The Hartford review
Rating as of based on a review of services October 5, 2022.
The Hartford offers great small business insurance with lots of policies to choose from, online claim handling, and excellent customer service.
- Fast quotes
The Hartford is a well-known insurance company, primarily for its auto and home insurance offerings that are exclusively available to AARP members. But in addition to property and casualty insurance, The Hartford also sells small business insurance.
If you’re a Millennial entrepreneur and want to insure your business, The Hartford is a solid choice overall. Plus, you don’t need to be an AARP member to get coverage.
As a small business owner myself, I know that insuring your business can be complicated, especially because there are so many providers out there. I researched The Hartford’s small business insurance offerings to help in deciding whether the company is the right fit for you.
What is The Hartford?
The Hartford doesn’t have catchy TV ads or memorable mascots, like Geico or State Farm. However, it’s one of the oldest and most reputable insurance companies on the market.
The Hartford is the 13th largest insurance company in the United States, with about 1.71% of the total market share across all lines of insurance. The company was founded more than 200 years ago in 1810 and is headquartered in Hartford, CT.
Originally, The Hartford was established as a fire insurance provider. But over the last 200-plus years, the carrier has expanded its offerings significantly.
As I mentioned, you must be an AARP member in order to get home or auto insurance from The Hartford. But its small business insurance is available to young entrepreneurs who don’t qualify for AARP.
How does The Hartford work?
When I started researching The Hartford, I was surprised to see how many small business insurance policy offerings the company sells. You can also get a free quote online, which not many commercial insurance providers offer.
When you go through the online quote process, you can select the types of coverage you want, choose your coverage limits and deductibles, and then see how much you will pay.
You’ll have the opportunity to complete the application, which requires much of the same information as any other insurance application. After you take about 10 minutes to fill out the application, you can see your quote, and input your payment information online, but you must speak with an agent before you can officially complete the purchase process.
How much does The Hartford small business insurance cost?
According to The Hartford’s website, the average cost of general liability insurance for a small business is $500 per year. However, average premiums are based on several different factors.
Here are some of the things that impact the cost of small business insurance from The Hartford:
- Your state.
- The type of business you have.
- Your industry.
- The number of employees you have.
- The type of policy and coverage limit.
- Your deductibles.
- Your business insurance claim history.
When I received a sample quote for my own business, I applied for business personal property coverage with a $10,000 policy limit and $500 deductible. I also wanted general liability insurance with coverage limits of $500,000/$1,000,000.
For these two policies, my annual premium was estimated to be $509, which is right around the average rate according to The Hartford.
Read more: How Much Does Business Insurance Cost?
The Hartford features
One of the best aspects of The Hartford is that the company offers a wide variety of small business insurance policies. I found that some other providers only offer a handful of policies, which can be limiting and isn’t ideal if your business is scaling.
Here are the types of small business insurance you can purchase through The Hartford:
General liability insurance
General liability insurance is one of the most valuable types of commercial insurance, no matter how big your business is, what industry you’re in, or how much profit you make. This policy is designed to protect your business against third-party claims related to:
- Bodily injury.
- Property damage.
- Personal or advertising injury.
It also helps pay for your legal fees in a lawsuit, as well as related costs, like medical bills or property damage repairs.
Commercial property insurance
The Hartford’s commercial property insurance includes two types of coverage—commercial building insurance and business property insurance:
- Commercial building insurance protects the physical office you work in, whether it’s owned or rented. For example, if a pipe burst at your office and caused sudden water damage, this policy would pay for the repairs.
- Business property insurance covers your business equipment from damage and theft, such as office furniture, computers, machinery, or anything else.
Business income insurance
As the name suggests, business income insurance will temporarily replace your income if you are unable to work due to property damage. So, for instance, if a fire broke out at your office and you had to shut down for a few weeks, this policy would compensate you for the income you would have made.
Professional liability insurance
Professional liability insurance is a type of insurance that only applies to businesses that provide services or professional advice, such as consulting companies, accountants, and real estate agents. This policy covers your legal costs if you get sued for one of the following:
- Work oversights.
- Going over budget.
- Missed deadlines.
- Not delivering guaranteed services.
- Breach of contract.
Business owners’ policy
A business owners’ policy (BOP) is an insurance bundle. A BOP from The Hartford comes with the following coverages:
- General liability insurance.
- Commercial property insurance.
- Business income insurance.
- Professional liability insurance (if you qualify).
The main benefit of a BOP is that it’s generally cheaper to get the coverages in a bundle, rather than buying them individually. You also have the option to add a few other policies, like data breach insurance, business income coverage for off-premises utility services, and a few others.
Workers’ compensation insurance
Workers’ compensation insurance is a must if you have employees on the payroll. If a worker gets sick or injured on the job, workers’ comp insurance pays for the following:
- Medical bills.
- Lost wages.
- Temporary disability benefits.
- Your legal cost if the employee sues your business.
The Hartford’s workers’ comp offering goes a few steps further than what other providers offer. Sick or injured employees get access to a network of more than one million providers that specialize in workplace injury treatment. There’s also a mail-order prescription system, needle stick reimbursement testing for healthcare providers, and care coordinators on-demand.
Commercial auto insurance
If you have a personal car insurance policy, it won’t cover the vehicles you use for work. Business-use vehicles can only be covered under a commercial car insurance policy, which is available through The Hartford.
Commercial auto insurance is pretty much identical to personal car insurance. You can get a minimum coverage policy with liability insurance, or upgrade to a full coverage policy that includes collision, comprehensive, and medical payments coverage.
In addition, The Hartford offers the following add-ons for more protection:
- Personal injury protection.
- Rental car coverage.
- Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage.
- Hired/non-owned car insurance.
Data breach insurance
Data breach insurance protects your business in the event of a cyber crime. For instance, if your business gets hacked and the cyber thieves get access to customer’s data, your insurance policy would provide coverage for the following:
- Notifying your customers of the breach.
- Free credit monitoring services for affected customers.
- Hiring a public relations firm for damage control and brand management.
The Hartford also offers a few add-on policies for data breach insurance, which include business income and extra expense coverage, prior acts coverage (if a breach occurs before your policy’s effective date), and extortion coverage.
My experience researching The Hartford
Applying for small business insurance through The Hartford was simple. Based on my experience, signing up for business insurance takes longer than enrolling in auto or renters insurance, but The Hartford’s process took me less than 10 minutes.
As soon as I landed on the home page, I was given the option to start the quote process. The first step in the application is to input some information about your business, such as:
- Number of employees.
- Number of locations.
- Founding date.
- Business zip code.
Once I shared that information, I was able to select the types of coverage I wanted. Keep in mind that you will only see the types of coverage you are eligible to purchase based on your industry. If you’re not sure what each type of policy covers, just select the “Read More” dropdown and you’ll see a brief description.
The next few steps of the application process were the most tedious, inputting my personal information, business name, desired coverage start date, and my contact information.
I was also asked to describe what my business does, where I work, and my gross annual sales, as well as information about my home office (square footage, year built, number of floors, etc).
The final step was to choose my coverage limits and deductibles for the policies I wanted to purchase. I decided that business property coverage, general liability insurance, and professional liability insurance would be most appropriate for my freelance writing business.
I was given a last-minute choice to add other policies, like commercial auto insurance and workers’ comp, but I decided to decline them.
Once all the questions had been answered, I was shown my quote for the types of coverage, amount of coverage, and deductibles I chose. I liked the fact that it was still easy to edit my quote by adding and removing coverages, or changing the policy limits, without restarting the application.
Although the application was easy to navigate, I also had the option to call or chat with a live agent during every step of the process. Just keep in mind that you can only contact customer service during business hours, which are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET.
The only thing I found somewhat frustrating is that you can input your payment information when you’re ready to purchase a policy, but you have to speak with an agent before the transaction can actually process. So, if you need coverage in a pinch, be aware that you have to complete that final step before your policy can take effect.
Who is The Hartford best for?
The Hartford is a great choice for any Millennial business owner who is looking to protect their company, whether you just started a business or you’re in the process of scaling.
I would also recommend this provider to business owners who care about working with a reputable and reliable company. The Hartford is highly rated by customers and third-party organizations, which is an indicator of good customer service.
The Hartford is also a good option for business owners who want access to a wide variety of coverage types. Because there are so many policies available, it’s an excellent provider for companies that are scaling. It’s easy to add new policies and increase coverage limits if you bring on new employees or open new locations.
Lastly, you should definitely check out The Hartford if you need workers’ compensation insurance. The Hartford’s policy includes lots of unique perks you won’t find elsewhere, like an extensive network of workplace injury treatment professionals.
Who shouldn’t use The Hartford?
Most insurance companies have a mobile app for easy on-the-go policy management. Although The Hartford does have an app, it doesn’t support access to business insurance information.
As a result, I wouldn’t recommend The Hartford to Millennials who care about having a seamless online and mobile experience. The online application is easy, but it does take a little time. And if you’re away from your computer, you can’t use the app to get a quote or make changes to your policy.
Pros & cons
- Simple online quote generator — Getting a quote from The Hartford online is really easy, and the application took me less than 10 minutes to finish. Some other insurance carriers don’t offer online quotes for commercial policies.
- Variety of policies available — The Hartford sells more than a dozen different business insurance policies. This is a big draw for growing businesses, and if you’re looking for something specific, there’s a good chance that The Hartford offers it.
- Coverage is available nationwide — You can get business insurance from The Hartford in all 50 states. So, if you plan to move your business to another location (for tax benefits, perhaps), you’ll be able to keep your coverage.
- Lots of online resources — If you’re purchasing business insurance for the first time, I found The Hartford’s online resources to be really helpful. There’s lots of detailed information on every policy the company offers and real-life examples that explain how each policy works.
- No discounts advertised — When it comes to insurance, discounts are typically a big selling point. Unfortunately, The Hartford doesn’t advertise any discounts on its website. And because you have to be an AARP member to get home or auto insurance, there’s no option to bundle your coverages.
- Must talk to an agent before getting a policy — Even though you can get a quote online, you can’t purchase a policy without talking to a live agent over the phone. This is an extra step that seems somewhat unnecessary, but it does give you the opportunity to ask questions and get a second opinion if you aren’t sure what type of coverage you need.
The Hartford vs. competitors
|The Hartford||Allstate||Liberty Mutual|
|Quote options||Online, over the phone, agent||Online, over the phone, agent (only available for BOP and commercial auto)||Over the phone, agent|
|Application process||Easy, but somewhat time consuming||Very quick and easy||A few short questions, but it’s more of a contact form
Most people know Allstate for their auto insurance, but their small business insurance offerings are also very impressive.
Allstate offers many of the same policies that The Hartford sells, plus you can get some unique extras, like coverage for employee dishonestly, special home-based business coverage, and even coverage for outdoor signs.
With Allstate, you can get a quote online or over the phone, but only for a BOP or commercial auto insurance policy. So, if you want general liability insurance only, for example, you’ll have to call an agent directly.
Keep in mind that Allstate does not allow customers to file business insurance claims online. Although Allstate provides a dedicated agent for each business insurance policyholder, calling an agent is an added step that may be a deterrent for some business owners.
Liberty Mutual’s small business insurance offerings are good, but not great.
Compared to The Hartford, Liberty Mutual offers fewer policies to choose from. You’ll mostly find the basics, like general liability, commercial auto, and equipment breakdown coverage.
One thing to know about Liberty Mutual is that it doesn’t underwrite its own policies. When you click “get a quote,” you will be redirected to Commercialinsurance.net, which is the company that actually supplies the policies.
Unlike The Hartford, you can’t get an instant rate quote from Liberty Mutual (via Commercialinsurance.net) online. You’ll be asked to fill out your contact information and then wait for an agent to reach out to you. If you prefer to avoid working with agents for your insurance needs, Liberty Mutual probably isn’t your best option.
Overall, I would recommend The Hartford if you’re in the market for business insurance. The company offers a wide variety of coverage options, plus it has good customer service and is one of the few providers with online claim reporting.
The biggest downside to The Hartford is that there aren’t any discounts, but in my experience, most commercial insurance providers don’t offer many savings opportunities. It’s easy to get a quote online to see how much you’ll pay, and The Hartford has a strong reputation in the industry.
As a business owner myself, I know firsthand that your business is your baby. Choosing a strong insurance company like The Hartford can offer valuable peace of mind if something unexpected goes wrong.