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Business insurance

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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

What is business insurance for?

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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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 for 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

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 business 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 £6.56 per month

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

Get your tailored quotes in 7 minutes

Start your quote

How we work out example prices We take the highest price from the bottom 10 per cent of all our customers paying in monthly instalments (Based on data from 1 Sep 2021 - 31st Feb 2022). Most customers pay more than this but some pay less.

Example business insurance quotes, real prices

covea insurance

£6.35 /month

£43.52 /month

A mobile hairdresser who works in clients' homes and also rents a chair in a local salon

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

    £1,000,000

  • Employers’ liability

    Not included

  • Tools

    Not included

churchill insurance

£103.10 /month

£916.40 /month

A small ltd building company that specialises in repairs to residential and commercial properties

  • 5+ years' experience
  • Limited company
  • 2 employees
  • Based in Glasgow
  • Public liability

    £2,000,000

  • Employers’ liability

    £10,000,000

  • Tools

    £5,000

How we work out example quotes These examples are real quotes from our online system (created 14/09/2021). 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.

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 way

Start your quote

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We handle claims, so you can get on with business

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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.

Talk to an expert

Our team of UK-based insurance experts are here to help, Mon 09.00am - 05.30pm, Tues 09.00am - 05.30pm, Weds 09.00am - 05.30pm, Thurs 09.30am - 05.30pm, Fri 09.00am - 05.30pm, Sat 09.00am - 02.00pm

Call our team

0333 043 8527

Online

Contact us on our website whenever suits you

Phone

Call our insurance experts during office hours (calls are charged at a local rate)

FAQs

Find answers to common insurance questions

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.

£28 million in claims paid out in 2021

Paying 80% of settled claims within 24 hours in 2021

Example claim

Having small business insurance through Simply Business has saved companies thousands of pounds when the unexpected happened.

Ben saved more than £21,200

Ben (not his real name) is a builder working on local domestic properties. After removing a supporting wall and installing metal beams for a client, the walls in the rooms above his work area have developed cracks, and he receives a claim for compensation. The public liability cover in Ben’s small business insurance policy covered the accidental damage.

  • Insurance payout

    £21,290.00

    Covering the cost of accidental damage

  • Ben’s costs

    £100

    The excess amount stated in Ben’s policy terms

Chosen by 800,000 small businesses and landlords

We started out as a team of five back in 2005. We’ve grown since then with 800,000 customers across 1,500 trades now trusting us to provide their business insurance.

  • Compare and buy in minutes

    Documents arrive today

  • Rated 4.7/5

    Based on 39,403 reviews

  • Here to help

    Help from UK-based experts

  • 24/7 claims

    Make a claim any time

Business insurance FAQs

FWhether you’re new to buying business insurance or you’ve been trading for a while, here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about business insurance. You can also check out our business insurance FAQs.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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
    Tools£60£500
    Stock£100£500
    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.

  • 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)
  • 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 get your commercial insurance 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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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