Popular QuestionsPopular Questions about Business Insurance in Wisconsin

Why should I purchase Wisconsin business insurance?

Business insurance is designed to safeguard your company against the various expensive hazards it might face. Potential risks include  severe weather events, property crimes, and liability lawsuits. Business insurance coverage can prove beneficial, as is evidenced by the fact that companies in Wisconsin collected nearly $2.8 billion in insurance claims in 2016 alone.

A local independent agent can help you build a comprehensive business insurance plan that is designed to meet the specific coverage needs of your company.

How have other business owners used their commercial insurance?

Experts estimate that 40% of all small businesses are likely to be named in a property damage or general liability lawsuit in the next 10 years. That is one of the reasons that commercial liability insurance is so important. But lawsuits aren’t the only risk faced by businesses.

The following is a list of some of the most common hazards American companies have used their business insurance policies to cover against in recent years:

  • 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 slips and falls: Average cost per claim - $20,000
How does Wisconsin business insurance help my company?

In Wisconsin, business insurance can cover losses associated with a variety of hazards that could potentially impact your business. That way, your company can remain profitable through times of trouble.

If your inventory is damaged, a customer files a liability lawsuit, or one of your employees is severely injured on the job, a comprehensive business insurance plan can ensure that won't have to worry about how these expenses will affect your business’s bottom line.

Here are some of the ways a well-built business insurance policy package can safeguard your company:

Pays for Damage to Your Building or Business Property

  • This is covered by commercial property insurance.
  • Commercial property insurance can cover your building, if owned by your company, and all your business assets, ranging from tools and machinery to office furniture if it is lost or damaged due to a covered event.
  • Example: A tornado tears through town and destroys the warehouse where you store your business inventory.

Pays for Someone Else’s Property Damage or Medical Bills

  • This is covered by commercial general liability insurance (CGL).
  • Commercial general liability is designed to cover many of the most common risks faced by businesses. It includes premises liability insurance, product liability insurance, and advertising mishap liability insurance.
  • Example: Your business is sued for deceptive advertising practices due to an untrue claim in a product promotion ad.

Pays for Accidents Involving Company Vehicles

  • This is covered by commercial auto insurance.
  • Commercial auto insurance is required for all company-owned vehicles. Vehicles used for transporting passengers and those that transport hazardous materials will have high liability coverage requirements due to the greater-than-usual risks involved.
  • Example: While on the way to a job site, a construction vehicle owned by your company strikes a parked car in a crowded residential neighborhood.

Pays for the Treatment of Employee Injuries and Occupational Illnesses

  • This is covered by worker's compensation insurance.
  • In Wisconsin, worker's comp is required of all businesses that employ at least three people. It is designed to cover medical costs and disability pay for workers who are injured on the job.
  • Example: An employee at your brewery suffers second- and third-degree burns due to a machine malfunction and requires skin grafts and an extended hospital stay.

Provides a Continuation of Income During Forced Temporary Closures

  • This is covered by business interruption insurance.
  • If your business must close for several days or weeks in order to make repairs following a covered event, business interruption insurance can provide the income needed to keep paying bills and salaries until you can resume normal operations.
  • Example: A fire causes the shopping center in which your business is housed to close down for several weeks. You cannot reopen your storefront until the mall makes repairs that are up to code.

In addition to these coverages, there are many more commercial policies available that you can add to your business insurance coverage package. You can therefore build a policy portfolio that is fully customized to meet each of your company’s specific exposures.

To make sure you're properly insured, talk to a local independent insurance agent who has experience with covering businesses like yours.

Does Wisconsin require businesses to have insurance?

A stand-alone business insurance policy is not required by law. However, some types of commercial insurance that are often included in most business insurance policy packages may be. 

  • If your business has at least three full- or part-time employees, you are required by state law to carry worker's compensation insurance.
  • Many banks will require you to show proof of business insurance coverage before they will agree to finance a loan or line of credit.
  • Construction and other contracting firms are nearly always required to show proof of contractors insurance before they are hired to do a job.
  • If your business owns a vehicle or fleet of vehicles, you need to carry commercial vehicle liability insurance that meets the state’s minimum coverage requirements.

To learn more about coverage that you may have to have for your business, you can talk with a local independent insurance agent.

How do I find the best price for Wisconsin business insurance?

Business insurance rates are calculated according to a number of factors such as the size of your business, the value of your company's assets, how many workers you employ, your various liability exposures, and the amount and types of coverage you want. 

A solid business insurance policy package will include several different kinds of policies. Sometimes, it may be in your best interest to purchase from a few different insurance providers in order to get all the coverage you need at the most competitive prices.

An experienced insurance agent can assist you with building a comprehensive, yet affordable, policy package for your company. These agents can help you make sure that you are getting all the coverage your business needs while avoiding policies that it doesn’t. Because they are not captive to a single provider, these agents can shop around for the best price for all your policies.

Are there any independent agents in Wisconsin?

Yes! There are currently 366 independent agents in Wisconsin. These agents are available to help you with all of your business insurance coverage needs.

Did you know that independent insurance agents can work with several different insurance providers to find you a comprehensive and  competitively priced business insurance portfolio? Sometimes this means that you will have several different insurance companies providing your commercial coverage. Don’t worry. You still only have one point of contact with your local independent insurance agent.

Contact an independent agent near you to ensure that your business is fully covered against all of its various exposures.

InformationFind the Best Insurance in Your City

Let's take a look at some factors that can influence business insurance rates and see how your city measures up.

  • Number of business in the U.S.: 27,626,360
  • Number of businesses in Wisconsin:  445,445
  • Burglary rate per 1,000 residents in the U.S.: 3.76
  • Burglary rate per 1,000 residents in WI:  5.34
  • Auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles in the U.S.: 2.29
  • Auto theft rate per 1,000 vehicles in WI:  1.49
City Population  Number of Established Firms Burglary Rate Per 1,000 ResidentsAuto Theft Rate per 1,000 Vehicles
Appleton74,0985,7141.750.63
Eau Claire68,8025,2414.240.93
Fond du Lac43,2633,2381.821.10
Green Bay104,5787,0222.380.95
Janesville64,5754,6854.370.99
Kenosha99,9445,8372.480.51
La Crosse51,2273,7305.011.23
Madison239,68020,7144.112.06
Milwaukee590,15738,0177.157.71
Oshkosh67,0043,6751.891.02
Racine76,7604,6464.491.54
Sheboygan47,9652,6891.850.46
Waukesha72,2994,9381.140.67
Wauwatosa48,1184,6672.532.43
West Allis59,8903,8084.312.05

Milwaukee, WI Business Insurance

Covering Your Business Assets

Property

Milwaukee sees its fair share of inclement weather. Occasionally, this city is hit by damaging hailstorms. In April 2006, hailstones as large as baseballs fell in the area, causing damage to area homes, businesses, and vehicles. Businesses that were covered by commercial property insurance were reimbursed for their losses.

Commercial Auto

If your business owns a vehicle or a fleet of vehicles, you may find it beneficial to have the added liability coverage that comes with this required insurance. Your rates will be based on several factors, including the number and types of vehicles you are covering, the risk details about the employees who will be driving them, and the number of collisions and vehicle thefts in your city.

Worker's Compensation

Worker's compensation insurance can pay for medical bills and lost wages if your workers suffer an occupational illness or 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 individual job classifications. This insurance is required of all businesses with at least three employees.

For every $100,000 in annual payroll, here is an estimate of what businesses in the three leading industries in Milwaukee, WI would pay for worker's comp coverage:

  • Healthcare industry: $1,656 a year
  • Accommodation and food services industry: $2,013 a year
  • Educational services industry: $675 a year

Keep in mind that the industry averages cover a number of different types of jobs, so rates can vary significantly even within industries. Froedtert Hospital, which includes a trauma unit, is likely to pay higher overall rates per $100,000 in payroll than a small orthodontic office.

To find out how much a policy will cost for your business, you can consult a local independent insurance agent.

Madison, WI Commercial Insurance

Covering Your Business Assets

Property

Tornadoes pose a significant threat in the Madison metropolitan area. In fact, tornado activity in the area is 72% greater than the national rate. In 2017 a small tornado struck in Madison’s East Side. Fortunately, nobody was injured, but it did leave a significant amount of destruction in its wake. Commercial property insurance is designed to cover your business assets against loss or damage due to covered events like tornadoes.

Commercial Auto

Whether you are insuring a delivery van or a fleet of construction trucks, commercial vehicle insurance can protect your company against losses related to liability risks and property damage. If your business engages in interstate commerce, a local agent can ensure that your policy’s coverage meets not only the requirements mandated by the state, but federal requirements as well.

Worker's Compensation

In Wisconsin, worker's compensation insurance is required by law if your business employs at least three workers. It not only protects your employees from financial losses related to workplace injuries, it can also shield your business from potential liability lawsuits related to these injuries.

For every $100,000 in annual payroll, here is an estimate of what businesses in the three leading industries in Madison, WI would pay for workers comp coverage:

  • Educational services industry: $675 a year
  • Professional, scientific and technical services industry: $290 a year
  • Healthcare industry: $1,656 a year

A computer programmer faces a lower risk of injury than a physical therapist, and the rates for the industries in which these employees work reflect this. Of course, these are just averages for broad-based industries representing several different types of jobs. The only way to find out how much a policy will cost for your particular business is to contact insurance companies and request quotes.

A local independent agent can help you compare rates from a variety of insurers so you can be sure you are getting your coverage at a great price.

Green Bay, WI Business Insurance

Covering Your Business Assets

Property

Your company’s commercial property insurance will cover against damage caused by a number of severe weather events, including storms. However, this insurance will not cover against the flood damage that often accompanies torrential downpours. Because Green Bay has a significant risk of flood damage, especially for businesses located near the Fox River and Lake Michigan, a local independent insurance agent can help you supplement your business coverage with a commercial flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Commercial Auto

Commercial auto insurance can protect your business from facing unmanageable liability costs if one of your drivers causes an accident while operating a company-owned vehicle. Rates can be influenced by the driving records of the employees who will be operating the vehicles and by the types of vehicles you are covering. Vans and buses used to transport people have high liability risks, as do trucks that carry hazardous materials and large construction vehicles. Learn more by talking to a local independent insurance agent.

Worker's Compensation

Worker's compensation insurance 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 any business that employs at least three people in Wisconsin. Worker’s compensation rates are assigned according to your company’s overall payroll, the types of jobs your employees do, and the likelihood that they will be injured while doing them.

Based on a $100,000 annual payroll, here is an estimate of what businesses in the three leading industries in Green Bay, WI would pay for worker's comp insurance:

  • Healthcare industry: $1,656 a year
  • Accommodation and food services industry: $2,013 a year
  • Food production, packaging and distribution industry: $9,995 a year

Food production and packaging is an extremely hazardous industry. It is a fast-paced environment that uses lots of dangerous machinery. It is not uncommon for workers in this industry to suffer severe injuries that leave them unable to work for an extended period. That is why rates for this industry are so much higher than for most other industries in this state. Of course, not all food processing companies are alike, so the average industry rate can only give you an idea of what a company in this business might be expected to pay.

Talk to a local independent insurance agent to find out how much coverage for your business will cost.

Kenosha, WI Commercial Insurance

Covering Your Business Assets

Property

Your business has probably invested a lot in its assets, such as computers, furniture, tools, 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 such as a major winter storm or blizzard or because of freezing pipes. Find a policy and rate that works for your Kenosha business by teaming up with a local independent agent.

Commercial Auto

Accidents happen, even to the best drivers. This is particularly true in the winter when roads in Kenosha can be hazardous. That is why, if your business owns a vehicle or fleet of vehicles, you will be required to carry commercial auto insurance. Rates for these policies can vary according to the number and types of vehicles you are covering, as well as the risk of collisions and vehicle theft where your employees will be driving. A local independent agent can help you find a comprehensive policy at a competitive price.

Worker's Compensation

Worker's compensation insurance covers medical expenses and paid time off for employees who are injured on the job. In addition to protecting your employees, it can shield your company from liability lawsuits related to these injuries. In Wisconsin, all businesses with at least three employees 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.

For every $100,000 spent on annual payroll, here is an estimate of what businesses in the three leading industries in Kenosha, WI would pay for worker's comp insurance:

  • Healthcare industry: $1,656 a year
  • Educational services industry: $675 a year
  • Accommodation and food services industry: $2,013 a year

Rates within the accommodation and food services industry are higher than those for medical or educational services jobs because the risk of injury is higher. A cook can suffer lacerations or burns in the kitchen, or a housekeeping attendant can throw out her back while engaged in heavy lifting. Rates are not assigned by industry but rather by the specific jobs done by the people you employ.

Contact a local independent insurance agent to find out how much it will cost to insure your particular business.

Racine, WI Business Insurance

Covering Your Business Assets

Property

It is important that you fully insure your business property so that if a major disaster like a fire causes complete destruction of all your company assets, you will have sufficient funds to rebuild and replace so you can resume normal business operations quickly and without suffering large financial losses. A local independent insurance agent can help you be sure that your coverage levels are high enough.

Commercial Auto

Many businesses in Racine have company-owned vehicles. If yours is among them, you will need to insure these cars, vans, busses, or trucks with a commercial auto insurance policy. Doing so can prevent your business from facing a devastating financial loss if one of your drivers causes a serious accident and your business is sued. A local independent agent can help you find a reliable policy at a competitive price.

Worker's Compensation

Worker's compensation insurance covers medical bills and lost wages for workers who are injured in the course of doing their jobs. It is required of all businesses in Wisconsin that have at least three employees. This insurance not only protects your employees from financial losses related to work injuries, it can also prevent your company from facing expensive lawsuits. Rates for this coverage are assigned according to your company’s overall payroll amount and the types of jobs your workers do.

For every $100,000 spent on payroll annually, here is an estimate of what businesses in the three leading industries in Racine, WI would pay for worker's comp coverage:

  • Healthcare industry: $1,656 a year
  • Educational services industry: $675 a year
  • Metal and metal products industry: $8,036 a year

The metal and metal products industry is one of the most dangerous for workers. In addition to the risk of lacerations and other injuries caused by sharp metal scraps and flying shards, there is also the risk of occupational illnesses due to inhaling welding fumes or toxic chemical substances. For this reason, this industry sees much higher rates that those in the healthcare or educational services industries.

Talk to a local independent insurance agent to discover how much it will cost to cover your Racine business.