Business insurance

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What’s business insurance?

Business insurance covers your company for financial losses in case anything goes wrong because of your business activities.

It can help towards the cost of compensation claims and legal fees, as well as damage to your property or employee-related issues.

It’s usually tailored to your industry or specialism too.

Protect your business against:

  • Injury or property damage caused by your business
  • Damage or theft of business property and equipment
  • Sickness or injury of your staff in the workplace
  • Business interruption
  • Damages costs for third parties caused by your work

Three main types of business insurance

Combined business insurance policies give your company the best protection against unforeseen events, but the cover you need depends on your setup

  • Public liability

    Covers you in case a member of the public is injured, or their property’s damaged, because of your business activity

    Find out more
  • Professional indemnity (PI)

    PI insurance helps cover the cost of potential legal action if you offer professional advice and expertise to other businesses or clients 

    Find out more
  • Employer’s liability

    Cover for compensation claims and legal fees if a staff member falls ill or suffers a work-related injury. It’s a legal requirement in the UK even if you only have one staff member

    Find out more

What's the best business insurance?

This will depend on the type of business you’re running, whether you have employees and your business's exposure to the public. Make sure you understand what type of business insurance you need, how much cover you’ll need and read your policy documents carefully for any exclusions or limitations. You can find out more in our business insurance guides.

Is business insurance a legal requirement?

Legally speaking, you only need to have employer’s liability insurance to operate as a business. And that’s only if you have one or more employees, so sole traders can operate legally without it.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get business insurance. Having the right cover will protect your business, staff, clients and the general public from damage and losses.

You don’t want to have to cease trading because of a catastrophe that means you can’t afford to carry on - check out your options and take out appropriate cover.

581,000 workplace injuries were reported in 2018/19*
Protect yourself and your employees with the right business insurance

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*According to the Labour Force Survey

Other types of business insurance

There are a few different types of business insurance, so you’ll need to choose the right cover for your company

Business interruption insurance

Helps to cover your loss of income if you need to temporarily stop trading, due to an unexpected incident. 

This might be something like a fire, flood or break-in that puts your business premises out of action.

Find out more

Cyber-risk insurance

Cyber-risk insurance can help to protect your business if your data is breached or you’re hit by an email scam.

Find out more

Business premises insurance

Otherwise known as commercial property insurance, this will cover for rebuilding or repairing your premises if it’s damaged by something a fire, flood, burst pipe or vandalism.

Business assets insurance

This is also called business contents insurance and it’ll cover you for the things you keep in your workplace - for instance, any equipment you use, furniture or tools.

Credit risk insurance

This can cover you for any losses if a customer becomes insolvent or refuses to pay their debt to you.

Key man insurance

Key man insurance will cover you for a loss of income if one of your most valuable employees dies or becomes critically ill.

What do I need to compare business insurance?

We only need a few details to get you a tailored business insurance quote to make sure you’re properly covered

  1. Tell us about your business

    Things like your address and what type of company you are

  2. Your employees

    Who you’ve got on your books

  3. Your level of cover

    What type of things you want to be covered for – you can add contents and stock cover, employers’ liability and legal expenses, as well as choose the amount of cover for public liability insurance

  4. Where you trade

    Whether you have customers outside the UK

  5. Claims and legal disputes

    Whether you’ve made any previous claims or have any ongoing legal disputes

How much is business insurance?

This will depend on the size of business you run and the work you carry out. There are also other factors that affect the cost of your business insurance, like the level and amount of cover you need to take out.

You can also choose to have policy add-ons, such as personal accident cover, which will affect the price. 

Every business is different, and there are lots of factors that go into calculating the cost of your insurance. Broadly speaking, a business insurance provider will look at:

  • Your location
  • Previous claims
  • Type of work you do
  • Size of your business
  • How much cover you need
  • How long you’ve been in business

What do I need to know about business insurance?

Business insurance consists of add-ons you choose, according to the type of business you run and the cover you need. For example, a catering business might want to consider public liability insurance, and add deterioration of stock cover.  Whereas a plumber might require, public liability cover with tool cover added. 

Our partners, Simply Business, customise your quotes to show you the most relevant policies depending on the answers you’ve provided.

Compare business insurance quotes to get the right cover for your business.

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Frequently asked questions

  • Do I need business insurance for an online business?

    It’s not a legal requirement but having cover in place can protect you if a client doesn’t pay out or any of your stock is damaged. Cyber-risk insurance can also help you out if you’re the victim of malware and cyber attack.

  • Can I get business insurance without a trade licence?

    You can get business insurance without a trade licence but you’ll need to make sure it’s valid once you start trading, if that’s a condition of your policy.

  • Can I cover my tools, business equipment and stock?

    Some business contents policies cover tools, equipment and stock, so make sure that the cover you buy is right for your needs. Think about your business requirements, the value of your equipment or stock and whether you might need new-for-old cover in the event of items getting damaged, lost or stolen.

  • Do I need business insurance if I'm self-employed?

    Depending on the type of business you have, certain business insurance policies may be required by law, like employers liability insurance.

    Many small businesses also take out public liability insurance, especially if customers visit your premises or you work on theirs. You can find out more in our self-employed business insurance guide.

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Related guides and topics

[1] introduces customers to Simply Business which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.'s relationship with Simply Business is limited to that of a business partnership, no common ownership or control rights exist between us. Please note, we cannot be held responsible for the content of external websites and by using the links stated to access these separate websites you will be subject to the terms of use applying to those sites

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