Illinois Business Insurance
Small Business Coverage in the Prairie State
With 1.2 million small businesses to its name, Illinois boasts the fifth-highest number of small businesses in the nation. Small businesses comprise 99.6% of all businesses in the state—the sixth-highest percentage by state in the U.S.—and employ 2.5 million people, or 45.5% of Illinois's private workforce, with an estimated 68,276 new jobs being created by small businesses every year. And Illinois has reason to be proud of its diversity; more than 300,000 of its small businesses are minority-owned.
With an estimated 7,597 new small businesses opening every year, IL is a welcoming state for entrepreneurs. But because of Illinois's strict business regulations—and its steep financial penalties for noncompliance—it's essential for small business owners to be aware of the state's requirements.
Top covered industries in Illinois
Many small businesses in Illinois can find insurance coverage with Hiscox with tailored policies that address each business's specific needs and risks. Some of the most common small business in Illinois that are insured through Hiscox include IT consultants, photographers, real estate agents, business consultants and personal trainers.
More professions we insure in Illinois
Illinois Small Business Insurance
If you’re a small business owner in Illinois and you are looking for liability insurance for your business, you have to come to the right place. We customize our small business insurance in Illinois to the specific risks you face, ensuring you get the right coverage at the right price. Hiscox small business insurance products include:
Potential Litigation Risks in Illinois
In 2016, U.S. companies had at least a 10.5% chance of having an employment charge filed against them, but in Illinois, that chance was 35% greater—for one of the highest rates of employee lawsuits in the country. This stems in part from Illinois's labor laws, which go above and beyond the protections guaranteed by the federal government. In addition to freedom from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability and citizenship status, Illinois prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation, pregnancy, gender identity, military status, unfavorable military discharge, arrest record, being a victim of domestic violence, using the mailing address of a shelter or social service provider, and more.
While some of these protections only apply to employers with at least 15 employees, employers of any size must comply with the law prohibiting disability discrimination. In addition, like most states, Illinois is an "at-will" employment state, meaning that employees can be terminated at any time for any reason. However, fired employees can still sue for breach of contract if their employment contract promises job security, and in Illinois, an employment contract may be written, oral or even implied—the idea that an employer has acted in a way that created an impression of job security.
These protections are for the workers' benefit, but they also open the door for potential wrongful termination or discriminatory hiring lawsuits. A more recent development has also prompted a new type of employee lawsuit in the Land of Lincoln: In 2008, Illinois enacted the Biometric Information Privacy Act, the most stringent law of any state regarding the collection of biometric information, such as fingerprints. In 2017, several class-action lawsuits started taking on employers who use fingerprint-operated time clocks.
As labor laws and small business regulations are constantly evolving, small businesses in Illinois need to stay on top of potential litigation risks—and protect themselves with the right insurance coverage for the specific risks they face.
Illinois workers compensation laws and requirements
According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses, virtually every employer in Illinois is required to carry workers compensation insurance for all employees, including family members. Only sole proprietors, business partners, corporate officers, and members of LLCs may choose to exempt themselves—but that option typically does not apply to companies in the construction business or in other "extra hazardous" industries.
Penalties for employers that fail to obtain workers compensation insurance are steep. Since 2006, the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission has collected over $7 million in fines from companies without workers compensation insurance, which can be up to $500 for every day of noncompliance, with a minimum fine of $10,000. If the company does not or cannot pay this penalty, its corporate officers can be held personally liable—and if the corporate officers are found to have knowingly failed to obtain insurance, they are guilty of a Class 4 felony. In addition, the Commission may issue a work-stop order on a business that has been found to have knowingly failed to provide workers compensation insurance.
If a worker is injured while an employer is uninsured, that worker may sue their employer in civil court, where—unlike workers compensation settlements—benefits are unlimited.
How Hiscox can help your Illinois small business?
Hiscox doesn't believe in one-size-fits-all insurance policies. Instead, we tailor each client's coverage—whether it's general or professional liability insurance, a business owner's policy, workers compensation or beyond—to the need of not only the industry, but the individual business. We also offer a range of benefits:
- Flexible payment options: Our monthly payment schedule, at no added fee, can help manage a small business's cash flow.
- Tailored insurance: With Hiscox, you only pay for the coverage you need.
- Claims responsiveness: When a covered claim is reported, Hiscox will immediately assign a dedicated claims representative to assist you.
- Worldwide coverage: An Illinois business insured through Hiscox is covered for work done anywhere in the world, as long as the claim is filed in the U.S., a U.S. Territory or Canada.
Get a fast, free quote now, and get the confidence that Hiscox can bring to an Illinois business. If you prefer, you can call us at 1-866-283-7545 and speak with a Hiscox licensed agent, Monday – Friday, 7am – 10pm ET.
Hiscox Customer Reviews
Steven, Oswego, IL
"Very easy and fast service. Very highly recommended to other potential customers."
Stephen, Oak Lawn, IL
"Loved the online purchasing option! Overall, my experience with purchasing a policy from Hiscox was effortless and 100% online! I am very busy, and loved that I could purchase the policy without talking to anyone!"
“Great service. It was an easy, simple and affordable experience”
Kathleen, Chicago, IL
"Super easy and Necessary. Very easy and straightforward.”
"Great service and prices. Smooth transaction. Was a customer before and did not need insurance. Once I did require Hiscox was the first to contact. Great rate, so I did not look further. Awesome customer service.”
Important Notice to Illinois Residents
Following the recent storms that caused extensive damage in Illinois, we have taken steps at the request of the Department of Insurance to help our policyholders and claimants in the affected area – Christian County. Any policies issued in this county for the period between November 23, 2018 and January 23, 2019, we will:
- Not issue any cancellation or nonrenewal and may extend the moratorium as warranted in light of an individual’s particular circumstances, as we determine in our reasonable discretion;
- Provide a 60-day extension to comply with policy provisions that impose a time limit, such as the need to submit a proof of loss or claim information or make necessary repairs; and
- Refrain from canceling or non-renewing policies due to an increase in the risk originally accepted or geographic location.
Illinois consumers may contact the Department of Insurance by calling its toll-free complaint hotline at 1-866-445-5364 or submitting a complaint online at https://mc.insurance.illinois.gov/messagecenter.nsf
This information is provided to assist you in understanding the coverage we offer and does not modify the terms and conditions of any insurance policy, nor does it imply that any claim is covered. Coverage is subject to underwriting and may not be available in all states.
Administered by Hiscox Inc., a Delaware corporation that is a licensed insurance producer in all states and Washington, D.C. 5 Concourse Parkway, 21st Floor, Atlanta, GA 30328.