Founded in 1810, The Hartford is a reliable and well-rated business insurance company widely recognized for its service excellence, sustainability practices, trust, and integrity. It stands out due to its financial strength and various insurance options for small businesses, including business liability insurance, property, income, data breach, and auto insurance policies.
Most importantly, in particular, its workers’ compensation insurance product offers multiple payment options and standard rate determinations. It also serves more than 65,000 participating pharmacies throughout the U.S. that can fill prescriptions, usually with no out-of-pocket expense to the injured worker.
Overview of The Hartford
The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., usually known as The Hartford, is a United States-based investment and insurance company founded in 1810 in Hartford, Connecticut. A group of local merchants gathered in a Hartford inn and, with a working capital of $15,000, founded the Hartford Fire Insurance Company.
The company survived some of the greatest peacetime tragedies in American history. After a huge fire destroyed New York’s financial district in 1835, The Hartford’s president, Eliphalet Terry, used his personal wealth to cover all the company’s damage claims. Other catastrophic events included the Chicago fire of 1871 and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire.
The Hartford was ranked 160th in the Fortune 500 in 2020, and is the 13th-largest property and casualty insurance company in the United States. It sells products primarily through a network of agents and brokers and has also been the auto and home insurance writer for AARP members for more than 25 years.
The company’s earnings are divided between property-and-casualty operations, group benefits, and mutual funds.
The Hartford Buck
The company’s logo was likely inspired by the seal of the city of Hartford, which in turn borrowed from the 17th-century seal of Hertford England. Although it is unknown exactly when the iconic symbol first appeared as The Hartford’s logo, the earliest use on record is on the 1861 policy issued to Abraham Lincoln. It depicts a hart fording (a deer crossing) a stream.
By 1867, the logo began to echo the majestic stag depicted in Sir Edwin Landseer’s 1851 painting, “The Monarch of the Glen.” The logo art and style have continued to shift throughout the years to adjust to the changing art and print needs. However, the Buck remains a clear descendant of the “Monarch of the Glen.”
The Hartford’s business insurance products
These are the top insurance policies sold by The Hartford:
Business owner’s policy
A BOP provides liability coverage for customer injury, property damage, and product-related claims, in addition to commercial building and movable property coverage.
A business owner’s policy (BOP) from The Hartford combines three types of coverage at an affordable price: commercial property insurance, general liability insurance, and business interruption insurance.
Commercial property insurance
Commercial property insurance protects your physical assets (building, equipment, inventory, tools, furniture and personal property) and covers financial losses due to property damage from fire, theft or loss.
Property insurance coverage ranges from basic to comprehensive (and pricing scales reflect that), although small and midsize businesses with physical assets typically need some form of this coverage.
General liability insurance
General liability insurance, also known as business or commercial liability insurance, is essential coverage for various claims, including bodily injury, property damage, personal or advertising injury, medical payments, products-completed operations, and damages to premises rented to you.
Virtually every small business owner or contractor should have some form of general liability insurance. When buying small business insurance and comparing policies, keep in mind that your rates will depend on your business’s specific features.
The Hartford offers general liability insurance with coverage limits ranging from $300,000 to $2 million. You can get a quote online, but you’ll need to speak to an agent to purchase the policy.
Business interruption insurance
Business interruption insurance helps protect against lost income after a covered peril affects a business. Covered perils typically include theft, fire, wind, falling objects or lightning. Coverage may help reimburse you in two ways:
- For lost income from the destroyed merchandise (minus expenses you may have already paid, such as shipping).
Your pre-loss earnings are the basis for reimbursement under business interruption coverage. Lost earnings, also known as the actual loss sustained, are typically defined as revenues minus ongoing expenses.
- For extra expenses if you must temporarily relocate your business because of the fire (for example, the cost of rent at the temporary location).
Business interruption insurance is not sold as a separate policy but is either added to a property/casualty policy or included in a comprehensive package policy as an add-on or rider. Premiums (or at least the additional cost of the rider) are tax-deductible as ordinary business expenses. This type of policy pays out only if the cause of the business income loss is covered in the underlying property/casualty.
Commercial auto insurance
Commercial auto insurance covers costs when a vehicle owned by a business is involved in an accident. Most states require this coverage for vehicles registered to a business.
Your personal auto insurance won’t protect you when you’re driving for work purposes, which is why business owners invest in this policy. Others choose hired and non-owned auto insurance (HNOA) for personal, rented, and leased vehicles that are driven for work.
Workers’ compensation insurance
Workers’ compensation insurance covers costs if one of your employees suffers a work-related injury or occupational disease. It also helps pay for legal expenses if an employee blames their injury on workplace negligence.
This type of insurance is typically required by law and helps protect businesses from potential lawsuits by employees seeking compensation for work-related injuries or illnesses. If an employee accepts the benefits of workers’ comp, they relinquish their ability to sue your company for the illness or injury.
Types of insurance under this include:
You and any other members of your business can acquire a life insurance policy. This is similar to key person insurance, providing a beneficiary with financial assistance in the event of your death. Having life insurance in place can give you peace of mind that your death will not burden your family or business partners financially.
Disability income insurance
Disability insurance is similar to workers’ comp in that it temporarily covers an employee’s lost wages if they are unable to work because of a disability. However, disability insurance will cover injuries or illnesses that occurred on or off the job, whereas workers’ comp only covers work-related issues.
Key person insurance
Key person insurance, also known as key man insurance or key woman insurance, helps replace lost revenue due to the death of a key executive of your business. Your business pays the premium while the key person is alive and then collects a death benefit after their passing.
These benefits can be essential to continuing the operation of your business or finding someone to fill their role.
The Hartford’s workers’ compensation insurance comes with a preferred medical provider network of over 1 million healthcare providers and more than 65,000 pharmacies.
Errors and omissions insurance
Errors and omissions insurance (E&O) provides crucial protection for professionals who are experts in their field. This policy covers costs when you make a mistake in your work, fail to complete a project on time, or face an accusation of professional negligence.
You may sometimes see this policy referred to as professional liability insurance or malpractice insurance, depending on the profession.
The Hartford policy limits for professional liability insurance range from $250,000 to $2 million, and you can customize your coverage to meet the needs of your business and industry. For example, a freelance coder might need software copyright infringement coverage, but the owner of a hair salon might not.
The Hartford professional liability insurance covers:
- Alleged or actual negligence, such as misinterpreting instructions, mistakes in work, bad advice or failing to complete work.
- Legal defense costs.
Cybersecurity insurance helps cover businesses from the risks of working in an online world. The Hartford has two separate policies: cyber liability insurance and data breach insurance.
Data breach insurance can help offer protection if customers’ personal health information (PHI) or personally identifiable information (PII) gets stolen or lost in a breach. Cyber liability can help provide protection in case of viruses or other cyberattacks, lawsuits or investigations from losing customer information, regulatory fines, or lost income following an attack.
The Hartford recommends the latter for larger companies.
The Hartford’s Private Choice Premier insurance package combines five types of management liability coverage together into one policy to protect a business’s board members, executives, and managers. The coverages include:
- Directors and officers (D&O) liability insurance
- Employment practices liability (EPL) insurance
- Fiduciary liability insurance
- Crime insurance
- Kidnap and ransom/extortion insurance
The Hartford also offers management liability insurance plans tailored for nonprofit organizations and financial institutions.
Employment practices liability
Employment practices liability is different from general liability. It focuses more on protecting the business from employment-related claims, as opposed to claims from third parties. This policy type can offer coverage for claims of wrongful termination, discrimination, and harassment. It can help with the legal costs of these types of lawsuits.
Commercial umbrella insurance
Umbrella insurance helps pay for the most expensive lawsuits by boosting the policy limits on other types of liability insurance. Once you have reached the limit on your general liability, employer’s liability, or commercial auto insurance, this policy kicks in to provide additional coverage.
How much does The Hartford business insurance cost?
It is difficult to predict the cost of business insurance, as rates vary widely depending on coverage, location, business type and associated risk factors.
The first factor is what sort of business you run and the size of that business. For instance, a construction company with a large staff and fleet of trucks will need a larger business insurance plan. They would likely need workers’ compensation insurance, commercial auto insurance, and general liability insurance, just for starters.
The Hartford may also take your claims history into account when determining premiums. A company without a history of filing claims may be deemed a lower risk to insure than a company that has a long claims history.
The coverage limits and deductibles you choose can also affect your premiums. Working with an agent or calling The Hartford can help you determine which coverages you should carry and how much, as this can vary by your industry and by your specific business’s risk level.
You can get a business insurance quote from The Hartford by supplying a few details, including your business name, physical address and years in operation. You may also need to provide revenue and payroll estimates, as well as gross sales numbers, depending on your business and the coverage selected.
How to file a Claim with The Hartford
- Decide how you want to file a claim: You can file a claim online through The Hartford’s website or by phone.
- Make the phone call or fill out the required information online. The website makes it easy to designate which type of claim you are filing, such as commercial auto or general liability. Once you make your selection, the website will give you phone numbers to call or online forms to fill out. You can also use your online account, or register for one, to file the claim, which you can also use to track its progress.
- Work closely with the claim adjuster. The Hartford states that experienced claim adjusters are available to help you throughout the process.
- Track your claim online. You can also keep track of your claim by logging into your account and seeing what the claim is doing.
The Hartford business insurance: Pros and cons
|You can add data breach, professional liability and business income for off-premises utility service coverage to The Hartford’s business owner’s policy.||No coverage available in Alaska or Hawaii.|
|You can file a claim online or over the phone and track your claims online.||More complaints about general liability, commercial property and workers’ compensation insurance than expected for a company of its size, based on NerdWallet’s analysis.|
|You can add an additional insured and request a certificate of insurance online.||Must talk to an agent in order to complete a purchase.|
Should you purchase business insurance from The Hartford?
The Hartford business insurance is perfect for your business if:
- You need a wide variety of coverages. The Hartford offers virtually every type of business insurance, so most businesses should be able to get whatever policies they need — though you might have to work with an agent to do so.
- You want a robust business owner’s policy. The Hartford allows you to add data breach and professional liability insurance to its BOP. If your business needs either of those important types of coverage, tacking them onto your BOP may help you save money.
- You want to personally manage your policy online. The Hartford allows policyholders to add additional insureds, generate certificates of insurance and track claims online, which isn’t always the case among longstanding insurance companies.
The Hartford stands out among business insurance companies for its customizable business owner’s policy. Most BOPs include general liability, business property and business interruption insurance, but The Hartford allows you to tack on data breach and professional liability coverage too.
This simplifies your business insurance coverage even further.
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