Eric Stauffer is a former insurance agent and banker turned consumer advocate. His priority is to help educate individuals and families about the different types of insurance they need, and assist them in finding the best place to get it.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Reviewed by Leslie Kasperowicz
Farmers CSR for 4 Years

UPDATED: Dec 4, 2020

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CNA Insurance

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CNA Insurance is one of the largest commercial insurance companies in the United States and offers a broad array of products for multiple industries. They are a global company with more than 120 years in business.

What is CNA Insurance?

CNA was founded in 1897 under the name Continental Assurance Company of North America in Detroit. Initially providing railroad industry health and accident insurance, the company moved to Chicago following a merger with Metropolitan Accident Company, which resulted in a name change to Continental Casualty Company.

The name CNA was created from the first letters of several companies, two of which were acquired in the following decades. The C represents the original company, Continental Casualty Company, the N represents National Fire Insurance Company, and the A represents American Casualty Company.

After changing its name from Continental Casualty Company, CNA began offering a wide array of insurance products including professional liability and accident insurance. During the 1960s and 1970s, it insured many big-ticket events, including a Beatles concert at Shea Stadium, the Indianapolis 500, and also provided coverage for Apollo missions to space. They also operated in the personal insurance industry, but divested those products in 1999, selling their personal lines to Allstate. The following years saw them sell off other products and focus on commercial insurance.

Since 1974, Loews Corporation has been the majority owner of CAN, and now owns 90% of the company. Their headquarters remain in Chicago, and policies are sold through agents nationwide.

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What Products Does CNA Offer?

CNA offers a broad array of commercial insurance products both common and more specialized. They have products for businesses of all sizes and cover most industries.

Business Interruption

This coverage offers loss of income and assistance for business interruption resulting from a variety of risks including fire damage. This coverage is available a la carte or as part of a package policy.

Small Business Owner’s Policy

CNA Connect is the package policy aimed at small business owners. This package is designed to cover all of the basics of small business insurance needs, and it can be customized to a specific industry. Basics include business property, liability, and loss of income.

Commercial Package Policies

CNA Paramount is the commercial package policy option for larger businesses and those that do not qualify for the Connect BOP. It can be customized with property, liability, crime, and other coverage to meet specific needs. It also has an umbrella option available.

Commercial Auto

Commercial auto policies are available for a variety of needs, including owned, non-owned, and hired vehicles used in the course of business. The program offers endorsements and optional coverage for needs from executive vehicles to cargo securement.

Liability

CNA has several liability options available as part of package policies or individually. These include commercial general liability, professional liability including errors and omissions, and management liability.

Property

Property coverage options with CNA include general business property coverage and inland marine policies that can cover specific tools, equipment, and other property. These can be added to a package or purchased on their own.

Ocean Marine

CNA has ocean marine policies designed to cover the risks inherent in the transportation of goods overseas.

Worker’s Compensation

Among the many commercial products offered is Worker’s Compensation insurance which can be provided for a variety of different businesses to meet legal requirements.

Other Products

There are many other products offered by CNA to round out the coverage needs of any business. These include:

  • Equipment Breakdown
  • Surety
  • Umbrella & Excess
  • Warranty
  • International coverage

Are the Company’s Rates Competitive?

Because online quoting is not offered for CNA products, we were unable to obtain a quote. This is, however, what we expect from a company specializing in a complex array of commercial products.

The website offers an agent locator to help potential customers find a local agent or broker; this is the best and most accurate way to get commercial insurance quotes. Talking to an agent allows for a more detailed understanding of your insurance needs so that you are quoted for the coverage you need without missing or unnecessary options.

How are Claims Processed?

Claims information on the website is separated by the type of claim, although there is one toll-free number available that can be used for claims assistance with any product.

The website has a comprehensive claims section that answers a lot of common questions and also offers risk management services. Since claims can be very complicated with some of these types of insurance, information on specifics is best handled by speaking to someone in the claims department directly.

Some forms, particularly those for worker’s comp claims, can be easily found and downloaded from the website.

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Are the Company’s Ratings and Consumer Reviews Positive?

CNA Financial has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and there are 19 complaints on file in the past three years. This is a really low volume for such a big company, although we do tend to see fewer complaints online overall for commercial insurance companies.

CNA’s headquarters in Chicago has 30 reviews on Yelp, with one star overall. Most of the complaints are in regards to claims issues. Again, considering how big this company is, this is a very small number of complaints.

It is common for commercial insurance companies to have issues and complaints dealt with through other means than online reviews and complaints, but for a company this size, it is still a positive thing to see so few.

What’s the Bottom Line?

CNA is one of the biggest players in commercial insurance and offers so broad a range of products that they are likely to be able to help nearly any company. They have a good reputation and many years of experience. Since commercial insurance requires a lot of detailed information, we recommend working with an agent to go over the needs of your particular business to determine whether CNA is a good fit for your company.

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