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Online retailer insurance

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What's on this page

Why is online retailer insurance important?

If you sell goods online, you need online business insurance to keep you and your products protected. Even if you run your business from home, it doesn’t mean you’re covered by an existing home insurance policy. Make sure you've got everything covered in case the worst was to happen.

  • Tick iconProtect your stock so you don’t lose income
  • Tick iconCover yourself so you don’t pay unnecessary legal fees
  • Tick iconPeace of mind so you can run your business without worry
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What does online retailer insurance cover?

Ecommerce insurance covers what you need. Make sure you're protected in case your stock is damaged, or if one of your customers takes you to court. Pick the cover that best suits your business and sleep easy knowing you’re insured.

Public and product liability insurance

In case the product you sell accidentally injures someone or damages something.

What’s typically covered by public and product liability insurance?

Legal expenses relating to claims against your business for:

  • Tick iconaccidental injury or property damage
  • Tick icondamage to someone else’s property caused by your employee

For example:

  • a customer claims one of your cakes gave them food poisoning
  • a customer has an allergic reaction to a beauty product that you've sold to them
  • a supplier breaks their arm while visiting your warehouse

Read more about public liability insurance and product liability insurance

Employers’ liability insurance

In case your employee gets sick or injured while working for you.

What’s typically covered by employers’ liability insurance?

Legal expenses relating to claims against your business for:

  • Tick iconinjury or illness of an employee, caused by working for you (including medical costs)

**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 trips over loose flooring and hurts their knee
  • your employee gets ill due to excessive computer use

Business interruption insurance

In case something is stolen or damaged and you lose income.

What’s typically covered by business interruption insurance?

  • Tick iconyou can’t trade because of stock, contents, or building damage

For example:

  • your inventory is damaged and you lose income because you’re unable to sell
  • your work laptop is stolen or damaged and you can’t run your business

Read more about business interruption insurance

Stock insurance

In case something bad happens to your products.

What’s typically covered by stock insurance?

  • Tick iconitems you sell are stolen, purposefully broken, or damaged by fire or flood

For example:

  • you run your business from home but your house floods and your stock is damaged
  • your stock is stolen from the warehouse where they're stored
  • your products are damaged as they're loaded into a van

Read more about stock insurance

Legal expenses insurance

In case a claim is made against you or you're subject to an HMRC investigation.

What’s typically covered by legal expenses insurance?

  • Tick iconlegal costs associated with employee disputes
  • Tick iconHMRC investigations or tax and compliance issues
  • Tick iconlegal costs linked to property damage or trespassing claims

For example:

  • you’re investigated by HMRC and you need help with tax enquiries
  • you need to defend your legal rights after firing an employee

Read more about legal expenses insurance

How much does online retailer 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 £6.82 per month

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

Get your tailored quotes in 7 minutes

Start your quote

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 October 2019 - 31 March 2020). Most customers pay more than this but some pay less.

Example quotes, real prices

£20.21 /month

£179.63 /year

Online retailer selling clothes and accessories

  • 1-2 years' experience
  • sole trader
  • no employees
  • based in Leeds

Public and product liability

£2,000,000


Employers’ liability

Not included


Stock

£10,000

£42.04 /month

£373.65 /year

Online retailer selling clothes and accessories, based in a warehouse

  • 5+ years' experience
  • limited company
  • 3 employees
  • based in Leeds

Public and product liability

£2,000,000


Employers’ liability

£10,000,000


Stock

More than £25,000

How we work out example quotes These examples are real quotes from our online system (created 27 August 2020). 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
Stock£100£500

You'll get a complete breakdown of the excesses for each quote when you compare with us. 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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We handle claims, so you can get on with business

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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.

Is public liability enough for third party property damage?

You may need more than public liability to cover certain types of damage

In some situations you may need more than public liability to cover certain kinds of property damage. Learn about employers' liability insurance and stock cover.

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 online retailer 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 photography insurance or private tutor insurance?

Do I need cover for other types of work?

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

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 09.30am - 05.30pm, Thurs 09.30am - 05.30pm, Fri 09.30am - 05.00pm, Sat 09.00am - 02.00pm

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Call our team for free

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Contact us on our website whenever suits you

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 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. 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 online retailer insurance through Simply Business has saved online retailers thousands of pounds when the unexpected happened.

Vanessa saved more than £3,400

Vanessa (not her real name) was storing her products in her basement when an underground water pipe burst. The products were soaking wet so she couldn't sell them. Luckily, Vanessa’s insurance covered the cost of the damaged stock.

Insurance payout

£3,417.64

Covering the cost of escape of water


Vanessa’s costs

£100

The excess amount stated in Vanessa’s policy terms

Chosen by 750,000 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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    Based on 38,476 reviews

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Online retailer 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 online retailer insurance.

  • The only insurance you’re required to have by law is employers’ liability insurance. And you only need that if you employ someone.

    Although other types of insurance aren’t a legal requirement, it’s important to consider unexpected events and their consequences.

    There are different types of ecommerce insurance that you may want to consider, including:

    • public and product liability insurance
    • employers’ liability insurance
    • stock insurance
    • business interruption insurance
  • You shouldn't need separate insurance to cover your products while they're being transported. As long as you're responsible for transporting the goods (and not a third party) then they should be covered by your stock insurance.

    You should be aware that the maximum amount you're covered for varies when your goods are in transit – so make sure you check this when you buy your insurance.

  • If you change your business’s legal structure from sole trader to limited company half way through your policy, give us a call straight away on 0333 0146 683. It’ll only take us a few minutes to cancel your existing policy and replace it with a cover that protects your new company structure.

    It’s worth noting that your insurer and premium amount might change.

  • You do need to disclose all unspent convictions to your insurer. But just because you have a CCJ or IVA doesn’t mean you won’t be able to buy insurance for your business. It’s important to realise that different insurers have different rules – some have stricter rules than others.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

Helpful articles for online retailers

How to set up an online shop

12 June 2020 • 10-minute read

How to set up an online shop

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