Companies that buy minimal insurance without professional advice should rethink their approach. According to a Hartford study analyzing business claims over five years, your company has a 40 percent chance of filing a claim and some are substantially more costly than others.

Burglary & Theft

Claims for burglary and theft are the most common and account for 20 percent of claims. These include claims for criminals entering your premises and losses due to dishonest employees. While these claims happen often, the average claim is also the lowest – around $8,000.

Water & Freezing Damage

Fifteen percent of business claims are due to water or freezing damage to a company’s premises or belongings. Often times, snow and ice damage the roof or cold temperatures lead to frozen pipes.

Unfortunately, water and freezing can cause extensive damage, especially if mold and mildew occurs too. The average claim is around $17,000.

Wind & Hail Damage

Mother Nature’s wrath leads to 15 percent of all business claims affecting vehicles, buildings, and outdoor equipment. The average claim is about $26,000, due to the extensive damage these events can cause.


Surprisingly, fire only accounts for 10 percent of all claims. However, it can be extremely destructive leading to the third-highest claims amounts averaging $35,000.

Customer Slips & Falls

Any business can find themselves amidst a lawsuit for a customer slip or fall. However, when the public or customers routinely visit your premises or work site the odds of an accident increase.

Customer slips and falls account for 10 percent of all business claims and the average claim is $20,000.

Other Customer Injury & Damage

Injuries and damage caused by other reasons than slips and falls account for 5 percent of business claims. While these claims occur infrequently, they carry a hefty price tag with an average claim cost of around $30,000.

Product Liability

Product liability only accounts for 5 percent of all business insurance claims. However, they’re also expensive with an average claim of $35,000. If your product or services harm a person or your business fails to live up to its promises, it could cost you dearly.

Struck by Object

Moving objects such as vehicles and forklifts as well as falling tools can cause injuries to others. These incidents lead to less than 5 percent of all business insurance claims. However, the average cost is $10,000.

Reputational Harm

Third-party claims against a business lead to less than 5 percent of all claims, but they are also the most costly. If someone sues for libel or slander, your business can expect an average claim amount of $50,000 due to court costs, legal fees, and a settlement.

Vehicular Accident

Once again, vehicular accident claims only account for a fraction of all business insurance claims (less than 5 percent), however they pack a powerful punch. Your company can expect an average claim amount of around $45,000.

Data Breach

According to IBMs Cost of A Data Breach Report, the average cost of breach for a U.S. company is 8.19 million, the highest globally.

Juniper Research predicts cybercriminals will steal an estimated 33 billion records by 2023, and over half the breaches will occur in the U.S.

Dram Shop Claims

New Jersey legislation includes a dram shop civil statute which allows victims to file personal injury claims against businesses or individuals who provide alcohol which leads to injuries or a damaging accident. Claims may hold a driver, individual, their insurance provider, or an establishment liable for negligence if they over-serve.

Almost all dram shop claims are due to motor vehicle accidents, which can quickly lead to high claims. Even if the courts can’t prove restaurant, bar, nightclub, or server liability, defense costs can break a business, unless they have proper insurance coverage.


The data provided by Hartford highlights the importance of tailoring your insurance coverage to your business needs to mitigate risk.

Every business faces different challenges, so speak to an insurance professional. They’ll find the best balance between coverage and cost to minimize the impact claims could have on your business.