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Why do you need contractor insurance?

We insure contractors of all business types, from builders to accountants to IT contractors. Whatever your profession, most contractors face similar dangers in their work – including accidents and injuries, unexpected events leading to missed deadlines, or damage to the equipment you’ve hired or invested in. To get a quote, you’ll need to choose insurance that’s targeted to your trade, but this page gives you an overview of the top reasons contractors need cover.

  • Cover against big claims, such as legal and medical costs
  • Protection against the expense of repairing your work or redoing it from scratch
  • Peace of mind for you, your business, your employees and your customers

What does contractor insurance cover?

You know what matters to you most in how you operate as a contractor, so you’re in charge of your policy. Whether you want to cover yourself or your team for accidents on site, legal disputes with clients, or the tools you rely on, you tell us what you need and we’ll tailor your insurance around you.

How much does contractor 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 £4.74 per month

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Example contractor insurance quotes, real prices


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



Employers’ liability

No excess

No excess




Business and office equipment



Professional indemnity

No excess


How it works

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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.

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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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Find answers to common insurance questions

How do contractor insurance 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.

£51 million in claims paid out in 2023

Example contractor insurance claim

Having contractor insurance through Simply Business has saved contractors thousands of pounds when the unexpected happened.

Bruce saved more than £9,100

As he was fitting a fence for a customer, fencing contractor Bruce (not his real name) needed to dig some holes. He followed the main contractor’s advice about where to use a digger and where to dig by hand, but the power company alleged a hit to a 15000v cable, which had to be repaired. Fortunately Bruce’s insurance stepped in to cover the cost.

Contractors insurance FAQ

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 contractors insurance. You can also check out our business insurance FAQs.

The answer to this question varies from trade to trade, so it’s a good idea to start with an assessment of the risks your business might face.

If you have people working for you, you’re legally required to have employers’ liability cover.

If you come into contact with members of the public in your work, public liability insurance is an important one too.

If you make recommendations as part of your contracting work and you want to protect yourself against claims to do with negligence or incorrect advice, you may see professional indemnity insurance as essential.

If you use any specialist equipment, you might want to think about getting tool cover. This is a key type of insurance for lots of contractors.

If you agree to deadlines and deliverables as part of a contract, you’ll want to look into contract works insurance so you’re covered in case your work in progress is destroyed, delayed or disrupted.

Other covers for contractors to consider include:

Although insurance is often similar for different contractors, there’s no such thing as general contractor insurance. It’s always specific to the type of work you do.

Prices for contractors public liability insurance start from £6.56 per month, and some of the factors that influence what you’ll pay include:

  • your claims history
  • how long you’ve been in business in this particular trade
  • if you work in dangerous environments
  • if you work with dangerous materials
  • the number and type of covers you want to include in your policy
  • the value of your tools, equipment or materials, if you’re choosing to cover them

A useful rule of thumb is that the higher the risk of things going wrong – and the higher the cost of putting things right – the more your insurance will cost.

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Remember, if you have employees, you must have employers’ liability cover in case they get sick or injured through working for you – it’s a legal requirement.

Other than that, expectations vary from industry to industry. For example, in construction, some trade associations insist that you have public liability insurance before you can become a member. And your clients may expect you to have public liability insurance from the perspective of safety and trust.

Many contractors consider public liability insurance to be essential. Especially those who carry out physical work around other people and third-party property.

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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