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High risk business insurance

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What's on this page

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

High risk business insurance – why is it important?

If you own a manual business, you’re likely to face more serious risks. That’s why you need to have protection that covers your unique needs. With the right cover you can get back to business as normal. You can start with public liability insurance and build from there.

What trades do we cover?

And that’s not it, just tell us what you need.

  • liability insurance for high risk businesses, including public and employee risks
  • public liability between £1 million and £10 million
  • UK-based claims team, award-winning and available 24/7

Start your quote

What does high risk insurance cover?

The first cover to consider is usually public liability insurance, which covers you if a member of the public gets injured or loses out financially and blames your business. Then you can add other covers to a policy that protect against the different risks that your business face.

Public liability insurance

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

What’s typically covered by public liability insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • causing damage to someone’s property, caused by you or as a result of your work
  • causing illness or injury because of your business activities
  • accidental damage or injury caused by your employees, if you have any

For example:

  • you spill hot coffee over a client during a meeting, causing a burn
  • a contractor working on the same premises as you trips over your tool kit, breaking their knee in the fall
  • one of your employees causes extensive damage to your client’s property when reversing their van

**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:

  • an injury that happens as a result of working for you (including temps and casual workers)
  • an employee, including a contractor or casual labourer, suing you after falling ill because 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.**

For example:

  • your employee injures their lower back while moving furniture at your premises and holds you responsible
  • an employee cuts their hand on a damaged countertop and sues you for operating an unsafe workspace
  • a member of staff trips over while unloading business equipment, injuring their knee

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:

  • loss of stock, and theft or malicious damage to your stock
  • damage or destruction to stock caused by fire or flood
  • the essentials you keep as stock – the items you need to sell to operate

For example :

  • flooding in your storage unit destroys your stock
  • you make a big Christmas packaging order that’s stolen while you’re speaking with a supplier
  • someone drives into your shop, smashing the windows and destroying a week’s worth of stock

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:

  • damage to the tools you use for work
  • loss of your business tools or specialist equipment
  • theft of your business tools and equipment

For example:

  • a thief steals your business equipment and you miss out on a job
  • you accidentally leave some specialist equipment out in the rain, damaging it beyond repair
  • you lose your tools on a work trip

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:

  • repair and rebuild costs after damage caused by a storm, fire, or vandalism
  • fittings and fixtures that get damaged
  • underground pipes and cables, if you’re responsible for them

For example:

  • someone tries to force entry into your shop, damaging the door, which needs replacing
  • a burst pipe causes water damage to floorboards and walls – they need to be replaced
  • equipment catches fire and damages your building, which will need to be completely rebuilt

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:

  • damaging someone else’s property while working on a development site, or afterwards as a result of your work
  • damage or destruction caused by vandalism
  • damage or loss to your plant machinery, like a digger

For example :

  • your forklift damages a van parked nearby, while you’re manoeuvring on site
  • you’re building an extension for a customer and someone breaks into your works site, vandalising the premises and causing substantial damage
  • you’re parked up outside a service station and thieves steal a generator from your trailer

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:

  • replacing hired-in plant machinery should it be damaged or stolen
  • water damage to hired-in plant machinery
  • accidentally injuring someone else while you’re working, or afterwards as a result of the work you’ve done

For example :

  • there’s an overnight break-in at your work site and an excavator is stolen
  • you cause damage to a water pipe by drilling through it while working on site
  • a flood damages a hired cement mixer and generator beyond repair

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:

  • work in progress on domestic and commercial sites
  • on-site damage to your tools that you need to complete the job

For example :

  • a storm causes damage to your place of work, setting back the project
  • a fire destroys your tools that you left at work
  • your work is damaged after a break-in, meaning you'll have to start from scratch

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 higher risk 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 £3.49 per month

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

Get your tailored quotes in 7 minutes

Start your quote

*The price is for £1 million of public liability insurance - 10% of customers paid £41.87 or less annually between 1st Oct 2023 - 31st Mar 2024. Equivalent to £3.49/month (and excludes the extra costs for paying monthly). If you complete a quote more types of cover will be available, these all have additional costs.

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

  • 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 day

Start your quote

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How do insurance claims work for higher risk trades?

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.

£51 million in claims paid out in 2023

83% of claims were settled in 2023

The figure above is rounded across our range of products. "Settled" covers paid, declined or withdrawn. Our claims process may vary for different products and operates on a ‘claim by claim’ basis. Our specialist partner Sedgwick will pay the claims on behalf of the insurer. Reviewed on 24/04/2024.

Chosen by 900,000 small businesses and landlords

High risk business insurance quotes from a range of leading insurers in minutes. We cover over 900,000 small businesses like you.

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  • Rated 4.8/5

    Based on 39,783 reviews

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High risk business 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.

  • 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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