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Self-employed business insurance

Get the right cover for your self-employed business

More and more people are choosing to go down the self-employed route. If you’re one of them, make sure that your business insurance meets your individual requirements.

By Emily Sullivan

Published: 09 July 2021

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Our partner Simply Business will help you compare prices from the main insurance providers and allow you to choose the right products for your business. To get started, please click the 'get a quote now' button 

What is self-employed insurance?  

Self-employed insurance protects professionals who work for themselves as contractors, freelancers or sole traders. It means that both you and your business will be covered for any legal costs, loss of business equipment, accidents and more – should you ever need financial support when running your own business. 

Working for yourself can give you independence and flexibility but if something goes wrong, you might be held responsible. Self-employed insurance can protect you financially and give you peace of mind. 

Do I need public liability insurance if I am self-employed? 

It’s not a legal requirement but depending on the type of work you do, there may be certain risks regardless of the size of your business and whether you work alone. Public liability insurance  covers you if property is damaged, or someone is hurt or killed as a result of your business activities.  

For example, what if you are a scaffolder and your equipment accidently injured a member of the public or damaged property? Or if you’re a PT and your client claims you gave them poor advice which caused an injury? You may well be liable for the expenses they faced in both these circumstances.  

If you’re self-employed, a freelancer or a sole trader, the legal proceedings that could occur may well take up a lot of your time. And whether you’re found to be at fault or not, the legal costs could damage your business, or completely destroy it.  

What type of insurance do I need? 

There are a few different types of business insurance available to you. These include the following: 

  • Public liability insurance: This will cover the costs of any third-party compensation claims made against your business, for example any repair costs if you cause damage to a property during building work 
  • Professional indemnity insurance: This will cover some or all of the cost of a claim made against your company from a third party in the event that a client is dissatisfied with your work 
  • Employers' liability insurance: This covers you for any injury compensation claims made by employees in the event of an accident at the workplace, or for any illness caused by their work 

The amount that your insurance provider is willing to pay out in compensation will vary depending on your individual business needs and the company information you provide. 

How much does self-employed insurance cost? 

The cost of insurance for the self-employed depends on many factors, including: 

  • Your occupation: Manual workers such as electricians and builders generally pay more than clerical workers like graphic designers, as their work is considered more risky 
  • Location: Where you’re based in the UK will have an effect on your premium as legal expenses and fees vary across the country 
  • The size & turnover of your business: Your turnover is one of the main factors insurance providers look at   
  • Your claims history: You may have to pay more if you’ve made public liability claims in the past 

How to choose the right business insurance policy 

When it comes to choosing the right business insurance for your own company, there’s a lot to consider. Think about things like: 

  • Does the policy cover any employees you hire – including labour-only subcontractors? 
  • Do you need professional indemnity insurance, public liability insurance, product liability insurance or all three 
  • Are you likely to need cover for legal expenses? 
  • Does the policy cover you for any work carried out for clients outside the UK? 
  • If you’re a chartered surveyor, architect, engineer or an accountant, you might want to check whether the policy covers you for specific regulations and lawful acts specific to your industry 
  • Is your insurer willing to cover liability and indemnity pay outs? 
  • How large are the excess fees? 
  • How much are the monthly payments? 

Compare self-employed business insurance  

Our business insurance comparison tool has been developed in partnership with Simply Business to help you compare policy quotes.  

You will need the following information to hand:  

  • Your trade or industry  
  • What type of business or professional you are (sole trader/small business owner etc)  
  • How long you’ve been self-employed  
  • Your expected turnover for the year ahead  

You can order the policies by the amount of professional indemnity cover you’ll need, and then view what your annual and monthly payments will be. The results will also show any excess fees you might have to pay for claims, and you should click through to more details for each provider to read the policy summary, policy wording and terms of business documents. 

Once you’ve found the right self-employed insurance policy for you, you’ll be able to purchase your policy directly through Simply Business.


Ready to save on your business insurance? Or need to know more before you get a quote? We’re here to help.

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