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Insurance for startups

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Insurance for new business – why is it important?

Small businesses. New businesses. SMEs and side hustles. It’s a game we know inside-out, from our roots as an insurance startup. Maybe you give advice for a living, and professional indemnity claims are a concern. Or, you’re a food and drink brand and need cover to get service started. We’re dedicated to protecting what you’re building, one risk at a time.

  • peace of mind, letting you focus on your business, not the insurance
  • 24/7 UK-based claims support from an expert team
  • equipment, accident, and employee cover – you choose what you need
Start your quote

Business insurance for startups – what does it cover?

We’ll start with public and product liability insurance, top of the list for lots of UK startups. This handy cover can protect you against claims for accidents and injuries, if someone thinks your business is at fault. You can add other popular covers too, like professional indemnity insurance (known as PI), and employers’ liability cover is a legal requirement for most employers in the UK.

Public liability insurance for startups]

In case your startup causes an injury or property damage.

What’s typically covered by public liability insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • damage to someone’s property
  • injury or illness caused by your startup business
  • accidental damage or injury caused by your employees, if you have any

For example:

  • you’re in a shared office space with your laptop plugged in at the wall. Someone walks past and trips over your cable, breaking their wrist
  • you accidentally knock a bottle of water over a client’s laptop, damaging the keyboard

What you’ll need additional cover for

  • 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 something happens to an employee while working for your startup.

What’s typically covered by employers’ liability insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • an injury or illness that comes as a result of working for you (including temps and casual workers)

**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:

  • you’ve asked a developer on your team to carry some equipment into a meeting room – they trip over a loose floor tile and break their arm
  • your assistant gets an electric shock when they unplug some equipment from your desk set-up, injuring their hand and arm

Professional indemnity insurance for a startup

In case there’s a claim for negligence, or breaches in your duty of care.

What’s typically covered by professional indemnity insurance?

Claims against your business for:

  • advice which turns out to be incorrect
  • mistakes in your work that cost others money to fix

For example:

  • just after launching, another brand accuses you of copying their logo design and you need to defend yourself in court
  • your client data is hacked while you’re using a shared workspace, and a claim is brought against you for the breach

Read more about professional indemnity insurance

Business and office equipment insurance

In case things like your phone or tablet are lost, stolen, or damaged.

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

  • theft, flood, fire, or accidental damage to the equipment you use to run your business, rather any specialist trade tools you take out and about
  • operational equipment like your laptop, office printer, and phone

For example:

  • you’ve just moved into a new office space and taken delivery of five employee laptops, which are stolen during an overnight break-in
  • you drop two tablets on a restaurant’s marble floor, damaging both beyond repair

Read more about business and office equipment insurance

Tools insurance

In case your tools are lost, stolen or damaged.

What’s typically covered by tools insurance?

  • loss, damage, or theft of your trade tools and specialist professional equipment

For example:

  • an employee you’ve just hired steals brand new equipment from your workshop
  • you’re commuting to a client meeting and leave your bag on the train, losing the kit inside

Read more about tools insurance

Stock insurance

In case something happens to the stock and materials you keep in supply.

What’s typically covered by stock insurance?

  • loss, damage, or theft of your work materials, stock, or items you’re planning to sell

For example:

  • a fire in your workshop damages your orders and a large stock order, which will need replacing
  • the marketing materials you’ve ordered for a trade show are stolen from your locked site unit

Read more about stock insurance

Business interruption insurance

In case your startup can’t trade, because of things like theft or damage.

What’s typically covered by business interruption insurance?

  • your business income, if you can’t trade because your stock, contents, or buildings are damaged or stolen

For example:

  • a storm damages your shared workspace, and your team are forced to work from home for a week, without the right IT equipment and set-up
  • all of the stock you’ve prepared for a the busy Christmas season is stolen, and you need to close until it’s replaced

Read more about business interruption insurance

Legal expenses insurance

In case you and your startup face legal costs.

What’s typically covered by legal expenses insurance?

  • legal costs attributed to your startup
  • property damage, nuisance, or trespass – specifically, the associated legal claims and compensation payouts
  • tax and compliance disputes and investigations you need help with
  • access to expert advice – including a tax advice phone line, confidential 24/7 legal phone line, and crisis PR support to help you protect your startup’s reputation

For example:

  • you need to pay legal fees when an employee is injured at work, and brings a claim against you
  • the courtyard garden you use as a reception space is vandalised and you need to raise an expensive legal claim

Read more about legal expenses insurance

Personal accident insurance

In case anyone you’ve covered is accidentally injured, at work or elsewhere.

What’s typically covered by personal accident insurance?

  • accidental injury or death at or outside of work, for anyone covered on the policy
  • lost income, medical costs, and hospitalisation benefit

For example:

  • you fall down some stairs in your office, breaking your ankle which will require two rounds of surgery and time off active work
  • your business partner suffers concussion while on holiday and needs time out for tests and recovery

Read more about personal accident insurance

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 insurance for a new business 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 £6.77 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 Jan 2021 - 31st August 2021). Most customers pay more than this but some pay less.

Example new business insurance quotes, real prices

£21.91 /month

£194.79 /month

A small online garden furniture business

  • 1-2 years' experience
  • Limited company
  • No employees
  • Based in Sheffield

Public liability

£1,000,000


Employers’ liability

Not included


Stock

£10,000

£48.52 /month

£431.28 /month

A small online IT outsourcing firm (specialising in data backup and storage)

  • 5+ years' experience
  • Limited company
  • 2 employees
  • Based in AB16 7LL

Public liability

£1,000,000


Employers’ liability

£10,000,000


Professional indemnity

£500,000


Contents & business equipment

£10,000

How we work out example quotes These examples are real quotes from our online system (created 19/04/2021). 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
Tools£60£500
Stock£100£500
Business and office equipment£50£750
Professional indemnityNo excess£2500

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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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.

Can I just cover my most expensive tools?

Make sure you cover the total cost of replacing all your tools or you’ll only get a proportion of your claim paid out if something happens to them. Learn about tool 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.

Will tools insurance cover all my equipment?

Depending on what you use to do your work, you may need other covers.

You may need more than tools insurance – for example, business equipment insurance if you have a work laptop, plant insurance if you use machinery.

Does business 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 self employed insurance or limited company 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 09.00am - 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 600,000 customers across 1,500 trades now trusting us to provide their business insurance.

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Startup 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 business insurance for startups. You can also check out our business insurance FAQs.

  • This depends on your startup, and which insurer is providing your cover. Prices start from £6.77 a month for insurance for new business options – we work this out by taking 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.

  • 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 043 8527 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 instalments.

  • 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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