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Employers' liability insurance

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Employers insurance

As an employer, you have responsibilities to protect your employees, which includes a legal requirement to have employers’ liability insurance.

Frequently asked questions

Why is employers’ liability cover important?

If you employ people who are not direct family members, even if it's just one person, you're legally required to have employers' liability insurance. It covers you against an employee making a claim for injury or illness as a result of working for you.

Here's a more detailed look at employers' liability insurance and why you need it.

What is employers’ liability insurance?

Employers' liability insurance is designed to protect employers against claims should an employee injure themselves or become ill as a result of working for them.

It also applies to former employees who have become ill as a result of something they did in the workplace, as long as they can prove it was a direct result of their employer's negligence.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) states "It is an employer's duty to protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees and other people who might be affected by their business. Employers must do whatever is reasonably practicable to achieve this."

How often do work-related injuries happen?

Work-related injuries are still alarmingly high. There are around 64,000 non-fatal injuries to workers, and 80,000 workers suffering from work-related illnesses each year in the construction industry alone. There are 1,860 workplace injuries per 100,000 workers across all industries. So, it's vital that you, as an employer, are covered whatever your business. 
Once you take out employers' liability cover, you need to keep up-to-date with current Health and Safety at Work regulations. If you don't it might invalidate your cover.

Do all businesses need employers’ liability insurance?

No, but you're likely to need it if you:

  • deduct income tax and National Insurance from employees' salaries
  • control where, when and how they work
  • supply their work materials and equipment
  • have a right to any profit your workers make
  • require them to carry out the service you employ them for, and they cannot employ a substitute if they are unable to work
  • they do the same work under the same conditions as other people you employ

The exceptions are:

  • if you don't employ anyone else
  • if all your employees are direct family members
  • if all your employees are based abroad and aren't ordinarily resident in Great Britain
  • most public organisations and government departments and health service bodies

And in some cases, you will not need employers' liability insurance for:

  • volunteers
  • students who work for you unpaid
  • people who are not employed, but are taking part in a youth or adult training programme
  • school students on a work experience programme

For a more detailed guide check out the HSE website. If you’re not sure about anything, seek advice as there can be serious implications if you get it wrong. 

How much cover do I need?

Your policy must cover you for at least £5 million as a legal requirement. However, your policy will typically cover you £10 million as the industry standard.

The higher risk business you’re in, the more expensive your policy will be, but it's essential that you're adequately covered.

What happens if I don’t have employers’ liability insurance?

Failing to take out adequate employers' liability insurance is against the law and can have serious implications.

You can be fined £2,500 for every day that you're not insured. You can also be fined £1,000 if you don't display your ELCI (Employers' Liability Compulsory Insurance) certificate or don't make it available to inspectors when they ask.

But it could cost you even more. In 2016 a takeaway shop was fined £4,360 in fines and legal costs for failing to produce an ELCI certificate.

How can I compare employers’ liability insurance?

Just tell us a bit about you and your business and we’ll help you compare employers’ liability insurance quotes. Once you've found the one that best suits your company, you can apply directly from our website. If you prefer, you can speak to an expert.

What other types of business insurance might I need?

Public liability insurance

Get cover against claims if someone is injured or property damaged as a result or your work.

Employers’ liability insurance

You are legally required to have this insurance even if you employ just one person.

Business interruption insurance

Insurance to help compensate you for loss of profits if your business is unable to operate for a period for some unexpected reason.

Business life insurance

Insurance designed to help your business carry on if something happens to you or the key people in your business.

Van insurance

A guide to LGV insurance for business.

Commercial property insurance

Protect your business premises.

Business contents insurance

Protect your business equipment.
Home office insurance

The insurance you need when your run your business from your home.

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