Business Insurance in California: Cost & Quotes From $11/mo

According to the National Safety Council, workplace incidents alone cost employers and employees nearly $164 billion in 2020. This figure does not include the other possible liabilities businesses face, like lawsuits, property damage, and lost income

There is a large number of different business insurance options in California to consider investing in. For one, liabilities are always present regardless if you’re just a simple home-based business or a large construction firm.  Commercial insurance is critical for California business owners to know the ends and outs of. This article will cover all the basics you need to know to make an informed decision about business insurance, including:

  • What type of business insurance is required in California?

  • What Insurance is needed for a small business in California?

  • How much does business insurance cost in California?

  • Best business insurance companies in California?

It is important to remember to compare prices and coverage when selecting the right insurance in California. Getting free quotes and comparing online can be an excellent way to get the personalized help you need in making the right decision in buying your small business insurance in California.

What Type of Business Insurance is Required in California?

For California business insurance, the only type of business insurance required by law is workers' compensation insurance.

Workers' compensation insurance provides workers with monetary benefits in the event they suffer an injury or illness in the course of standard work at their job. Listed below is how the requirement interacts with different parties in the economy.

Big Business vs. Small Business

Whether you are running a big business or a small business, the law does not discriminate between the two. This law still applies to companies that only have one employee. The Department of Industrial Relations serves as a hub to file complaints for anyone not following the law. Commercial general liability insurance in California is a must-have for any business no matter what size your business is.

Different Economic Sectors

All sectors and industries of the economy must follow this law for commercial insurance in California. The Contractors State License Board, which oversees regulation in the construction industry, is subject to this requirement. There are not any exemptions for worker’s compensation insurance in California based on the industry the business operates in.

Independent Contractors and Business Owners

According to the California Work Injury Law Center, independent contract workers are exempt from this requirement because they are not technically company employees. Other groups that may be excluded include owners, general partners, board members, and spouses of the owner. These groups are exempt because they have large enough ties to ownership to waive their participation in the worker's compensation insurance.

White building in California

What Other Insurance Policies Are Needed for a Small Business in California?

While most types of small business liability insurance in California, are not required by California state law, it is still recommended that employers invest in them to save costs that could arise in the future.

Another reason to invest in business insurance is that many types of clients and other companies you may do business with will have their own rules requiring their partners to have insurance. Below is a breakdown of the which types of business insurance that small businesses can benefit from that are required by law.

Insurance TypeRequired by Law?
Workers CompensationYes
General LiabilityNo
Professional LiabilityNo
Commercial PropertyNo
Business Owner’s PolicyNo
Umbrella InsuranceNo
Business IncomeNo

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Getting More in Depth on the Other Business Insurance Policies You Need in California

You don’t only need to be aware which business insurance policies are required by law. It also pays to know how each type functions. Also, nothing’s better if you know how much coverage you can get from general liability, commercial property, professional liability, and other policies mentioned in the table above. 

General Liability Insurance

CoverWallet NEXT (Best)Thimble HiscoxThe Hartford
Per occurrence limit $1,000,000$1,000,000$1,000,000/$2,000,000$300,000/$1,000,000$1,000,000/$2,000,000
Aggregate limit $2,000,000$1,000,000/$2,000,000$1,000,000/$2,000,000$300,000/$2,000,000$1,000,000/$2,000,000
Products and completed operations aggregate limit $2,000,000
Advertising injury coverage aggregate limit $1,000,000$1,000,000$1,000,000$1,000,000$1,000,000
Tenant’s legal liability coverage limit $100,000
Waiver of subrogation included?YesNoIncludedCan be includedNo
Hired/non-owned auto liability coverage included?YesNoExcludedCan be includedCan be included
Equipment breakdown floater included?No YesYesCan be includedCan be included

This insurance covers bodily injury and property claims that come as a result of the business's products, employees, or operations. Use the table above to see which insurance company offers the best general liability insurance in California. 

Professional Liability Insurance

CoverWallet (Best)NEXT Thimble HiscoxThe Hartford
Per occurrence limit $1,000,000$1,000,000$1,000,000/$2,000,000$1,000,000$1,000,000
Aggregate limit $2,000,000$2,000,000$1,000,000/$2,000,000$1,000,000/$2,000,000$2,000,000
Name additional insureds?YesYesYesYesYes
Waiver of subrogation included?YesNoYesYesNo
Deductible $500$500$500$500$500

These cover negligence liabilities and are specialized to your industry. Depending on your profession, professional liability insurance can also cover HIPAA and sexual abuse and molestation claims. Use the table above to see which insurance company offers the best professional liability insurance in California. 

Commercial Property Insurance

CoverWalletNEXT (Best)ThimbleThe HartfordHiscox
Building coverage limit (minimum)$50,000$320,000$25,000/$500,000$75,000$25,000
Contents coverage limit (minimum)$50,000$35,000$25,000/$500,000$75,000$15,000
Outdoor signsExcluded$2,500ExcludedExcludedIncluded
Accounts receivable ExcludedExcluded$5,000/$10,000ExcludedIncluded
Money and securitiesExcluded$2,500$1,000ExcludedIncluded
Lock and keys Excluded$2,500ExcludedExcludedIncluded
Business interruption floaterExcludedIncludedIncludedExcludedIncluded
Equipment breakdown floaterExcludedIncludedExcludedExcludedIncluded
Inland marine insurance floaterExcludedExcluded$10,000ExcludedExcluded
Employee dishonesty floaterExcluded$5,000$2,500ExcludedExcluded

Commercial property insurance covers the costs of business estate property damage and damage to any of the contents on the property. With this insurance, you can replace lost stocks, equipment, and building without incurring a lot of losses. You can bundle this with a business liability insurance in California through a business owner’s policy.  Use the table above to see which insurance company offers the best commercial property insurance in California. 

Business Owner’s Policy

CoverWalletNEXT (Best)Thimble The HartfordHiscox
General liability aggregate limit $2,000,000$1,000,000/$2,000,000$1,000,000/$2,000,000$1,000,000/$2,000,000$300,000/$2,000,000
Commercial property coverage limit $50,000$320,000$25,000/$500,000$35,000$75,000
Optional policies can be added?YesYesYesYesYes
Name additional insureds for free?YesYesYesYesYes
BOP discount?YesYesYesYesYes

This policy offers standard liability protections associated with running a business. It is often paired with commercial property protection. Use the table above to see which insurance company offers the best business owner’s policy in California. 

Umbrella Policy 

An umbrella policy covers a wide range of liabilities and situations. It focused on increasing the policy limits to help protect against excessive liability costs.

Business Income Insurance

Business income insurance, also known as business interruption insurance, provides relief for businesses that suffer interruption to their daily operations due to mostly physical causes like accidents, extreme weather, or other things that cause similar damage.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance

Worker’s compensation is for employees who suffer injury or illness in the workplace. Through this insurance, they can gain benefits to compensate for lost wages and pay potential medical bills.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance will cover the cost of treating injured third parties if you cause an accident. You can also use this policy to cover repair costs if your vehicle is damaged by a covered peril. Your commercial auto insurance in California must have a $15,000/$30,000/$5,000 worth of coverage. 

What Happens if I Don’t Get Business Insurance? 

There are dire consequences for your business in California for not getting business insurance. In the same way that you can not drive without commercial auto insurance in California, you can not run a business without risking significant liability and illegality. Listed below are some of the consequences of not getting business insurance.

  • Your business becomes exposed to liability–Without a proper insurance safety net, your business becomes open to lawsuits from the public, your customers, and your employees when something goes wrong. You could potentially be sued for workers or customers getting injured on the premises, as well as fire or weather damage that could potentially occur.

  • Lost income from unexpected costs–Business insurance is there to protect your company from unexpected situations that may occur in the course of natural business. One of the benefits of business insurance is that you can be compensated for lost income due to unforeseen circumstances that may cause your business to shut down.

  • Potential fines and legal consequences–The state of California mandates that businesses must have certain types of insurance by law. Failing to abide by California law will likely result in hefty fines to pay, potential jail time, and the forced closure of your business. It is essential for successful business owners to remain compliant with California’s regulations.

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How Much Does a Business Insurance Cost in California?

Quotes for general liability insurance in California cost $40 per month or $480 per year for $1 million worth of coverage. However, this insurance rate can widely vary based on your company's claim history, industry, coverage, and the company you choose. Here is a comparison of the premium rates for different insurance companies that serve California:

Cost per YearCost per MonthBest for
NEXT$11–$128$132-$1,536Best overall; Fastest business insurance in California
Hartford$88$1,056Customer care
CoverWallet$83$996Comparing California business insurance quotes online
Tivly$41$492Comparing California business insurance quotes over the phone
Thimble$42$504Online service
Acuity$93$1,116Dedicated customer service

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Best Business Insurance Companies in California

There are many good insurance companies that serve businesses in California. Many of them serve in physical locations to make service easier as well. So if you need business insurance in San Diego or other parts of California, some of the most highly–ranked business insurance brands are listed below.



  • Best overall

  • Issues an online proof of insurance instantly

  • Fastest general liability insurance for phone stores

  • Great customer service and reputation

  • Excellent rates

  • Outstanding value for money

  • Get a 10% discount if you buy two or more policies 


  • Couldn’t find any

First, on the rankings, we have NEXT. NEXT is a solid competitor whose major strength is insurance customization. They have a streamlined service and allow customers to pay for what they want. They also have physically locations in many places around California. Making a reliable way to purchase business insurance in Los Angeles and other similar areas.

Best for: Best overall; Fastest business insurance in California

Average cost: $11–128 per month

Our rating: 10/10

The Hartford


  • Small business focused

  • Customer care is top notch

  • Discounts with other products


  • Requires a phone call to purchase a policy

The Hartford is an expert with small business offerings. They offer personalized customer care for small businesses and discounts to help them bundle their different insurance needs.

Best for: Customer care

Average cost: $88 per month

Our rating: 10/10



  • Umbrella policy

  • Synchronized dashboard

  • Compare quotes online 


  • Not an insurance company but an insurance broker

CoverWallet earns a high ranking for its coverage options and umbrella policy that helps its customers get even the most minor things covered. Their dashboard features make managing different policies easy.

Best for: Comparing California business insurance quotes online

Average cost: $83 per month

Our rating: 10/10



  • Good coverage

  • Fast online quotes


  • No mobile app

Tivly has an excellent array of coverage options thanks to its abundance of carriers. It boasts a minutes–quick quote process that helps get your business insurance up and running more easily. Call a Tivly representative now to compare quotes over the phone. 

Best for: Comparing California business insurance quotes over the phone

Average cost: $41 per month

Our rating: 10/10



  • Quotes and purchases all online

  • Competitive Price

  • Good coverage


  • Customer service agents are online only

Thimble is an online–focused insurance company that delivers a great price and quick purchase processing. It has good coverage that goes along with its price to make it tough to beat for companies looking for business insurance in California.

Best for: Online service

Average cost: $42 per month

Our rating: 10/10



  • Small Business is king

  • Easy–to–use interface

  • Discount promotions on other products


  • Large business products are limited

Hiscox is one of the most small–business–focused companies. They routinely work with companies with ten employees or fewer. They have an excellent online space and offer a hard–to–beat price and discounts. It recommended for have likely the best small business insurance in California. 

Best for: Discounts

Average cost: $29 per month

Our rating: 10/10



  • Dedicated specialist

  • Streamlined customer experience


  • Have to call to complete a purchase

Acuity offers balanced coverage and dedicated customer service that rates high in customer feedback. They also have a mobile app that makes tracking your policy and paying your bill simple.

Best for: Dedicated customer service

Average cost: $93 per month

Our rating: 8/10

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