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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.
(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.)
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.
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For more information check out our business insurance FAQ pages.
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 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.
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 covers claims from employees who’ve been injured or become seriously ill as a result of working for you.
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 covers you in the event that your business gives faulty advice that causes financial loss to a client.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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?
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
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)
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
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 cover||Lowest excess||Highest excess|
|Employers' liability||No excess||No 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.
We've got comprehensive FAQ pages that explain a lot more about business insurance. Get the answers to these popular questions:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The price of your policy is tailored to your business. It’s based on a number of factors, such as:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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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– R Matthews, Handyman
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