Next Insurance makes our list of the best small-business insurance companies because it:
- Caters exclusively to small businesses
- Offers common types of commercial insurance, such as general business liability coverage and workers compensation policies
- Offers more specialized business insurance policies, such as liquor liability coverage and errors and omissions coverage
- Shapes policies to individual businesses’ needs
- Makes it easy to get an insurance quote online in just a few minutes
- Offers immediate proof of insurance once you’re covered
Whether you’re a veteran entrepreneur looking to change business insurance providers or a newbie eager to get your new business covered so it can grow, Next Insurance can help. Find out why it’s not like the others — and whether it makes sense for your small enterprise.
What Is Next Insurance?
Next Insurance provides tailored business insurance policies and packages to small businesses in the United States. It was founded in 2016.
Next Insurance offers general liability insurance, workers compensation policies, professional liability coverage, commercial auto coverage, insurance for tools and equipment, and more specialized types of business coverage too.
Next Insurance tailors its offerings to specific professions and customizes coverage for individual businesses, ditching the one-size-fits-all approach common to bigger, impersonal insurance companies. It serves professional service providers, contracting and trades businesses, restaurants, entertainment businesses, e-commerce entrepreneurs, and real estate professionals, among other industries.
I review insurance companies for a living, including business insurance providers, and can honestly say I’m impressed by Next Insurance.
From my perspective, the biggest potential knock on them — one that could prove unfounded — is that they haven’t been around very long. At least, not as an independent brand. But they’re backed by the financial firepower and reputation of Munich RE, which has a financial strength rating of A- (Excellent) from A.M. Best.
How Next Insurance Stacks Up
Can an upstart business insurance company founded less than a decade ago really compete with commercial insurers that have been around for decades?
And should you trust it?
The answer to both questions is “yes.” In a head-to-head comparison with Nationwide, one of the country’s biggest commercial insurers, Next Insurance holds its own.
|Immediate Certificate of Insurance||Yes||Depends|
|Speed of Application Process||Often 5 minutes or less||Can take 30+ minutes|
|Need to Work With an Agent?||No||May be necessary, depending on your industry and coverage needs|
|Professions Served||900+, with personalized solutions for all||Hundreds, but with a focus on specific industries like farming and logistics|
What Sets Next Insurance Apart?
Think all small-business insurers are alike? Think again.
Next Insurance stands out from the pack for several reasons. We’ll discuss its specific advantages and disadvantages in the next sections, but for now, here’s what makes Next Insurance different and why it could be a good fit for your business.
- Fast Proof of Coverage. Next Insurance is the only small-business insurance company to offer a live certificate of insurance (COI). Unlike paper certificates or certificates stored on hard drives, Next’s live certificate is available through the Next Insurance app 24/7 to anyone who asks for it.
- Policies Tailored to Specific Professions. All business insurance companies say they tailor policies to specific professions and trades. Next Insurance actually does — because although plumbers and electricians might work on the same job sites, they have very different insurance needs.
- Lots of Coverage Options for Complex and Niche Businesses. Next Insurance offers seven main types of insurance coverage. But within those, it offers niche products that support complex or unusual business needs.
- Easy to Manage on the Go. Next Insurance is not your grandparents’ insurance company. From applying for your policy to getting your insurance certificate to filing a claim, basically everything happens — or at least can happen — in the Next Insurance app.
Advantages of Next Insurance
Why purchase a business insurance policy from Next Insurance? Why work with a Next Insurance agent?
Because Next Insurance doesn’t do business like other business insurers. It has an unusually wide range of coverage options that come in a near-infinite variety of personalized packages.
- Breezy Application Process. The Next Insurance application process is really easy. It takes just five minutes to get an instant quote, and although the actual application requires a decent amount of information about your business, it all happens online and on your schedule.
- Useful Mobile App. Next Insurance has a powerful mobile app you can use wherever you have Wi-Fi or data. Many tradition-bound insurers still rely on overworked call centers and print-and-mail forms for routine communication.
- Access Your Live Certificate of Insurance 24/7. You can get your COI in seconds through the Next Insurance app. Which means you can give anyone who needs it your COI in seconds too.
- Hundreds of Professions Served. Next Insurance serves an astounding array of professions, trades, and industries. As long as your business is legal and located in a state where Next offers the policies it needs, Next has your back.
- Custom-Tailored Policies for Individual Businesses’ Needs. Next Insurance is not a one-size-fits-all insurer. It recognizes that even within professions, no two enterprises are exactly alike.
- Automatic Bundle Discount for Every Package of Two or More Policies. Need more than one business insurance policy? Buy them both with Next and get a guaranteed bundle discount — up to 10%, depending on the policy types and number.
Disadvantages of Next Insurance
Next Insurance might not be the best choice for your business insurance needs. It’s not ideal for business owners used to working with insurance agents as intermediaries, nor for entrepreneurs who need certain specialized types of coverage. It’s not the place to find multiple quotes from different insurers either.
- Not Ideal for Entrepreneurs Who Want an Agent to Handle Everything. “Old-fashioned” isn’t always a dirty word. If you prefer to work directly with an insurance agent who handles everything on your behalf, rather than through an app backed up by knowledgeable advisors and independent agents, Next isn’t right for you. To be clear, insurance agents can offer policies through Next — but the company is so easy to work with that an agent might not be necessary.
- Missing a Few Key Types of Business Insurance. Next Insurance covers most business insurance bases and offers all the most commonly used types of coverage. But it does have a few gaps, from niche commercial insurance products like builder’s risk insurance to key person life insurance, which is useful for partnerships.
- Not an Online Insurance Marketplace. Next Insurance is a business insurance company, not a business insurance marketplace. Although its policies are reasonably priced — even more so when you bundle — you can’t compare competitors’ pricing at a glance here.
Key Features of Next Insurance
You’ve seen what sets Next Insurance apart from its competitors. You understand why it could be a good fit — or not-so-good fit — for your business insurance needs.
Now, let’s dive into the nuts and bolts of Next Insurance: its specific insurance offerings, who it serves, and the people and capabilities that make it special.
Types of Insurance Available at Next Insurance
Next Insurance offers seven broad types of insurance:
- General liability insurance, which provides financial protection if someone gets hurt at your business or your business damages property it doesn’t own
- Workers compensation insurance (workers comp), which covers lost wages and medical expenses for employees injured on the job — and which almost all states require small businesses to carry
- Professional liability insurance or errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, which provides financial protection if you’re sued over an error you made at work
- Commercial auto insurance, which provides property damage and liability protection for company-owned vehicles
- Tools and equipment insurance, which you can add to your general liability coverage to insure damaged or stolen business equipment
- Commercial property insurance, which covers damage and loss of use for commercial real estate and physical property
- Business owner’s policy, which combines general liability and commercial property in a package that’s ideal if you have a physical business location
Within these seven types, Next Insurance offers insurance coverages tailored to the needs of specific industries and professions. Notable niche coverages include:
- Product liability insurance, which is included in general liability insurance
- Liquor liability insurance, a specialized policy for businesses that serve or allow alcohol on the premises
- Hired and nonowned auto insurance, a commercial auto insurance add-on for businesses where employees drive rented vehicles or use personal vehicles for work
Industries and Professions Served by Next Insurance
Next Insurance serves more than 900 professions and trades. That’s too many to name here. But here’s a sampling of some of the most common types of small businesses that can get coverage through Next:
- Contractors and trades, including plumbing, electrical, HVAC, roofing, construction, and general contractor businesses
- Education providers, including day cares
- Fitness businesses, including gyms and self-employed personal trainers
- Cleaning businesses
- Entertainment businesses, including DJs and other performers
- Restaurants and bars (food and beverage)
- Financial services providers, including financial advisors and insurance agents
- Auto service and repair businesses
- Real estate brokerages and self-employed brokers
- Professional services providers, including business consultants
- Beauty and styling businesses
Certificate of Insurance and Policy Changes
Next Insurance offers a live certificate of insurance that lives in the Next mobile app. It’s accessible 24/7 and you can share it instantly with anyone who needs to see it. The live COI is always up-to-date, meaning it changes when your policy does, so there’s no need to resend it when you add or remove coverage.
You can also make policy changes directly in the app, including upping coverage limits or adding an additional insured (often a general contractor or some other business that hires you) to your policy.
Filing an Insurance Claim With Next Insurance
You can file a claim in the Next Insurance app without calling your insurance agent or contacting Next Insurance directly. Simply follow the prompts to begin the claims process, upload requested documents, and get claim updates.
If you do prefer to speak with a human, you can call Next Insurance’s claims hotline at 855-222-5919. Either way, Next strives to resolve claims within 48 hours — faster than old-school business insurers.
Next Insurance Advisors
You can do most everything policy-related through the Next Insurance app. But if you need more help, reach out to the customer service team.
Next Insurance calls its customer service agents “advisors,” and they certainly live up to the promise.
You can reach advisors by live chat from 6am to 5pm Pacific time. If you reach out after hours, you’ll receive an email as soon as an advisor gets back online.
Is Next Insurance Legit?
Yes, Next Insurance is legitimate.
Next Insurance is a relatively new brand, to be sure. But it’s backed by a global insurance company that has been around for decades: Munich RE. A.M. Best, an independent rating agency that assesses insurance companies’ financial strength, gives it an A- (Excellent) rating.
In other words, if you file a legitimate claim with Next Insurance, you can rest assured Next will make good on its promise to pay. And although no one can predict the future, it sure seems like Next isn’t going anywhere — which is more than we can say about some other insurance startups.
Alternatives to Consider
Next Insurance doesn’t have the market for business insurance to itself, of course. And although it’s one of the best business insurers around for small enterprises, it’s not necessarily the best choice in every situation.
|Hiscox||Freelancers and solo professionals with no plans to expand and few business assets|
|Progressive||Small and midsize businesses with large commercial truck and equipment fleets|
|Chubb||Small and midsize businesses that operate in multiple countries|
|CoverWallet||Comparing business insurance quotes from multiple providers|
Next Insurance isn’t flawless. No business insurer is. You won’t find insurance products commonly offered as employee benefits here, such as disability insurance or health insurance — to say nothing of insurance-adjacent instruments like health savings accounts (HSAs) and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs).
Next Insurance also omits a few types of business insurance, such as key person coverage, at least for now. And although you can get Next Insurance coverage through an independent agent, it’s not the first choice for business owners comfortable in existing agent relationships.
But Next Insurance’s benefits far outweigh its downsides. With a powerful mobile app, 24/7 COI access, an easy-breezy application process, and tailored policies for hundreds of different professions, Next is a superior business insurer.