Business insurance

Compare tailored business insurance quotes online – get the right cover for your business

  • Compare and buy your business insurance online 
  • Tailor your quote to your business profession or trade 
  • Employer's liability is a legal requirement if you employ staff who aren't direct family members
Business start up

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 cover 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
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What are the different types of business insurance?

You can choose to add just the types of business insurance your company needs to your policy. Make sure you add enough to protect it from unforeseen events, but the right cover for you 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.

Professional indemnity (PI)

PI insurance helps cover the cost of potential legal action if you’re accused of defective work or inaccurate advice.

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.

Why should I insure my business?

There’s a lot of responsibility that comes along with running a business. Business insurance will cover you for all sorts of unexpected events and will show your customers and employees that you have a well-run and trustworthy company.

  • Trips, slips and falls can lead to expensive claims against you. Public liability insurance covers the costs of defending any claims made by members of the public
  • Your customers and clients might need you to have business insurance before they can offer you a contract to work
  • If you want to join a trade body for your industry, you might need certain types of cover as a condition of membership – professional indemnity insurance, for example
  • You can choose to add whatever extra cover your own business needs – like insurance for your tools, stock or premises

Is business insurance a legal requirement?

You only legally 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 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.


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*According to the Health and Safety Executive’s 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.

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.

Business premises insurance

Otherwise known as commercial property insurance, this will cover for rebuilding or repairing your premises if it’s damaged by something like 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. Details about your business

    Your business address and what it does.

  2. Employee information

    How many permanent employees do you have, as well as temporary workers and contractors?

  3. Your level of cover

    Choose the amount of cover you need for public liability and legal expenses insurance. You can also add cover for tools, business equipment and stock.

  4. Specific information about your business

    Once we know your type of business, we’ll ask a few specific questions to make sure we get quotes with exactly the cover you need.

  5. Claims and legal disputes

    You’ll need to tell us about any previous claims or 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?

There’s no such thing as a one-size fits all business insurance policy – cover needs to be tailored to fit the needs of your business.

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.

You’ll need to think about the risks that come with running your business and make sure you answer questions carefully and honestly when you’re getting business insurance quotes.

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

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Frequently asked questions

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.

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.

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.

If you have employees then you need employers’ liability insurance – it’s a legal requirement and your policy must cover you for at least £5 million. 

That means you don’t need it if you’re a sole trader and don’t employ anyone else.

You don’t legally need it, but you might need to have it to work in certain environments. For example, an event organiser might make public liability insurance a condition of having a stall at their event.

Even if you don’t need it for that, you should consider it anyway. Claims by members of the public for injuries and losses caused by your work or on your business premises can be very costly.

Again, it’s not a legal requirement – but you might need it as a condition of joining some professional bodies or being covered by industry regulators.

That essentially means it’s compulsory for some types of business, like accountants, architects and solicitors.

Yes, you can take out business insurance before you’ve started trading and even if your business isn’t VAT registered or a limited company.

That means new businesses and sole traders can take out business insurance straight away – you don’t need to have a company registration number or any business registration information.

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.

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.

Last reviewed: 14th September 2023

Reviewed by Holly Thomas

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