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Commercial insurance

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What's on this page

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

Commercial insurance – why is it important?

Commercial 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.

Our commercial insurance is specially designed for small businesses and all their unique needs. We’re here to help you make sense of the different types of cover and find the right policy for you, leaving you free to focus on making a success of your business.

From injuries to legal costs, if you were hit with a claim, would you have the funds to handle it? Business insurance is there to protect you against unexpected costs.

  • compare cover from expert UK brands and protect your business
  • rated 4.7/5 based on 39K+ public liability customer reviews
  • trusted by over 900,000 small UK businesses for flexible, tailored cover

Start your quote

What does commercial insurance cover?

You can build your policy from a range of different covers to suit your individual needs. It’s up to you to decide what cover works best for your line of work. Most businesses usually start with public liability insurance when building a policy. It protects your business against injury, illness, and property damage claims from members of the public. Beyond that, you can tailor your policy to cover the different risks your business faces.

Simply Business also offers professional indemnity, employers' liability, commercial combined insurance and a range of other types of commercial insurances.

Public liability insurance

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

What’s typically covered by commercial public liability insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • damage to someone’s property, caused by your business activities
  • illness or injuries as a result of your business
  • employees causing accidental damage or injuries

For example:

  • while hosting a meeting, you leave a cable running across the open office floor and your client trips, spraining their ankle
  • you serve a client sandwiches with a trace of sesame seeds, causing an allergic reaction
  • your employee drops heavy equipment on your client’s floor, causing extensive damage

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

Read more about public liability insurance

Employers’ liability insurance

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

What’s typically covered by employers’ liability insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • injuries to staff (including casual labourers and contractors) that are caused as a result of your business
  • illness suffered by an employee (including temps and casual workers) caused by 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.**

For example:

  • your office manager breaks their finger while trying to close a faulty window at your business premises
  • your receptionist trips over a cable running across the floor of your office, breaking their ankle
  • a temp worker scratches their arm on one of your tools, and the injury becomes infected

Professional indemnity

In case a client loses money because of your advice, services or designs.

What’s typically covered by commercial professional indemnity insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • mistakes in the advice you give, which lead to a financial loss for your client
  • errors in your certification services that mean a client loses out financially
  • negligence in your advice or services that becomes costly for your client

For example:

  • your advice on improving a client’s business performance leads to a financial loss for them
  • you deliver the wrong certification and training that’s costly for your client to fix
  • you make a mistake in a client’s tax return that leads to an HMRC fine

Read more about professional indemnity insurance

Contents insurance

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

What’s typically covered by business contents insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • theft or vandalism to your office furniture or business equipment
  • damage or destruction caused by fire or flood

For example:

  • a fire caused by faulty electrics destroys your office furniture and other contents such as business equipment
  • someone forces entry to your business premises and graffitis your office furniture
  • a leaking pipe floods the ground floor of your business premises, and you need to replace your damaged contents

Read more about business contents insurance

Business legal insurance

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

Claims against your business for:

  • costs and expenses for disputes relating to debt recovery, including judgement enforcement
  • disputes with debt collectors, or any party who takes legal action against you, as a result of identity theft
  • costs and expenses for contractual disputes arising from an agreement

For example:

  • one of your clients isn’t happy with your work and believes you haven’t met the contractual requirements
  • someone gets access to your company’s bank details and uses them to buy goods and services
  • your client is disputing a contract they had with you on the provision of a service

Read more about business legal 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?

Claims against your business for:

  • accidental death or injury, whether it happens at work or elsewhere, for anyone you’ve chosen to cover on your policy
  • lost income, plus medical costs and hospitalisation benefit

For example:

  • an employee you’ve covered on the policy slips on ice while commuting to the office, injuring their lower back
  • you’re tidying the office and an old printer falls onto your shoulder, causing a serious injury
  • your business partner bumps their head after a fall, causing ongoing health complications which stop them from working

Read more about personal accident insurance

Stock insurance

In case something happens to your products and consumables.

What’s typically covered by stock insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • damage to (and loss of) stock, following fires, floods, or vandalism
  • theft of stock following a break-in
  • costs involved with replacing the stock you need to operate

For example :

  • someone forces entry to your business premises and steals from your stockroom
  • an important stock order falls from the back of your van and is never recovered
  • you’ve taken a stock delivery, which is stolen while you’re speaking to a neighbour

Read more about stock insurance

Tool insurance

In case your tools are lost, stolen or damaged.

What’s typically covered by tool insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • accidental damage to your tools and equipment
  • theft of the tools you use for your business
  • loss of your business tools

For example:

  • your tools are stolen from your car or van
  • you lose some expensive equipment on the way to a job
  • a flood causes irreparable damage to your tools

Read more about tool insurance

Buildings insurance

In case something happens to your business premises.

What’s typically covered by business building insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • damage to the structure of your building if there’s been a fire, flood, or vandalism
  • contents, fittings, and equipment if they’re damaged by an event like a fire or flood
  • repair and rebuild costs

For example:

  • your shop’s wooden floor is damaged during a flood and needs replacing
  • your employee damages an interior wall installing new equipment, as well as a glass door
  • after a pipe bursts, you need to spend lots of money replacing flooring

Read more about business buildings insurance

Own plant insurance

In case plant machinery, like excavators, you own is lost, stolen, or damaged.

What’s typically covered by own plant insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • replacement of own plant machinery should yours be damaged or stolen
  • water damage to your own plant machinery
  • accidentally injuring someone else while you’re working, or afterwards as a result of the work you’ve done

For example :

  • an excavator is stolen during an overnight break-in at your works site
  • you drill through a water pipe while working on a construction site, causing extensive damage
  • your storage unit is flooded, damaging your cement mixer and generator beyond repair

Read more about plant machinery insurance

Hired-in plant insurance

In case plant machinery, like excavators, you've hired in is lost, stolen, or damaged.

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

Claims against your business for:

  • expensive costs and charges, if hired equipment gets damaged, lost, or stolen
  • equipment that’s on-site or in transit
  • causing injury or property damage while you’re working, or afterwards following your work

For example :

  • thieves steal a generator from your trailer while you’re taking a break at a service station
  • you accidentally drive a digger through someone’s fence while working on site
  • a hired cement mixer and generator are made unusable following a flood

Read more about plant machinery insurance

Contract works insurance

In case your building work in progress is damaged by something like a fire, flood or vandalism.

What’s typically covered by contract works insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • repair costs for work that's been damaged or destroyed while on the job
  • labour, materials and tools that'll get your work back to the stage it was in before the damage
  • damage caused by fires, floods, storms, vandalism, or theft

For example :

  • there's a fire at your place of work, setting back the completion date of the job
  • a flood destroys your specialist equipment
  • someone breaks into your site and steals your tools

Read more about contract works insurance

Excess insurance

In case you need to make a claim on your insurance policy.

What's typically covered by excess insurance?

Claims made by you for:

  • when you make a claim on a cover included in your business insurance policy, you won’t need to pay excess

For example :

  • after a heavy storm you need to make a claim on your building cover – you don’t have to pay the £250 excess thanks to your excess insurance
  • a leak in the bathroom causes a guest to slip and injure themselves and thanks to excess cover, there’s no excess to pay on the claim
  • a tenant’s suitcase scratches the wooden flooring in your hallway – you won't have to pay any excess on your accidental damage claim

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 commercial insurance cost?

This depends on different factors like the type of work you do, what kind of insurance you need, and the level of cover you need. The riskier insurers think your business is, the more you're likely to pay for your policy. 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

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10% of our customers paid up to £38.32 a year for a public liability insurance policy between 1st April 2023 - 30th June 2023. Equivalent to £3.19 per month based on a monthly cost when paying for the policy in one annual payment. Paying monthly is usually more expensive as you'll pay interest. Most customers pay more than this but some pay less.

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 cover

Lowest excess

Highest excess

Public liability

No excess

£750

Employers' liability

No excess

No excess

Contents

£200

£4,000

Stock

£200

£4,000

Main building

£200

£400

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

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    Only pay for what you need

  • Get prices from a range of insurers

    Choose the best fit for you

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FAQs

Find answers to common insurance questions

How do insurance claims work for commercial businesses?

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 team any time, day or night. Call them on 0333 207 0560 or claim online. They’ll do their best to be fair and supportive.

£39 million in claims paid out in 2022

Paying 80% of settled claims within 24 hours in 2022

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

Chosen by 900,000 small businesses and landlords

We started out as a team of 5 back in 2005. We’ve grown since then with 900,000 customers across 1,500 trades now trusting us to provide their insurance.

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    Documents arrive today

  • Rated 4.7/5

    Based on 39,742 reviews

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Commercial 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 insurance for off licences. You can also check out our business insurance FAQs.

  • While it isn't illegal to have no commercial insurance in place, some regulators may require you to have it before you can operate. The only type of commercial insurance that's compulsory by law is employers' liability insurance. If you have staff, it's likely that you'll need this cover.

  • Most businesses with employees need to have at least £5 million of employers' liability insurance. Other covers depend on the type of work your business does, and whether clients, contracts or regulatory bodies need you to have a certain level of cover. You can think about it in terms of how much you might need to pay out in claims if something goes wrong. Simply Business offers £10 million of employers' liability insurance.

  • Yes, you can buy commercial 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, the type of work you do, and your actual or expected turnover.

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

  • 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 installments.

  • 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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