Startup businesses are exciting ventures but can pose risks and uncertainties. Business insurance is a key safeguard against potential losses and unforeseen setbacks. There are various insurance types that startups may require, such as general liability, property, workers' compensation and professional liability coverage. These insurance types can provide the necessary protection to manage and secure your business effectively.

What Types of Business Insurance Do Startups Need?

Startup businesses, while often driven by innovative ideas and passion, face many potential risks that could threaten their growth and survival. To mitigate these risks and protect their assets, startups need to invest in various types of business insurance. Determining which types of insurance you need starts with understanding the coverage type's purpose and assessing your specific needs.


How Much Does Business Insurance Cost for Startups?

The cost of business insurance is not a one-size-fits-all figure; it varies significantly based on several factors, including the type of insurance, the number of employees, the industry in which the startup operates and more. For instance, the scope of coverage required for a manufacturing business differs vastly from a tech startup, affecting the insurance premiums.

As an example, the average monthly cost of general liability insurance for a sole proprietor in the software development industry with no employees is $28. This type of insurance covers legal fees and damages if the business is sued.

On the other hand, the average monthly cost of workers' compensation insurance — which covers medical expenses and lost wages if an employee gets injured or sick on the job — for a software development business with five employees is $68. These examples underscore the importance of understanding the specific insurance needs and associated costs for your startup.

What Factors Affect the Cost of Startup Business Insurance?

The cost of business insurance for startups is influenced by a variety of factors, each contributing to the overall risk assessment made by the insurance provider.

  • Years in business: The length of time a business has been operating can impact insurance costs. For startups, initial premiums may be higher due to the lack of an established track record, but maintaining a clean claims record over time could help reduce costs. Established businesses are often seen as less risky, leading to lower premiums, but a long history of claims might result in higher premiums.
  • Industry: Businesses operating in industries perceived as high-risk, such as manufacturing or construction, may face higher insurance premiums due to the increased likelihood of workplace accidents or damages.
  • Location: The geographical location of the business can influence insurance costs. For instance, a business in an area prone to natural disasters may have higher property insurance premiums.
  • Number of employees: More employees often mean higher costs for insurance policies like workers' compensation, as there is a greater potential for workplace injuries or illnesses.
  • Coverage limits and deductibles: Higher coverage limits and lower deductibles typically lead to higher premiums, as the insurance company may have to pay out more in case of a claim.
  • Type of insurance: Different types of insurance have varying costs. For example, general liability insurance may be less expensive than professional liability insurance, depending on the nature of the business.
  • Business size and revenue: Larger businesses with higher revenues may have to pay more for insurance as they have more to lose in the event of a claim.

Understanding these factors can help startups anticipate their insurance costs and budget accordingly. It's important to work with a knowledgeable insurance agent or broker to secure the most appropriate coverage for your startup's specific needs.

Where to Get Business Insurance for Startups

Getting business insurance is a crucial step in protecting a startup from potential risks and liabilities. There are several ways and places to secure insurance:

  • Insurance brokers and agents: These professionals can help startups understand their insurance needs and find the best policies for their specific circumstances. Brokers work with multiple insurance companies and can provide a variety of options, while agents typically represent a single insurance company.
  • Online insurance providers: Many insurance companies offer online platforms where businesses can get quotes, purchase policies and manage their coverage. This can be a convenient option for startups, especially those with straightforward insurance needs.
  • State-run insurance programs: In some states, businesses can get certain types of insurance, like workers' compensation, through state-run programs.

When looking for business insurance, startups should assess their risk exposure to determine the types and levels of coverage they need. They should also compare quotes from different providers to ensure they're getting the best value. While cost is an important consideration, startups should also consider the reputation, financial stability and customer service of the insurance provider. It's important to understand the terms of any policy before purchasing, including what is covered, what is excluded and what deductibles and policy limits apply.

How to Choose the Right Coverage

To select the right coverage for your startup, it’s important to take the right steps, whether you’re searching for new coverage or looking for additional or new protections as your business grows. Follow these steps to find coverage that works for your startup.


Assess your risks

Understand the potential risks your startup could face. This includes considering the nature of your work, the industry you're in, your business location and the number of employees. These factors will influence the types and levels of insurance coverage you need.


Consult a professional

Speak with an insurance broker or agent who can guide you in selecting the appropriate coverage. They can provide expert advice tailored to your startup's unique circumstances.


Compare multiple providers

Don't settle for the first quote you receive. Explore different insurance providers, compare their offerings and prices and review their financial stability and reputation for customer service to find the best small business insurance for your startup.


Understand your policy

Make sure you fully comprehend the terms of any insurance policy before you purchase it. Know what is covered, what is excluded and understand the deductibles and policy limits.


Regularly review and update your coverage

As your business grows and evolves, so will your insurance needs. Regularly review your policies to ensure they remain adequate and relevant for your changing business landscape.

Startup Business Insurance FAQs

Navigating business insurance for startups can often raise questions. To help you gain clarity, we've compiled a list of questions that cover common inquiries about startup insurance needs, costs, specific coverage types and ways to save on premiums.

What insurance do you need for a startup?
Is business insurance a startup cost?
Do startups need E&O insurance?
How can startups save money on business insurance?

About Melissa Wylie

Melissa Wylie headshot

Melissa Wylie is a Content and SEO Manager at MoneyGeek. Melissa has worked in the financial content space since 2018 and has spent much of that time focused on all things small business.

Prior to joining MoneyGeek, Melissa held SEO positions at Bankrate and LendingTree. Melissa’s work has also appeared on LendingTree-owned websites ValuePenguin and MagnifyMoney.

Melissa began her career at American City Business Journals in 2015 as a reporter for the company’s women-focused publication Bizwomen. Melissa has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of North Texas. Melissa relies on her foundation in journalism to craft content that simplifies complex financial topics to help everyone feel confident when making decisions with their money.

Melissa's other work can be read on LendingTree and Bizwomen.