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Online business insurance

Join over 2,800 online retailers like you with PL cover from £3.49 per month*

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  • Compare online business insurance from trusted brands
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Rated 4.8/5

Based on 39,782 reviews

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Claims paid in 24 hours

For 80% of settled claims

What's on this page

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

Why do you need online business insurance?

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.

  • Protect your stock so you don’t lose income
  • Cover yourself so you don’t pay unnecessary legal fees
  • Peace of mind so you can run your business without worry

Start your quote

What does online business insurance cover?

Insurance for ecommerce business 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 liability insurance

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

What’s typically covered by public liability insurance for online retailers?

Claims against your business for:

  • accidental injury or property damage
  • damage 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 warehouse insurance, 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?

Claims against your business for:

  • injury 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?

  • you 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?

  • items 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.

  • legal costs associated with employee disputes
  • HMRC investigations or tax and compliance issues
  • legal 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 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.

Example online retailer insurance quotes, real prices

maltings insurance

£19.86 /month

£176.54 /year

Online retailer selling clothes and accessories

  • 1-2 years' experience
  • Sole trader
  • No employees
  • based in Leeds
  • Public and product liability


  • Employers’ liability

    Not included

  • Stock


How we work out example online business insurance quotes These examples are real quotes from our online system (created 03/03/2023). 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 cover

Lowest excess

Highest excess

Public liability



Employers' liability

No excess

No excess




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 I choose online retailer 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 and stock.

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 other services, 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

Call our team

0333 043 8527


Contact us on our website whenever suits you


Call our insurance experts during office hours (calls are charged at a local rate)


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 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.

Example online retail insurance claim

Having insurance for online business 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


    Covering the cost of escape of water

  • Vanessa’s costs


    The excess amount stated in Vanessa’s policy terms

Chosen by 900,000 small businesses and landlords

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

  • Compare and buy in minutes

    Documents arrive today

  • Rated 4.8/5

    Based on 39,782 reviews

  • Here to help

    Help from UK-based experts

  • 24/7 claims

    Make a claim any time

Online retailer insurance FAQ

Whether you’re new to buying business insurance for ecommerce or you’ve been trading for a while, here are the answers to some commonly asked questions about online retailer insurance. You can also check out our business insurance FAQs.

  • 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 business 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.

  • 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

Helpful articles for online retailers

Photographer taking a photo of a product to sell online

16 Jun 2021 • 10-minute read

How to set up an online shop

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