Business Insurance

We won't be beaten on price - we'll beat your new quote or renewal premium from any other insurer.

New customers only. Cover on an equivalent basis to ours. Qualifying criteria apply. Excludes Landlord Insurance where Landlord Emergency Cover is added. Terms & Conditions.

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Get free 24/7 legal advice and access to an online legal documents service with Legal Essentials

Included as standard when you buy or renew any of our business insurance policies. Document services and legal advice helpline are provided by DAS Legal Expenses Insurance limited

Why choose Direct Line for your business insurance?

Plus, additional covers for manual trades:

  • No admin fees if you need to make changes to your policy.
  • Get the support of a dedicated claims handler should the worst happen.
  • 0% APR on your monthly direct debit payments in the first year.

    New customers only, over 18s, subject to eligibility.

  • Download your policy documents instantly, so you can show proof of your cover to clients.
  • Plus, get 10% off business insurance if you're already a Direct Line customer.

    Discount applies to your new business insurance policy. Subject to minimum premiums.

Get a quote
or call us on 0345 301 5066

Do I need business insurance?

It doesn't matter if you work from home, in a busy office, sell products online or offer your services face-to-face, there are risks associated with every type of business. Mistakes can happen, equipment might get damaged and clients can accuse you of negligence.

Small businesses often aren't prepared for large, unexpected expenses due to a claim, so it's important to have the right insurance in place. If you're self-employed and something goes wrong, you'll be the one responsible for footing the bill.

At Direct Line, we can cover the majority of risks associated with your business. So, instead of worrying about what might go wrong, you can concentrate on building your empire.

We offer insurance for a wide range of businesses, including:

Your cover options

Add any of the following cover options to your Small Business policy and create commercial insurance that fits your business needs. These covers are subject to policy conditions and limits.

  • Public and product liability

    Public liability insurance covers you if you cause injury to a member of the public or accidentally damage someone’s property. An example of this could include a customer slipping on a wet floor in your shop or office and hurting themselves, or you causing damage while carrying out building works on a client's house.

    This insurance also covers you if a customer or member of the public becomes ill or suffers an injury as a result of a product you have supplied. For example, if the heel snaps off a shoe someone has bought from you, causing them to fall over, or if a cupcake you sell at an event makes someone sick.

    If the people in question pursued legal action against you, public and product liability insurance would cover the costs you are liable to pay. We can offer cover from £1 million to £10 million.

  • Professional indemnity

    Professional indemnity is useful if your business offers a service or requires you to give advice to clients. If you make a professional error or give advice that is deemed negligent, you could be taken to court.

    Professional indemnity insurance covers any legal and compensation costs you are required to pay. Clients will often ask to see proof of professional indemnity insurance before agreeing to work with a new contractor.

  • Employers' liability

    Employers' liability insurance is a legal requirement if you have employees. There are a couple of exceptions to this rule, which you can read more about here.

    We cover you for £10 million, as standard. This covers the legal and compensation costs you are required to pay if an employee gets injured or becomes ill because of the work they do for you.

  • Buildings cover

    If there is an insured event such as flood or fire at your work premises, buildings insurance will cover the costs of repairing the damage, helping you get back up and running.

    Equipment breakdown cover (for items forming part of the building) is included as standard. This would cover the costs of replacing or repairing things like your broken boiler and fire/burglar alarms, as long as the damage is not due to wear and tear.

  • Contents and stock

    Contents and stock cover is essential for businesses that supply goods or rely on specific equipment to run their business.

    A seamstress would not be able to work without a sewing machine, a web designer would not be able to code without a computer and you may not be able to run your business without your trusty tablet.

    Meanwhile, there will be other more general items that you might rely on for your business, like your office furniture or your shop tills. Insure your business contents so that if they're damaged by an insured event, such as fire or theft, your business keeps going.

    If you sell goods, you'll want to insure your stock, whether that's raw materials or the finished article. If your goods are damaged or stolen, what have you got to sell?

    Our different cover options allow you to insure your business equipment and stock at your premises, when you're on the move, or both. Whether you work at home, at fairs, in shared workspaces or visit a lot of clients, we've got you covered. And when you insure stock at your premises or home, you'll also get an extra 25% of stock covered for two months of your choice as standard, ideal for your busiest periods.

  • Business interruption

    Depending on the type of business you run, you might work from home, in an office, at your shop, a client’s premises or a shared working space. If your working premises became unusable due to an insured event like a fire or flood, business interruption will cover the costs of relocating until it’s fixed. It can also cover you for any lost turnover during this time if you’ve insured your premises or business property with us.

    If your main supplier or customer suffers damage to their premises and can’t trade, we’ll cover you for the loss of business you’ll suffer. Equally, if a market or fair that you regularly attend suffers a fire, we’ll cover the lost turnover for the time you can’t trade there. Business interruption will also cover you if key equipment that you use to run your business, like a laptop, is damaged or stolen, meaning you can’t trade.

    Our business interruption cover can insure you if you or one of your key employees becomes seriously disabled and is unable to continue work. We will cover the incurred costs, up to £25,000, to minimise any interruption to the business.

  • Theft of takings

    Theft of Takings covers cash or cheques stolen from you in transit, from a safe or on you while you're working at other premises, such as your clients' homes. Maximum limits apply.

  • Cyber cover

    Digital technology has helped many business owners run their businesses more efficiently. However, it also opens you up to a host of cyber security threats. Cyber cover is particularly important for businesses that trade online or handle customer data.

    If you are the victim of online cyber-crime, or a malicious hacking attempt, cyber cover will pay for the resulting costs to your business. It will cover compensation and defence costs resulting from a data breach or unintentional transmission of a virus. We also cover loss of income in the aftermath of a cyber-attack and the cost of investigating a ransom demand, but we will not pay the ransom demand itself.

    In addition, we provide public relations and crisis management support, identity theft assistance and specialist advice to prevent viruses or hacking attacks after an incident.

  • Legal expenses

  • Tools and business equipment

    For tradespeople, having the right tools is crucial to running a successful business. If you're about to head to a job and you realise your tools have been stolen, you risk having to cancel the job and disappointing your clients or purchasing a new set of tools that you haven't budgeted for.

    We can cover the cost of replacing tools stolen from you or an employee, so you can concentrate on running your business and keeping your clients happy. This includes power tools such as drills, hammers, screwdrivers, chisels, spanners, saws, pliers, trowels and blow torches.

    You can also insure other equipment used by your business, such as ladders, steps, cleaning supplies, lawnmowers, paint trays, brushes, workbenches and spirit levels. We can cover tools stolen during the day, as long as the tools are secured in a locked building or in a vehicle where all points of access are locked.

    Cover limits:

    Tools owned by the business

    • Up to 5 workers – £40,000
    • Up to 10 workers – £50,000
    • Up to 15 workers – £75,000

    Tools owned by your employees - up to £10,000 per person

    Excess per claim - £100

    Read more about tools and business equipment cover

  • Own plant

    Own plant covers larger items of machinery owned by the business, such as cement mixers, diggers, mini-diggers, dumpers, excavators, generators, trailers and temporary site huts and caravans. This does not include regular items in your toolkit, like a hammer.

    We can cover this machinery for theft and damage due to an insured event e.g. fire. We do not cover machinery that has been damaged due to wear and tear.

    Cover limits:

    • Up to 5 workers – £75,000
    • Up to 10 workers – £100,000
    • Up to 15 workers – £100,000

    There is a single article limit of £50,000.

    Excess per claim - £250

  • Hired in plant

    Hired in plant refers to machinery that you have hired from a third party, either for a short period of time or on permanent hire. The types of machinery we cover include: cement mixers, diggers, mini-diggers, dumpers, excavators, generators, trailers and temporary site huts and caravans.

    If something happens to the machinery while it is on hire and being used by your business, and the incident is covered by an insured event, e.g. a fire or theft, we can cover the cost of replacing it.

    Cover limits:

    • Up to 5 workers – £75,000
    • Up to 10 workers – £100,000
    • Up to 15 workers – £100,000

    There is a single article limit of £50,000.

    Excess per claim - £250

  • Contract works

    This covers work that is in progress that is damaged by an insured event, such as a fire, flood, vandalism or theft. We can cover the costs required to repair or redo the work.

    For example, if you're a builder working on a house and a fire destroys part of the house five months into a six-month contract, we can help you to complete the contract by:

    • covering the costs required to purchase the materials needed to finish the job
    • covering the costs required to rebuild the parts destroyed by fire
    • covering any labour costs to repair the damage

    Cover limits:

    Contract value (based on the maximum value for any one contract anywhere within the UK)

    • Up to 5 workers – £750,000
    • Up to 10 workers – £1,000,000
    • Up to 15 workers – £1,000,000

    Turnover limit - £1,500,000

    Excess per claim - £500

We also offer terrorism cover. If you would like more information about this cover type, or would like to take out this cover, please call us on 0345 301 5066.

Policy documents

If you have an existing quote or policy with us, you can view and download your policy documents from the My Account page.

We tailor all our policies, so your documents only show what you’ve chosen to cover.

Below is a summary of a generic policy, from 8 September 2019 onwards, which shows the main covers and exclusions in our policies.

How can we help?

Get a business insurance quote by searching for your profession above, talk to us via live chat or call us on 0345 301 5066.

Visit our contact us page to view our opening hours.

Frequently asked questions

  • Q

    What business insurance do I need?

    Different businesses require different types of insurance, that's why we let you pick and choose the covers that go into your policy. So, whether you're a retailer or a dog groomer, an IT consultant or a photographer, you can choose the cover that's just right for your business.

    You can include any of the following cover types in your small business insurance policy:

  • Q

    How much does it cost to insure a small business?

    Different businesses will need different levels of cover, so the cost of insuring a business will differ. We let you design your own Small Business Insurance, so you're in control of what aspects of your business you insure and how much you pay.

    The cost of your business insurance quotes will be affected by: the size of your business, number of employees, type of trade and your history of insurance claims.

  • Q

    Is business insurance required by law?

    In most cases, business insurance is optional, but some clients and companies may require proof of insurance before agreeing to work with you.

    Event organisers, for example, may need to see proof of public liability insurance before letting you trade at their craft fair. A business professional may require you to show proof of professional indemnity insurance before hiring you as a consultant.

    If you hire employees, you are legally required to take out at least £5 million in employers' liability insurance. To understand your legal responsibilities and what the exceptions are, read more about employers' liability here.

  • Q

    What are the different types of micro business?

    A micro business is defined as an enterprise that employs nine people or fewer. As of 2017, micro businesses count for 96% of the UK's business landscape and, as you might expect, there are many different types of micro business.

  • Q

    What if my trade is not mentioned on the online quote tool?

    If you can't find your trade using our online tool then you can chat to us online or call us on 0345 301 5066 and we'll see if we can provide cover for your trade.

  • Q

    What do I do if I have multiple trades?

    Our online quote tool gives you the option to enter all your trades so that we have a clear idea of what type of cover you might need. It's important that we know everything that you do.

    If you don't include something you do as a trade, then we might not be able to cover any claims. You have a duty to make a fair presentation of your business at all times, so if you are in any doubt about what information or changes you need to disclose then chat to us online or call us on 0345 301 5066.

  • Q

    How long is a quote valid for?

    Your quote is valid for up to 30 days from the day you receive it.