Find the Best Business Insurance Options in Washington, DC

There are over 79,000 small businesses in Washington, DC, which represents over 98% of the businesses in the state. Small businesses employ over 257,000 people in Washington, DC, making small businesses essential to the state’s economy. 

Washington, DC business owners face various risks, from crime, severe weather, fires, and other kinds of property damage to the financial devastation that a single lawsuit can bring. A comprehensive business insurance program can help you repair and rebuild damaged property after a disaster. It can also 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 Washington, DC.

Best Business Insurance Companies in Washington, DC

There are a lot of insurance companies that offer business insurance in Washington, DC. We’ve noted some of the best business insurance companies Washington, DC. They are highly rated for their mix of valuable coverage offerings and competitive pricing. 

  • Travelers: Travelers offers highly rated business insurance in Washington, DC. The company provides a variety of business insurance options, including inland marine, workers' compensation, and general liability. 
  • Nationwide: Nationwide provides business insurance and other popular types of insurance coverage in Washington, DC. The company is headquartered in Columbus, OH, and is represented by independent insurance agents in 50 states.
  • 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. 
  • Hanover Insurance Group: Together with local independent agents, Hanover Insurance Group offers standard and specialized insurance protection for small and mid-sized businesses. 
  • Frederick Mutual Insurance Company: Frederick Mutual Insurance Company (FMIC) has continuously operated for 179 years, and serves over 17,000 policyholders in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, DC, and North Carolina. FMIC works with respected local independent agents who share the company's values. With over 17 product offerings and 350 target business classes of business, FMIC provides peace of mind to business owners in Washington, DC.

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

Washington, DC Business Insurance Requirements

Business insurance is a package of insurance policies covering your property and liability risks. Most types of business insurance are not required in Washington, DC. If your business owns any vehicles, you're likely to have to buy commercial vehicle insurance that complies with the state’s financial responsibility laws.

Employers with one or more employees must also obtain workers’ compensation insurance for all of their employees in the District of Columbia. Employers who have employees located outside of DC are required to have a workers’ compensation insurance policy for coverage under the laws of the other states. Sole proprietors, casual workers, and unpaid volunteers are not covered by the workers’ compensation requirement in Washington, DC, and employees of the Federal or District Government are covered by similar but different laws. 

Your independent insurance agent can help you learn more about the requirements for commercial vehicle insurance and workers’ compensation insurance in Washington, DC.

What Business Insurance Covers in Washington, DC

A typical business insurance package in Washington, DC will include the following types of coverage, at a minimum:

  • Commercial vehicle insurance: 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 Washington, DC may include additional policies that cover your unique risks. 

Liability Coverage Options for Small Businesses in Washington, DC

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. It also covers court costs, attorney fees, and even settlements or judgments that you must pay to injured parties. 

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 Washington, DC

Property losses can originate in a variety of ways and cause tremendous harm to your business. Here are the basic business property coverage options in Washington, DC:

Commercial Property Insurance 

  • Protects you when your commercial property is damaged by someone else or by some type of unforeseen event. 
  • You need business property insurance if you own your building or have tangible business assets (furniture, computers, fixtures, inventory, materials, tools, etc.).
  • Repairs or replaces damaged or destroyed commercial property after damage due to fire, vandalism, smoke, theft, severe weather, and other causes of loss. 

Business Interruption Insurance

  • Usually included as part of a commercial property policy. 
  • Protects your earnings if your business is unable to operate because of damage after a fire, hail, wind, equipment breakdown, or some other covered event. 
  • If you’re forced to close your doors for a period of time in order to make repairs, 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 Washington, DC.

Other Insurance Options for Small Business Owners in Washington, DC

Your business insurance needs probably don’t end with basic property and liability coverage. Other insurance options for small business owners in Washington, DC 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 that 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 Washington, DC. An independent insurance agent can make sure that all of your Washington, DC business insurance needs are met. 

Average Cost of Business Insurance in Washington, DC

Business insurance costs are not the same for every company in Washington, DC. In fact, a variety of factors are used to determine how much you'll pay for your business coverage. Some of the typical factors that are used to determine the cost of business insurance in Washington, DC are as follows:

  • 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

If your city is prone to problems like crime and natural disasters, you’ll pay more for business insurance because you have a greater likelihood of filing a property damage claim. 

An independent business insurance agent can help you understand all of the risks you face and get quotes for affordable business insurance in Washington, DC.

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

LocationAverage Annual Amount of Commercial Claims PaidNumber of People Employed by Small Businesses
Washington, DC$750,576,000247,461

Popular Questions About Business Insurance in Washington, DC

Business insurance is designed to protect your company from financial losses caused by hazards like severe weather, property crimes, and liability lawsuits. It is a necessity for business owners in the District of Columbia,  where in one year alone the total amount of business insurance claims paid topped $750 million. Without business insurance, these businesses would not have been able to recover their losses. 

Business insurance is beneficial for just about every business in Washington, DC. That’s because it helps protect your financial and physical assets from the costs associated with covered losses involving lawsuits, property damage, theft, vandalism, loss of income, and employee injuries and illnesses.

Without business insurance, you’d have to pay out of pocket for these types of claims, and in many cases a large claim could lead to bankruptcy. 

Here are some of the ways in which business owners use their commercial insurance:

  • Compliance with the law (workers’ compensation insurance, commercial auto insurance)
  • Protect physical assets (a fire or a tornado destroys a building)
  • Protect financial assets (the business is sued after someone gets hurt on the premises or a product causes an injury or illness)
  • Protect employees (workers’ compensation pays for medical expenses for injured workers and replaces their lost income if they need time off to recover)
  • Build credibility for the business and bolsters its reputation
  • Help secure business and comply with contracts (many contracts require a business to have certain types of business insurance in order to secure or complete work)
  • Help attract and retain employees (employee benefits)

Businesses insurance is designed to pay for property losses, lost income, lawsuit expenses, and damages to injured parties associated with a multitude of covered events.

If your inventory is damaged, if a customer files a liability lawsuit, or if an employee is severely injured on the job, your business insurance will typically help pay for the related expenses without damaging your bottom line. 

In extreme cases, having the right business insurance in place can help you avoid bankruptcy or closing your doors for good. 

It’s essential for almost every Washington, DC business to carry a comprehensive business insurance package. But in general, Washington, DC does not require businesses to have insurance, except for workers’ compensation insurance

Employers with one or more employees must obtain workers’ compensation for all of their employees in the District of Columbia. Employers who have employees located outside of DC are required to have a workers’ compensation insurance policy for coverage under the laws of the other states. Sole proprietors, casual workers, and unpaid volunteers are not covered by the workers’ compensation requirement in Washington, DC, and employees of the Federal or District Government are covered by similar but different laws. 

In addition, if your business owns any vehicles, you’re required to comply with DC’s car insurance laws. 

Washington, DC business insurance premiums are calculated using a number of factors, including the following:

  • The type of business you own
  • The location of your business
  • The value of your company assets
  • The number of employees you have
  • Your liability coverage needs
  • The types and amounts of coverage you want to purchase

You can find the best prices for Washington, DC business insurance by working with an experienced independent business insurance agent in your area. These agents can help you make sure that you are getting the right coverage for your needs.

And because independent insurance agents can work with multiple insurance companies, they can search for the best price for the coverage that you need. 

Yes, there are 27 independent insurance agents in Washington, DC. These agents are ready to help you find the best and most affordable coverage for your business.

How does business insurance work?