Rhode Island Business Insurance

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Protecting small businesses in the Ocean State

In Rhode Island, small businesses are not a small part of this state's economy. There are 100,000 small businesses employing nearly a quarter of a million people in Rhode Island, or more than half of the state's private workforce. Small business proprietors are growing by 2.6% every year—the tenth-fastest growing state in the nation. 

Rhode Island's small businesses also have a big share in certain industries, employing 76.2% of workers in the state's mining industry and 65.1% of workers in the state's manufacturing industry. Altogether, 61.6% of Rhode Island's export value comes from small businesses—no small change! 

This may be due to Rhode Island’s support for small business. In 2017, Rhode Island rolled out the BankLOCAL program which provides incentives for banks and credit unions to make loans to small business. In the first two years, the program supported more than 235 businesses. However, with strict worker protection laws – and steep penalties for violations – it is essential for Rhode Island business owners to protect their livelihoods through comprehensive small business insurance coverage. 

Top covered industries in Rhode Island

Small businesses in Rhode Island's diverse industries can find custom-tailored insurance coverage with Hiscox, where an in-depth knowledge of many different fields allows for policies that address each business's specific risks and needs. Some of the Rhode Island entrepreneurs who most frequently insure with Hiscox include those who work in the carpentry, hair styling, painting, photography and personal training industries. 

More professions we insure in Rhode Island

Rhode Island Small Business Insurance

As small business insurance specialists we understand that every business is different, which is why we don’t offer one-size-fits-all solutions. We customize our small business insurance in Rhode Island to the specific risks you face, ensuring you get the right coverage at the right price.

Key Rhode Island laws and conditions driving increased business liability rates

Employees in all U.S. states have a baseline level of protection guaranteed by the federal government, which requires all employers with at least 15 employees to guarantee freedom from discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, religion and disability. Employers with 20 or more employees must guarantee freedom from age discrimination, and employers with four or more employees must guarantee freedom from discrimination based on citizenship status. 

In Rhode Island, state protections are much stronger. Employers with as few as four employees must guarantee freedom from employment discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, religion, age, disability, genetic information, sexual orientation, AIDS or HIV status, gender identity or expression, homelessness or status as a victim of domestic abuse. In addition, all employers—even if they have only one employee—must comply with state laws prohibiting gender-based wage discrimination. 

Like most states, Rhode Island is an "at-will" employment state, where employers can terminate employment at any time for any reason, yet fired employees can still sue for breach of contract if, for example, they have a written contract promising job security. Rhode Island also recognizes implied employment contracts, such as if an employee handbook states that employees will only be fired for good cause. 

These laws are in place for the employees' protection, but they also represent a litigation risk for employers. While all business owners will do their best to mitigate these risks through careful management practices, all small business owners can use the protection and peace of mind of a comprehensive insurance policy. 

Rhode Island workers compensation laws

According to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, all Rhode Island employers—even those with just  one employee—are required to obtain workers compensation insurance. Sole proprietors, partners and independent contractors are exempt from workers compensation requirements, as are certain real estate, agricultural and domestic service employees. 

Employers who hire independent contractors should ensure that the contractors have filed a Notice of Designation as Independent Contractor form; otherwise, the contractor would be considered an employee, and the employer could be held liable for their workers compensation coverage. And penalties for violations are steep. If an investigation finds noncompliance with Rhode Island's regulations due to a clerical error, the employer is subject to an administrative penalty that is, at minimum, equivalent to the estimated annual premium for that employer and can be up to three times that amount. 

But if the employer is found to have knowingly failed to obtained workers compensation insurance, the business owner—or the business's corporate officers, managing members or partners—faces a felony charge, a prison sentence of up to two years and a civil penalty of up to $1,000 for each day of noncompliance.  

How can Hiscox help your Rhode Island business?

At Hiscox, we tailor each client's coverage—from liability insurance to a business owner's policy to workers compensation and beyond—to ensure that it meets each business's particular needs. We offer a range of benefits:

  • Flexible payment options: Our monthly payment schedule, which comes with no added fees, can help you manage your cash flow.
  • Tailored insurance: With Hiscox, there's no such thing as a one-size-fits-all insurance policy.
  • Claims responsiveness: When a covered claim is reported, Hiscox will immediately assign a dedicated claims representative to assist you.
  • Worldwide coverage: A Rhode Island 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 in the protection you need for your Rhode Island business. If you have questions, you can call us at 1-866-283-7545 to speak with a Hiscox licensed agent,Monday – Friday, 7am – 10pm ET.

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Hiscox Customer Reviews

Hiscox rated 4.7/5
Rated 4.7/5

5 Stars

Eric, North Kingston, RI

"Comprehensive Policy at a Competitive Price"

Rep was clear and concise about policies available and helpful in finding one that fit my business needs. Prices are also competitive.


5 Stars

Bill R., Scottsdale, AZ

"Very knowledgeable and friendly; got set up in 30 minutes. Very easy, online quote. Very flexible and knowledgeable phone/sales rep to help complete the application. Hiscox seems to be the leader/only provider for E&O insurance. A couple of other major multi-line insurance companies redirect you to Hiscox. I take that as a vote of confidence in their financial stability and service quality."


5 Stars

Richard, San Diego, California

"Easy application process and personal follow up."

I happy with the process and the personal attention I received.


4 Stars

Rick, Napa California

"Business owner"

Very convenience and affordable


5 Stars

Skylar, Texas

"Clear + Professional Custom Service"

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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.