Business Insurance

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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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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

What is business insurance?

Business insurance covers your business from unexpected losses e.g. if your equipment is stolen or you make a mistake and your clients decide to sue. As a business owner, self-employed consultant or a freelancer you need to factor certain risks in your day-to-day work. Depending on your profession you may need public liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, contents insurance or other types of cover. We offer business insurance for hundreds of different trades. Use our quote tool to check how we can help and cover your company.

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?

The type of business insurance you need depends on many factors e.g. the activities your company undertakes, any previous claims, the size of your company and if you aren't working alone you may need employers liability 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

    If you hold sensitive customer data, process payments online or just want peace of mind, Cyber cover should be considered. Because cyber criminals can be clever. Catching you off-guard and tricking you in to doing something you shouldn't, like opening an attachment in a fake email, or finding a way through your cyber-security. If this happens and they get their hands on your data or access to your bank account, the impact on your business could be devastating.

    But, with our Cyber cover, you can call the experts, 24/7. They'll be on it, helping you to stay in business and recover in three ways:

    Recover financially

    • Covering loss of business income if your systems are attacked
    • Covering recovery costs, like fixing damage to your computer systems or data restoration
    • Covering fines (where insurable by law) and compensation costs.

    Recover your reputation

    • You get access to public relations and crisis management experts to minimise damage to your brand and business.

    Recover your systems and help prevent future incidents

    • Technical experts will help fix your IT issues and provide advice on how to prevent future cyber incidents.

    Read more on Cyber cover here.

    Available on new and renewal policies only. For Retail and Office & Professional customers only.

  • Legal expenses

  • Tools and business equipment

    We know how important tools and equipment are for tradespeople. So, when it comes to tools insurance, we've nailed it.

    And now, you'll get a fast-upfront payment of up to £1,500 (after a few checks) to help you replace your essential tools or business equipment if they're stolen or damaged, with Tools Essentials.

    Tools and Business Equipment cover

    With this you're covered if they're damaged or stolen from:

    • your vehicle during the day if the vehicle is securely locked
    • a locked building, like your garage or home, anytime of day or night.

    Policy limits and excesses apply.

    With the Overnight Tools optional add-on (for an extra premium)

    You're covered for theft of tools when they're locked in your vehicle overnight that's parked on your drive, the street or if you're working away.

    Available on new policies only. Tools removed when the vehicle is not being used for business purposes for more than five consecutive days. Cover excludes electrical items such as laptops, cameras, mobile phones, removable satellite navigation systems, and handheld survey equipment. Cover limits and variable claim excesses apply.

    And you get Tools Essentials with both

    To help you replace your essential tools or equipment quickly, if they're stolen or damaged, so you can get back to work. You contact us as soon as you can between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holiday) and after a few checks, we transfer up to £1,500 to you, within 24 hours.

    Claims and policy limits apply. Crime reference or proof of damage and proof of ownership needed.

    What we cover

    We cover power tools such as drills, hammers, screwdrivers, chisels, spanners, saws, pliers, trowels and blow torches. And equipment like ladders, steps, cleaning supplies, lawnmowers, paint trays, brushes, workbenches and spirit levels.

    Read more about Tools and Business Equipment, Overnight Tools and Tools Essentials.
  • 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 25 October 2020 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 about business insurance

Last Updated: 18 November 2020