Find the Best Business Insurance Options in Rhode Island

There are over 108,000 small businesses in Rhode Island, representing nearly 99 percent of the businesses in the state. Small businesses employ over 227,000 people in Rhode Island, making small businesses essential to the state’s economy. 

Business owners in Rhode Island face numerous risks, including property damage caused by crime, severe weather, fires, and natural disasters. And a liability claim or a lawsuit can lead to financial devastation that is difficult to overcome for any business. 

A comprehensive business insurance program can help you repair and rebuild damaged property after a disaster. And it can help you stay in business and pay for your defense if you are faced with a lawsuit.

An independent insurance agent can help you compare business insurance quotes in Rhode Island. 

Best Business Insurance Companies in Rhode Island

We’ve noted some of the best business insurance companies. They are highly rated for their mix of valuable coverage offerings and competitive pricing. 

  • Nationwide: Nationwide provides business insurance and other popular types of insurance coverage in Rhode Island. The company is headquartered in Columbus, OH, and is represented by independent insurance agents in 50 states, including Rhode Island. 
  • Hanover Insurance GroupTogether with local independent agents, Hanover Insurance Group offers standard and specialized insurance protection for small and mid-sized businesses. 
  • EMC Insurance CompaniesEMC is in the top 60 business insurance companies in the United States. The company specializes in designing well-rounded insurance programs to protect the financial assets of many types of businesses and organizations.
  • Liberty Mutual: Liberty Mutual is headquartered in Boston, MA, and has been offering business insurance since 1912. Today the company offers a flexible, multiline range of coverages designed to meet the needs of any business, regardless of size or industry. 

An independent insurance agent in your area can help you learn more about these and other Rhode Island business insurance companies. A local agent can help you get competitive quotes for the coverage that fits your Rhode Island business insurance needs.

Rhode Island Business Insurance Requirements

Business insurance is a package of insurance policies that cover your property and liability risks. Business insurance is not required in Rhode Island, but if your business owns any vehicles, you'll likely have to buy commercial vehicle insurance that complies with the state’s auto insurance requirements.

In addition, most employers in Rhode Island with one or more employees must also obtain workers’ compensation insurance, with a few limited exceptions. Workers’ compensation insurance covers employees who are injured on the job.

An independent insurance agent in your area can help you learn more about Rhode Island’s business insurance requirements. 

What Business Insurance Covers in Rhode Island

When you purchase business insurance in Rhode Island, you’ll be purchasing several individual policies or a package of policies designed for your industry. Business insurance in Rhode Island will typically include the following types of policies and coverage: 

  • Commercial general liability insurance (CGL): Protects your business from lawsuits related to bodily injury and property damage claims. It pays for medical expenses, legal fees, and financial settlements or judgments. Your CGL policy even covers personal injury claims such as libel and slander.
  • Commercial property insurance: This covers damage to a building and its contents if damaged by a weather event, fire, theft, vandalism, and other covered perils. 
  • Business interruption coverage: Protects your earnings and pays certain expenses if your business cannot operate because of damage after a fire, hail, wind, equipment breakdown, or another covered event. If you are forced to close for a while to make repairs or rebuild your business, this coverage pays for rent, employee salaries, lost income, relocation fees, and more.
  • Commercial auto insurance: Protects your business-owned cars and trucks from property damage and liability claims. 
  • Workers’ compensation insurance: Pays for medical expenses and a portion of an employee's lost wages after a work-related injury. 

Your business insurance in Rhode Island may include additional coverage types or policies that cover your unique risks.


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Liability Coverage Options for Small Businesses in Rhode Island

Lawsuits against businesses are common. Whether a customer trips and falls in a store or a food manufacturer is responsible for sickening hundreds with tainted products, negligence claims can quickly destroy a business. 

commercial general liability (CGL) policy is a type of small business liability insurance that offers broad protection from lawsuits. It covers the injured party's medical expenses and any property damage you are responsible for. And it covers court costs, attorney fees, and even settlements or judgments that you must pay to injured parties. 

Most businesses need general liability coverage, but a CGL policy does not cover every kind of liability risk. There are additional small business liability policies available for times when your CGL policy isn’t sufficient.

Talk to your independent insurance agent about why you might need other liability coverage options like commercial umbrella insuranceemployment practices liability insurancecyber liability insuranceprofessional liability insurance, or any other customized small business liability protection. 

Property Coverage Options for Small Businesses in Rhode Island

Commercial property losses can originate in a variety of ways and cause tremendous financial harm to your business. Business property coverage helps you repair or rebuild after a property loss, and it even compensates you for lost income that results from a covered property loss. 

Commercial property insurance protects you when your commercial property is damaged by someone else or by some type of unforeseen event like a fire or severe weather. You need business property insurance if you own your building or have tangible business assets (furniture, computers, fixtures, inventory, materials, tools, etc.). It helps you pay for repairs or to replace damaged or destroyed commercial property after a covered loss. 

Business interruption insurance is a separate coverage that is typically included as part of a commercial property policy. It is designed to protect your earnings if your business is unable to operate because of damage after a fire, hail, wind, equipment breakdown, or some other covered event. This means that if you’re forced to close your doors for a period of time in order to make repairs or rebuild, this coverage pays for rent, employee salaries, lost income, relocation fees, and more. 

A local independent insurance agent can help you get quotes for business property insurance in Rhode Island.

Other Insurance Options for Small Business Owners in Rhode Island

Most businesses in Rhode Island likely need more than just basic property and liability insurance. Other insurance options for small business owners in Rhode Island include:

  • Business owners policy (BOP): A package policy that includes commercial liability insurance, commercial property insurance, and business interruption insurance. 
  • Workers’ compensation insurance: Typically required for any business that has employees. It pays for lost income and medical expenses for employees who are injured on the job.
  • Commercial vehicle insurance: Covers your vehicles and drivers in the event of an accident or other types of vehicle damage. 
  • Cyber liability insurance: Provides coverage in the event of a data breach involving your business.
  • Employment practices liability insurance: Protects you if an employee sues you for discriminatory employment practices. 
  • Flood or hurricane insurance: Your basic commercial property policy does not cover flood or hurricane damage. Talk to your agent about flood and hurricane insurance if you live in an area that is prone to these events.
  • Professional liability insurance: Protects you if a client claims you have been negligent in providing professional services.
  • Commercial umbrella insurance: Provides excess liability coverage above and beyond the limits of your applicable underlying commercial liability policies. 

This is not an exhaustive list of your business insurance options in Rhode Island. An independent insurance agent can make sure that all of your Rhode Island business insurance needs are met. 

Average Cost of Business Insurance in Rhode Island

Business insurance costs are not the same for every company in Rhode Island because every business has different coverage needs. The types and amounts of coverage you need have the greatest impact on the cost of your business insurance. 

A variety of other factors are also used to determine how much you'll pay for your business coverage, such as the following:

  • The company’s annual gross sales and payroll
  • The company’s employee count
  • The size and physical location of the company
  • The company's physical assets (buildings, vehicles, machines, equipment, inventory, etc.)
  • The nature of the business (what does the company do?)
  • The company’s prior insurance claims history

An independent insurance agent can help you understand all the risks you face and get quotes for affordable business insurance in Rhode Island.

National Business Insurance Stats

Number of businesses in the US: 30,819,176

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

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

City Population  Number of Established Firms Burglary Rate Per 1,000 ResidentsAuto Theft Rate per 1,000 Vehicles
Cumberland35,263< 2501.510.69
East Providence47,6183,6991.431.01
North Kingstown26,3232,7751.230.61
North Providence32,6862,6991.821.17
South Kingstown30,3482,8911.100.26
West Warwick28,9622,0292.390.88

How Does Your Rhode Island City Measure Up?

Property: Having a sufficient amount of commercial property insurance can shield your company from losses related to hazards like accidental fires, property crimes, and severe weather events like hurricanes and electrical storms. 

Commercial auto: Whether your Cranston business owns a vehicle or fleet of vehicles, it will need to include commercial auto insurance in its business insurance policy package. Rates for coverage can vary according to the number and types of vehicles you are covering, as well as the risk of collisions where your employees will be driving. If you engage in interstate commerce, you will need to make sure that your coverage meets federal as well as state minimum coverage requirements.

Workers’ compensation insurance: Covers medical expenses and paid time off for employees who suffer occupational illnesses or are injured on the job. With few exceptions, if your Cranston business has at least four employees, 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.

Property: You will want to be sure that your business property is covered at levels that will allow you to rebuild, repair, or replace damaged property as needed. Some of the severe weather that is common in Pawtucket includes hurricanes, snowstorms, water main breaks, and floods.

Commercial auto: Whether you are insuring a company car, a delivery van, or a fleet of construction trucks, commercial vehicle insurance can protect your company against losses related to liability lawsuits and property damage. 

Workers’ compensation insurance: Is required by state law if you employ at least one worker in Pawtucket. This insurance can cover medical treatment, lost wages, and other costs associated with occupational illnesses and injuries that occur on the job. Every type of business has its own risks when it comes to employee safety. Some jobs are simply safer than others. That is why workers' compensation rates often vary significantly from one business industry to the next.

Property: Hazards like theft, vandalism, and accidental fires can lead to large, costly business property losses, as can damage caused by Providence’s damaging weather events like hurricanes, hail, and severe storms. Fortunately, when you have the right business insurance in place, your company will be able to repair damage, replace lost property, and continue to function without experiencing a large financial loss.

Commercial auto: Commercial auto insurance can protect your business from facing large liability costs if one of your drivers causes an accident in a company-owned vehicle. Rates are based on a number of factors like your employees’ driving records and the types of vehicles you are covering. It costs far more to insure a 12-passenger van than a cargo van, since your company’s liability risks are greater when you are transporting passengers.

Workers’ compensation insurance: This is designed to cover the cost of medical treatment, lost wages, and other expenses related to injuries or illnesses your employees may suffer while doing their jobs. It is required for nearly all Rhode Island businesses that have at least one employee. Workers' compensation rates are assigned according to your company’s overall payroll and the types of jobs your employees do.

Property: Most business owners invest a lot in their assets such as computers, furniture, tools, machines, outdoor signs, and supplies. Business property insurance can help cover the cost of repairing or replacing this property if it is lost or damaged by a covered event like a hurricane. 

Commercial auto: If your business owns a vehicle or a fleet of vehicles, you may benefit from having the added liability coverage that comes with a commercial auto insurance policy. This is because liability lawsuits often result in higher judgments when they are brought against businesses. Your rates will be based on several factors, including the number and types of vehicles you are covering, information about the employees who will be driving them, and the risk of collisions in your city.

Workers’ compensation insurance: Can cover the cost of medical bills and lost wages for your workers if they are injured on the job or are stricken with an occupational illness. If your company has at least one employee, this coverage is mandatory. Rates are based primarily on your company’s overall payroll and the likelihood that your employees will be injured based on the types of jobs they do.

Property: The crime rate in Woonsocket is relatively high. This makes it particularly important for you to ensure that business assets are sufficiently covered against risks like shoplifting, cyberattacks, and embezzlement. In addition to covering against crime, your policy can also cover loss and damage due to hazards like severe weather and accidental fires.

Commercial auto: Many businesses in Woonsocket have company-owned cars, trucks, vans, or buses. If yours is among them, you will need to cover these vehicles with a commercial auto insurance policy. Doing so can prevent your business from facing a financially devastating lawsuit if one of your drivers is responsible for a serious accident.  

Workers’ compensation insurance: Covers expenses like medical bills and lost wages for workers who are injured while doing their jobs or who are stricken with an occupational illness. It is required for nearly all Rhode Island businesses that have at least one employee. Rates for this coverage are assigned according to your company’s overall payroll amount and the types of jobs your employees do.

Popular Questions About Business Insurance in Rhode Island

While you can't predict the exact costs of business insurance in Rhode Island, it’s important to understand what variables play a role in your insurance rates. Here are just a few of the factors that insurance companies use when calculating your business insurance costs in Rhode Island: 

  • Type of industry
  • Number of employees
  • Gross annual sales
  • Location of business
  • Number of company vehicles
  • Past claims reported
  • Number of years in operation

In Rhode Island, it’s essential for almost every business to carry a comprehensive business insurance package. Business insurance is not required by law in Rhode Island, but any business with one or more employees must carry Rhode Island workers’ compensation insurance

In addition, if your business owns any vehicles, you’re required to comply with Rhode Island’s car insurance laws by purchasing appropriate commercial vehicle insurance

Most businesses in Rhode Island need a combination of property and liability insurance, in addition to workers’ compensation insurance and commercial vehicle insurance as required by the state. 

Depending on your unique business and the risks you face, you’ll likely need some additional coverage, such as professional liability insurancecommercial umbrella insurance, or cyber liability insurance.

Business general liability insurance is one of the first policies every small business owner obtains. It helps protect your operation from bodily injury and property damage lawsuits that come your way as a result of doing business. Though not mandatory by Rhode Island state law, this policy is necessary to avoid the major financial repercussions of even a single negligence claim or lawsuit. 

Health insurance and other employee benefits are important for many small businesses and their employees. A good employee benefits plan helps companies support a healthy and satisfied workforce. In addition, employers who offer employee health plans may also be eligible for significant tax benefits. 

There are many different health insurance plans and options available in Rhode Island. An independent insurance agent can help you find business health insurance plans near you.

TravelersLiberty MutualEMCNationwide, and Hanover Insurance Group are some of the best business insurance companies in Rhode Island. They are highly rated for offering broad coverage, top-notch customer service, and a variety of affordable options for business owners.

Searching for the best and most affordable business insurance can be frustrating and confusing. That’s why it pays to have an experienced insurance professional in your corner.

Find an independent insurance agent in Rhode Island now, and get one-on-one consultation and affordable options for the best coverage for your unique needs. Your agent will work with you free of charge, offering you a variety of options so you can make the best choice.  

Do You Know What Your Business Insurance Covers in Rhode Island?