Business insurance for startups

Price beat guarantee

We guarantee to beat your new insurance quote or renewal premium from any other insurer.

To redeem and for full Terms & Conditions, click here.

New customers only. Cover on an equivalent basis to ours. Qualifying criteria apply.

Stolen laptop? Damaged mobile? We'll replace your essential tech within 24hrs of claim approval, with Business Tech Essentials.

Cover & claim limits apply. Mon – Fri 8am – 6pm, except Bank holidays

  • We can cover you if you work at home, your office, your shop, a co-working space, markets, fairs or when consulting with a client.
  • No admin fees if you need to make changes to your policy.
  • 0% APR on your monthly Direct Debit payments in the first year.

    Over 18s, subject to eligibility.

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

    New customers only. Cover on an equivalent basis to ours. Qualifying criteria apply. Terms & Conditions.

Do I need business insurance for my startup?

When you're setting up a new business and juggling lots of different responsibilities, insurance isn't always the first thing on your mind, but starting a new venture without having proper cover in place is an extremely risky move. Even if your business is small, you will still face many of the same risks as established companies, but without the stable client base and profit margin to support you if things go wrong.

At Direct Line for Business, we specialise in providing flexible business insurance for small businesses. Our online tool will show you the different types of available cover to help you create a policy that suits your business needs. You can choose what aspects of your business you want to insure and leave out what you don’t, so you only pay for what you need and keep your outgoings lean.

If you're starting a company, insurance is often required by prospective clients, so it's important to have fast, effective cover in place. Our instant policy download service means that you can show your clients proof of your cover within minutes of signing up.

Giving you the flexibility you need

The nature of running a startup means you're going to need a lot of flexibility from your policy — maybe you're working from your home at the moment but have plans to move into a dedicated office space when you become more established. Perhaps you're waiting for your profits to increase before you order some fancy new equipment or hire staff. We understand that change is inevitable, so to support your growing business we won't charge any admin fees if you need to amend your policy.

We know that running your business isn't a Monday to Friday job, so our business specialists are available seven days a week, online and over the phone, so if you need help with your policy or have a question about your quote, we can provide help when you need it.

Get a quote
or call us on 0345 878 5603

Your cover options

You can include any of the following cover options in your startup insurance to create a policy that precisely fits your business needs. These covers are subject to policy conditions and limits.

  • Professional indemnity

    You learn some valuable lessons in the first year of your startup business and this may mean you make some mistakes while you find your feet. You need to make sure you're covered for professional mishaps. Professional indemnity insurance covers the legal and compensation costs you may have to pay if a client believes you have been negligent and takes you to court.

  • Public and product liability

    Public liability covers you if you accidentally damage a client’s property or someone injures themselves on your premises. An example of this could be a member of the public tripping on your laptop lead while you’re meeting with a client. If they make a claim against you, public liability insurance would cover your costs.

    Product liability covers you if a member of the public becomes ill or suffers an injury as a result of one of the products you sell. For example, if a customer ate one of your brownies and became ill, or a chair you made breaks whilst being sat on and that person is injured as a result.

    We can offer cover from £1 million to £10 million, subject to criteria.

  • Employers' liability

    As you expand your startup business, you might start taking on employees. Employers’ liability covers your expenses if an employee gets injured or becomes ill as a result of business activities and takes action against you.

    Employers' liability insurance is a legal requirement, in most cases, if you have employees. You can read more about the rules surrounding this cover, and the exceptions, here. We offer £10 million cover as standard.

  • Buildings cover

    If there is an insured event such as a flood or fire at your work premises and the workspace becomes damaged, buildings insurance will help you recover your costs for repairs or reinstatement, including debris removal and architect fees.

    We also include equipment breakdown (for items forming part of the buildings), as standard. So if your boiler or fire or burglar alarm breaks down, we will pay for the costs of the repairs or replacement, as long as the damage is not due to wear and tear.

  • Contents and stock

    If your business is new, and your stock gets damaged or stolen, you may not have the funds to pay for replacements. Stock cover will take care of the expenses for you. And, when you insure stock at your home or premises, you’ll also get an extra 25% of stock covered for two months of your choice as standard, ideal for your busiest periods.

    You may also want to add contents cover to your policy in order to cover your electrical items, business furniture and documents. If your work laptop fell on the ground and was damaged beyond repair, the cost of replacing the item would be covered, so you can get your business back up and running without any major interruptions.

    And now with Business Tech Essentials, if your essential tech is stolen or damaged, we'll replace it within 24 hours from claim approval.

    When you cover your electrical items and tech you get Business Tech Essentials. Which means if your essential tech - like laptops, mobiles or tablets - are stolen or damaged we'll replace them within 24 hours of claim approval.

    Cover & claim limits apply. Mon – Fri 8am – 6pm, except Bank holidays.

  • Business interruption

    You can build your startup from anywhere: at home, an office, your shop, your client's premises or in a shared working space. However, if something happens and you can’t trade, business interruption will ensure you don't lose money.

    If there is an insured event such as fire or flood in your home, office or shop, and you've insured the premises, then business interruption will pick up the costs of setting up somewhere else, and for turnover lost when you couldn't trade.

    You'd also be covered if you work from someone else's premises. If your normal place of work has to close, for example due to a fire or flood, we'll cover the costs of setting up elsewhere.

    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.

  • 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 following a cyber incident:

    Recover financially

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

    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.

  • Theft of takings

    If your startup works on a cash-in-hand basis, for example if you sell your work at industry shows, this policy will cover you in case of theft of money from you or anyone working for you, whether that's at your premises or at fairs and shows.

    We cover up to £1,000 of takings at markets and pop-ups, provided the cash is securely locked away when not completing a transaction and not left unattended. You must also keep copies of all receipts issued to your customers.

  • Legal expenses

Get a quote
or call us on 0345 878 5603

Frequently asked questions

  • QHow much does it cost to insure a small business?

    There's no one answer to this question as every business is unique and will require different types of cover. That's why we let you design your own insurance policy, so you're in control of how much you pay.

    Broadly though, things that will affect the price of business insurance quotes include: the size of your business, number of employees, type of trade, the aspects of your business you want to insure and your history of insurance claims.

  • QIs business insurance required by law?

    Business insurance is largely optional but there are a few exceptions.

    If you have any non-family members on your payroll then you are legally required to take out employers' liability cover. Things are even stricter if you run a limited company as you are required to cover all employees, even if they are related to you. If you do not have this cover in place then you could be liable for fines of up to £2,500 per day without cover.

    Some clients and venues may not work with you without proof of insurance. For example, if you are selling products at a fair or exhibition, the event organisers may require you to have public liability insurance. Meanwhile, if your business provides professional guidance to clients, those clients may wish to see proof of professional indemnity insurance before hiring you as a consultant.

  • QWhat do I do if my startup covers several different professional areas?

    Our online quote tool gives you the option to input all your trades so that we have a better idea of what type of cover you need. If you need extra help, chat to us online or call 0345 878 5622.

  • Q

    How long is a quote valid for?

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

  • QWhat are the standard excesses?

    Once you have completed the quote details, your excess amount is provided on the 'Your Summary' page. This will vary depending on the covers chosen and your trade. There will be some options to vary an optional excess to reduce your premium.

  • QWhat are the exclusions on my policy?

    All exclusions are listed in the policy wording, and key exclusions are listed in the policy summary. For more details or if you need help understanding something, chat with us online or call 0345 878 5622.

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.