My business is a start-up – can I still get cover?
Yes, we do provide business insurance for start-ups. You’ll need to know the projected income of your business over the next 12 months, plus a few other details so that we can provide you with a quote.
How do I make a claim?
Please visit Contact us >
How do I cancel my policy?
Just let us know - there's no cancellation charge, although you will have to give us 30 days’ notice and pay the premium due up to the cancellation date.
Do I have to renew my policy?
All Hiscox business insurance policies are continuous policies so you are covered as long as you keep up your Direct Debit payments, or until you or Hiscox cancel the policy.
Prior to the anniversary of your policy start-date, Hiscox will write to you with a document called a Statement of Fact. It will contain all the information you gave us when you took out the policy and if there are no significant changes to your circumstances, you don't have to do anything - your cover will remain in place. We will automatically adjust your property cover amount insured in line with any increase in nationally published indices.
If there are any changes to be made, just let us know as soon as possible, as it may affect the terms of your policy.
What types of insurance must self-employed consultants or small businesses have?
Public liability insurance is not a legal requirement but it may provide important protection to your business. For example, if you visit clients' premises, or they visit you, or if you deal with the public. It will protect you should someone claim you - or an employee - caused them injury, or damage to their property.
If you take out public liability cover with us we can offer you employers’ liability insurance too. It’s a legal requirement for most businesses with employees to have a minimum level of employers’ liability insurance in place.
Further, the protection your business can get from our office and professional indemnity policies may not be mandatory, but they may provide important protection for your business. Professional indemnity insurance is often a requirement of contracts with clients.
What’s so extraordinary about Hiscox business insurance?
Hiscox offers generous cover that you can tailor to your particular business needs. You choose the type and level of cover and so only pay for what you need.
We offer immediate online cover, and if you choose to pay online you can download your policy documents directly from this website.
What does complete online purchase mean?
It means a quick, easy way to buy, basically. If you get a quote and decide to buy and pay for your policy on this website (including completing our online Direct Debit form), we’ll send you your policy documents as downloadable PDFs. From that moment, your policy is live and you are covered.
If you choose to pay over the phone, we’ll email your documents to you as soon as we’ve confirmed your bank details. On the spot usually.
We don’t send any paper documents unless requested, but you can print out everything we send you and keep it all as backup.
What is professional indemnity?
Professional indemnity business insurance protects you for sums you have to pay as compensation to your clients because of problems with your work. See our professional indemnity page for more details.
How will a Hiscox professional indemnity policy protect my business?
Professional indemnity insurance will offer cover for compensation you may need to pay to correct a mistake or cover defence costs if a client claims bad service or advice. With the right insurance in place you can rest assured that any claims for compensation will be dealt with quickly and efficiently so that you can focus on running your business.
If you need to claim, let us know as soon as possible. Prompt action could minimise the problem, or avoid unnecessary cost and distress.
Other benefits include:
- Direct access to our professional, experienced and customer focused claims team
- Our claims team have access to specialised lawyers if we need to defend your claim
- Interest-free Direct Debit payments.
You must not reveal that you have professional indemnity insurance to a client in the event of a claim as it could prejudice our position.
Once we have established your claim is valid, we commit to work hard to resolve it and, if necessary, to pay promptly.
What level of professional indemnity cover should I buy?
Ask yourself how much money is at stake. How big is the contract or the project? How big is your client? If the worst came to the worst, what level of cover would you need to pay your defence costs and the maximum compensation that might be awarded against you?
Does a Hiscox PI policy cover me for work carried out abroad?
We can often cover work outside the UK. If you work within the EU we may be able to give you a quote online. If you work outside of the EU, please give us a call so that we can discuss your requirements.
When should I let you know about a possible professional indemnity claim?
As soon as you realise that a claim might be heading your way. Prompt action could minimise the problem, or avoid unnecessary cost and distress. It’s also a standard condition of all professional indemnity policies. In fact, insurers may reject a claim if they feel it could have been avoided, or at least made less damaging, by early notification.
Let us know, too, if you receive a complaint from a client or realise you have slipped up somewhere and can’t easily resolve the problem. Or if you receive a series of escalating complaints on a project. Or if a client withholds payment to you after a complaint. Or if you become aware of a shortcoming in your work that you can’t easily put right.
Can I increase the level of indemnity on my PI policy mid-term?
You should get in touch and let us know whenever the needs of your business change. We’ll be able to tell you if it’s a change we can accommodate. And we don’t charge any admin fees for changes we make.
Am I still covered if the mistake is made by an employee working for me?
Yes, the policy will cover claims against you due to mistakes made by employees. If you subcontract work to another company, like a freelancer or a consultant, then some of our professional indemnity policies will also cover claims against you due to their mistakes. Please check your policy wording to see if yours does. If you do use subcontractors, it's sensible to make sure that they have professional indemnity insurance too though. After all, you might want to make a claim against them if they let you down.
Can I claim on the Hiscox PI policy even if my client hasn't made a claim against me?
Yes. Our professional indemnity policy is unusual in this respect. It recognises that prevention is better than cure and if you rectify a problem before the client makes a claim against you, you can avoid being taken to court and perhaps save your working relationship. That’s why it’s important to notify us as soon as you’re aware something has gone wrong.
For more information, please visit Contact us >
Will I be covered for work carried out before my professional indemnity policy starts?
It depends whether you have retroactive cover included or not. For some businesses this is included automatically in their policy because of the type of work they do. But for others it’s optional. With retroactive cover you will be covered from the date your business started trading. If you’ve already taken out your professional indemnity policy and you aren’t sure, please check your policy documents or give us a call. You will not be covered for any problems with your work that you knew about before the start of your policy.
What information do you need to give me a PI quote online?
We’ll need to know:
- your profession or industry (so we can offer you a tailored policy)
- the level of cover you’d like
- your annual turnover, annual gross income, annual fee income or (if the business is just starting up) your estimated first year’s revenue
- your business name, a contact name and a valid email address to send your policy to
- your business correspondence address
- a few things about your business activities and previous claims history
- the date you want cover to begin (the inception date)
- your bank details.
To make the process as easy as possible, please have this information to hand when applying.
How long do I need professional indemnity cover for?
It's worth bearing in mind that professional indemnity insurance only covers you for claims made during the lifetime of your policy for work carried out since the start date of the policy or the retroactive date if you have chosen to cover past work. So, if your policy ends when a project finishes you wouldn’t be covered for any claims that are made after that date. It’s therefore sensible to consider maintaining some form of PI cover for as long as you may need to defend a claim being brought against your work.
What is office insurance?
It is a package of important business (or commercial) insurances, designed to protect your small to medium sized businesses against likely – and even unlikely - risks.
Hiscox office insurance offers ‘all-risks’ cover for the contents in your office. This protects your furniture, fixtures, windows, computers, servers and so on. Our definition of office contents even includes items such as artwork, wine for entertainment and visitors’ personal belongings as standard.
You can include the following important covers with your office policy: portable equipment, business interruption, buildings, commercial legal protection, public liability and employers’ liability. Simply select the covers required for your office when you get a quote from this website.
For more information visit office insurance >
What does ‘all-risks’ cover mean?
This means that your property is covered for all types of accidental loss and physical damage unless it’s specifically excluded by the policy. This is wider cover than a ‘specified perils’ policy which only provides cover for specific events – for example theft or fire.
If I work from home, do I need office insurance?
Check your home insurance policy first. Most offer some level of ‘home office’ cover but it may not be as comprehensive as a business insurance policy.
Is my laptop and mobile phone covered with Hiscox office contents insurance?
They would be covered against loss and damage while they are being used or stored within the office. The policy does cover loss and damage to some contents items while they are temporarily away from the office, but laptops and mobile phones are excluded from this. If you want them to be covered while they are out of your office you would need portable equipment cover.
For more information, visit portable equipment >
Do I need buildings cover if I am renting or leasing my office premises?
You should speak to your landlord or check the terms of your rental or lease agreement. There may be a requirement for you to maintain buildings cover.