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Self-employed insurance

Join over 900,000 UK customers with cover from £3.49 per month*

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  • UK-based expert support, online and on the phone
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  • Get tailored self-employed insurance quotes in less than 7 minutes

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Rated 4.8/5

Based on 39,782 reviews

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Claims paid in 24 hours

For 80% of settled claims

What's on this page

  • Why is insurance important?
  • What does it cover?
  • How much does it cost?
  • How do I choose insurance?
  • How do claims work?
  • FAQs
  • Helpful articles

Why is self-employed insurance important?

From a few hundred pounds to tens of thousands, a compensation claim can hit hard. As your own boss, it’s up to you to cover it, so insurance for self-employed is considered vital by most businesses. Our public liability insurance is designed to cover accidents and injuries – you can have it as a single cover or combined with other self-employed insurance options, including tools, stock, and professional indemnity.

  • self-employed public liability insurance, from £1 million to £10 million
  • rated 4.7/5 based on 39K+ public liability customer reviews
  • optional personal accident cover, if an injury could stop you working

Start your quote

What does self-employed insurance cover?

Damaging a client’s property or financial losses caused by your mistakes – insurance for self-employed professionals can cover a range of risks. A public or product liability claim, for example, often runs into thousands of pounds, especially where serious injuries are involved. We provide public liability insurance for self-employed workers, employers’ liability, professional indemnity, tools, plant, stock, and personal accident cover, plus legal expenses.

Public liability insurance

In case you’re blamed for an injury or property damage.

What’s typically covered by self-employed public liability insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • damage to someone’s property, caused by your business
  • injuries caused by your business activities
  • accidental damage or injury caused by your employees, if you have any

If you do employ anyone, you’re usually required by law to have employers’ liability insurance too.

For example:

  • a member of the public trips over your tool kit which you’ve left on the pavement, falling and causing multiple minor injuries
  • you scratch a client’s car while moving a piece of machinery into their garage

Read more about public liability insurance

Employers’ liability insurance

In case an employee gets sick or injured while working for you.

What’s typically covered by employers’ liability insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • an employee, including a contractor or casual labourer, suing you after falling ill because of working for you, or
  • making a claim for an injury they’ve had while working for you

For example:

  • an employee traps their finger in a piece of machinery while working for you, causing long-term nerve damage
  • one of the contractors you’ve hired falls from a height while working for you, breaking their leg

**Employers’ liability insurance is required by law if you have people working for you. Without it, you could be fined up to £2,500 a day for each employee.**

Professional indemnity insurance

In case there’s a claim for loss-causing errors or issues with your work.

What’s typically covered by professional indemnity insurance?

Claims against your business for professional negligence or a loss-causing breach of contract. This can include:

  • advice which turns out to be incorrect
  • mistakes in your work that cost others money to fix

For example:

  • a client sees a big drop in website traffic, and claims this is due to poor advice you gave
  • you receive a claim for compensation, after an employee makes a mistake in their reporting work and causes your client a financial loss

Read more about professional indemnity insurance

Contents and office equipment insurance

In case something happens to your fixtures and fittings or operational equipment.

What’s typically covered by contents and office equipment insurance?

  • accidental damage to your fixtures and fittings, or the equipment you use to run the business
  • theft, flood, and fire damage

For example:

  • your business partner drops your phone from a height, damaging it beyond repair
  • a kitchen fire damages the essential equipment you use to run your home baking business, which all needs replacing

Read more about business and office equipment insurance

Tools insurance

In case your trade tools are lost, stolen, or damaged.

What’s typically covered by tools insurance?

  • loss, damage, or theft of your hand tools, power tools, and/or specialist equipment

For example:

  • your toolkit falls out of the back of your car while you’re reversing, and is never recovered
  • the tools you keep in stock for apprentice and junior workers are stolen from your locked garage

Read more about tools insurance

Stock insurance

In case something happens to the materials and products you keep in supply.

What’s typically covered by stock insurance?

  • loss, damage, or theft of your work materials, or items you’re planning to sell

For example:

  • the stock of products you keep to supply your wedding makeup business is damaged in a flood
  • a large order of stock is stolen from your locked garage

Read more about stock insurance

Building insurance

In case something happens to your business premises.

What’s typically covered by building insurance?

  • the cost of repairing damage to the structure of your building (or rebuilding it from scratch)
  • damage to fixtures and fittings
  • damage to underground pipes and cables you’re responsible for

For example:

  • a flood causes serious damage to the fixtures and fittings in your interior design studio
  • you need to temporarily close your self-employed estate agency business, after a storm causes structural damage to your premises

What you’ll need additional cover for:

  • tenants’ improvements – changes to the property’s structure which you’ve organised and paid for yourself, like partition walls or wooden flooring

Read more about business buildings insurance

Own plant insurance

In case your own plant machinery, like an excavator, is lost, stolen, or damaged.

What’s typically covered by own plant insurance?

  • loss, damage, or theft of larger equipment like skips and sanding machines

For example:

  • your excavator is stolen from the client’s works site, and needs replacing
  • your sanding machine is jammed and damaged by an employee

What you’ll need additional cover for:

  • plant machinery you’ve rented – you’ll need to add our specific hired-in plant cover for this

Read more about own plant insurance

Hired-in plant insurance

In case your rented plant machinery, like a drilling unit, is lost, stolen, or damaged.

What’s typically covered by hired-in plant insurance?

  • loss, damage, or theft of things like excavators and saws which you’ve hired in

For example:

  • you hire a skip for a job and your employee reverses into it, causing damage
  • the excavator you’ve hired for hospital works contract is stolen from your locked business unit

What you’ll need additional cover for:

  • tools and plant machinery which you own yourself – you’ll need to add our specific own plant insurance or tools cover for this

Read more about hired-in plant insurance

Legal expenses insurance

In case you have to pay legal costs connected with your business.

What’s typically covered by legal expenses insurance?

  • legal costs attributed to your business
  • property damage, nuisance, or trespass – specifically, the associated legal claims and compensation payouts
  • tax and compliance disputes, and investigations you need help with
  • includes a tax advice helpline, a 24/7 confidential legal helpline, and crisis PR support to help you protect your professional reputation

For example:

  • an employee raises a wrongful termination claim against you, and you need to pay for legal support
  • your employees routinely do company work on their own devices, and you run into an electronic security claim, incurring legal costs

Read more about legal expenses insurance

Personal accident insurance

In case anyone you’ve covered is accidentally injured, at or away from work.

What’s typically covered by personal accident insurance?

  • accidental injury or death at work or elsewhere, for anyone covered on the policy
  • lost income, medical costs, and hospitalisation benefit

For example:

  • you break your ankle while playing football, and need time away from your PT business for hospital treatment
  • an employee, who you’ve covered on the policy, injures her finger in an accident at your pet grooming business, and needs time off work for physio and recovery

Read more about personal accident insurance

This content has been created for general information purposes. Make sure you have the right level of business insurance by checking your policy documentation for details. Read our full Terms and Conditions

How much does self-employed insurance cost?

Find out how much you’ll pay by comparing prices from a range of trusted insurers. You choose what goes into your policy, so you only pay for what you need.

Prices start from £3.19 per month

Get your quotes in 7 minutes – prices are guaranteed for 30 days.

Get your tailored quotes in 7 minutes

Start your quote

*The price is for £1 million of public liability insurance - 10% of customers paid £41.87 or less annually between 1st Oct 2023 - 31st Mar 2024. Equivalent to £3.49/month (and excludes the extra costs for paying monthly). If you complete a quote more types of cover will be available, these all have additional costs.

Example self-employed insurance quotes, real prices

chiswell insurance

£8.46 /month

£64.55 /year

A self-employed bricklayer with less than one year’s experience and no employees

  • 1-2 years' experience
  • Sole trader
  • No employees
  • Based in Swansea
  • Public liability


  • Tools


  • Stock

    Not included

axa insurance

£19.35 /month

£171.96 /year

A self-employed hairdresser who rents a chair in a salon

  • 5+ years' experience
  • Sole trader
  • No employees
  • Based in Sale
  • Public liability


  • Tools


  • Stock


How we work out example quotes These examples are real quotes from our online system (created 07/03/2023). They’re based on a range of factors, like employees and location. Your own quote will be based on what you tell us about your business. Prices may go up or down from day to day, so the prices you’re quoted may differ to the ones you see here.

Looking for something else?

Depending on your set-up, clients and business type, these expert covers might be helpful too:

When you run a quote you can select from a range of covers.

How it works

  • Pick what goes into your policy

    Only pay for what you need

  • Get prices from a range of insurers

    Choose the best fit for you

  • Buy online in minutes

    Get your documents the same day

Start your quote

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Find answers to common insurance questions

How do self-employed insurance claims work?

Unlike price comparison websites, we take the hassle out of claims for you. We know how important it is to get your business back on track quickly – and with a minimum of fuss. That’s why you get access to your dedicated claims any time, day or night. Call them on 0333 207 0560 or claim online. They’ll do their best to be fair and supportive.

£51 million in claims paid out in 2023

83% of claims were settled in 2023

The figure above is rounded across our range of products. "Settled" covers paid, declined or withdrawn. Our claims process may vary for different products and operates on a ‘claim by claim’ basis. Our specialist partner Sedgwick will pay the claims on behalf of the insurer. Reviewed on 24/04/2024.

Example claim

Having self-employment insurance through Simply Business has saved professionals thousands of pounds when the unexpected happened.

Michael saved more than £3,800

While fitting some skirting for a client, Michael (not his real name) put a nail through some copper pipes, causing water damage in their kitchen. The self-employed public liability insurance he’d taken out helped provide cover for the damage claim raised by his client.

  • Insurance payout


    Covering the cost of accidental damage

  • Michael’s costs


    The excess amount stated in Michael’s policy terms

Chosen by 900,000 small businesses and landlords

We started out as a team of five back in 2005. We’ve grown since then with 900,000 customers across 1,500 trades now trusting us to provide their business insurance.

  • Compare and buy in minutes

    Documents arrive today

  • Rated 4.8/5

    Based on 39,782 reviews

  • Here to help

    Help from UK-based experts

  • 24/7 claims

    Make a claim any time

Self-employed insurance FAQ

Whether you’re new to buying business insurance for self-employed or you’ve been trading for a while, here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about insurance for self-employed workers.

You can also check out our business insurance FAQs.

  • Public and product liability insurance is often an important cover for self-employed workers – it’s designed to protect you if someone is injured or gets sick, or their property is damaged, because of your business.

    Do you employ any staff? If so, you’re usually required by law to take out employer’s liability insurance, even if it’s for a contractor team member, or casual and seasonal staff. You’ll face fines of up to £2,500 a day for anyone you haven’t covered correctly.

    Professional indemnity insurance for self-employed people is another popular cover, providing protection against compensation claims for an error or oversight which ends up costing a third party money to fix, or causes a financial loss.

    From there, you can pick and choose from other specific protection for your stock and equipment, plus legal expenses for things like employee disputes and personal accident cover for the slip-ups that can delay business as usual. Our self-employment insurance policies are flexible – you can bundle everything into one policy or go for just one or two covers, depending on what you need.

  • Yes. You may start offering additional services that require you to use different skills or carry out different tasks. If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to give us a call on 0333 0146 683 to update your policy before you take on this new work.

    If you don’t have the correct type of cover in place for the work you do, you may be unable to claim on your policy if something goes wrong.

  • Each insurer looks at CCJs and IVAs differently – some apply stricter rules than others, but having a CCJ or IVA doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to buy insurance.

  • You can choose the payment type that suits your business and cash flow best. Some customers prefer to pay in one go, while others prefer to pay a regular monthly amount, like you do with lots of other bills. Simply Business offer three ways to pay for your policy:

    • one-off credit or debit card payment
    • BACS payment
    • Direct Debit

    If you choose to pay by Direct Debit, our credit provider, Premium Credit, pays Simply Business the full amount for your policy up front. You then repay Premium Credit in 10 monthly instalments.

  • This will depend on whether you have employers’ liability insurance in place. Public liability insurance is designed to protect your business against the consequences of legal action brought by members of the public for injuries or damage to their belongings. But when it comes to your employees causing injury or damage, this protection only activates if you also have employers’ liability insurance.

    If you employ people, you’re required by law to have employers’ liability insurance.

    There’s one exception here. Family businesses that aren’t incorporated as a limited company are not legally required to have employers’ liability insurance. The government defines a "family business" as one where all your employees are closely related to you (as a spouse, civil partner, sibling, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, step-parent, stepchild, or half-sibling). So if you run an unincorporated family business and you choose not to get employers’ liability insurance, it’s important to know that your public liability insurance wouldn’t cover you against damage or injury caused by your team.

  • We provide a range of cover options for specific business types, including:

    Is your profession not listed? When you run a quote you can select your trade from over 1,000 options.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always check policy documentation for details and seek professional advice. Read our full Terms and Conditions

Helpful articles for small businesses

Woman sat on a rug working on her laptop

27 January 2022 • 4-minute read

How to register as self-employed

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