Frequently asked questions
These frequently asked questions are designed to help you and include questions relating to policy cover and ‘technical’ terms. Whilst we have tried to make these as clear as possible they do not form part of the policy document and contain only general descriptions. You should refer to the actual policy issued for the binding terms, conditions and exclusions of cover.
Most frequently asked questions
I'm experiencing financial difficulty due to Coronavirus - what are my options?
If due to coronavirus you are experiencing temporary difficulty in paying your premium or you want to discuss the cover under your policy, please get in touch.
Am I covered to work with clients remotely?
Yes. Your insurance policy automatically provides cover for working with clients remotely, including using an audio or video service such as Zoom or Skype.
Many of our customers have begun doing this as a way of continuing business and retaining clients during the COVID-19 pandemic, and you do not need to contact us to include it on your policy.
Please note that your sessions/instruction must be done on a live basis and to your client (or clients, if part of a group session) only. Your policy does not provide cover for pre-recorded videos that are uploaded to a video platform (e.g. YouTube) for anyone to access.
What limit of cover should I choose?
Many clients and industry bodies with regulatory requirements will require you to have a minimum level of cover in order for you to undertake a contract, so it's worth checking this before you arrange cover. If you're unsure, or it's the first time you have arranged cover, give some thought to a worst-case scenario and the likely costs involved in putting your mistake right. We offer a range of limits on insurance, so you're sure to find the right cover for your business.
What's the difference between professional indemnity and public liability?
Professional indemnity insurance 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.
Public liability insurance covers against allegations of injury or illness caused to third parties by your negligence. This includes many of the slips, trips and falls that are associated with personal injury claims. In addition, public liability insurance covers against damage to third party property - for example, if you were to damage a client-owned laptop or smartphone.
As they insure against different scenarios, it's important you consider arranging both types of cover to ensure you are properly protected.
Why should I choose Markel’s insurance?
Markel has over 25 years of experience insuring contractors, consultants and self-employed professionals. We insure over 200,000 micro businesses and are highly rated by our customers at Feefo.com.
We are a division of Markel International, a Lloyd’s and London market insurer that wrote gross premium totals of £1.09bn in 2020.
To talk about your insurance requirements and better understand our cover, call us on 0800 640 6600 or get a quick quote online.
Do I need professional indemnity insurance?
If you provide advice, designs or any other professional service to your clients, you should give serious consideration to professional indemnity insurance. Without it, you could be liable for thousands of pounds worth of legal fees and compensation payments payable to your client if you are found to have been negligent in your services to them.
In addition, many clients will require you to have professional indemnity insurance in place in order to begin work on a contract, or your industry association's membership requirements may stipulate that you must hold a minimum limit of cover.
Do I need public liability insurance?
If you interact with clients or members of the public as part of your business' activities, you should give consideration to public liability insurance. It covers against many of the slip, trip and fall claims that have become so common, it covers the costs of defending your business against the allegation and, if unsuccessful, compensation payments that may be due to the injured party. In addition, public liability insurance covers against damage to third party property.
While it's easy to think 'it will never happen to us', the fact is that many claims are unexpected and can't be avoided. Without cover in place, your business could face financial ruin if a claim has to be settled out of your own pocket.
We offer cover from as little as £5 a month, giving you peace of mind that if a claim were brought against your business, you'd be covered.
What kind of claims does professional indemnity insurance cover against?
Professional indemnity insurance claims can be wide-ranging, but some examples are given below:
Management consultant - a business plan provided to a client doesn't deliver the expected results. They claim against you for their financial loss.
IT contractor - a website, application or software provided to your client isn't fit for purpose. They claim against you for the cost of putting the mistake right.
Engineering contractor - some CAD work you undertake for a client contains the wrong measurements and causes long delays to your client's project. They claim against you for the cost of putting the mistake right.
Fitness professionals - a client injures themselves during a session. They make a claim against you alleging that you failed to properly explain how to perform the exercise.
Photographers - a client alleges that the photographs taken aren't suitable for use, or a memory card corrupts and you lose all the day's shots. They claim against you for the cost of re-organising the shoot.
Teacher/tutor - a client doesn't achieve the necessary grades to pass their exams. They claim against you for the financial losses suffered.
What kind of claims does public liability insurance cover against?
Public liability insurance claims can be wide-ranging, but the most common ones include:
Slips - a customer visits your place of work (be it your office, home or a hired premises) and slips on a wet floor, breaking their arm. They are unable to work and claim against you for the financial loss they have suffered.
Trips - a client trips over a loose wire plugged into your laptop and sprains their wrist. They make a compensation claim against you.
Falls - a client falls down some stairs following a meeting and break a leg. They claim against you for the time they have to take off work and rehabilitation bills.
Damage to third party property - during a meeting, you accidentally spill a drink over a client's laptop. They claim against you for the cost of repairing it.
I need my documents and proof of cover straight away - are they instant?
Yes. If you purchase your policy with us, your documents are emailed to you instantly and include a dedicated 'Confirmation of Liability Insurance' document (detailing the cover you have with us) which you can present to agencies and clients as proof of cover.
I've been told you aren't able to insure me - why?
This could be down to a number of reasons, but ultimately it comes down to our insurance policy not being suitable for your business. This could be due to:
- Your business operating in an industry which we do not cover
- Your business being too large for us to cover directly (although we may be able to do it insure you through an insurance broker)
- Your business undertaking a certain type of work or activity which our policy would exclude
- A large proportion of your business’ income coming from overseas
These are the most common reasons we are unable to offer insurance (if you need more information on why we can’t insure you, feel free to call us, but unfortunately if we can’t quote you online we won’t be able to offer a quotation over the phone either). If you’re stuck for who to turn to for your insurance, we’d suggest speaking to the British Insurance Brokers’ Association who can put you in touch with an independent insurance broker.
I need help - who do I speak to?
Who should I contact if I have questions?
What are your call centre opening hours?
We are open Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays) 8.30 am to 5.30 pm. Tel: 0800 640 6600.
I've forgotten my password - what should I do?
Go to My Area and click the 'Forgotten password' link
I need written confirmation of my cover – where can I get it?
If you purchased either professional liability insurance and/or general (public/products) liability insurance you will have received a Confirmation of Liability Insurance document with your emailed insurance documents.
Your customers (e.g. Local authorities) often ask for confirmation of insurance cover in respect of these types of liability and, if you provide them with a copy of this document, it should suffice in most instances.
The document can also be downloaded from My Area.
I can’t open my documents – what do I do?
You need Adobe Acrobat reader to view your documents – you can download the latest version for free here.
Which browsers are supported?
We recommend you always use the current version of browsers to make sure our web pages display quickly and that you have the latest security updates. If you use older browsers, you might notice that some functions and features might not work as expected. You can download the latest version of your browser from:
- Chrome https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/
- Safari http://www.apple.com/safari/
- Firefox https://www.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/new/
- Internet Explorer http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/internet-explorer/download-ie
About our products
What does ‘professional indemnity insurance' (also known as professional liability insurance) cover?
If you provide advice, training or act as a consultant, this provides protection for the consequences caused by mistakes, errors or omissions made by you - your professional risk. Public/Products Liability insurance does not generally cover these risks.
Find out more about professional indemnity insurance.
What level of professional indemnity cover should I buy?
This can be a difficult choice and can vary from business to business.
One way of assessing your ideal level of cover is to look at the number of clients you have and what the cost would be if things went wrong – if you gave the wrong advice or were negligent etc.
You may have to have a minimum level of cover to satisfy the requirements of your professional body or to meet the terms of a contract with a client so it's best to check these before making a decision.
What does 'public and product liability insurance' (also known as general liability insurance) cover?
Our general liability insurance includes public liability insurance and product liability insurance.
In going about your day to day business, you run the risk of causing injury or damage to third parties or their property; Public liability protects you from these risks. This can arise at your premises, at those you hire or whilst you are visiting the premises of others, including your customers. Slipping, tripping or damaging something belonging to a third party are all examples of what can happen. Professional indemnity insurance (also known as professional liability insurance) does not cover these risks.
Similarly, should you supply any product, be it a book, training equipment or even a cup of tea, product liability insurance affords appropriate protection.
Find out more about public and product liability insurance.
What does ‘directors and officers liability insurance' cover?
Directors and officers of a company, and any person acting in a managerial or supervisory capacity, can be held personally liable for any act or omission made in relation to the running of the business (not the professional risk which would be catered for by professional indemnity insurance). They can also face investigations from 'official' authorities. This provides protection for their personal wealth and covers the costs incurred in defending their position.
Find out more about directors and officers insurance.
What level of directors and officers liability cover should I buy?
This can be a difficult decision to make, particularly as it is your personal wealth that is at risk. Be mindful that legal costs can be expensive in such situations.
What does ‘employer's liability insurance’ cover?
If you employ staff, you are required by law to have employer's liability insurance for a minimum level of cover of £5,000,000. The policy covers you for claims for compensation brought against you by employees if they are injured or become ill at work. Our policy provides £10,000,000 worth of cover as standard.
Find out more about employer's liability insurance.
What level of employer's liability cover should I buy?
Our policy provides cover for up to £10,000,000 as standard.
What does ‘property damage insurance’ cover?
This covers damage to your building (even if you don't own them but where the lease or rental agreement makes you responsible for arranging insurance) along with the office contents, computer equipment and the like whilst within the buildings.
The buildings sum insured should represent the cost of rebuilding the property and not its market value. The Sum Insured for contents should be the cost of replacing the property as new.
Cover is provided on an 'accidental damage' basis but certain causes of damage are not covered - please refer to the relevant summary of cover for a more detailed explanation of the cover we provide.
Find out more on our office insurance page.
What does ‘business equipment insurance’ cover?
This section covers portable business equipment such as computer equipment, photographic equipment, mobile phones etc. Cover applies anywhere in the world (including at your premises) and is on an ‘all risks’ basis (there are some exclusions so please refer to the relevant summary of cover for a more detailed explanation of the cover we provide)
Find out more on our office insurance page.
What does ‘business interruption insurance’ cover?
Should your premises be damaged and you are unable to go about your normal business activities, this covers you for any loss of income as well as additional expenses (this can range from renting additional premises to taking on temporary staff to complete a contract on time). Alternatively, you can choose to restrict cover to insure just the additional expenses incurred in order to keep you business going.
Find out more on our office insurance page.
What does ‘money and personal assault insurance’ cover?
‘Money’ cover is there to help replace cash and other types of negotiable and non-negotiable money if it is lost (or stolen) whilst in transit or from your premises, night safe etc.
The maximum we pay out depends on where the money was lost.
‘Personal Assault’ cover provides certain benefits to you, your employees and members of your or your employees family if they are injured as a result of robbery or attempted robbery in the course of your business.
(Please refer to the relevant summary of cover for a more detailed explanation of the cover we provide).
My business is based outside the UK – can you provide cover for it?
No – we are only able to provide cover for businesses domiciled/registered within the UK. (Please note that we are unable to quote for some covers in Northern Ireland)
My business is not listed in the dropdown options
At the present time we are unable to assist if your business is not listed.
I work from home – doesn’t my home insurance policy cover me?
It is highly unlikely that a home insurance policy would cover you for risks arising out of running your business at home. You will almost certainly need separate business insurance.
What does it mean?
What’s the difference between ‘claims made’ and ‘claims occurring’?
A ‘claims made’ policy provides cover for claims made against you (and reported to us) during the policy period.
Claims notified after the expiry of this period – for example if the policy has not been renewed or if you have moved to another insurer – will not be covered, these would have to be dealt with by your new insurer or, if you have not arranged further insurance, by yourself. However, claims made against you during the policy period that relate to an incident that occurred prior to the policy period and of which you had no previous knowledge will probably be covered by our policy.
It is important that you tell us straight away if you become aware of anything that might result in a claim being made against you or you seeking the protection of the cover provided by your policy, as this is a requirement of your policy.
Professional Liability insurance and Directors and Officers Liability insurance are traditionally arranged on a ‘claims made’ basis.
What’s the difference between ‘any one claim’ and ‘aggregate’?
Liability policies have a policy ‘limit’ – the maximum amount that we will pay out. If the limit is ‘any one claim’ this means that the most we will pay out per claim is the limit specified. You could have several claims in the same policy period and whilst each would be subject to the specified limit there would be no overall limit.
If the policy is on an ‘aggregate’ basis then the limit is the maximum we will pay out in the policy period irrespective of the number of claims you may have.
‘Civil Liability’ is any liability that you may incur other than a criminal one. It therefore includes, amongst others, negligence, defamation, unintentional breach of copyright etc.
Some liabilities are excluded so it is important that you read the relevant summary of cover for a more detailed explanation of the cover we provide.
Using the principle of ‘utmost good faith’ you should disclose all the material facts about your risk which you know or should know.
A material fact has been defined in a number of legal cases and broadly it is ‘any fact which may influence the judgement of a prudent [insurance] underwriter in deciding whether to accept a risk and if so at what premium [and terms]’
If in doubt as to whether some piece of information is relevant tell us anyway, call us on 0800 640 6600.
The ‘excess’ is the amount you have to contribute to a claim.
If there is a £100 excess on your policy and the claim comes to, say £500, we would pay you £400 and you would have to bear the first £100 yourself.
How long is my quote valid for?
Your quote is valid for 30 days
Can I get a quote by calling you directly?
If you call us we would have to take you through the online questions so it is easier and quicker for you if you complete the questions yourself and then decide if you would still like to talk to us or are happy to go ahead and buy the policy online.
As well as these FAQs there are information boxes throughout the online process to provide you with additional information or to clarify questions etc (just hover the cursor over the help icons next to each question).
Copies of all wordings and summaries of cover for all our products are on this website.
If you have a query that is not covered by the information buttons or the FAQs you can phone us on 0800 640 6600 (during business hours, request a callback from the quote page, or use our ‘contact us’ page.
My quote has been referred – what does this mean?
We need to clarify something with you before we can proceed. Please call us on 0800 640 6600 or request a callback from the quote page.
I have more than one trade – can you cover more than one?
We can for certain professions. In the quote system, when you are asked ‘Does this encompass all your activities for which you require insurance?’ select ‘No’ – we can insure you for up to six activities.
I can’t find my trade on the list – can you still help?
At the present time we are unable to assist if your trade is not listed.
I need to amend some of my details – how do I do it?
Click on the ‘Amend Quote’ button in the email we sent you with your quote details. Enter your amended details and then click the ‘Quote me’ button to obtain your new quote.
If you have registered with us you can also access your quote by going to our website and logging-on.
I have received a quote but I still have some questions
If you have a query that is not covered by the information buttons or the FAQs you can phone us on 0800 640 6600 (during business hours) or use our 'contact us' page.
Can I view my quotes after I've clicked away from your website?
Yes, provided you have saved it.
Click on the link in the email we sent you with your quote details or, provided you have registered with us, log-on our website.
I’ve received a quote and want to buy it – what do I do?
Click on the 'Buy now' button on the quote page
What happens to my personal information?
If you register with us we keep the information you have entered in the Registration page in order that you can log-into 'My Area'
We do not keep your bank or card details.
We do not pass any of your details to third parties.
If you do not take up a quote it is deleted after 30 days.
Will I be placed on a marketing mailing list?
On our Registration page we ask you if you want to subscribe to our newsletter. If you don't want to just un-tick the box. If you do subscribe you can change your mind at any time by simply clicking on the 'unsubscribe' link on the email containing our newsletter.
We do not pass on your email address or other details to anyone else.
Can I opt out of your newsletter and other marketing emails?
Yes, just click on the 'unsubscribe' link at the bottom of the email.
Paying for your policy
How do I buy a policy?
Simply click on the 'Buy now' button on the quote page.
Which payment methods (and which credit cards) can I use?
You can pay in 10 monthly instalments by direct debit with 0% APR. Or you can pay in one lump sum by debit card, credit card (we cannot accept American Express/AMEX), cheque (selected products only) or bank transfer (selected products only).
If you choose to pay by card, for your convenience, we'll use these card details for any future additional premiums, refunds or renewals relating to your policy. If you would prefer us not to do this, please call us on 0800 640 6600.
I am having problems paying online - what should I do?
Call us (during business hours) on 0800 640 6600.
I need a receipt - how can I get one?
If you pay by credit/debit card we will email a receipt to you shortly after payment.
If you pay by direct debit a payment schedule will be sent to you by Premium Credit Ltd.
When will my payment be taken?
If paying by debit or credit card payment is taken immediately. If paying by instalments the first payment is usually taken within 14 days of cover commencing but you will receive a payment schedule prior to this.
Who do I make cheques payable to?
Cheques should be made payable to Markel (UK) Limited.
(Please note, we only accept payment by cheque for a limited number of products – your quote details will state whether this is a payment option).
I didn’t get a confirmation screen after payment – am I insured?
If your payment was successful, you should have received an email with your insurance documentation attached. If you haven't received these, please email us via our 'contact us' page.
Who handles my instalment agreement? Who are Premium Credit?
Your instalment agreement is handled by Premium Credit Ltd. Premium Credit Ltd is the No. 1 premium finance company in the UK and Ireland. They are a company specialising in business and individual insurance payment via regular instalments, instead of paying the whole premium upfront.
Premium Credit Ltd are registered under the Consumer Credit Act and your credit agreement is with them. You will be sent a full Credit Agreement before the first premium is collected.
Are you registered under the consumer credit act?
Yes, our registration number is 412443.
Managing your insurance policy
How do I access my insurance documents?
Simply log into My Area
Where can I get copies of my insurance documents?
Log into My Area, select your Policy and you will be shown a list of downloadable PDF documents
How do I change the cover provided by my policy or make changes to my policy?
If you need to make changes to your policy details or cover you can either call us on 0800 640 6600 or log in to My Area and request a call back.
How much does it cost to make a change to my policy?
We currently do not charge any fees. Your premium may increase, decrease or stay the same dependent on what the change is.
Why don’t you send hard copies of my documents through the post?
As an online insurer, we don't send reams of paperwork, but we will email your insurance documents to you, and you can access them at anytime by logging into My Area.
Amending your details
How do I change my contact details?
Simply log into My Area and make the required changes under My Account details.
How do I change my payment details?
If you are paying by direct debit, Premium Credit Ltd will send you contact details of how to change your payment details when they send you your direct debit schedule.
Renewal of your policy
Do you renew my policy automatically?
If you opted to pay by direct debit, debit card or credit card, your policy will renew automatically.
If you opted to pay by cheque or bank transfer, you can renew your policy by going into My Area and clicking the Renew button displayed next to your policy. You will then be guided through the renewal process. Alternatively, call us on 0800 640 6600.
How do I know when my renewal is due?
We will send you a renewal invite approximately 28 days before your policy expires, detailing your premium and asking you to check what you previously told us about your organistion is still valid
What should I do to renew my policy?
What do I do if something has changed or I want different cover?
Prior to the expiry of your policy we will email you inviting renewal based on the information you originally provided and taking into account any claims, or circumstances which may give rise to a claim, which may have been reported during the course of the period of insurance. If there have been any changes to your details or if you want to amend cover we will provide a link to enable you to amend your details and obtain a revised renewal quotation.
Making a claim
What should I do when there is a situation that could lead to a claim?
How do I make a claim?
How long will my claim take to process?
Each claim is unique and may involve a degree of investigation or assessment. For this reason we cannot definitely predict how long each claim will take
If I make a claim how will it affect my next renewal?
Depending on the circumstances of the claim we may need to take it into account when considering the renewal of your policy.
Unfortunately we are unable to state specifically if or how a claim will affect your renewal as almost every claim is different.
I need to give you some additional information about the claim – who should I contact?
Call us on 0800 640 6600 or email us by going to our 'contact us' page with a contact number we can call you back on. Have your Policy Number to hand so we can retrieve details of your claim quickly
What stage is my claim at?
You can track the progress of your claim online. Log into My Area and select your Policy, then click View Registered Claims or you can call us on 0800 640 6600.
Cancelling your policy
How do I cancel my policy?
Call us on 0800 640 6600.
How much of my premium will be refunded?
Up to 14 days after you receive your emailed policy documents: If the cover does not fully meet your needs you can cancel your policy by calling us on 0800 640 6600. Unless you have made a claim on your policy within this period, we will return all the premium you have paid to us.
More than 14 days after you receive your emailed policy documents: If you have not made a claim, you can cancel your policy by giving us 30 days notice in writing. If you paid by debit or credit card, we will return any premiums paid on the unexpired portion of your policy. If you are paying by instalments, no premiums on the unexpired portion of your policy will be returned and no further instalments will be taken from your bank account. If you are paying by instalments and have made a claim, you will need to pay the remaining premium due on the policy.
My refund is wrong – who should I contact?
Call us on 0800 640 6600.
How soon will I receive my refund?
If you paid by debit or credit card your card will be credited within 30 days of the date of cancellation.
Similarly if you paid by cheque or bank transfer you will receive a cheque within 30 days of the date of cancellation.
If you paid by monthly direct debit, no refund is due and no further payments will be taken from your bank account.
Can I still access my cancelled policy details?
No but you can call us on 0800 640 6600 if you need any information.
About Markel Direct
Who are you, and who regulates you?
Markel direct is a trading name of Markel (UK) Limited which is a company registered in England and an appointed representative of Markel International Insurance Company Limited. Markel (UK) Ltd only places insurance policies with Markel International Insurance Company Limited which is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority.
Markel (UK) Limited company registration number: 2430992
Registered Office: 20 Fenchurch Street, London, EC3M 3AZ
Main trading address: 2nd Floor, Verity House, 6 Canal Wharf, Leeds, LS11 5AS
Markel International Insurance Company Limited – FCA registration number 202570
The Financial Services Register can be accessed at www.fsa.gov.uk/register/home.do
Do you give advice and what is the difference between 'advised' and 'non-advised'?
Under the FCA regulations an ‘advised sale’ is one where you are given a personal recommendation as to the suitability of one product against another to meet your insurance needs.
A ‘non-advised sale’ is one where a recommendation is not made. Information is provided leaving you to decide how you wish to proceed.
As we only place insurance policies with one insurer, Markel International Insurance Company Limited, we feel it would be inappropriate to offer ‘advice’. We do not therefore make any recommendations and do not compare the products we have on offer against those that may be offered by other insurers.
We will, however, provide you with sufficient information to enable you to make a decision as to whether the policy we are offering meets your demands and needs.
If you are seeking the services of an insurance broker who may be able to give advice then contact BIBA (www.biba.org.uk/)
Who should I contact if I have a complaint
We try hard to live up to our promises but sometimes you may feel we are not up to scratch. If so, we want to get it right so please contact us by email via our 'contact us' page or write to us at Customer Services, Markel (UK) Limited, 2nd Floor, Verity House, 6 Canal Wharf, Leeds, LS11 5AS. Please quote your policy number.
We will acknowledge your complaint in writing, within 5 working days of receipt, send you a copy of our complaints procedure and advise you who is dealing with your complaint.
If we cannot resolve matters to your satisfaction you can refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service within 6 months of receiving our final response:
The Financial Ombudsman Service
South Quay Plaza
183 Marsh Wall
London E14 9SR
0845 080 1800
Making a complaint does not affect any of your legal rights.
If you were sold this product online or by other electronic means and within the European Union (EU) you may refer your complaint to the EU Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform. Upon receipt of your complaint the ODR will escalate your complaint to your local dispute resolution service – this process is free and conducted entirely online. You can access the ODR platform on http://ec.europa.eu/odr.
What is the Financial Services Compensation Scheme?
The Financial Services Compensation Scheme ("FSCS") is the United Kingdom's statutory fund of last resort for customers of financial services firms. It is an independent body, set up under the Financial Services & Markets Act 2000 .
Since your insurer (Markel International Insurance Company Limited) is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority you would have access to the FSCS which can pay compensation to consumers and eligible small businesses if a financial services firm is unable, or likely to be unable, to pay claims against it.
The level of compensation under the scheme is different dependent on the type of cover you hold
- Compulsory insurance, such as employers liability, is covered for 100% of the claim
- For other insurances, 100% of the first £2000 of the claim is covered and 90% of the remainder
- Further information can be obtained by visiting the Financial Services Compensation Scheme website on www.fscs.org.uk or by telephoning 0207 892 7300
I've encountered a problem with your website - who should I contact?
Call us on 0800 640 6600.