Named insured

The named insured is the primary policyholder.


What is a named insured?

The named insured is the person or business who is explicitly named on an insurance contract and is the person who signs the policy with an insurance company. However, there can be more than one named insured on a policy — and if that’s the case, usually the person listed first holds primary responsibility.

Can you buy insurance and not be the named insured?

Sometimes. As the signed policyholder, the named insured is generally the money person — they’re responsible for purchasing the policy and paying the premiums. However, in some cases, someone else can purchase a policy for you. The same goes for paying premiums.

This is pretty common for certain types of insurance. For example, many employers pay for employees’ auto insurance or health insurance. For business insurance, however, this setup is far less likely.

We know what you’re thinking: “If named insured is so straightforward, why dedicate an entire article explaining it?” Well, because there is often confusion between the named insured, additional insured, and additional named insured, which is understandable.

Named insured vs. additional insured

The named insured is the primary policyholder. An additional insured is a person, organization, or location that the named insured adds to their policy.

In business insurance, an additional insured is generally another person or a larger business that the named insured wants to work with.

For example, if you’re a yoga instructor and want to teach a class at a local gym, you may need to add the gym to your general liability coverage as an additional insured. This protects the gym from additional liability you bring to their business.

However, while the named insured is always covered, an additional insured’s coverage has limitations. In the yoga example, as an additional insured on your liability insurance policy, the gym would not have coverage for every accident that happens on site, only those that directly involve you.

Also, there’s a difference in how each party is added to a policy. The named insured, of course, is explicitly named on the contract from the get-go. The additional insured status, however, is only added at a later date using a additional insured endorsement or rider as the need arises.

Additionally, the named insured is covered for the life of the policy, while the additional insured may only have coverage for a special event or a set period determined by the rider.

Having an additional insured on a policy doesn’t change the coverage for a named insured. It just extends the coverage to another party.

What’s an additional named insured?

As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also additional named insured. Think of it as a middle ground between named insured and additional insured.

Like the named insured, the additional named insured is explicitly named in the policy. They get the full policy coverage without the limits of an additional insured.

And unlike an additional insured, the coverage they get isn’t limited to a gig or set period of time. As long as the premiums are paid, they’re included in the coverage for the life of the policy.

Essentially, adding an additional named insured is a way of giving someone the full rights and coverage of your policy after it’s been signed. (The first named insured is still the primary responsibility holder though.)

For small businesses, an additional named insured is generally a partner, co-owner, or even a family member of the original named insured. In other words, someone close to the policy owner with the same risks and insurable interests.

As a small business owner, there will be times when you need or want to extend your business insurance coverage to others (or have them extend their coverage to you.) Knowing the difference between named insured, additional insured, and additional named insured can help you make sure you’re covering them how you want when that time comes.

How NEXT simplifies insurance

At NEXT, we know that as a small business owner, you might need to add an additional insured or additional named insured at any moment. That’s why we give you 24/7 access to manage your account, update your coverage and download your free proof of insurance in minutes.

You can start a quote, customize your options and access your certificate of insurance online immediately — in about 10 minutes.

Start your instant quote today.

banner get business insurance in 10

There’s a lot to love about NEXT

Business insurance in less than 10 minutes

Get insurance in less than 10 minutes and you can save up to 25% in discounts*

Tailored business insurance

Unique, flexible coverage with easy monthly payments

Get business insurance online

Do it all 100% online or talk to a licensed U.S.-based advisor

Let’s find the coverage you need for your business
Business insurance is divided into different policies. We offer seven types so it's easy to design the coverage that fits your business.
General Liability insurance
General Liability
Protect yourself from accidents that cause physical injury or damaged property.
Professional Liability or Error and Omissions Insurance
Professional Liability/E&O
Shield yourself from lawsuits that claim your work errors caused financial losses.
Workers' Compensation Insurance
Workers’ Compensation
Cover medical bills and lost wages if your employees have an accident at work.
Commercial Auto Insurance
Commercial Auto
Stay on the road with coverage for dents, tows and damage to someone else’s vehicle.
Tools & Equipment Insurance
Tools & Equipment
Upgrade your general liability coverage to protect any gear that’s stolen, damaged or lost.
Commercial Property Insurance
Commercial Property
Keep your building, inventory and equipment protected from fire or water damage.
Business Owner’s Policy Insurance
Business Owner’s Policy
Combine general liability and commercial property into one policy to protect your business.
* To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten, not all applicants may qualify. Individual rates and savings vary and are subject to change. Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. Certain discounts apply to specific coverages only.
What we cover
Chat with Us

Mon – Fri | 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. CT

© 2024 Next Insurance, Inc. 975 California Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94304, United States
Better Business Bureau
Issuance of coverage is subject to underwriting. Not available in all states. Please see the policy for full terms, conditions and exclusions. Coverage examples are for illustrative purposes only. Your policy documents govern, terms and exclusions apply. Coverage is dependent on actual facts and circumstances giving rise to a claim. Next Insurance, Inc. and/or its affiliates is an insurance agency licensed to sell certain insurance products and may receive compensation from insurance companies for such sales. Policy obligations are the sole responsibility of the issuing insurance company. Refer to Legal Notices section for additional information.

Any starting prices or premiums represented before an actual customer quote are not guaranteed and are representations of existing premiums of active policies as of December 6, 2023. To the extent permitted by law, applicants are individually underwritten, not all applicants may qualify. Individual rates and savings vary and are subject to change. Discounts and savings are available where state laws and regulations allow, and may vary by state. Certain discounts apply to specific coverages only.