Understanding employers’ liability insurance

Employers’ liability insurance protects your business if an employee brings a claim against you because they were injured or became ill as a result of the work they did for you. It covers the cost of defending your business, including any money you have to pay as compensation.  

We’ll also cover the costs of defending you if the government or a regulatory body such as the Health and Safety Executive start criminal proceedings against you following the injury of an employee.

Most businesses with employees are required by law to hold employer’s liability insurance.A liability insurance policy should be taken out to protect anyone you employ, alongside your full-time team this includes:

  • Part-time employees

  • Freelancers or contractors employees working with you on a short-term basis

  • Volunteers

  • Students and trainees

Our employers’ liability insurance is only available alongside Hiscox Public Liability Insurance.

What cover does Hiscox provide?

  • Employers Liability from £43 a year when purchased with Public Liability, based on policies from at least 10% of our customers

  • £10 million of cover – While most businesses are required to hold £5 million of EL cover, we offer £10 million of cover as standard to make sure you are covered.

  • Legal and compensation costs are covered by your policy

  • Cover for claims made by people working for you even if they are voluntary help or self-employed

  • Claims for injuries or disease caused by terrorism are also covered up to a limit of £5 million

  • Employers liability insurance can be added to your public liability insurance, which covers compensation you have to pay a client or member of the public due to accidental injury or property damage.

Call on 0800 2800 351 Mon - Fri, 8am to 7pm, Sat, 9am to 2pm excluding bank holidays.

Get an employers’ liability insurance quote online

  • 0% interest on Direct Debits
  • Immediate coverage and documentation
  • No admin fees if you amend your policy

Need more help? Speak to our UK-based experts. Call us on 0800 2800 351

Mon - Fri, 8am - 7pm, Sat, 9am to 2pm, excluding bank holidays. Calls are free from a landline and some mobile contracts

In order to provide you with the information you need, see if we've caught your query in our FAQ section below, or visit our employers liability insurance FAQ hub to find answers to questions on policies, quotes, and payments.

Who needs employers’ liability insurance?

If you hire one or more employees, it will be a legal requirement for you to hold at least £5 million cover, and failure to do so could incur fines.

Some exceptions to the rule can include public organisations and small businesses, that only employ close family members. It is important to check what your personal requirements are.  

If you are the sole employee of your company, you may not be legally required to hold employers’ liability insurance, however, some clients may ask for you to have this cover in place as a condition of your contract.
 

What happens if you don’t have employers’ liability coverage?

In order to safeguard all employees in the UK, it’s a legal requirement* for most businesses with employees to have at least £5 million of cover in place, or you could face a fine of up to £2,500 per day until you have adequate insurance.

The legal and compensation costs of defending your business against an employers’ liability claim could significantly damage your business, so it’s important to have appropriate protection in place. Assistance such as ‘no win no fee’ legal services which help employees claim compensation, may increase the likelihood of your business experiencing an employers’ liability claim. Even if an employee is working on a voluntary basis or on a freelance basis under your supervision, they may still file a claim.

* The law states most employers must have employers' liability insurance. However, you may not need it if you have no employees or are a fmily business and closely related to your staff. You can find out more by visiting the Health and Safety Executive (external link) website.

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How much is employers’ liability insurance?

When it comes to employers’ liability insurance, cost will vary from business to business depending on things like the nature of their operations and the amount of people they employ. The best way to get an idea of how much you would pay is to get a quote, which will be tailored to your specific needs based on a series of questions about your business.

Getting a quote can be quick and easy, and will give you a price that is tailored specifically to you and your business. Contributing factors to the amount you pay for your policy will include the level of cover you choose and the kind of activities your company undertakes.

As a Hiscox employers’ liability policyholder, we will ask you to supply some additional information about your business, including your Employer Reference Number (ERN) so it can be recorded on the Employers’ Liability Tracing Office (ELTO) database. Find out more about ELTO

 

Example employee claims

You may need to use your employer liability insurance if an employee brings a claim for compensation against you. Here are a couple of quick examples:

  • An employee claims to have slipped over and injured themselves on a wet floor at work, which has left them unable to work for a period of time. They bring a claim for compensation against your business for the money they have lost due to this.
     
  • An employee claims to be suffering from stress due to the work they’re doing for your business, which has left them unable to work for a period of time. They bring a claim for compensation against your business for the money they have lost due to this.

More FAQs

If you haven't found the information you need, see if we've caught your query in our FAQ section below, or visit our Employers insurance FAQ hub to find answers to questions on policies, quotes, and payments.

Employers’ liability will cover the legal costs, including compensation pay-outs and defence fees, should an employee or recruited volunteer take you to court over a breach of a regulation or statute. As an employer, you will be liable for any injury sustained as a direct result of carrying out work for, or within, the business. If an employee slips on a wet surface inside the office and damages their back, you may face the cost of settling and defending the claims.

Read more on the type of cover provided by employers liability in our FAQ guide.

Any business with employees should possess employers’ liability insurance. Even if you only hire staff on a temporary or unpaid basis, you will still be required to open a policy, to cover them if they were to have an accident or fall ill due to work. Failure to secure appropriate cover could incur fines of up to £2,500 a day until you take out a policy.

Don't get caught out, make sure you're aware of the level of insurance you need for your business. Rea our FAQ guide on who needs employers' liability insurance to find out more.

The legal and compensation costs of defending your business against an employers’ liability claim could significantly damage your business, so it’s important to have appropriate protection in place. As soon as you become an employer, you’re required to have cover of at least £5 million. If you think you might need more cover, you will need to consider how much the most serious claim you might face could cost.

More details on the nature and cost of employers' liability cover are available in our FAQ guide, what is employers' liability insurance?

Get an employers’ liability insurance quote online

  • 0% interest on Direct Debits
  • Immediate coverage and documentation
  • No admin fees if you amend your policy

Need more help? Speak to our UK-based experts. Call us on 0800 2800 351

Mon - Fri, 8am - 7pm, Sat, 9am to 2pm, excluding bank holidays. Calls are free from a landline and some mobile contracts

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