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Published 14 March 2023
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AXA Business Insurance Review

Find out more about AXA business insurance, including its pros and cons and features, in our review.

Many or all of the products and brands we promote and feature including our ‘Partner Spotlights’ are from our partners who compensate us. However, this does not influence our editorial opinion found in articles, reviews and our ‘Best’ tables. Our opinion is our own. Read more on our methodology here.

AXA business insurance: at a glance

AXA offers business insurance across a number of sectors and professions, ranging from self-employed solo outfits to medium-sized operations with employees. It insures over 645,000 businesses in the UK and Ireland. It also provides general insurance, such as car and home cover. 

You can build your own business insurance policy, so you have cover for the kinds of risks your profession or particular set-up may face. This includes cover for legal and compensation costs if claims are made against you, and protection for business stock, rental properties and vehicles.

AXA Business Insurance

AXA Business Insurance
  • Maximum Cover Amounts
    Public Liability: £5m | Employers Liability: £10m | Professional Indemnity: £5m
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This product is available via a Nerdwallet partnership with Simply Business. Proceed to obtain quotes from this and other providers from Simply Business.

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AXA business insurance pros and cons

Pros

  • You can save and retrieve quotes, and manage your policy, online.
  • There is phone support for policy management. 
  • You can make a claim by phone or by email.
  • You can shop by specific industry, with optional add-ons for typical risks.
  • Annual or monthly premiums are options, with no additional interest if you pay your landlord insurance monthly.

Cons

  • You can’t call customer services on weekends.

These pros and cons are based on a survey of UK business owners on what they found important when selecting a range of business products, conducted by NerdWallet in December 2022.

AXA business insurance key features

  • Online policy management
  • Claims by phone and email
  • Shop by occupation or business type

AXA business insurance full review

AXA offers a range of business insurance, starting with core cover – such as public liability or contents insurance – as well as optional add-ons, including equipment cover. So the cover is flexible and lets you protect the specific risks your profession and operation may face.

Find out more about AXA business insurance, including how it measures up to key priorities of business owners, according to our NerdWallet survey.

What types of business insurance does AXA offer?

AXA offers a range of core business cover, as well as more specialist cover:

  • Public liability insurance (up to £5 million): This covers legal fees and compensation costs if a member of the public is injured, or if their property is damaged and your business is at fault. Includes product liability insurance (up to £1 million) if you sell or supply a product that causes a customer to be ill or injured, or damages their property. 
  • Employers’ liability insurance (£10 million): This covers legal and compensation costs if a permanent or temporary employee gets injured, is ill or dies due to their work.
  • Professional indemnity insurance (up to £5 million): This is protection for legal and compensation costs for mistakes, negligence or bad advice by you or your business that cost your client money or damages their reputation. Some trades may not be included, though.
  • Business contents insurance: This covers belongings inside your premises if they are stolen or damaged, including stock. You can add this to another business insurance policy or buy it as standalone cover. You can add buildings insurance to this if you own your premises, and business equipment cover. 

AXA also offers:

  • Commercial van insurance: This is cover for using your van or pick-up for work, such as carrying stock or tools to other locations. It can pay out if you are involved in an accident or if your van is stolen or destroyed, depending on the level of insurance you choose. AXA’s courier van insurance includes hire and reward.
  • Landlord insurance and commercial landlord insurance: If you rent out a property, this can cover the building itself and your belongings inside it if an unexpected event causes damage or loss. It can also cover rental-specific issues, such as loss of rent and rehousing tenants, and includes liability cover for injury to third parties or damage to their property. It can cover up to 10 properties. 
  • Plant, tools and business equipment insurance: This covers accidental loss, damage or theft of your tools and equipment, including machinery, own plant and hired-in plant. This cover is only available if added to one of the four core liability and contents covers. 

There is quite a bit of flexibility, as you can add other types of cover and optional extras, such as legal expenses and employers’ liability insurance. 

Separately, there is also AXA business medical insurance for employees, with various payment plans and levels of cover available.

AXA business insurance features

Below, you can find out more about what AXA business insurance features. We’ve also considered what business owners said was most important to them in our NerdWallet survey. 

Professions and trades covered 

AXA covers a number of trades and professions with its business insurance. There is an A to Z of types of trades covered on its website, but if yours isn’t included, you can call to ask if there is cover available for the type of risks your business faces.

Some of the professions and business types AXA mentions include:

  • architects
  • hairdressers
  • cafés
  • domestic services
  • electricians
  • florists
  • landscape and gardening
  • IT contractors
  • designers

Payment options 

You can pay your AXA business insurance premiums either annually or in instalments by direct debit. You can nominate a preferred payment date if you pay in instalments. Be aware that you will pay interest on premiums if you pay monthly, unless it is landlord insurance.  

Having this choice was key for a number of business owners in our survey, with the option to pay monthly the second most important factor and annual payment ranking fourth. 

Online policy management 

You can view and make changes through an online account. Changes may be adding a property, or changing your cover level or contact details, for example. As with most insurers, you may need to ask for some changes or renewals over the phone. 

Web-based policy management was the third most important factor in our survey, so AXA’s online portal might be a positive for some.  

Phone support 

AXA encourages customers to use their online account first, and phone details aren’t easy to come by. Even so, you can call its UK-based call centre about your cover or to get a quote, or for issues relating to your online account, Monday to Friday, 8am- 6pm. You can also use the online chat facility. 

In our survey, being able to call customer services to make policy changes was ranked eighth in importance, with the majority seeing the self-service, online route as a higher priority. But the option to be able to speak to a person about their cover is important for some.

Making a claim 

You can make a claim by phone or by email, and there are different routes depending on the cover type. Lines are open on weekdays between 9am and 5pm (except public holidays), though there is a claims team that picks up calls outside these hours. 

There is an emergency phone line that is open 24/7 for some claims, such as contents insurance and legal assistance. 

In our survey, being able to make a claim online was important for nearly half of business owners, and was the top ranking factor. So while you can’t do this through an online account, there is an email address you can use.  

Customer reviews

AXA UK has a Trustpilot rating of 1.2 out of 5 stars, though only based on just over 250 reviews, as of 9 March 2023.

Bear in mind that this rating may cover both general and business insurance.

Can you shop by profession with AXA?

You can shop by specific occupation with AXA. This might be useful if you want to see the typical cover people doing your work may need, whether that’s by trade or profession. Just be aware that not all types of cover mentioned will be relevant to your individual business, such as if you don’t have employees.

Examples include professional indemnity and business equipment cover for architects, and public liability and contents cover for coffee shops. Shopping by your trade can also help highlight relevant optional add-ons for the job you do. You can also find cover by your type of business, whether you’re a start up or self-employed, for example.

In our NerdWallet survey, being able to shop by industry was only ranked seventh out of 10 in importance, but speed and ease, and potential industry expertise, were factors for some. 

How to choose the right business insurance

The business insurance policies or package you choose needs to address the risks your business faces. There is a lot of choice available, but some businesses might need the following cover to be able to operate:

  • You need employers’ liability insurance by law if you employ anyone in the UK who isn’t close family. Though if you employ family and your business is a limited company, you will still need it. 
  • For some professions, such as solicitors and accountants, professional indemnity insurance is required by their governing body or regulator.
  • You may be asked to have a specific level of public liability insurance to carry out some work, including government contracts. 
  • If you use a vehicle for work (other than commuting), you must have motor insurance and should consider business car insurance or commercial vehicle insurance. 

If you’re not sure which types of cover you need, an independent business insurance broker can help. Membership and trade bodies may also help you work out the minimum level of cover you need.  

How to get AXA business insurance

You can get a quote for AXA business insurance online or by phone.

If you’re taking the online route, you can add the cover you need as you go through the quote process. There is a Business Insurance Wizard if you would like a quick guide to the cover you may need.

You will need to supply information about your business, including:

  • when you started trading
  • the type of work you do
  • business location
  • number of employees
  • annual turnover (projected, if you’re not up and running yet) 
  • any past claims

You can then apply for the cover based on the quote if you decide it’s right and you can afford it, or you may prefer to compare the quote details with other providers. 

How to save money on AXA business insurance

If you buy your business insurance online, you can save 10% on your premiums. And if you take out landlord insurance and choose to pay monthly, you won’t pay interest.

There may also be discounts if you have multiple policies with AXA, though you may need to call to get these. It can also depend on the cover types you have.

Review methodology

At NerdWallet UK, we base our reviews and our ‘Best’ pages on the results of surveys we undertook about what was important to people who use these products. This allows us to look at products impartially of any commercial arrangements we have and fairly rate the products on the same set of criteria.

Best means our ‘Best’ and is based only on what products we have aligned to our surveys, which form the basis of our reviews and ratings. This means that there will be other products on the market that we have not included in our ‘Best’ pages. Best does not mean it’s best for you, nor does it mean the ‘cheapest’.

Our reviews may display lenders’ rates. This additional information has not been included in our evaluations but is still very important when choosing a product. Rates offered can depend on circumstances, amount and term. Always check details before proceeding with any financial product.

Product details reflect the information that was available at that time but may have changed since. We strive to give you a review on as many products as possible, but there will be products not included on the market. The review is our opinion, but it does not constitute advice, recommendation or suitability for your financial circumstances.

You can view our full review methodology here.

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