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Business insurance for startups

Personalised small business insurance to support your new venture

  • 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
  • 0% APR on your monthly direct debit payments in the first year and no admin fees if you need to amend your policy. Over 18s only, subject to eligibility
  • We guarantee to beat the renewal premium or quote of any other insurer for all new policies

    Excludes van. 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

    This covers the costs you face following an electronic data breach or other computer system and data related issue, including:

    • Loss of data
    • Cyber crime
    • Cyber liability and defence
    • Loss of income following a cyber event

    Also included in your cover is access to public relations and crisis management support, identity theft assistance and specialist advice that will help you recover and avoid future viruses and hacking attempts.

  • 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.

  • QHow 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.

Legal Document Service

Included as standard when you buy or renew a policy from 1st February 2016.

Register or log in to Direct Line for Business Legal Documents Service.

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