Employers Liability Insurance

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Why Compare Employers’ Liability Insurance With SimplyQuote?

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We know it can be tedious and inconvenient to search for insurance online – whether you’re buying employers’ liability insurance for the first time or switching insurers.

So, we’ve made comparing insurance quotes easy! Simply provide us with a couple of details about your company, and we’ll help you find the best insurance policy tailored to your business needs.


Do I Need Employers’ Liability Insurance?

Employers are legally obliged to have employers’ liability insurance in the UK if their staff are not family members. This is in accordance with the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act of 1969.

According to the Act, you’ll need this insurance cover if:

  • Your business is in the UK and you employ one or more staff members
  • You deduct National Insurance and income tax from your employees’ wages.
  • You dictate how, where and when your staff works.
  • You provide work equipment and materials.
  • You’re entitled to any profit your employees make.
  • You need your employees to perform the services you hire them for, and they’re not allowed to employ a stand-in if they’re unable to perform the work.

Should I get employers’ liability insurance for temporary staff?

Yes, you’ll need to insure the following temporary workers:

  • Part-time staff members
  • Students
  • Those getting job experience/job-shadowing
  • Volunteers

How Does Employers’ Liability Work?

Employers’ liability works by protecting employers from compensation claims made by their staff. These claims will be made if employees are injured or become sick due to workplace environments or accidents.

You’ll need to notify your insurance company how many staff members you have and what kind of industry you work in so you can get a tailored policy that will cover you in all scenarios.

When Is Employers’ Liability Insurance Not Required?

Although employer’s liability insurance cover is legally required in the UK, there are some exceptions, such as:

Certified limited company

Directors of certified limited companies with no employees that hold over 50% of shares are exempt from taking out liability insurance. However, you’ll need insurance if you employ a single staff member.

Sole trader

Liability insurance isn’t a legal requirement if you don’t have any employees, apprentices, interns or volunteers.

Family members

You won’t be legally required to have employers’ liability insurance if you employ direct family members; however, it is not a bad idea to get this insurance, just in case an accident happens.

Public bodies

Public organisations, like health service bodies or government departments, have different insurance requirements, and employers’ liability cover is not required.

What Is Covered By Employers’ Liability Insurance?

Employers’ liability insurance protects you against a wide range of costs that you and your company could face if you have problems with an employee, including compensation claims and legal fees if an employee is injured at work.

Here are some scenarios covered by employers’ liability insurance:

Casual workers

This insurance covers casual workers, like interns, volunteer workers, and those job shadowing. Just note that even though unpaid workers are mostly covered, carefully read through your policy documents to make sure before taking them on.

Loss of income

If your employee becomes injured or ill and can’t work, they’ll lose their income. Employers’ liability cover will ensure your employees’ losses are covered while they’re recovering.

Legal costs

Legal fees can quickly stack up, having adverse financial effects on your business (especially if you have a small enterprise). You’ll be covered against the legal costs of resolving claims that have been made by your staff.

Medical expenses

If your employees suffer work-related illnesses or injuries, your insurance will cover their medical bills.

Compensation payments

Your employers’ liability insurance will cover compensation awarded by the court to your employee.

Third-party injury

A third-party claim occurs if your employees accidentally cause injury to a customer in a work setting. Your insurance will cover claims made by the customer, such as legal fees or medical bills. For example, if your employee drops hot water on a customer in your coffee shop and they get burned, your insurance will pay for the customer’s medical treatment.

Third-party property damage

This cover applies if your employees cause damage to a third party’s property while on the job. For example, if your employee damages a client’s laptop beyond repair while doing a presentation, your insurance will pay for repair or replacement.

A good policy should cover you from claims ranging from £5 – £10 million, depending on your industry and company size.

When To Make An Employer’s Liability Insurance Claim

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What Other Insurance Types Can You Get For Your Business?

Employer liability insurance cover is a legal requirement, but there are also other types of insurance you should consider:

Public liability insurance

Public liability This insurance protects companies from financial losses due to third-party claims for injury or property damage that occurred due to your business operations.

Product liability insurance

Product liability insurance offers financial protection for costs due to illness, injury or damage caused by the products you sell (even if you don’t manufacture them).

Professional indemnity insurance

Professional indemnity insurance covers claims from losses suffered by your clients due to advice or consultation provided by your company or employees.

Business interruption insurance

Business interruption insurance cover will provide financial protection if you lose income due to an event included in your employers’ liability insurance policy, like a flood or fire.

Business building insurance

If your company operates from business premises, you’ll be covered for damage caused to your building due to an insured event.

Tool insurance

Tool cover protects your tools and equipment needed for business operations if lost, stolen or damaged.

How Much Does Employers’ Liability Insurance Cost?

The cost of liability insurance will differ for each employer, as there are several factors that influence the cost.

On average, employers can expect to pay around £11 per month.

Here are the factors that influence the cost of your employers’ liability policy:

Type of business

Those working in high-risk industries will pay more for insurance. If your employees use heavy machinery or dangerous equipment, they’re more likely to become injured. This will result in higher premiums.

Number of employees

How many employees you have working for you will also influence the cost of your insurance. The more staff members you have, the more expensive it will be to insure them all.

Company turnover

The cost of your insurance is calculated based on your revenue. If you have a high turnover, you’ll be more expensive to insure than a smaller company with lower revenue.

The amount of cover you need

The amount you need to cover will influence the cost. Although you’re legally required to have cover of at least £5 million, insurance policies typically have limits of £10 million. If you need a higher level of cover, the price will increase.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is employers’ liability insurance?

Employers’ liability insurance covers employers and their companies for compensation costs in the event of an employee (or ex-employee) claiming a job-related illness or injury.

Employers are legally required to have this insurance if they employ staff.

How much employers’ liability insurance do you need?

As a minimum legal requirement, your insurance policy must provide cover of at least £5 million. However, many insurance providers typically offer a cover worth £10 million as an industry standard.

The higher the risk of insuring you, the more expensive your policy will be – but you’ll be suitably covered in the event of a claim.

Is employers’ liability insurance a legal requirement in the UK?

Yes, most UK business owners require this type of insurance. If you’re legally required to have it and you don’t, you could be fined £2,500 per day that you’re not covered.

However, there are some exceptions, like if you employ family members or your staff work remotely in a different country.


If you hire subcontractors, they’re not legally classified as employees, so you might not need insurance.

How many employees can I insure?

The amount of employees you can insure depends on which insurance provider and policy you choose.

Just note that there are different rules for insuring subcontractors and contractors:

  • Subcontractors: This can be complicated because if the person is subcontracted for labour only, they’ll use work equipment provided by you. This means they will have to be covered as an employee. But, genuine subcontractors may not need to be insured. If you’re unsure, confirm this with the subcontractor before you hire them.
  • Contractors: According to the Government Health and Safety Executive, if an independent contractor also works for another company, they may not need to be insured. Individual cases may need to be reviewed, so if you’re unsure, make sure you refer back to your policy, seek legal advice, or talk to your insurer.
Does employers’ liability insurance cover employees who work from home?

Yes, however, it will depend on certain factors:

  • Your insurance policy
  • The work activities
  • The specifics of a claim

Some policies might not cover every employee, or they may only cover certain activities.

Also, be aware that failing to do a risk assessment of your staff member’s environment may render your insurance policy invalid.

What your insurance covers can be a bit of a grey area as it can be hard to work out which illnesses or injuries happened because of your employee’s work.

As the employer, you may also not be responsible for the physical aspects of your worker’s environment, such as ventilation, infrastructure safety and design, and fire evacuation.

You’ll need to refer back to your policy to confirm what is covered and what isn’t. In normal circumstances, all workers will be covered, but this may not be the case for people working from home.

As for direct family members and overseas workers, you’re not legally obligated to have insurance in place. But, you should still take steps to ensure good health and safety standards to avoid nasty accidents and potential claims.

What is the difference between employers’ liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance?

All three insurance types protect businesses from financial losses due to claims from third parties, but they cover different scenarios:

  • Employers’ liability insurance: It safeguards businesses against compensation claims from employees who suffered injuries or illnesses while at work. It covers legal defence costs as well as compensation payouts awarded to the employee.
  • Professional indemnity insurance: This protects your company if you provide services or advice from claims of professional negligence or omissions made by employees. Professional services like accountants or consultants should buy this insurance.
  • Public liability cover: This protects a business from claims from members of the public if your work or employees accidentally injured them or caused property damage. It is a must for businesses that regularly interact with members of the public, like restaurants or retail stores.
What are some common exclusions from making a claim?

Not every accidental scenario is covered by your employers’ liability insurance. Here are some of examples of what is excluded:

  • The injury or illness was deliberately caused.
  • Injuries that are sustained while travelling
  • Offshore employees

Always carefully review your policy documents so you know what is excluded.