What kind of office insurance do I need?
There are three main areas of insurance that you might be interested in if your business operates from an office, and they protect four main things:
- Your premises and equipment – these will be covered by buildings and contents insurance.
- People – the general public and your employees (if your team is larger than just you). If your business has one employee or more, you'll need employers’ liability insurance as it’s a legal requirement. If you have customers on your premises you may want public liability insurance.
- Your reputation. If you provide advice or professional services to clients, such as accountants, architects and lawyers, professional indemnity insurance is there to protect you if a client sues and makes a claim against you for a mistake in your work. It covers the legal costs and expenses needed to defend your business.
- Your finances. Some people like to protect against events that might stop their business from trading for a while with business interruption insurance.
Frequently asked questions
How do I find the right office insurance for my business?
No two offices are the same and what type of insurance you require will depend on:
- what your business does
- your turnover
- number of staff
- whether you have customers on the premises
- what kind of equipment and furniture you use in your office
If you want to compare office insurance with Compare the Market, it’s easy. One of our business insurance specialists can take you through what options are right for you and your business.
They’ll ask you a few details about yourself, your office and the kind of cover you’re looking for, explain the finer details of the policies, then give you some quotes from insurance providers to compare.
To talk to an expert, just let us know when it would be convenient to call you – simply give us a few contact details on our contact me form.
What office buildings and contents insurance will I need?
If you own your office premises, you'll need to protect your space with buildings insurance. If the building is damaged by bad weather or a fire, you can claim for repairs or even a total re-build. It will also cover permanent fixtures such as kitchen units, toilets and built-in cupboards and display cases. If you rent your office, you should check your landlord has buildings insurance in place.
Contents insurance essentially covers anything you would take with you if you moved premises, such as desks, chairs, computers and so on. Contents insurance can provide protection against theft or damage for these.
Make sure you calculate the value of your contents accurately, so you have enough cover in place. Don't forget any specialist equipment your business uses or artwork that you’ve chosen to brighten up your office.
It’s also worth checking whether your policy includes:
- accidental damage – including damage to glass or signage
- cover for the personal property of employees or visitors to your premises
- portable equipment – e.g. mobile phones and laptops that are taken away from the office
If you keep stock on the premises you might need to cover this with a separate policy.
Do I need public liability insurance for my office?
If you have customers or guests visiting your premises, you need public liability insurance.
As the owner, you’re responsible for making your office as risk-free as possible, but unfortunately accidents do happen. Public liability cover means that if someone is injured at your office or their property is damaged, you can claim on your insurance to cover any compensation due to them or legal costs if they take you to court.
Do I need employers' liability insurance for my office?
If you have one employee or more, or even volunteers or freelance staff at your office, it’s a legal requirement to have employers’ liability insurance. This protects you if someone on your team has an accident or their property is damaged at work and they are due compensation.
The minimum level of cover in the UK is £5 million.
Do I need professional indemnity insurance for my office?
This may depend on what kind of business you run. Professional indemnity insurance covers you if one of your clients loses money because you have been negligent in your advice, designs or professional services to them. If you handle client data, intellectual property, offer advice you should consider the value of getting this kind of cover.
Some professional bodies insist that their members have this kind of insurance, as do some regulators for the businesses they regulate.
See more on professional indemnity insurance.
Other types of cover
There are a few further options you might want to think about, including:
- Computer breakdown and cyber insurance
You should work out how much money you would need to replace computer equipment at your office, as well as whether you would want cover for any increased costs of working if you had a technology breakdown, for example if you had to revert to a manual system. You can also insure the cost of recovering all your data and files if you lost everything.
Cyber insurance can help protect your business against e-risks, which could bring your business to a standstill and harm your reputation.
- Insurance for cash
If your business deals in cash, you can select cover for your money. You can choose whether this covers money at the business or in transit during office hours, and/or cash left locked up at the office overnight.
- Business interruption insurance
Business interruption insurance provides funds to keep you going if your company can’t trade for some reason. You will need to choose how much cover you want and how long a period of interruption you would want to cover.
- Legal cover
This option means you can claim for the cost of legal action against another party. It can help with situations like employment tribunals, tax investigations, legal disputes with customers or suppliers, and debt recovery. Sometimes this can be included in your business policy, and sometimes it’s not, so check the details if this is something you’re interested in.
Get expert help to get the right cover for your office
With this variety of options, you can benefit from expert advice to help ensure that you have the right mix and level of cover that your business needs. Talk to an expert who will be able to find a deal that suits you.