Business insurance

Business insurance

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What is business insurance?


Business insurance is a way to protect your business against any accidental losses or claims made against it. None of us can see into the future, but having the right business insurance policies in place can help make sure you’re at least covered if the worst should happen.

Business insurance policies usually include a range of covers, including employers’ liability insurance, public liability insurance, and professional indemnity insurance.

These combined covers can protect against the financial risks of compensation claims or legal action taken against your business if it’s deemed responsible for property damage, injury or loss of life, lost or stolen items, unexpected closures, giving incorrect advice and more.

That’s why it’s important to tailor your insurance to meet the exact needs of your business and cover against all possible risks.

How Bionic business insurance comparison works

Compare business insurance quotes in three simple steps with Bionic

How Bionic Works

No needless questions

We get straight to the point and only ask questions that are relevant to you and your business.

How Bionic Works

We compare quotes

We’ll help you to uncover what you really need for your business. Only pay for what you need. No needless extras.

How Bionic Works

You choose the cover

We compare quotes from across our insurance panel and discuss your options. You then choose the cover you need.

Your Bionic comparison is free.

If you decide to switch, we’ll be paid a commission by the new supplier that is included in the prices we quote.

Why it’s better to talk

Every business is different, which means no two business insurance policies are the same. That’s why our insurance team is on hand to talk you through your options and help you tailor a package that meets your exact business needs with no hidden or unnecessary extras.

Cover against the real risks to your business

Each business faces different levels of risk. Our insurance team will cut through the insurance jargon and policy information and discuss your needs to make sure you’re covered against the main risks to your business.

Tailor your policy

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to business insurance, and each policy is made up from a range of covers. Speaking with our insurance team means you can tailor a package to meet the unique needs of your business.

Quality cover from trusted providers

We work closely with our panel of trusted business insurance providers to find high quality cover for your business. While price is important, ensuring your business is fully protected is the most important thing when buying business insurance.

All part of the service with Bionic

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Complete peace of mind, every year

Once we’ve helped you tailor the ideal business insurance policy, we’ll arrange everything with your new insurer so you can relax, safe in the knowledge that you’re fully covered. We’ll then get in touch when it’s time to renew to help you arrange your next policy.

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Bionic is a one-stop shop for business energy, business insurance, business connectivity (phone line and broadband), and business finance (loans). Save yourself time and hassle by getting all your business products sorted in one place. Just one name to remember for any of your essential services.

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What is business insurance?

Business insurance is a way to protect your business against any accidental losses or claims made against it. Although nothing can stop the unexpected from happening, having the right business insurance policy in place can help make sure you’re at least covered against any financial losses.

Business insurance policies usually include a range of covers, including employers’ liability insurance, public liability insurance, and professional indemnity insurance.

Does business insurance cover you in a pandemic?

Coronavirus restrictions and lockdowns forced businesses of all sizes and across all industries into temporary closure. In some cases, this was because they had to physically close the doors to their outlets, in others it was because supply chains had been disrupted to such a degree that they could no longer function.

While certain business interruption policies may have provided what is effectively forced closure insurance, many business owners found out they were not covered as their policy didn't include this type of incident. Whether you're taking out cover or making a claim, the wording of the policy is crucial.

Does your business interruption insurance include pandemic cover?

If your policy doesn’t include business interruption insurance, then it’s unlikely you’ll be covered against any financial losses caused by having to close your business temporarily. But even if you’ve had the foresight to include business interruption as part of your policy, standard cover usually only protects against closure due to physical damage to your property or ones nearby that restricts access and causes you to close.

Extended business interruption insurance is available to protect against virus outbreaks and specific diseases. But if a disease is new - as was the case with COVID-19 -it’s unlikely to be included in any list of specified diseases. This means it’s doubtful that your business interruption insurance will provide cover in this instance.

To find out if your business insurance covers you for closure in a pandemic or as a result of a new disease, you’ll need to check the policy wording to see if it's included in a list of specific diseases.

Some insurers don't specify a list of diseases but instead provide cover against 'notifiable diseases'. These are any diseases that are required by law to be reported to government authorities so they can be monitored.For more information, check out our guide to business interruption insurance.

What if my supply chain is disrupted by a pandemic?

This is a scenario that could be covered by your business interruption insurance, but only if you have an extension that includes “failure of suppliers” or “unspecified suppliers”.

Not all policies include this extension, and those that do usually specify that there must be ‘Damage’ (perhaps in the form of fire, theft or flood) at the premises of the suppliers or manufacturers and doesn’t include interruption at those premises as a result of a virus or disease.

In short, unless specified otherwise, it's unlikely that you'll be covered for a disruption to your supply chain because of a pandemic.

Do you need business insurance when working from home?

A lot depends upon the nature of the work you do and who actually owns the equipment, and you should always check the policy wording and never assume you’re covered. This goes for any insurance policy you might have.If you’re a sole trader that usually operates from home, your existing cover should also be enough if you’re still effectively operating as usual during the lockdown.

But if you’ve moved any extra equipment into the home to do your job remotely during the lockdown, even if you usually operate from home, you should notify your insurer and adjust your cover as necessary.

Home insurance generally only covers items that you own, so if you’ve shipped any work equipment into your house it’s unlikely this will be covered by your existing home insurance policy. If this is the case, you’ll need to speak to your provider and possibly arrange work from home insurance or a home business insurance policy.

If your business or the company you work for owns the equipment, you should also check whether it's covered for use away from the workplace under the terms of any corporate insurance policy.

Even if you own the equipment you’re using for work, you should check that its replacement value is covered under the amount your policy will pay out for a single item. If it isn’t, you might need to increase your single item limit.

In any case, you should let your home insurance provider know that you’re now working from home, as this could affect the terms of your cover.

What are the main types of business insurance?

Different types of business insurance policies are designed to cover different kinds of risks. The key to getting the right cover for your business is working out which ones you need and which ones you don’t.

For instance, employers’ liability cover is designed to protect your business against any damage claims made by members of staff. If your business doesn’t have any employees (except yourself) then you don’t need this cover.

To give you an idea of what’s on offer, here are the main types of cover you might need to consider:

What types of businesses are covered by business insurance?

No company can be run completely free from risks – regardless of the size of your business or the industry it works in, there are certain risks you need to protect against. These risks can range from something as simple as spilling tea on a customer’s coat to a product you sell causing serious harm to someone’s health.

In any case, these risks can cause serious financial and reputational damage. And no matter how careful and diligent you are in your work, there’s always a chance that the unexpected can happen.

Having the right business insurance in place is the only way to protect against these risks.

Small business insurance

If you run one of thousands of small businesses across the UK, you’ll have different needs and priorities to bigger businesses and national chains. This means you’ll need specialist insurance that caters for the needs of small businesses and protects against any specific risks yours might face.

If you have any employees, you’ll need employer’s liability insurance as a minimum (it’s a legal requirement). If you use any vehicles for work purposes, you’ll also need specific motor cover (again, it’s a legal requirement and standard motor insurance isn’t enough).

You might also want to consider adding public liability insurance (to protect against damage claims from customers), stock insurance (in case your stock is wiped out by flood or fire) and business interruption insurance (in case something happens to stop you trading – although Covid probably won’t be included).

The insurance team at Bionic can help you work out exactly which types of cover you need.

Limited company insurance

If your business is a limited company, then this will minimise your personal financial liability should it become insolvent and unable to pay its creditors. But that doesn’t mean you’re sheltered from all risks.

If an employee slips and injures themselves while working for you, you could still be held liable and face hefty compensation fees. Or you could still find yourself on the end of a claim if your business has given clients bad advice or a dodgy design that has resulted in them losing money.

The only way to protect yourself against financial loss in such instances is to have comprehensive business insurance that includes employers’ liability cover and professional indemnity cover.

The types of policy you need will depend on how your individual business works, and our insurance team can talk you through all your options to make sure you have exactly the right cover.

New business

If you’re just starting out, it can be difficult to know exactly what risks your business will face. To give you an idea, here are some possible problems you could face and the type of cover you’ll need:

You can also take out cover based upon the type of industry you work in, for example:

In addition to the cover mentioned above, it’s also worth considering business interruption insurance in case something causes you to close temporarily.

To get the right cover for your business – with no hidden or unnecessary extras – give our insurance team a call on 0800 077 3810.

Business insurance FAQs

To help you understand more about business insurance, here are the answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.

What kind of business insurance do I need?

This depends upon the type of business you own. There are only two types of business insurance that are a legal requirement in certain circumstances:

  • Employers’ liability insurance - if you have one or more employees.
  • Business motor insurance - if you use a vehicle for business purposes.

Certain professions and regulatory bodies might say that your business needs professional indemnity insurance, but it’s not a legal requirement. To get the right cover with no unnecessary extras, call Bionic on 0800 077 3810.

How much does business insurance cost?

According to figures from Nimblefins, the average public liability cover for a small business in the UK is £118 a year, but it can cost anything from £50 to £500. The cost of your business insurance will depend upon things like upon the type of cover you take out, the level of cover and amount you’re insured for, as well as things like the size of your business and where it’s located.

But remember, having quality cover that fully protects against the risks to your business is more important than cost.

What level of cover do I need?

The level of cover you need depends upon how much money you’d reasonably expect to pay out if a claim was made against you. Give our insurance team a call on 0800 077 3810 to find out the level of cover your business needs.

What is product liability insurance?

Product liability insurance is a type of commercial insurance that covers claims made against you if a product you’ve designed, manufactured, or sold causes injury or damage to people or their property.

Does business insurance cover legal expenses?

If you think you’ll need to have the cost of legal expenses covered, which could include legal representation, then you’ll need legal expenses cover. If your business is one that is prone to legal claims, either brought by or against you, it could be a worthwhile investment.

How does business interruption insurance work?

Business interruption insurance covers loss of income or earnings if your business has to close or can’t trade because of unforeseen events that cause damage to your property. It’s unlikely that standard business interruption insurance will provide pandemic cover.

Can I get business insurance before registering my business?

You can get business insurance before registering your business, and it’s unlikely that you’ll need to provide your company registration number or any business registration details when taking out cover. You can take out a business insurance policy before you’ve started trading, and this might be necessary if you need to store stock and equipment before you are fully open for business.

How do business insurance claims work?

The way your claim is processed and the time it takes for you to be paid out will depend upon your insurer and the complexity of the claim you’re making. If you’re claiming for damage or losses in the case of an accident or disaster, you’ll need to provide photographic evidence to support your claim. If it’s a claim for theft or vandalism, you’ll also need to provide a police crime number.

Whatever you need to claim, it helps you to be prepared and have all your contact numbers and policy details in a safe place. It might also be worth keeping the details on your phone, so you’ll have them to hand immediately.

Our team shares essential knowledge on business insurance

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