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Employers’ liability insurance

Compare employers’ liability insurance

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Compare employers’ liability insurance from UK insurers such as:

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What is employers’ liability insurance?

Employers’ liability insurance is there to protect you and your business – it covers you for compensation costs if an employee becomes ill or injured because of the work they do for you. It’s legally required for almost all business in the UK.

No matter how careful you are, workplace injuries can still happen. It’s not just accidents – your employees could be entitled to sue you if they develop a repetitive strain injury or chronic illness from their work. Compensation payments can be huge, and even if you win the case you’ll still have to pay expensive legal fees. But with employers’ liability, this is all taken care of by your insurer – helping protect you from extra costs.

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What does employers’ liability cover?

Employers' liability insurance covers the costs that arise from claims made by your employees if they've been injured or fallen ill as a result of working for you. In practice, this means the following:

  • 1

    Legal costs

    Covers the costs of settling or defending claims made by employees

  • 2

    Medical bills

    Covers the costs of medical treatment for sick or injured employees

  • 3

    Compensation

    If you end up losing a claim in court, compensation will also be covered

  • 4

    Lost income

    These policies will also cover income employees lose while they’re laid up

  • 5

    Casual workers

    Most casual workers are covered – but check the exact terms of your policy

  • 6

    £10m cover

    A good employers’ liability policy should cover claims up to £10m

How does employers’ liability insurance work?

Employers’ liability insurance will keep you covered for claims made by your employees for any sickness or injuries they suffer while at work. We all try to make our workplaces as safe as possible, but it’s impossible to predict when something might go wrong. If it does, your insurance will make sure you don’t have to cough up for large compensation payments yourself..

When you take out employers’ liability insurance, simply let your insurer know how many people you employ and what kind of work they do, and you’ll get an insurance package that should keep all your bases covered. That way whatever happens, your business won’t be disrupted.

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Who is exempt from employers’ liability insurance?

Employers’ liability insurance is legally required for almost every business, but there are a few exceptions:

  • Certain limited companies

    A limited company with one employee who also owns more than 50% of the shares is exempt

  • Sole traders

    If you work on your own and do not employ anyone else for any work, you do not need this cover

  • Family members

    Companies where all employees are direct family members are free from employers’ liability cover

  • Public bodies

    Many public organisations, health services and government bodies are insured in a different way

Who is exempt from employers’ liability insurance?

Employers’ liability insurance is legally required for almost every business, but there are a few exceptions:

  • 1

    Certain limited companies

    A limited company with one employee who also owns more than 50% of the shares is exempt

  • 2

    Sole traders

    If you work on your own and do not employ anyone else for any work, you do not need this cover

  • 3

    Family members

    Companies where all employees are direct family members are free from employers’ liability cover

  • 4

    Public bodies

    Many public organisations, health services and government bodies are insured in a different way

Do I need employers’ liability insurance?

If your business has employees, then yes – you need employers’ liability insurance. UK law says that all businesses must have employers’ liability in place. If you’re not properly insured, you could face some serious fines - £2,500 for every day you’re not fully covered.

The law doesn’t just cover formal employees. If you have volunteers working for your business, you’ll need employers’ liability insurance for them too. You might also need insurance for subcontractors if they’re working under your supervision. The only exception is direct family members – everyone else must be fully covered.

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How to compare employers’ liability insurance quotes

Comparing employers liability quotes with MoneySuperMarket and our preferred partner SimplyBusiness is the easiest way to find an affordable deal on cover. Here's how it works:

  • Tell us about your business

    Let us know about your business and who you employ, and we'll find deals tailored to your requirements

  • Check your requirements

    Check the policy offer meets the demands and needs of your business and read the policy documents

  • Choose the one you like

    Once you've found the right deal for you, just click through to the provider to finalise your purchase

Aside from public liability insurance, you can also find other types of cover for your business:

  • Product liability: insurance covers you for any costs resulting from a person becoming ill or injured or having their property damaged by a product your business sells – often even if you didn’t manufacture it

  • Professional indemnity: A professional indemnity policy is useful protection if you give advice to clients as part of your business. It covers the cost of claims made against you if the client suffers any losses as a result of the advice or work you did

  • Business interruption: With business interruption insurance you’ll be covered for at least part of any lost income as a result of an insured event, such as a fire or flood 

  • Business property: Also known as business buildings insurance, this is useful if you conduct your business from one or more premises. You’ll be covered for damage done to the building as a result of an insured event

  • Business motor: If your business uses vehicles then you’ll be legally required to take out business motor insurance to at least a third party only level of cover. This protects you against the cost of damage you cause to another person, their vehicle or their property as a result of your driving

  • Cyber: Cyber insurance is a crucial part of modern day business, as it can cover a wide variety of costs associated with falling victim to a cyber attack

Depending on the size and nature of your business you could benefit from some or all of the above – just tell us what you need and we’ll find you the best business insurance quotes available. 

Yes, according to the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act of 1969, having this insurance in place is legally mandatory. There are only a few exceptions: you might not need employers’ liability if you only have one employee and they’re a partner in your business, or if all your employees are in your immediate family.

If you have employees working for you, and you don’t meet any of the exceptions, then yes – you need insurance. Remember that the definition of an employee is pretty broad – it includes part-time staff, volunteers, and students on work experience – even if they’re not being paid. Some subcontractors might also count as employees if they’re working with equipment you’ve provided and you’re in charge of health and safety on the site.

The amount of cover you need will depend on how many people you employ and the kind of work they do – the greater the risk, the more cover you’ll require. The law says that every employer should have employers’ liability insurance up to £5 million, but a good policy should protect you for at least £10 million. If you have a large workforce and they carry out physically dangerous tasks, it might be appropriate to have even more.

Your insurance needs to keep your staff covered wherever they’re working – including at home. Most policies automatically include home-working cover, but it’s important to check the wording on your policy. 

The cost of premiums can vary considerably, depending on the type of business you run and how many employees you have. Our comparison tool will show you a range of prices and options from top UK insurers – letting you decide the level of cover that's right for you.

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