Popular Questions about Business Insurance in California

Business insurance is designed to shield your company from large financial losses that can be caused by hazards like severe weather events, forced temporary closures, property crimes, and liability lawsuits.

This insurance can prove beneficial, as is evidenced by the fact that in 2016 alone, businesses in California collected more than $20 billion in insurance claims.

A local independent agent can help you build a business insurance plan that is customized to meet the specific needs of your California business.

When liability lawsuits are brought against companies in the US, they frequently result in judgments exceeding $1 million. Even if the court rules in your company’s favor, you can be out several thousand dollars due to court costs and legal defense fees unless you have the right kind of liability coverage.

Think you don’t need liability coverage for your business? Consider this: Statisticians predict that as many as 40% of small businesses are likely to have a property or general liability lawsuit brought against them in the next 10 years. Commercial liability insurance can protect your company by covering the expenses that may accrue if your business is sued.

Liability lawsuits aren’t the only risk faced by businesses. Here are some other things American companies have been using their insurance to cover:

  • Theft and burglary: Average cost per claim - $8,000
  • Water damage and freezing pipes: Average cost per claim - $17,000
  • Wind and hail damage: Average cost per claim - $26,000
  • Fire damage: Average cost per claim - $35,000
  • Customer slip and fall injuries: Average cost per claim - $20,000

Business insurance is designed to pay for losses, damage, and other expenses associated with covered events so that your business doesn’t have to. This can help your business remain profitable, even during times of disaster.

Here’s what you can expect a well-built business insurance policy package to do:

  • Pay for Loss or Damage to Your Business Property
    • Example: During a power outage, your store is ransacked, and thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise is stolen.
  • Pay for Income Lost During Forced Business Closures
    • Example: A wildfire causes significant damage to the building in which your business is housed and it takes several weeks before busy construction firms are even able to start repairing the damage. Your business therefore cannot resume normal operations for months.
  • Pay for Damage to Someone Else’s Property
    • Example: While doing a roofing job a client’s residence, one of your workers accidentally drops old shingles onto a neighbor’s parked car.
  • Pay for Someone Else’s Medical Bills
    • Example: One of your customers suffers a severe spinal injury when she slips on a wet floor in your showroom.
  • Pay for Accidents Involving Company Vehicles
    • Example: The driver of your company van sideswipes another car while making deliveries.
  • Pay for Employee Injuries and Work-Related Illnesses
    • Example: A nurse at the medical center you run seriously injures her back while transporting a patient from a gurney to a bed.

A business insurance policy in and of itself is not required by law. However, some policies often included in business insurance policies could be. 

  • Businesses that have company-owned vehicles are required by law to carry commercial auto insurance.
  • All employers in California are required to carry worker's compensation insurance. Only sole proprietors with no employees are permitted to opt out of this coverage.
  • Businesses that do construction and other contracting work are often required to show proof of contractors insurance before they are hired to do a job.
  • If you want to take out a business loan or line of credit, your financial institution is likely to require you to offer proof of commercial property and business liability insurance, and you will be required to carry it for the duration of your loan repayment period.

To learn more about coverage that you may need to carry, you can consult a local independent insurance agent.

Business insurance rates are calculated using a number of factors such as the type of business you own, its average annual revenues, the number of workers you employ, your company’s liability exposures, and the amount and types of coverage you want to include in your policy package.

Policies can vary significantly by business industry, so it is best to talk with an experienced insurance agent when building a comprehensive business insurance plan for your company.

An independent insurance agent may find that it is in your best interest to work with more than one insurance company. While one company may offer the best worker's compensation coverage, another may have the best commercial vehicle policy. Independent agents enable you to get coverage from multiple companies while still having a single point of contact through their office.

Yes! There are currently 469 independent agents in California who are ready to help. Unlike captive agents, independent agents are not tied to a single insurance provider so they can shop around for the policies that offer the most value to your company.

These agents can save you time and money by helping you make sure that you are getting suitable, yet affordable, coverage for all of your company’s potential exposures while not paying for coverage you do not need.

Contact an independent insurance agent near you to get started.

How does business insurance work?

Find the Best Insurance in Your City

National Business Insurance Stats

Number of businesses in the US: 27,626,360

Burglary rate per 1,000 residents in the US: 3.76

Auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles in the US: 2.29

City No. businessesBurglaries / 1,000 peopleAuto thefts / 1,000 cars
Anaheim29,5413.973.87
Bakersfield25,93810.447.20
Chula Vista17,4092.122.51
Fresno35,3345.554.45
Irvine31,8742.160.69
Long Beach43,7314.954.85
Los Angeles497,9993.974.30
Oakland44,7995.5611.79
Riverside24,0464.445.57
Sacramento38,2445.435.69
San Diego135,7542.613.61
San Francisco116,8036.008.00
San Jose77,8324.337.36
Santa Ana26,4322.714.62
Stockton16,9927.446.56
  • Los Angeles, CA 
  • Business Insurance Common Coverage Options
  • Property 
  • There are many ways your Los Angeles business may sustain property loss or damage. Property crimes, like theft and arson, and severe weather events, like electrical storms, can lead to expensive losses if you do not have sufficient business insurance. You will want to be sure that your business insurance policy package includes policies that will cover against specific risks like floods, landslides, earthquakes, and fires.
  • Commercial Auto 
  • Whether you are insuring a delivery van or a fleet of construction vehicles, commercial auto insurance can cover costs associated with liability risks and vehicle damage. This insurance is required for company-owned vehicles in this state. If your vehicles are driven over state lines, you will need to be sure that your policy also meets federal coverage requirements. A local independent agent can help.
  • Worker's Compensation
  • Worker's compensation insurance can cover medical bills and lost wages for workers who are injured on the job.  Rates are based on your company’s overall payroll and the potential risks faced by your employees according to their job classifications. All employers in Los Angeles are required to have this insurance.


  • San Diego, CA 
  • Business Insurance Common Coverage Options
  • Property 
  • You will want to be sure that your business policy adequately covers all of your commercial property so that if it is completely destroyed by a major disaster like a fire or an explosion, your business can easily afford to rebuild and replace so you can get back to normal operations. Sometimes this means adding additional coverage such as inland marine insurance or boiler & machinery insurance. A local independent agent can review your company’s coverage needs and offer trustworthy advice.
  • Commercial Auto 
  • If your business owns a vehicle or a fleet of vehicles, you will be required by state law to cover them with commercial auto insurance. Your rates will be based on several factors, including the number and types of vehicles you are covering and the risk of collisions and  vehicle theft where they will be driven.
  • Worker's Compensation
  • Worker's compensation insurance is required if your San Diego business has at least one employee. This insurance can cover medical treatment, lost wages, and other costs associated with workplace injuries. Every workplace has unique risks and hazards for its workers, which is why worker’s compensation rates can vary significantly from one business to the next.


  • San Jose, CA 
  • Business Insurance Common Coverage Options
  • Property 
  • Your business has probably invested a lot in its assets such as computers, furnishings, inventory, and supplies. Commercial property insurance can help cover the cost of repairing or replacing this property if it is lost or damaged due to a covered event such as severe weather or crime. Find a policy and rate that works for your San Jose business by teaming up with a local independent agent.
  • Commercial Auto 
  • Your business is required to have commercial auto insurance if it owns a vehicle or a fleet of vehicles. Rates for this coverage are based on several factors like the types of vehicles you are covering and information about the employees who will be driving them. Large trucks and construction vehicles cost more to insure than cars and cargo vans, since they can cause much more damage if involved in an accident.
  • Worker's Compensation
  • Worker's compensation insurance covers the cost of medical treatment, lost wages, and other expenses related to injuries or illnesses employees suffer because of doing their jobs. It is required for all employers in California. Worker’s compensation rates are assigned according to your company’s overall payroll and the types of jobs your employees do.


  • San Francisco, CA 
  • Business Insurance Common Coverage Options
  • Property
  • Having a sufficient amount of business property insurance can shield your company from losses related to hazards like accidental fires, property crimes, and severe weather events. To be covered against earthquake damage, you will need to include a commercial earthquake insurance policy in your business insurance policy package. An independent insurance agent in San Francisco can help you be certain that all of your company’s assets are properly insured.
  • Commercial Auto
  • If your San Francisco business owns a vehicle or fleet of vehicles, you will be required by state law to carry commercial auto insurance. This insurance can cover your company against its increased risks of expensive liability lawsuits if one of your drivers causes a collision. Rates for coverage can vary according to the number and types of vehicles you are covering, as well as the accident and vehicle theft rate in the areas where your employees will be driving.
  • Worker's Compensation
  • Worker's compensation insurance covers medical expenses and paid time off for employees how are injured on the job. If your San Francisco company has at least one employee, you are required by law to have this insurance. Rates for coverage can vary significantly from one business to the next, depending on the types of jobs your employees do and your company’s overall payroll.


  • Fresno, CA 
  • Business Insurance Common Coverage Options
  • Property
  • The crime rate in Fresno is among the highest in the state. Every year, around 13,000 thefts and 3,500 burglaries are reported in this city. You can shield your business from losses caused by crimes such as shoplifting, looting, and even embezzlement by your employees with the crime insurance offered in your business insurance policy.
  • Commercial Auto
  • Many businesses in Fresno have company-owned vehicles. From company cars to delivery vans to semi-trucks, if your company owns vehicles, they must be covered by a commercial auto insurance policy that meets or exceeds the state’s minimum coverage requirements. If these vehicles are used for interstate commerce, they must meet federal requirements as well. A local independent agent can help you find a great policy at a competitive price.
  • Worker's Compensation
  • Worker's compensation insurance covers medical bills and lost wages for workers who suffer occupational illnesses or are injured while doing their jobs. It is required for all California businesses that have at least one employee. Rates are assigned according to your company’s payroll and the types of jobs your workers do.