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Compare small business insurance

Compare small business insurance

You can’t predict the future, but you can make sure you have protection in place for your business by getting the right small business insurance. It means that you’re covered in the event of unforeseen costs and claims, just when you need help the most.  

Emily Kindness
From the Business team
minute read
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Posted 15 APRIL 2019

Why do I need small business insurance?

Small business insurance is there to help you in the event of unforeseen claims for losses or damages. Depending on the type of cover you have in place, it can help you get back up and running, and could cover any loss of profits if you have to close for a period.

Some types of cover are a legal requirement, like employers’ liability insurance if you employ any staff and motor insurance if you use vehicles for work. But what other cover you need will depend on your business. It could be worth protecting yourself against:

  • Claims from customers
  • Business interruptions
  • Damaged property or stock

What insurance should a small business have?

The types of insurance a small business might need include:

  • Public liability insurance
  • Employers’ liability insurance
  • Professional indemnity insurance
  • Equipment insurance, which typically covers tools, machinery and computers
  • Stock insurance
  • Buildings and contents insurance

Do I need to get specific insurance for my business?

Whether you run a guest house, work from a home office, or own a restaurant, your business insurance needs will be different.

It’s important to assess the risks that face your particular business and choose appropriate insurance. For example, if you’re an accountant or a solicitor, professional indemnity insurance can cover you if clients lose money because of advice you’ve given them. Or if you rely on computer systems, a cyber policy could help cover you for loss, interruption and damages to clients.

Here are some of the examples of the businesses we quote for, each with their own policy options:

Do I need to get employers’ liability insurance?

If your businesses has one or more employees you are legally required to have employers’ liability insurance to cover you if a member of staff suffers an injury or illness as a result of something that’s happened at work.

You’ll most likely need employers’ liability insurance if you;

  • deduct national insurance and income tax from wages,
  • decide when and where people work,
  • provide tools and materials,
  • have people working exclusively for you that cannot be easily replaced.

Part-time, permanent, casual and temporary workers should all be covered by your policy and it’s worth checking if any unpaid help is covered too.

If you only employ close family, you may be exempt. But if you’re a limited company you’ll still need the cover regardless.

Your policy must cover you for at least £5 million, as legal costs and compensation can easily spiral. Most policies will cover you for £10 million.

You could be fined £2,500 for every day you don’t have employers’ liability insurance when you need it. If you can’t show your insurance certificate when asked, you could be fined a further £1,000.

How much will small business insurance cost me?

The cost of your insurance will depend on things like the size of your business, how many people you employ and how likely your business is to suffer from fire, flood or theft.

It’s important to really consider what your business is at risk from and get a policy that will cover you adequately. So, think about need first, cost second.

Do I still need business insurance if I work from home?

It depends on the type of business you run. If you have equipment or store stock at home, you could find your regular home insurance policy won’t cover you for loss or damage and you might even find that working from home cancels out your home insurance policy should you need to claim.

If you just work a few days from home each week, then your home insurance policy should cover you. But if you invite customers into your home, then it’s worth looking at public liability insurance because this will help cover you if a client suffers an injury or damage to their property and makes a claim.

What is professional indemnity insurance and do I need it? 

It’s not an insurance that every company will need. It applies to businesses that offer knowledge, skills or advice as part of their work. It might be needed by a self-employed individual like a consultant, an accountant, or a company. Certain industries require professionals to have this insurance under regulation, and sometimes client contracts will specify a certain level of professional indemnity insurance is necessary.

Get a full overview of professional indemnity insurance.

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