What is business insurance?


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Business insurance, or commercial insurance, refers to several types of cover designed to protect your business when matters take an unexpected turn. 

In the event a compensation claim is made, or legal action is taken against your company for incidents such as property damage or giving incorrect advice, certain business insurance policies can help to safeguard you against related financial risks.

A combined business insurance policy brings together two or more of the many types of business insurance available. Some of the core products in a combined policy include public liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, employers’ liability insurance and office insurance. You can also add specialist products such as cyber and data risk protection.

Cover can be tailored to the requirements of your industry and the size of your business – whether you’re a sole trader working from home, the founder of a fast-scaling tech start-up or the director of an agency with multiple offices.

Types of business insurance


There are many types of business insurance designed to cover your company for different circumstances.

These include:

  • Professional indemnity insurance
  • Public liability insurance
  • Product liability insurance
  • Employers’ liability insurance
  • Personal accident insurance
  • Office insurance
  • Commercial building insurance
  • Cyber and data insurance
  • Self-employed and sole trader insurance
  • Directors’ and Officers’ insurance
  • Business equipment and office contents insurance
  • Tool insurance
  • Equipment breakdown insurance
  • Business interruption insurance
  • Crime insurance
  • Medical malpractice insurance 

What does business insurance cover?


A business insurance policy can safeguard your company against day-to-day operational risks by helping with related costs. Such vulnerabilities are often unique to each small business, which is why different insurance products cover separate claims. Reading real life claim stories may help you to understand what’s suitable for your company and the situations where being insured can provide financial reassurance.

Client miscommunication

A miscommunication between your employee and the client means their contact information was printed incorrectly in the brochures you designed. This mistake resulted in a complete reprint, at a cost to the client. Their negligence claim against you may be covered by a professional indemnity policy.

Trade fair mishap

You’ve set your stand up at the trade fair but have run out of time to properly secure your marketing boards. Unfortunately, you didn’t spot a leaning board before it fell on a passer-by, injuring their shoulder. If the injured party makes a claim against your business, public liability insurance could help with the costs.

Repetitive strain injury

Your senior IT technician works frequently on a laptop without a keyboard or wrist rest and obtains a repetitive strain injury in their wrist as a result. The injury requires physiotherapy treatment, pain relief medication and a wrist support. The employee makes a claim against your business for the affliction – fortunately, legal fees and compensation are usually covered by your employers’ liability policy.

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Related guides & FAQs


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Do I need business insurance?

Protecting your small business might be the top of your priority list. Dig a little deeper with this Hiscox FAQ guide and discover whether you need business insurance.

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Find out more about cyber insurance and how having a policy in place can protect your business from the impact of a cyber-attack.