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Recruitment agency insurance

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Why do you need insurance for a recruitment agency?

Your clients trust you to solve some of their trickiest people problems. No wonder recruitment is so valuable. Headhunting, screening candidates, IR35 complexities – one rogue reference could spell disaster, and there’s the chance of accidental damage or injury too. The good news? If the unexpected happens, insurance could cover your business against the financial fallout.

  • Protection against big claims due to mistakes and professional negligence
  • Peace of mind for you, your company, your employees, and your clients
  • Manage the risks your agency faces day to day, from legal expenses to personal accidents
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What does recruitment agency insurance cover?

You know what matters to you most in your recruitment company, so you’re in charge of your policy. Have a team to cover? Concerned about the cost of resolving tax and compliance disputes? We’ll help you tailor your recruitment insurance so it ticks the boxes you’re looking for.

Professional indemnity insurance for recruitment agency

In case you've made a mistake in your recruiting processes or provided a service that didn't meet the expected standards.

What’s typically covered by professional indemnity insurance?

Legal expenses and court payouts relating to claims against your business for:

  • professional negligence that causes your customer or client to suffer financial loss
  • advice you’ve given that turns out to be incorrect
  • errors in your work that cost you money to fix

For example:

  • you recommend a candidate but you fail to thoroughly check one of their references, and it turns out to be false, so the client is suing you
  • your client believes you’ve misrepresented a candidate’s experience – even if you disagree and feel you’ve done things by the book, you could face expensive legal fees to fight the claim

Read more about professional indemnity insurance

Public liability insurance

In case someone suffers injury or property damage as a result of your recruitment business.

What’s typically covered by public liability insurance for recruitment agency?

Claims against your business for:

  • accidental damage caused by you to someone else’s property over the course of your recruitment work
  • injury caused by you to someone else over the course of your recruitment work
  • your employee causing damage or injury (remember, if you employ people, you're required by law to have employers' liability insurance)

For example:

  • a client sits on a faulty chair at your recruitment agency’s office and it collapses beneath them, leaving them with a broken wrist
  • you’re at a coffee shop to meet a potential client and you accidentally spill your coffee over their laptop, so they’ve asked you to pay for a replacement
  • while your receptionist is making a cup of tea, someone smashes a window at the entrance to your office and steals a client’s designer leather jacket from the coat hooks

What you’ll need additional cover for

  • accidental damage or injury caused by a candidate you’ve placed in a role

Read more about public liability insurance

Employers’ liability insurance

In case something happens to an employee while they’re working for your recruitment agency.

What’s typically covered by employers’ liability insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • illness suffered by your employees (including temporary staff) as a consequence of being employed by you
  • injuries to your employees as a consequence of being employed by 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 personal assistant gets a bad back because you haven’t supplied them with an appropriate computer screen, keyboard, and desk and chair setup
  • your apprentice fractures their tailbone by slipping over on a wet patch where the office floor was recently mopped

Business and office equipment insurance

In case your business and office equipment is lost, stolen, or damaged.

What’s typically covered by business and office equipment insurance?

  • the operational equipment you use in the running of your recruitment agency, while stored at your business premises or out and about
  • theft of your equipment
  • flood, fire, or accidental damage to your equipment

For example:

  • you’re meeting a potential client in a cafe when you realise someone has stolen your backpack containing your laptop and phone
  • a flood at your office causes water damage to your recruitment agency’s desktop computers, so you have to buy replacements

Read more about business and office equipment insurance

Legal expenses insurance

In case you need to pay legal costs in the running of your recruitment agency.

What’s typically covered by legal expenses insurance?

  • the cost of solving tax and compliance problems you may face as the owner of your recruitment company
  • the cost of dealing with disputes with your employees
  • legal claims and associated expenses resulting from property damage, nuisance, or trespass
  • helplines offering quick and reliable access to tax advice, 24/7 confidential legal advice, and crisis communications guidance

For example:

  • you’ve let a trainee recruiter go on the grounds of poor performance, but they’re alleging unfair dismissal, so you need to get help from a lawyer
  • your recruitment agency’s tax affairs are being looked into, either as a formal investigation or a random audit, and you need an accountant to work with you on HMRC’s enquiries

Read more about legal expenses insurance

Personal accident insurance

In case you or anyone you've covered has an accident.

What’s typically covered by personal accident insurance?

  • claims due to injury or death (outside of work as well as at work) for any person you’ve chosen to name in your policy
  • lost income, medical costs, and hospitalisation benefit

For example:

  • you’re taking team headshot photos for your agency’s new website and you trip over the tripod and dislocate your knee
  • you’re heading out to a recruitment industry conference and you shut your hand in the car door, breaking a finger
  • your employee fractures their elbow in a football game over the weekend

Read more about personal accident insurance

How much does recruitment agency 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 £5.94 per month

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

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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 July - 31 December 2020). Most customers pay more than this but some pay less.

Example recruitment agency insurance quotes, real prices

£19.01 /month

£168.96 /year

A self employed recruiter who is starting his own business recruiting locally in Sunderland

  • 1-2 years' experience
  • Sole trader
  • No employees
  • Based in Sunderland

Professional indemnity

£50,000


Public liability

Not included


Employers’ liability

Not included

£66.66 /month

£592.55 /year

A small recruitment agency recruiting talent for digital media agencies nationwide

  • 5+ years' experience
  • Limited company
  • 3 employees
  • Based in Plymouth

Professional indemnity

£100,000


Public liability

£1,000,000


Employers’ liability

£10,000,000

How we work out example quotes These examples are real quotes from our online system (created 23/09/2020). 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
Business and office equipment£50£750

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

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    Get your documents the same day

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We handle claims, so you can get on with business

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.

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 recruitment 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 nurse insurance or carers insurance?

Do I need cover for other types of work?

If you provide these services alongside building work, 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

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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 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

Chosen by 800,000 small businesses

We started out as a team of five back in 2005. We’ve grown since then with 800,000 customers across 1,500 trades now trusting us to provide their business insurance.

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Recruitment agency 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 recruitment insurance. You can also check out our business insurance FAQs.

  • Whether you’re starting a recruitment agency from scratch, or just doing some housekeeping for an existing company, it’s a great idea to get your insurance sorted.

    Do you employ people at your agency? You’re legally required to have employers’ liability cover.

    Do you come into contact with clients, candidates, or members of the public over the course of your recruitment work? Public liability insurance is worth thinking about too.

    Are you keen to protect your business against claims to do with professional negligence (such as a lack of due diligence for a candidate you’ve recommended) or incorrect advice? Professional indemnity insurance was created with you in mind.

    Does your recruitment agency rely on equipment such as a phone or laptop? You might also want to cover your business and office equipment.

    Does your recruitment agency have an office? If your lease or service agreement says you’re personally responsible for sorting out building insurance, that’s a crucial cover to put in place.

    Do you want to take extra steps to safeguard yourself and others against the financial repercussions of accidents at work or elsewhere? This is what personal accident insurance is for.

    Finally, are you looking for an extra layer against protection against disputes with clients, court costs and compensation payouts? It’s worth exploring legal protection insurance.

    And if you’re still undecided, it might help to do a deep dive into the potential health and safety risks in your business – see our risk assessment guide.

  • Employment agencies and recruitment agencies sound similar. And there's a lot of overlap in what they do. Both are a form of matchmaking between employers and employees.

    But the main difference is who’s paying them. In other words, who they’re really working for.

    Employment agencies work for the candidate, not the company. They focus their efforts on really understanding a job seeker’s skill-set and goals, so they can help the person find their ideal job. They get paid by the job seeker after the person has found work. Their fee is sometimes a lump sum that’s calculated as from the first year’s salary, and sometimes an ongoing percentage of monthly income.

    Recruitment agencies work for the company, not the candidate. Their main objective is to meet the employer’s wants and needs. They then find a range of suitable candidates, persuade these candidates that the job is worth applying for, and present them to the employer. They get paid by the company – usually after a candidate is successfully hired, once the probation period is over.

    Looking for recruitment agency insurance? With Simply Business, you can get your tailored quote in just a few minutes.

  • If you change your business legal structure from sole trader to limited company mid-way through your policy, give us a call straight away on 0333 043 8527. It’ll only take us a few minutes to cancel your existing policy and replace it with one that correctly covers your new legal structure. It’s worth bearing in mind that your insurer and premium amount may need to change.

  • 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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