Business insurance

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What is business insurance?

Business insurance covers your company for financial losses in case anything goes wrong. It can help towards the cost of compensation claims and legal fees, as well as damage to your property. Business insurance can be tailored to your industry or specialism too.

Do I need it?

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.

71,062 workplace injuries were reported in 2017/18*
Protect you and your employees with the right business insurance

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According to Health and Safety Executive statistics[†]

How much is small business insurance?

Even small businesses should consider insurance cover – you might not have the funds to keep trading if something happens and you don’t have cover.

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

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.

Public liability insurance

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

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Professional indemnity insurance

Professional indemnity (PI) insurance protects your company against legal action when you offer professional advice and expertise to other businesses or to clients.

Indemnity cover and professional liability insurance are other names for PI insurance.

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Public liability insurance

Employer’s liability insurance protects your company against compensation claims and legal fees if a staff member falls ill or suffers a work-related injury.

Employers' liability insurance is a legal requirement in the UK even if you only have one member of staff.[†]

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

How to get business insurance

We only need a few details to get you some quotes.

  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

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.

More on business insurance

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