Understanding employers' liability insurance

Understanding the ins and outs of employers’ liability insurance doesn’t need to be complicated. Learn the lingo with our easy guide.

Safety and insurance

11 June 2021

As a hard-working small business owner, the last thing you want to do is translate out-of-touch insurance speak and confusing terminology to find the right cover.

At AXA, we believe business insurance should be straightforward, not stressful. That’s why we’ve decided to strip the jargon out of business insurance and answer the commonly-asked questions.

Think plain English over jargon. Clarity over complexity. Short and snappy over rambling descriptions. So, make sense of employers’ liability insurance with our guide and get back to what you do best: working hard for your customers.


What is employers’ liability insurance?

- It covers the cost of claims made by employees if something bad happens to them at work.   

Employers' liability insurance protects your employees if they get injured or become ill as a result of working for your business. It covers the damages, compensation costs and legal fees that a current or ex-employee could be entitled to if they’re injured or suffer from an illness that was caused by working for your business.


Is employers’ liability insurance a legal requirement?

- If you employ someone, you need employers’ liability insurance - it's the law.

Employers' liability insurance is a legal requirement under the Employers’ Liability Act 1969.  If you employ someone and you don’t have employers’ liability insurance, you could be fined up to £2,500 for every day you’re not covered.


Do I need employers’ liability insurance?

- A business or person who employs someone (unless the employee is a close family member) needs employers’ liability insurance.

As a business owner, you have a duty of care to anybody working for you. Whether you hire full-time or part-time staff, self-employed contractors, temporary staff, apprentices, volunteers, or individuals taking part in work experience or training schemes, employers’ liability insurance is a must-have.

There are a few businesses that are the exception to that rule. Public organisations and businesses that only employ close family members (as long as they’re not incorporated as limited companies) don’t need employers’ liability insurance. However, many family businesses still choose to take out an employers’ liability policy for peace of mind, rather than it being a legal requirement.<

Do I need employers’ liability insurance?

AXA’s Business Insurance Wizard is an online tool that tells you what insurance your business might need. All you need to do is answer four quick questions about you and your business and you’ll see the results instantly.

When would my business need employers’ liability insurance?

- If an employee becomes ill or is injured because of a work-related incident.

We all like to think our workplaces are safe as houses. But injuries can happen when you least expect them to, even in the most safety-conscious businesses.

Whether it’s your personal assistant who is badly injured after tripping over a loose cable while walking in the office, or a former employee who has been diagnosed with an illness related to harmful chemicals they were exposed to while in your employment, workplace incidents come in many forms.

If an employee is injured in these work-based accidents and the court orders you to pay compensation for injury, loss of income and medical expenses, employers’ liability insurance can cover these fees and the associated legal costs.


How much employers’ liability insurance does my business need?

- It depends on your business and how many people you employ.

Your business is unique. We get it. That’s why at AXA, you can tailor your business insurance to suit your needs, not someone else’s. With AXA’s Employers’ Liability insurance, you get £10 million worth of cover, cover to pay health and safety law prosecution costs, £250 per day for every day you need to attend court to defend a claim against you and access to our 24-hour legal helpline...and that’s only what’s included as standard!


How much does employers’ liability insurance cost?

- It depends on your business, how many people you employ and who your insurance provider is.

You can get Employers’ Liability insurance with AXA from just £48* per year. If you visit AXA’s website you can get a personalised employers’ liability insurance quote.


Where do I get employers’ liability insurance?

- Most of the major business insurance providers offer employers’ liability, including AXA.

With AXA, getting the employers’ liability insurance your business needs couldn’t be easier. You can get a quote online and build your own tailor-made policy to meet your needs. Or if you’d prefer, you can give us a call on 0330 159 1520 and get a quote from one of our experienced advisors who’ll give you the price that’s right for your business.


How do I make an employers’ liability insurance claim?

- It depends on your insurance provider, but it’s usually either by phone, email or online.

If an employers’ liability claim is made against your business or you become aware of a situation which may result in a claim being made, it’s important to tell your insurance provider as soon as possible.

If your employers’ liability insurance is with AXA, you can call us on 0345 600 2715 or email liability.claims@axa-insurance.co.uk. And when you make an employers’ liability claim with AXA, you can track the whole thing from start to finish using our online claims tracking tool. It’s available via desktop, tablet and mobile, you’ll have 24/7 access to all the key information you need when you need it most.


Business insurance should be accessible, not alienating. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to make business insurance easy. Because life’s too short to get bogged down by complex insurance jargon – your time’s better spent running your business.

Employers’ liability insurance from only £49*

Running a business is hard work. That’s why we’re doing all we can to make insurance easier. Get an Employers’ Liability insurance quote from as little as £49 with AXA.

10% of our customers paid this or less between January and March 2024.