Business insurance for the self-employed

You’re independent. You work for yourself, and that freedom is something worth having.

But it comes with responsibility – because you’re the one who has to deal with the consequences if someone makes a claim against you or your company.

With AXA’s business insurance for the self-employed, you don’t need to be worried about covering the costs of legal and compensation fees alone. And, because we know that self-employed businesses come in all different shapes and sizes, we won’t sell you a package full of things that you don’t need.

Public liability for self-employed business owners

The most common type of insurance that self-employed business owners need is public liability insurance. Any business that interacts with other people during the day-to- day running of their business needs public liability insurance as it protects you against 3rd party claims of accidental injury/death or damage to property and belongings.

There are many situations where you may interact with other people, such as:

  • Visiting clients at their homes or business
  • Selling products or services to customers
  • Having customers visit your home or place of work

In all these situations, public liability would protect you if someone was to get accidentally injured or their property got damaged.

What is public liability insurance and what does it cover?

Public liability insurance will protect you from third party claims of accidental injury or damage. Here are just a few examples of how this might apply to our self-employed customers.

  • A self-employed hairdresser who makes house calls and has spilled dye on their customer’s brand new couch
  • A self-employed caterer who has taken on a big job and supplied cakes or appetisers, for example, that have made several people sick
  • A self-employed builder who has dug a hole during the course of the job at hand, causing a customer to trip and fall, resulting in an injury
  • Someone trips over a loose cable or a briefcase at your desk in the office where you’re visiting and gets accidentally injured

Do I need business insurance when I'm self-employed

Yes – all business need insurance. The main difference that should be considered when you’re getting business insurance as someone who’s self-employed is that the types and levels of cover you are choosing.

In general, most self-employed people will require a combination of the following covers:

  • Public liability insurance
  • Professional indemnity insurance
  • Contents insurance
  • Business equipment cover
  • Tools insurance (choose from own plant, tools and equipment or hired-in plant)

Do I need professional indemnity insurance if I’m self-employed?

Not every occupation will require professional indemnity insurance, so this will depend on the work you’re doing. Professional indemnity covers you for claims made by customers o yours who suffered a financial loss because of following your advice.

Here are some occupations that should consider professional indemnity insurance.

What other covers should I consider?

Professional indemnity insurance

This covers the work you do. If you provide advice or a service that customers pay for, they could sue you or claim compensation if they feel you’ve made a mistake or cost them money.

Expert legal support to defend a claim against your company – plus any compensation you need to pay to settle it – could be very expensive. Professional indemnity insurance will help.

Van insurance

Not all self-employed people will require van insurance, however, there are certain occupations that may want to consider this option. This includes any trades occupation - such as plumbers, electricians, builders, painter and decorators etc. Other occupations, such as dog walkers or caterers may also benefit.

If you use a van for work, AXA's van insurance can cover you and help keep you on the road, with accident recovery, roadside repairs, and a guaranteed courtesy van*.

Employers’ liability insurance

If your business grows over time, then you will need to consider employers' liability cover if you take on. It's required by law.

If someone you’re directly responsible for is injured because of working for you, you need to be sure they are properly looked after – and ensure your business is not harmed too. With us, you’ll get £10 million cover as standard.

Additional covers for self-employed business owners

Business equipment

Use your computers, mobile phone, kitchen, or other equipment for your business? They probably won’t be covered by your home contents policy. Get a quote for business insurance online and you’ll also be able to add business equipment cover to your policy.

Tools and equipment cover

If your business requires you to use tools rather than equipment, then you may want to consider tools insurance. We can cover you for your own plant tools and equipment or hired in plant.

Personal accident

Does your business rely on you? Consider how your income would be affected if an injury leaves you unable to work. In this case, your personal accident cover would pay your wage until you recover. Maximum limits apply.

If I get ill, am I covered for loss of earnings?

If you get ill while working, then you may see a loss of earnings. This can be a stressful time for any business owner. Unfortunately, business insurance won’t cover you for loss of earnings caused by illness.

If this is something you’re worried about, it might be worth considering business health insurance for yourself and your employees. Also, as an AXA business insurance customer you’ll have free access to a 24/7 health support line provided by AXA Health.

How much is business insurance when you’re self-employed?

No two businesses are the same and neither are their costs. As a sole trader your cost will vary with what covers you choose. As an example - if you choose only public liability on its own then your cost will be lower than if you choose both public liability and professional indemnity as a package.

The quickest way to find out the cost of your unique business insurance package is to get a quote online – that way you can see the exact breakdown of your price and you’ll automatically save 10%** or buying online.

What self-employed occupations do AXA cover?

We cover a long list of occupations - here are just a few of the occupations we cover that are popular with self-employed customers.

    You can see a more thorough list of some of the main occupations we cover with our handy occupation A-Z search.

    Do you offer van insurance to self-employed customers?

    Van insurance is essential for making sure you’re protected when you’re on the road for business purposes – and that is true regardless of whether you’re self-employed or not. If you use a van for business purposes, we’ve got your back.

    AXA van insurance will protect you if your tools are stolen from your van, as well as for anything that might go wrong with your van, or if you’re in an accident. To find out more about what out van insurance covers, head over to our dedicated van insurance page to read more.

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    *When your van is under repair by one of our Approved Repairers. Not applicable for total loss claims.

    **This discount is applied automatically and lasts for the lifetime of your policy.