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Business insurance

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Trusted by 800,000 customers

Insuring businesses and landlords for over a decade

Satisfaction score of 9/10

For public liability insurance

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With a UK-based team available 24/7

Compare business insurance quotes

Whether it’s a third party injury or a serious professional indemnity claim, if you run a small business, there’s a risk that something will go wrong. From public liability insurance to employers’ liability cover, professional indemnity risks and specific trade and equipment insurance, business or company insurance can combine comprehensive cover for the specific challenges you face.

  • compare business insurance quotes from globally-recognised and trusted brands
  • trusted by over 800,000 small UK businesses for flexible, tailored cover
  • Cover from £6.56 a month, get insured in minutes
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(10% of direct debit customers repay their annual policy in 10 monthly payments of £6.56 or less across all our trades insured. Based on data from 1 Sep 2021 - 31st Feb 2022, for comparison only. Cancellation charges may apply, please refer to our full terms & conditions.)

What is business insurance?

Business insurance protects businesses against losses that happen as a result of normal business activities – particularly when a compensation claim is made. There are different types of cover for different types of risk, from legal liability, to property damage, to employee-related issues.

Fill in our form to compare commercial insurance quotes tailored to your needs.

For more information check out our business insurance FAQ pages.

What does small business insurance cover?

We’ll usually start with public and product liability insurance, designed to cover you against slips, spills, and injuries. Lots of trade professionals add professional indemnity insurance, plus cover for their equipment, tools, stock, and supplies, or personal accidents which could stop the business running. And if you do employ anyone, a business insurance comparison which factors in employers’ liability cover is usually a must-have, as a UK legal requirement.

Public liability insurance

Public liability insurance protects you if someone is injured or their property is damaged because of your business.

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

For example:

  • your coffee shop business is held responsible for damage to a neighbouring shop’s front window
  • the building business you own receives a third party injury claim, after a member of the public trips and falls over your tool kit, breaking their knee

What you’ll need additional cover fr accidents caused by your employees aren’t covered by your public liability insurance policy, but you can easily add employers’ liability insurance to help take care of this.

Employers’ liability insurance

Employers’ liability insurance covers claims from employees who’ve been injured or become seriously ill as a result of working for you.

For example:

  • your employee catches their hand on an exposed nail in your premises, which becomes infected
  • an apprentice training with you slips on a wet floor while cleaning down, injuring their lower back

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

Professional indemnity insurance covers you in the event that your business gives faulty advice that causes financial loss to a client.

For example:

  • you provide investment advice to your client and they hold you responsible for a subsequent financial loss
  • you’ve issued certification to a client which contains an error, and your client suffers a financial loss

Read more

Building filling up wheelbarrow

Business insurance for a wide range of trades

At Simply Business we insure all kinds of trades, from hairdressers to builders and even fortune tellers. Check out our list below and read a bit more about some of the businesses we insure:

Don't worry if your trade isn't listed above. When running a quote you can choose from over 1,000 trades.

Things to consider before buying business insurance

You should give accurate information when building your quote. This helps make sure you get the right cover for your business. These are some of the questions you should answer when buying insurance:

  • are you a sole trader or limited company?
  • does your business deal with members of the public?
  • do you have a business premises?
  • does your business hold any stock, equipment or tools?
  • does your business employ any other staff?

If you're not sure about the information you need to supply, you can always give us a call on 0333 043 8527 and one of our team can help you with your quote.

Build your business insurance policy

Building your business insurance policy

You can build your policy from a range of different covers to suit your individual needs.

Public liability insurance is an important cover for lots of businesses. And if you have employees it's likely that you're legally required to take out employers’ liability insurance (even if they're contractors, casual workers or temporary staff).

It’s up to you to decide what cover works best for your line of work.

Here’s where public liability insurance can be useful: a plumber installed a plastic push fitting which failed and caused a leak. It also affected neighbouring houses. The claim was settled for £160,000, of which the plumber only paid £500.

Can I see some real examples of business insurance claims?

Below are two real-life examples where customers have saved themselves thousands of pounds having business insurance through Simply Business. Can you afford to go without business insurance?

Business insurance saved them more than £44,000

A shop owner returned from a trip to the cash and carry to find their business premises on fire. The fire itself was fairly large, with extensive damage to the premises and stock. As a result, the shop owner was unable to trade for the foreseeable future. Luckily, the shop owner had business interruption and stock cover, so was able to make a claim.

Claim settlement: £44,699

What the business owner had to pay: £300 excess

Business insurance saved them more than £23,500

A restaurant owner was found at fault after an oil spill in the restaurant led to a customer having a bad fall. The customer fractured their collarbone and two ribs, and had to go on sick leave for the best part of five months. The claim covered the treatment and pain suffered by the customer, as well as the cost of their sick pay.

Claim settlement: £23,722

What the business owner had to pay: nothing (nil excess)

Business insurance saved them more than £21,000

David (not his real name) removed a wall at his customer's property and installed some metal beams. The rooms above have since developed cracks, and David thinks the initial crack was caused when he removed the wall. Luckily, he had business insurance to help him cover the costs to his business.

Claim settlement: £21,290

What the business owner had to pay: £100 excess

What kind of excess should I expect?

An excess is an amount you pay towards any claim you make on your insurance. For example, if your excess is £250 and you make a claim worth £1000, your payout will be a maximum of £750.

Insurance coverLowest excessHighest excess
Public liability£100£2500
Employers' liabilityNo excessNo excess
Business and office equipment£50£750

The figures above are for guidance only and any excess applying to your quote may differ. You’ll get a breakdown of the excesses for each quote when you compare with us.

Business insurance FAQs

Business insurance FAQs

We've got comprehensive FAQ pages that explain a lot more about business insurance. Get the answers to these popular questions:

How much does small business insurance cost?

This depends on different factors like the nature of your work, the type of insurance you need, and your cover levels. Businesses that insurers see as riskier will usually pay more for their policy. The easiest way to find out how much business insurance will cost is to run a quick quote.

Read more

While business insurance isn't a legal requirement, some regulators may require you to have it in order to operate. The only type of business insurance that's mandatory under the law is employers' liability insurance – it's likely that if you have staff, you need this cover.

Read more

How much business insurance do I need?

Most businesses with employees need to have at least £5 million of employers' liability insurance. It also depends on the nature of your work, and whether clients, contracts or regulatory bodies specify a particular level of cover. Think about how much you might need to pay out in claims if something goes wrong.

Read more

Can I get business insurance before registering my business?

Yes, you can buy business insurance before registering your business, and even before you've started trading. Keep in mind that when buying an insurance policy, insurers will ask for details like your business address, your trade type, and your actual or projected turnover.

Read more

Can I get business insurance without a trade licence?

Yes, as you can buy business insurance before you begin trading. But some types of business will need a trade licence to operate – and if you need a licence and start trading without it, your insurance may be invalid. Trade licences are usually issued by the relevant licensing authority or by the local authority.

Read more

What can affect the price of my policy?

The price of your policy is tailored to your business. It’s based on a number of factors, such as:

  • your claims history, particularly the past five years
  • how long you've been operating in your trade
  • working in dangerous environments
  • working with dangerous materials
  • the value of goods, equipment, or tools you insure
  • the number of covers you add (the more covers, the greater the price)

Can I add cover for a different trade or profession to my business insurance policy?

Yes. It’s important to make sure you have the right type and level of insurance for the different types of work you do. For example, if you’re a builder, you may also do roofing work on certain jobs – you’ll need additional cover for this, but you can have it all on the one policy.

When you start your quote, you’ll have the option to add another trade or profession to your policy. If you need to add a third trade, give us a call on 0333 043 8527 and one of our insurance experts will help you set up your policy in minutes.

Can I add cover for a different trade or profession mid-way through my policy?

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 043 8527 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.

Can I buy business insurance if I’ve had any CCJs or IVAs?

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.

What’s the difference between paying by direct debit and paying in one lump sum for business 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 installments.

Will changing from sole trader to limited company affect my insurance policy?

If you change your business legal structure from sole trader to limited company mid-way through your policy, give us a call straight away on 0333 043 8527. It’ll only take us a few minutes to cancel your existing policy and replace it with one that correctly covers your new legal structure. It’s worth bearing in mind that your insurer and premium amount may need to change.

Does public liability insurance cover my business for the actions of my employees?

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 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

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It is a very good and easy to use service. I've been a customer for several years and the renewal system is very straight forward. I've always found the quotes competitive too. I'd definitely recommend Simply Business.

R Matthews, Handyman

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© Copyright 2022 Simply Business. All Rights Reserved. Simply Business is a trading name of Xbridge Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Registration No: 313348). Xbridge Limited (No: 3967717) has its registered office at 6th Floor, 99 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7NG.