Small business insurance

Specialist insurance tailored to your small business from £5 a month*

  • Fast, easy online quote in 90 seconds

  • 24hr legal advice helpline included

  • No hidden fees or cancellation charges

Small business insurance is designed to cover risks facing professionals, contractors, freelancers and self-employed business owners. Our specialist business insurance comes expertly designed based on over 25 years’ experience insuring UK businesses.

What is business insurance?

Business insurance covers you from unexpected losses you might suffer in the course of your normal business activities. There are many different types of financial cover available under the umbrella of business insurance protection, from employers’ liability protection and professional indemnity cover to home business insurance.

Other important forms of SME business insurance and small business cover are tailored to suit the size of your business and the way it operates, such as self-employed business insurance, sole trader business insurance, and online business insurance.

Who needs Business Insurance?

As a business owner, freelancer, consultant or contractor, you’ll face risks that could result in you facing legal action and financial losses.

For example:

× You make a mistake in a piece of work that causes a client to suffer a financial loss
× A visitor to your workplace slips on a wet floor and injures themselves
× An employee trips on a cable and suffers an injury as a result
× Your premises are broken into and important items are stolen

Small business insurance protects you and your employees while your company recovers from such setbacks. Having business insurance in place can help you safeguard the future of your company, and it delivers real peace of mind.

We cover over 200 professions from £5 a month*, with the option to pay in 10 interest-free monthly instalments. Our wide range of small business insurance products covers a wide range of  needs and eventualities.

Get a small business insurance quote now

Why choose Markel Direct for small business insurance?

At Markel Direct, we know exactly what you need to protect your finances. Below are just some of the reasons why you should take out a small business insurance policy with us:

✔ 24/7 legal advice
Round-the-clock access to a legal advice helpline staffed by qualified solicitors plus access to a document hub.

✔ Quick quotes
Use our online quote form to get a quote in just 90 seconds.

✔ Positive customer reviews
We’re highly rated at and are trusted by over 200,000 customers.

✔ No hidden fees
No hidden fees and cancellation charges, so you won’t be hit with any nasty surprises.

✔ 25 years’ experience
With over 25 years of insuring small businesses, we deliver financial cover you can depend on.

Other benefits include:  

✔ Fee dispute service for unpaid invoices

✔ Cyber response helpline for IT security breaches

✔ Discounted reviews of IR35 contracts

✔ PR crisis management courtesy of The Counsel House

✔ Legal templates and resources from the Markel Business Hub

Discover more about these services

Get a small business insurance quote now

Why every company should consider business insurance

Some clients and trade bodies may require you to have some form of small business insurance in place before signing contracts or allowing you to gain membership. In addition to this, there’s a multitude of potentially unforeseen setbacks that could impact you, your company and/or your employees. Take a look at our article to find out for yourself just why every company needs business insurance.

From general business insurance to business contents insurance and beyond, there are a variety of Markel Direct business insurance covers to suit all businesses and business needs.

Get a small business insurance quote now

Customer reviews


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Markel Direct - Feefo Platinum Trusted Service Award

Cover starting at £5 a month

What small business insurance do I need?

Need some help?

0800 640 6600

Mon - Fri 08:30 - 17:30

Local rate and mobile friendly


Cover starting at £5 a month

Frequently asked questions

  • Is business insurance a legal requirement?

    Most types of business insurance are not a legal requirement. Employers’ liability cover is an exception to this. It is a legal requirement for businesses that have workers, even on a part-time or temporary basis. It’s also important to bear in mind that other types of insurance, such as professional indemnity cover, might be required by regulatory bodies within your industry. It may also be specified in your contract with a client that you’re required to hold certain types of business insurance before beginning the work.

  • Can I get insured before I register my business?

    It is possible to get business insurance before you register your business and before you start trading. However, insurers will need to know details such as your business address, trade type, projected turnover and business structure (for example, limited company, sole trader, etc).

  • Can I still be insured if I have had a CCJ/IVA?

    Some insurers are stricter than others when it comes to CCJs (County Court Judgments) and IVAs (Individual Voluntary Arrangements), but having a CCJ or IVA doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t obtain business insurance. If you have a CCJ or IVA and would like to insure with us, please call our team on 0800 640 6600 so that we can understand more on your personal circumstances to see if our insurance would be suitable for you.

  • Do I still need small business insurance if I work from home?

    Working from home does not mean you don’t need small business insurance. For example, if you have employees, you will still require employers’ liability insurance, and if you provide professional services or advice to clients, it is strongly recommended to take out professional indemnity cover. There may also be a variety of other types of small business insurance that you need.

  • Can I run a business without business insurance?

    With the possible exception of employers’ liability cover, business insurance isn’t legally mandated. However, you should consider the risk to your finances of operating without the relevant types of protection in place.

  • What limit of cover should I choose?

    When choosing your limit, you should first check if your clients require you to have a certain amount of public and product liability, or other type of business insurance, before entering into a contract with you.

    If there is no requirement, make sure you have considered worst-case scenarios and the costs that could likely be involved with not only defending the allegation, but also the compensation you might have to pay to correct your mistake. Markel offers limits ranging from £1 million to £5 million, so you’ll get the right cover for your business’ needs.

  • My business undertakes work with clients outside the UK - can you provide cover for it?

    We are able to insure businesses that undertake a small amount of work from clients based overseas, however it is subject to our underwriting criteria. Get a quote now to find out.

  • How are Markel Direct regulated?

    Markel International Insurance Company Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Find out more on the Financial Services Register.

Expect more from your business insurer.

When you take out cover with Markel, you receive these exclusive services as standard:

24 hour legal helpline  24/7 access to a legal advice helpline manned by qualified solicitors

 Access our fee dispute service to assist with unpaid invoices

 A specialist cyber response helpline to help in the event of a cyber attack

Legal hub access  Access legal templates and resources with the Markel Business Hub

  Receive discounted IR35 contract reviews with your policy

  Expert management of public relations crises with The Counsel House

Discover more about these services

View the full list of professions we insure

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Cover starting at £5 a month