Insurance Brokers and Insurance Companies
An insurance broker will be able to advise you about the appropriate level and type of insurance cover for your company. You may also contact insurance companies directly to obtain insurance cover.
Some insurance brokers are independent; they can sell the insurance products of any insurance company. Others only sell the products of particular insurance companies. If you speak to a broker, find out whether they are independent.
Please be aware that all insurance policies are subject to conditions and exclusions, so that although you may have insurance the company will not be covered in all situations - speak to a broker or insurer about the conditions and exclusions attached to any policy they recommend.
You can select an insurance broker on the British Insurance Brokers' Association Website
The information in this section is aimed at providing you with a broad overview of some of the types of insurance available to companies. Companies armed with this information will hopefully have a better understanding of their needs before speaking with an insurance broker or insurance company.
Employers' Liability Insurance
This type of insurance is compulsory for companies.
If your company has employees then it is required by law to obtain Employers' Liability Insurance; which insures the company against compensation payable in respect of an employee being injured, falling ill or catching a disease in relation to their employment. Companies are required to have at least £5 million of cover.
You must display a copy of your Certificate of Employers' Liability Insurance so that your employees can easily read it. From 1 October 2008 companies can display the certificate on their website, provided that the employees can easily access it (ie it is easy to find on the website, employees know how to get onto the internet, how to use a computer, and have access to a computer).
Although no longer required by law we advise you to retain a copy of your certificates indefinitely (the company will be issued with a new one each year). If the company receives a claim by an employee in relation to, say, an incident in 2002 the company needs to know who was insuring it in that year. The insurance company's details are printed on the certificate.
Please note that the directors of the company are likely to be employees for this purpose, and certainly are as soon as they draw a salary in relation to which the PAYE scheme operates.
Important Note - Employers' Liability Insurance is not compulsory if the company only has one employee who owns 50% or more of the issued share capital of the company.
Public Liability Insurance
Public Liability Insurance insures against claims by anyone other than employees which arise because a person has been injured or their property damaged through an action or inaction of the company or any of its employees. If customers or members of the public visit your place of business (even if it is a home office) then you should consider obtaining this type of insurance.
We note that for most types of business Public Liability Insurance is not compulsory.
Product Liability Insurance
Insures the company against compensation payable in relation to damage or injury caused by physical items supplied by the company, even if the company did not manufacture them.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
Insures the company against compensation payable in relation to any mistakes made or negligent advice given by the company.
This type of insurance is appropriate for companies that supply knowledge or skill based services such as accountants, financial advisers, consultants, architects etc.
Property Owners' Liability Insurance
Insures the company against compensation payable in relation to anyone other than an employee injuring themselves or their property on premises owned by the company.
This type of insurance is acquired by companies in relation to property they own.
Directors' and Officers' Liability Insurance
This insurance covers directors and company secretaries against any claim brought against them personally, including claims relating to misusing or exceeding their powers or failing to live up to their obligations or duties.
Pollution Risk Insurance
Insures the company against compensation payable in relation to any claim made as a result of the company causing pollution.