progressive has a higher quote rate for retail businesses than the other companies we reviewed. Progressive works with multiple insurers to provide its commercial retail insurance products, however, so you’ll need to evaluate the company you are quoted with individually. Progressive does underwrite its own commercial auto policies but received more complaints about those policies than expected over the last few years.
Progressive has an A+ (Superior) financial strength rating with AM Best. The company offers a BOP, general liability, workers’ compensation, commercial auto, and other coverages.
Progressive also provides group health and employee pet insurance from the company.
The following is the average annual Progressive commercial auto premium, according to data from Insureon:
- Commercial auto: $3,832
Most retail businesses will be best served by Travelers, which offers top-rated retail business insurance and has fewer complaints than expected with the NAIC. However, retail businesses that only need general liability insurance may get a cheaper quote from Chubb, while Nationwide or Progressive are great if you need employee benefits. Retailers seeking standalone workers’ compensation coverage might find that CNA is the best bet, while those who only need commercial auto will likely find affordable premiums from Liberty Mutual.
More Ratings of Top Commercial Insurance Companies
- Best Commercial Business Insurance Companies
- Best Small Business Insurance
- Best Commercial Auto Insurance
- Best Commercial Truck Insurance
- Best Commercial Property Insurance
- Best Business Owner’s Policy Insurance
- Best General Liability Insurance for Small Business
- Best Independent Contractor Insurance Companies
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Retail Insurance Cover Theft?
Retail insurance may cover theft, depending on your policy. For example, if you have commercial property coverage, you’ll typically be covered if your inventory is destroyed by a fire. If you bring your inventory off-premises, you’ll also need inland marine coverage to protect you from damage.
Can You Write Off Retail Insurance?
Since the IRS considers business insurance a business expense, you can generally deduct the cost of your retail insurance premiums from your taxable income when you file your tax return.
How Do You Know If You Need Retail Insurance?
If you own a retail business, you need retail insurance to protect your business finances. However, the types of coverage you need will depend on whether you have a physical property and employees, and the types of products you sell.
What Determines the Cost of Retail Insurance?
Retail insurance premiums can vary based on the size and location of your storefront, the types of products you sell, whether you have employees, and the coverage options you choose.
What Are the Benefits of Retail Insurance?
Retail insurance can protect your retail store from a variety of risks. A customer could slip and fall on your premises, or a product you sell could cause a rash—both scenarios could result in a lawsuit. Additionally, your property could be damaged in a fire or your website could experience a data breach. These are just a few of the situations that could cause irreparable financial harm to your business if you do not have retail insurance.
To choose the best insurance for retail stores, we evaluated 12 companies based on the following criteria, with different weights depending on the category we were evaluating:
- Quote rate (55%-60%): We compared quote rates across companies on Insureon to identify which insurers were open to the most retail businesses.
- NAIC Index (10%-30%): We averaged each company’s NAIC complaint index over the last three years to identify issues with customer satisfaction.
- Premium (10%-20%): We obtained average premium data from Insureon, which we used to come up with each company’s overall score.
- AM Best Rating (10%): We assessed each company’s financial strength rating with AM Best, an important indicator of reliable claims payment.
In addition, we paid attention to company rankings in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Small Commercial Insurance Study, compared coverage offerings and exclusions, and evaluated risk management services and tools for retail businesses.
AM Best. “AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of The Travelers Companies, Inc. and Its Main Subsidiaries.”
AM Best. “AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Chubb Limited and Its Subsidiaries.”
AM Best. “AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company and Its Key Operating Subsidiaries.”
AM Best. “AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of Liberty Mutual Holding Company Inc. and Subsidiaries.”
AM Best. “AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of CNA Financial Corporation and Its Subsidiaries.”
AM Best. “AM Best Affirms Credit Ratings of The Progressive Corporation and Subsidiaries.”
Seymour & Perry, LLC. “Guide to Deductible Business Expenses | Part 4: Insurance Premiums.”