Small business insurance

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

  • Fast, easy online quote in 90 seconds

  • 24hr legal advice helpline included

  • No hidden fees or cancellation charges

With over 25 years’ experience insuring businesses, our specialist small business insurance is designed to cover a wide range of risks facing professionals, contractors, freelancers and self-employed business owners.

What is business insurance?

Business insurance is there to cover you from unexpected losses that you may suffer in the course of your normal activities. There are many different types of financial cover available that come under the umbrella of business insurance, from employers’ liability protection and professional indemnity cover to office insurance.

Why do I need small business insurance?

As a business owner, freelancer, consultant or contractor, you will face certain risks in your day-to-day work that may result in you facing legal action and financial losses. For example:

  • You might make a mistake in a piece of work that causes a client to suffer a financial loss.
  • A visitor to your workplace may slip on a wet floor and injure themselves.
  • An employee could trip over a cable and suffer an injury as a result.
  • Your premises may be broken into and various important items, including computers, are taken.

If you encounter unforeseen setbacks such as these, small business insurance means that you and your employees remain protected while your company recovers. Having the right financial protection in place can help you to safeguard the future of your business, and it means you benefit from greater peace of mind.

Another reason to take out business insurance is that you might be required by clients and trade bodies to have certain types of small business liability insurance in place before you’re able to sign contracts or gain membership to professional organisations. And if you have employees, there is a high likelihood that you will be legally required to take out employers’ liability insurance.

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Why choose Markel for small business insurance?

We know exactly what you need to protect your finances. Here are some of top reasons to choose us for your small business insurance:

✔ 24/7 access to a legal advice helpline

When you are facing a legal claim, you want to be able to access help immediately. We provide round-the-clock access to a legal advice helpline staffed by qualified solicitors, as well as access to a document hub.

✔ Get a quote in just 90 seconds

Getting a quote for your small business insurance is quick and easy when you come to Markel Direct. Simply fill in our online form and you’ll receive a quote in just 90 seconds.

✔ Highly rated by customers

Trusted by more than 200,000 clients, we are proud of the high ratings we receive on

✔ No hidden fees

Our small business insurance policies are all designed to offer excellent value for money, and when you purchase premiums from us, you won’t face any hidden fees. Also, should you wish to cancel a policy, we won’t impose cancellation charges.

✔ 25 years of experience

With over 25 years of experience in insuring small businesses, we’re perfectly placed to offer you financial cover that you can rely on.

Other benefits include access to our fee dispute service to help with invoices that are unpaid, access to a cyber response helpline in the event of an IT security breach, discounted reviews of IR35 contracts and expert management of PR crises with The Counsel House.

How much does small business insurance cost?

We offer a range of small business insurance products for over 200 professions from as little as £5 a month*, with the option to pay in 10 interest-free monthly instalments.

Exactly how much your financial protection costs will depend on a range of factors, including the types of cover you opt for, your claims history and the nature and size of your business.

*The £5 a month price referenced is based on a legal expenses insurance policy.

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How much excess or costs will I have to pay if I make a claim?

Your policy excess refers to the amount of money you will be expected to pay yourself when you make a claim. For example, if your policy excess is specified at £250 and you make a successful claim for £8,000, you will receive £7,750.

You can find details of the excesses applicable to your policy on your quote, or on the schedule if you are an existing customer.

How to buy small business insurance

Buying small business insurance with Markel is easy. Fill in our online form today to get a quote in less than two minutes.

Customer reviews


Rated 4.8 stars from 351 customer reviews at Google

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Cover starting at £5 a month

What small business insurance do I need?

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0800 640 6600

Mon - Fri 08:30 - 17:30

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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 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 Law 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