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What's on this page

Why do you need retail insurance?

From a brand new product line to excellent service, your customers stay loyal for a reason. But slips, spills, and theft happen to the very best, and claims can run into thousands, all while damaging your reputation. Retail insurance is built to cover you for accidents and damage, plus employers’ liability claims, if you’ve hired a team

  • UK-based claims team, award-winning and available 24/7
  • trusted by over 800,000 small UK businesses for flexible, tailored cover
  • online or shop floor, cover that protects your customers, team, and stock
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What does retail business insurance cover?

We’ll start with retail liability insurance, including public and product liability, covering you against accidents in your retail space or claims against your product – for example, if someone accidentally cuts themselves on something you’ve sold. From there, you can add insurance for employees, stock, and contents, plus personal accident cover for you or anyone else you’ve covered.

Public liability insurance for retail

In case your retail business and products cause an injury or property damage.

What’s typically covered by public liability insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • damage to someone’s property, because of your retail business
  • an injury or illness caused by your business activities or products
  • accidental damage or injuries caused by your employees

For example:

  • a customer trips on a loose cable while on your premises, falling and breaking their arm in several places – they need surgery and time off work
  • your employee is mopping the floor but forgets to put up a safety sign, causing an electrician to fall and injure their back

What you’ll need additional cover for

  • road accidents – we can cover incidents related to deliveries like theft, damage, slips, and trips, but you’d need specific insurance for accidents involving a vehicle

Read more about public liability insurance

Employers’ liability insurance

In case anyone gets ill or injured while working for your retail business.

What’s typically covered by employers’ liability insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • an injury or illness that happens as a result of working for you (including temps and casual workers)

**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.**

For example:

  • while taking in a delivery, your summer temp drops a crate on their foot and breaks two toes – they won’t be able to work for at least three weeks
  • your employee gets an electric shock when plugging in the hoover at the end of the day, damaging some nerves in their hand

Contents insurance

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

What’s typically covered by contents insurance?

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

For example:

  • the sound system you use in-store is stolen while you’re closed for Christmas
  • a maintenance professional damages your expensive lighting set-up with their ladder

Read more about contents insurance

Stock insurance

In case something happens to the items you keep in stock.

What’s typically covered by stock insurance?

  • loss, damage, or theft of things like prepared food items, sellable products, and other materials you use to stock your retail business

For example:

  • one of your fridges fails during a heatwave and you need to replace all the chilled goods you keep in stock

Read more about stock insurance

Building insurance

In case something happens to your retail 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:

  • your wrap-around glass windows are smashed and graffitied by vandals, and you need to stop trading until they’re made safe
  • a fire in the premises next door damages your retail space doors, stock room, and back office

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 building insurance

Legal expenses insurance

In case you’re hit with legal expenses connected to your retail business.

What’s typically covered by legal expenses insurance?

  • legal costs attributed to your retail 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 reputation as a popular retailer

For example:

  • you need to pay legal costs during a dispute with a contractor, which goes on for the best part of a year
  • the kitchen fitting company you’ve hired are delayed by a month and you can’t open the café area in your retail space – you sue but incur costs in the process

Read more about legal expenses insurance

Personal accident insurance

In case anyone you’ve covered is accidentally injured, at work or off-duty.

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:

  • an employee breaks their jaw while playing rugby at the weekend, and will need time off for surgery and recovery
  • you injure your hand while putting up a shelf in your retail space – you need stitches and won’t be able to drive for two weeks

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 business retail 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 £6.79 per month

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

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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 January - 31 August 2021). Most customers pay more than this but some pay less.

Example retail insurance quotes, real prices

£48.37 /month

£429.95 /month

A small off licence situtated at the end of a row of houses, with no ATM on the premises

  • 2-3 years' experience
  • 1 employee
  • Based in Coventry

Public liability


Employers’ liability




£57.08 /month

£507.39 /month

A medium sized newsagents that has an ATM machine and a post office

  • 5+ years' experience
  • Limited company
  • 3 employees
  • Based in CF10 1FJ

Public liability


Employers’ liability


Contents & business equipment




How we work out example quotes These examples are real quotes from our online system (created 16/04/2021). 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.

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
Main building£200£4000

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.

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

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    Get your documents the same day

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We handle claims, so you can get on with business

How do I choose insurance?

Making sure you have the right type and level of business insurance can be the difference between getting a claim paid and having to cover the cost of an expensive accident yourself. Read our tips for guidance on what to consider when buying a policy.

Is public liability enough for third party property damage?

In some situations you may need more than public liability to cover certain kinds of property damage.

Which type of workers do I need insurance for?

Employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement if you employ people.

If you have people working for you, including bona fide subcontractors (BFSC), labour-only subcontractors (LOSC), part-timers, or full-time staff, employers’ liability insurance is required by law.

Read on for our simplified guide to the difference between labour-only subcontractors and bona fide subcontractors.

Does retail insurance cover my work correctly?

Make sure you're picking the right cover to protect you properly. It's important to know that if you have another trade or job, you'll need additional cover. For example, do you need to consider online retailer insurance or coffee shop insurance?

Do I need cover for other types of work?

If you provide these services alongside building work, make sure you’re covered:

Other types of insurance

Which public liability cover limit should I choose?

Think about the maximum possible loss your business could face in the event of a claim, and make sure you take legal fees and damages into consideration. You can choose from three levels of coverage – £1 million, £2 million, or up to £5 million.

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

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0333 043 8527
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Find answers to common insurance questions

How do 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. The figure below is rounded across our range of products. Our claims process may vary for different products and operates on a ‘claim by claim’ basis.

£30 million in claims paid out in 2019

Paying 80% of settled claims within 24 hours in 2019

Example claim

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

Stuart saved more than £9,100

A flood at Stuart’s (not his real name) footwear retail business caused significant water damage overnight, particularly to his stock which included a new season designer footwear order. The stock cover in his retail insurance policy covered Stuart’s replacement costs and lost income.

Insurance payout


Covering the cost of escape of water

Stuart’s costs


The excess amount stated in Stuart’s policy terms

Chosen by 800,000 small businesses

We started out as a team of five back in 2005. We’ve grown since then with 600,000 customers across 1,500 trades now trusting us to provide their business insurance.

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Retail store insurance FAQs

Whether 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 retail public liability insurance, plus other popular covers. You can also check out our business insurance FAQs.

  • 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 food and drink retailer, you may also do the odd cooking demonstration or wine tasting event – you’ll need additional cover for this, but you can have it all on the one policy. If you need to add a second trade, give us a call on 0333 0146 683 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.

  • 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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