Sole trader insurance Sole trader insurance

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Why do sole traders need insurance?

On top of running the show yourself, being personally liable for a business can be daunting. But having the right insurance in place can put your mind at ease, especially if something were to go wrong.

Getting complete cover that's tailored to your business could provide invaluable financial and legal protection if an accident or incident happened. You'll also get access to helpful claims and customer success teams who are always on hand to answer your questions.

  • Choose from £1m, £2m or £5m of public liability cover
  • Get access to your policy documents instantly
  • Make changes to your policy or level of cover at any time, for no extra cost
  • Optional cyber, employers' liability, business equipment cover and more

Get sole trader insurance in less than 10 minutes

Flexible monthly subscription. No fees to change or cancel your cover.

What industries do we cover?

From plumbers and decorators to hairdressers and designers, we cover hundreds of sole traders across a wide range of industries.

Some of the most popular industries we cover for sole traders includes (but isn't limited to):

What insurance do sole traders need?

1

Public liability

Public liability insurance offers financial and legal protection in the event that someone is injured or their property damaged accidentally by you while you're working.

For example, if you were to visit a client's office and spill something on their laptop, public liability insurance may cover the cost to repair or replace it.

2

Business equipment

From portable electronics like a work phone or laptop to more specialist equipment such as a film camera or heart monitor, if you use certain equipment to do your job, business equipment insurance could help. It's designed to protect it from theft, loss and damage, providing a repair or replace service so you can get back to work as quickly as possible.

3

Personal accident

If you suffered an accident or injury at work that left you unable to do your job, personal accident insurance would pay compensation to cover your earnings until you get back on your feet.

4

Cyber cover

If you work with sensitive client information or store personal or financial customer or client details, you might want to consider cyber insurance. It offers financial and specialist support in the event of a data breach.

Additional covers

On top of these options, we also offer a bunch of other covers to boost your policy and give you the perfect protection for your business.

Tools cover

If you work as a tradesman, you'll most likely rely heavily on your tools. Our tools cover protects your specialist equipment from damage, loss and theft, providing a repair or replacement service so you can get back to work as quickly as possible.

Employers' liability

If you're a sole trader who employs people, you're legally required to have employers' liability insurance in the UK. From full time to temporary, our policy covers all kinds of workers, whether they work from home, the office or travel abroad.

Professional indemnity

Professional indemnity insurance is often mandatory for industries that work with clients on a freelance or contract basis. It provides protection in relation to claims for financial loss caused by your errors or omissions.

What does sole trader insurance cover?

Mistakes in the services you provide

Clients pay for your knowledge and expertise, but what if you make a mistake? If your advice doesn't work out as expected, you could face a lawsuit, with legal costs and compensation to pay. If that happens, professional indemnity cover (PI) will ensure you're protected. Plus, clients may insist you have it – so it could help you win assignments (or not lose them!)

Cyber and data threats

If you work remotely and handle a lot of client data then you could be at risk of a cyber-attack or data breach. Cyber insurance for freelancers will protect you for a breach of data protection laws (where insurable by law) and your liability for handling data, as well as cover for extortion, system rectification costs, plus PR expenses and financial loss due to system downtime.

Moments of clumsiness

Our public liability insurance for freelancers will protect you if you cause injury or property damage to a third party, either at your home office, at a client's office, or when out and about. It's also worth bearing in mind that some of your clients, or even suppliers, might ask you to have PL, so make sure your minimum cover limit meets their requirements as well as your own.

Tools of the trade

Whatever kit you rely on, whether that's a laptop, filming equipment or more technical machinery, having it lost, stolen or damaged will leave you high and dry. As a sole trader, you have a couple of cover options to choose from here, including our standalone tools cover and business equipment insurance.

Sole trader claim examples

Insurance claims are different for every sole trader, but here are a few examples of claims where you could be liable:

Loose wire

A client trips over your laptop wire, injuring their ankle, and they want to make a claim against you. You can't control acts of clumsiness but you could face legal action. Public liability cover could help.

Damaged laptop

While out at a meeting with a supplier, you accidentally spill coffee on your laptop, causing it to break. Business equipment cover could provide a replacement so you don't miss your next meeting.

Stolen power tools

A thief steals your power tools from a work site while you are on a job. Provided you have taken reasonable steps to secure your tools, your tools cover will allow you to claim for the cost of replacing them.

A cyber attack

A hacker enters your system, accessing confidential client files and downloading ransomware to lock everyone's files. Cyber insurance would cover the ransom and lost profits due to business interruption.

How do claims work?

1

You make a claim

Log in to your online account and go to the ‘Make a claim’ section. There, you can make a claim directly – there's no need to call us.

We'll ask you for some details about your claim, including a crime reference number (if applicable), the date of loss or claim made against you, type of claim and its detailed description.

In the portal, you can also attach any relevant supporting documentation like proof of loss, proof of purchase, a letter of demand or a statement of claim.

2

We'll get on the case

Once submitted, your claim will be assessed by our experts.

If the claim is large, we may need more information from you. If it's small, however, our team may be able to settle it within a couple of days (or hours, in some cases).

Either way, we'll keep you regularly updated and you'll be able to see the status of your claim on our customer portal.

3

Your claim is settled

After it's been assessed, we'll let you know if your claim has been successful or not.

If items have been lost, stolen or damaged, we might arrange for the items to be replaced or make a payment to you.

If you’re liable for something we will assist you with legal support.

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Sole trader insurance FAQs

What is a sole trader?

The term ‘sole trader’ is a certain type of business structure in the UK and is used to describe a person who owns and runs their business as an individual. Sole traders are entitled to keep profits after tax, but they're also personally liable for any losses.

A sole trader set-up is the most common type of self-employed business in the UK, and often the simplest way to get started. If you’re a sole trader, you're in control and decide what your business does.

You can read more about this in our guide to the different types of business structure.

What the benefits of paying monthly for business insurance?

Paying for your insurance by monthly subscription can have a few advantages for your business. Here are just a few:

  • Paying in smaller increments as opposed to a large annual fee can help you manage cash flow.
  • You're not locked-in to an annual contract, which means you can adapt or cancel your cover at any time for no extra cost.
  • It gives you the flexibility to change your cover from one month to the next, which comes in handy if you are a new business.
  • You only pay for what you need – some annual contracts will bundle cover together, but our monthly subscription lets you select the covers that are applicable to your business so you're never over or under insured.

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Authorised by the FCA

The FCA supervises UK financial services firms to protect consumers. We are directly authorised and regulated by the FCA and our Firm Reference Number is 656459. These details can be confirmed on the Financial Services Register at www.fca.org.uk or by calling the FCA on 0845 606 1234.

A-rated financial strength

Our insurance products are underwritten by Standard & Poor’s A-rated financial strength or higher. This means the underwriter has been independently assessed by the world’s leading credit rating provider and found to have a strong capacity to meet financial commitments (pay claims).

Protected by the FSCS

If you are a business with an annual turnover under £1m, charity with an annual income under £1m, or trust with net assets under £1m, then you will be entitled to compensation from the FSCS in the unlikely event we cannot meet our obligations. Full details and further information on the scheme are available at www.fscs.org.uk.