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Small business insurance

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1Accurate as of May 2024

What is small business insurance?

Small business insurance protects you and your business against unexpected costs, like lawsuits, fires, or theft. If you run a small business or a start-up, you might not have the same resources as bigger companies – so if something goes wrong and you face unexpected costs, it could hit you much harder. That’s why insurance is so important – it makes sure that whatever happens in the future, you’ve got an insurer who has your back.

Plenty of insurers offer deals specially tailored to people who run small businesses and start-ups. Some forms of business insurance are legally required, and others are purely optional – but you never know what might happen in the future, so it’s a good idea to make sure you have the right level of cover.


Do I need business insurance for my small business or start-up?

There are some types of insurance that every business needs to have. If your small business  or start-up has any employees who aren’t immediate family members, then you’re legally required to have employers’ liability insurance in place – if you don’t, you could be fined thousands of pounds for every day you’re not insured. Any vehicles you use for your business need to be fully insured by law as well.But there are plenty of other kinds of insurance you might want to take out as well. You want your small business to grow and succeed – and the right insurance can help. There are plenty of problems small businesses might face that can be hard to predict – but with insurance, one unfortunate accident doesn’t have to sink your business.

What cover can I get for my small business?

There are plenty of different types of insurance available for small businesses, and odds are that you’ll need at least a few of these to keep your business safe. Here’s some of what’s on offer:

  • Employers’ liability

    If you have any employees, you must have employers’ liability insurance – it’s the law. This covers you for any costs you might face if an employee is injured or becomes ill as a result of the work they do for you

  • Public liability

    Public liability is useful if your business involves interacting with members of the public. It keeps you covered in case any third party is injured because of your work, or if you damage someone’s property

  • Professional indemnity insurance

    You’re likely to need professional indemnity insurance if your business involves giving advice or professional services to clients. It protects you against claims if a client isn’t happy with your work

  • Product liability

    If your business sells products—whether they’re manufactured by you or someone else—it’s important to take out product liability cover. This protects you if the products you sell harm one of your customers

  • Business Building

    If you have a business premises, or even if you work from home, this keeps you protected against damage to your building – whether that’s from fire, floods, burst water pipes, or deliberate vandalism

  • Business contents

    It’s not just the structure of your business premises that needs protecting – with contents insurance, you will also be insured against damage to your office furniture, IT systems, tools, or machinery

  • Stock cover

    Plenty of businesses leave stock items on their premises overnight – and no matter how secure it is, there’s still the risk of theft or damage. With stock cover, you’ll be reimbursed for any goods you lose

  • Business motor

    Any vehicles you use for work must be fully insured – but ordinary car insurance doesn’t always include business use. You’ll need business motor insurance to keep your car or van covered and legal to drive. 

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

Even if you work from home, it’s still worth thinking about business insurance. If you run your business from a home office, certain office equipment—like your work phone, printer, or office furniture—might not be included in a standard home insurance policy. If you have a home workshop, it’s important that any tools and equipment are covered too. That way you’ll be compensated if they’re damaged or stolen.

You can also benefit from many of the standard business insurance policies, such as professional indemnity, stock, and motor cover. You’ll also still be legally required to have employers’ liability cover if you employ others.


How much does small business insurance cost?

The cost of small business insurance is different for every business – it all depends on what you do and how risky it is. Here are some of the factors that determine the price of cover:

  • The nature of your business

    Some lines of work are riskier than others. If you work with heavy machinery or sensitive information, for instance, you’ll probably have to pay more 

  • How big your business is

    Small businesses come in plenty of different sizes – but the more employees you have, the more you’re likely to be charged for cover 

  • Where your business is based

    If your business is based in a riskier area – one that’s prone to flooding, or has a high crime rate – your premiums could go up

Sam Meadows

Our expert says


While insurance might not be top of your agenda when you’re running a start-up or small business, do you have sufficient cover in place if something goes wrong? Understanding how small business insurance works and why you need it is a must, particularly if you have staff. But we understand that it’s also important to keep costs down, so make sure you compare before you buy.

- Sam Meadows, Insurance Expert

Compare small business insurance

Comparing small business insurance quotes with MoneySuperMarket and our preferred partner Simply Business 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 what it does, and we'll find deals tailored to your requirements

  • Review Policy

    Ensure it meets your business needs and read 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