Self-employed insurance

Specialist cover for self-employed professionals from £5 a month*

  • Fast, easy online quote in 90 seconds

  • Interest free direct debit

  • No hidden fees or cancellation charges

When a business is also your livelihood, it is vital you are properly insured.

Our self-employed liability insurance has been designed to cover the risks facing small business owners and sole traders in the UK.

When setting out on new business endeavours, it’s important to protect yourself against unforeseen issues that may appear in the future.

If you are unsure which types of cover your business needs, we can help you build your self-employed insurance policy. Our simple quote system allows you to choose the cover you want, with no unnecessary extras.

What does self-employed insurance cover?

Self-employed liability insurance is an umbrella term that covers a range of different types of insurance policies. Anyone who works for themselves as a freelancer or contractor or runs their own business would benefit from self-employed liability cover.

The precise cover types you may require will depend on your own specific needs and circumstances. When you take out insurance with Markel, you can tailor your policy to cover your business against a range of risks, including:

  • Allegations of professional negligence

If you were to make a mistake in a project for a client or give poor advice as part of your work, a compensation claim could be made against you. In such cases, a professional indemnity insurance policy could offer the financial protection you need by covering damages or costs that may be awarded, as well as legal fees you may incur.

  • Allegations of injury to a client or damage to their property

If a member of the public were injured or their property damaged as a result of the actions of your business, you could be held liable for compensation. Self-employed public liability insurance is designed to safeguard your business against losses that may be incurred as a result of such claims. At Markel, public liability insurance for self-employed workers comes with product liability insurance included as standard. This protects you against compensation claim costs that may arise should a product you’ve produced or sold result in third-party injury or property damage. If you’re not sure if you need public liability insurance, you can contact us for expert advice.

  • Accidental damage to business equipment

If your office is damaged by a fire, flood or storm or your office equipment is stolen or lost, the financial repercussions for your business could be devastating. To mitigate against such losses, we recommend that all self-employed workers that have office space take out a suitable office insurance policy.

  • Allegations of illness and injury suffered by employees

If your business is found to be at fault for an employee developing an illness or sustaining an injury, you could be held legally liable. Employers’ liability insurance is there to provide financial protection in these cases. Most businesses in the UK that employ at least one member of staff are legally required to have this type of cover in place.

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Why choose Markel for self-employed insurance?

At Markel, we understand the unique risks that self-employed workers face. With over 30 years of experience providing specialist insurance to self-employed professionals, we can help you get the cover you need. Here are some of the reasons why 200,000 clients have taken out policies with us:

✔ Cover from £5 a month

If you’re looking for value for money on your insurance cover, you won’t be disappointed. We can tailor your policy to fit your budget.

✔ An excellent reputation

We are proud to be highly rated by our customers at

✔ Trustworthy

We are a division of Markel International, a Lloyd’s and London market insurer that wrote £1.09bn of gross premium totals in 2020.

✔ Quick quotes available

It takes just 90 seconds to get a self-employed insurance quote with Markel. Simply fill in our online form and we’ll do the rest.

 ✔ Specialist self-employed insurance

We’ve been working with self-employed professionals for over two decades so you can trust that you’re in safe hands when you choose Markel. We can help you to get the right insurance for you at a price you’ll love, giving you peace of mind that you’re covered should the unexpected happen. Whether you’re a sole trader or a limited company working from business premises or working from home, we can help arrange self-employment insurance for you.

Do I need insurance if I am self-employed?

Working for customers and clients means there’s always a chance that things could go wrong on the job. Without self-employed insurance, you could be left with a huge bill if an error in a piece of work causes your client a financial loss, you accidentally cause injury to a client (or damage to their property), or expensive business equipment is stolen.

Additionally, if you’re a small business owner with staff working for you, then it’s a legal requirement that you have employers’ liability insurance. Without it, you could face a fine of up to £2,500 a day.

Is self-employed liability insurance a legal requirement?

As stated above, employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement for employers. As soon as you become an employer, you must take out employers’ liability insurance and your policy must cover you for a minimum of £5 million. You must also take out a policy with an authorised insurer.

Professional indemnity cover, on the other hand, is not legally required. However, if you provide a professional service or give professional advice as part of your work, this insurance could prove invaluable if a claim of negligence were made against you.

Self-employed workers are not legally obliged to have public liability cover in place. However, we recommend that any freelancers, contractors or business owners that come into contact with members of the public as part of their business activities have this protection.

If you have office space, it also makes good business sense to take out specialist cover to protect your building and its contents. After all, an unforeseen event, such as a fire, flood or storm, could have a serious effect on your business and result in significant financial loss.

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How much cover do I need?

At Markel, we understand that no two businesses or self-employed workers are the same. That’s why we provide tailored cover so you have the precise protection you need. When deciding the level of cover you require, you will need to take a range of factors into account and these factors will vary depending on the type of specialist cover you’re taking out. How much professional indemnity cover you need may differ from how much public liability cover you need. Here are some of the things you should consider:

  • what you do and the level of risk involved
  • the size of your business
  • the type of clients you have
  • your contract values 
  • the size of the compensation claims you may face
  • whether or not you require a certain level of cover to be part of a professional body or to meet the requirements of a client contract
  • how much contact you have with the public
  • how many employees you have
  • the value of your assets if you have office space
  • your previous claims history.

It’s worth noting that this is not a comprehensive list. There are many different elements that will need to be considered to calculate the right level of cover for you. To discuss your unique circumstances and requirements, don’t hesitate to contact us today.

How much does self-employed insurance cost?

The cost of your self-employed insurance depends on what you are covering, the type of work you undertake and the level of protection you want. The total premium is the result of several factors, but premiums start at £5 per month.

How to buy self-employed insurance

Get a quote from Markel for self-employed insurance today, including public liability cover, professional indemnity cover and more. You can build your insurance package online to suit your business requirements in a matter of minutes.

*Price based on an IT consultant requiring £1 million of public liability insurance.

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Cover starting at £5 a month

Tailor your self-employed insurance policy with these covers

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Cover starting at £5 a month

Frequently asked questions

  • How can I reduce claim risk?

    There are many ways to minimise the risk of making a claim on your self-employed liability insurance. For example, it’s advisable to:

    • Create your own intellectual property to avoid copyright disputes
    • Always ensure you have adequate contractual arrangements in place with clients
    • Do not offer services that fall outside of your area of expertise
    • Use anti-virus and anti-malware software and encrypt your data to help prevent data breaches
    • Carry out routine risk assessments and take measures to protect the health and safety of your employees and members of the public who you come into contact with
    • Provide employees with adequate and ongoing training
    • Ensure your employees have the personal protective equipment and safety equipment they need to carry out their jobs safely
    • Ensure you have fire alarms, extinguishers, burglar alarms, CCTV and suitable security at your office premises.
  • What other types of business insurance might I need?

    As a self-employed professional, you may benefit from a range of policies, including:

    • Legal expenses cover
    • Directors and officers insurance
    • Occupational personal accident insurance
    • Cyber insurance.

    For more information on any of our specialist covers, don’t hesitate to contact our team.

  • What's the difference between professional indemnity and public liability?

    Professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance are two separate cover types and self-employed professionals often require both.

    Professional indemnity covers against allegations of professional negligence - which means it would cover you if you were to make an error or mistake in a piece of work (such as a project or report) for a client. You should have this financial protection in place if your business provides professional services and advice to clients or you handle data for clients. It is particularly important to have this insurance in place if you are in an industry in which disputes over copyright and quality are commonplace.

    Public liability insurance covers against allegations of injury or illness caused to members of the public by your negligence, as well as damage to third-party property. For example, if a client slipped or tripped on your premises or you damaged a customer’s laptop, you could be held liable for compensation. Public liability cover is important for any self-employed worker who comes into contact with any third-party individuals, whether they’re clients, suppliers, tradespeople or members of the general public.

    It’s important to realise that professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance provide cover against different risks so you should consider arranging both to ensure you are properly protected.

  • I need to arrange insurance to start work - do you provide proof of cover?

    Yes. We provide a dedicated 'Confirmation of Liability Insurance' document (detailing the cover you have with us) as part of the documents that are emailed to you if you purchase your policy with us. You can present this document to agencies and clients as proof that you are insured.

  • How is 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. You can get further details by visiting the Financial Services Register.

Expect more from your self-employed insurance provider

Our policyholders receive access to these unique services designed to make your life easier (included as standard with certain covers).

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

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

Access our fee dispute service to assist with unpaid invoices

Receive discounted IR35 contract reviews with your policy

Expert management of public relations crises with The Counsel House

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

Discover more about these services


Cover starting at £5 a month