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Cover For 1,000 Business Types

  • Essential cover

    Protection if someone is injured or their property is damaged because of your business.

    • Public Liability Insurance
    • Employers Liability Insurance
    • Business Contents Insurance
  • Professional cover

    Legal fees and compensation payments if you make a mistake in your work and a client suffers a financial loss.

    • Professional Indemnity Insurance
  • Management cover

    Cover for legal fees and compensation payments if you make a mistake in your work and a client suffers a financial loss.

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What our Nerds say about business contents insurance

KRISTINA

BUSINESS NERD

Business contents insurance can cover your tools, equipment and stock against unexpected events such as theft, fire, storms, and flooding.

Business contents insurance isn’t legally required, but it could help protect your business from a financial shock if you had to replace your equipment out of pocket because of fire damage, for example.

Whether you want to protect your laptop, your office furniture or your stock, business contents insurance can pay out to repair or replace these items if they are lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed.

What is business contents insurance?

Business contents insurance, also known as commercial contents insurance or office contents insurance, is a type of cover you can add to your business insurance policy. It can cover important items, including stock and equipment, in case of an unexpected event such as a fire or flood at your business premises.

Business contents insurance is generally an ‘all risks’ cover. This means you are covered for both malicious and accidental damage to your possessions, as well as loss or damage through theft, fires and floods.

What does business contents insurance cover?

Business contents insurance can cover stock, devices and equipment that are important for the day-to-day running of your business. This can include technology, such as computers and mobile phones, other business equipment, office furniture and any stock you keep.

Commercial contents insurance can pay out for repairs or replacements if your business possessions are:

  • stolen
  • damaged accidentally
  • damaged or destroyed by fire, flooding or storms
  • damaged maliciously (i.e. vandalised)

Generally, business contents insurance covers equipment as well as stock. Possessions belonging to staff or customers may also be covered when on your premises. Full details of what is insured can be found in the terms of your cover.

You may be covered for goods temporarily kept elsewhere as part of your cover. For example, if you took some of your stock to sell on a market stall for the weekend. It’s also possible to get cover for goods in transit as part of business contents insurance, though this may be an add-on.

You can pick a cover limit and your business possessions will be covered up to this amount. You need to include everything you want to be insured when picking a level of cover. If you don’t, you could find yourself underinsured – and your insurer may not pay out as much as you expect in the event of a claim. It also pays to spend time working out the value of your business contents so that you don’t overinsure and pay higher premiums than you need to.

What does business contents insurance not cover?

Your cover may be subject to exceptions – these should be clearly listed in the policy wording or the ‘summary of cover’ document.

Contents insurance alone will not cover the bricks and mortar of your business premises. If you own the property, you may also want to consider business buildings insurance. You can take out business buildings and contents insurance together, or you can add these to a larger business insurance package.

If you lease or rent your work space, your landlord would be responsible for business buildings insurance, and could then reclaim the cost through your service charges.

Do I need business contents insurance?

Whether business contents insurance is a suitable type of cover for your business depends on your specific circumstances.

It’s not legally required as a business owner. The only legal requirement when it comes to business insurance is employers’ liability insurance. This is mandatory if you employ anyone working in the UK who’s not part of your immediate family.

However, even though it is not obligatory, you may want to consider business contents cover if you handle a lot of stock or have a lot of equipment that you rely on to run your business.

You should think about whether you would be able to afford to replace or repair important items if they were destroyed or damaged. Business contents insurance could cover this unexpected cost, which might lighten the load on your business finances if disaster struck.

How much is business contents insurance?

The price of business contents insurance can vary based on a number of factors, including:

  • the nature of your business
  • where your business is located
  • the types of items you want to cover
  • whether you’ve made any claims in the past

Prices can also differ depending on the provider you use, the excess you choose and the level of cover you want. The excess is how much you have agreed to pay towards a claim before your insurer steps in to foot the bill. Generally, the higher your excess, the lower your premium, but remember to make sure you would be able to afford to pay this amount if you ever did have to make a claim.

It is worth comparing quotes from different insurers to find one that suits your business needs – though remember that the cheapest quote is not necessarily the best option. You should check the level of cover offered to ensure it meets your requirements.

When should I get business contents cover?

If you’re storing stock or buying specialist tools and equipment, you may want to think about taking out business contents insurance when you first begin trading.

Events such as fires, floods and theft can happen at any time. Taking out business contents cover when you start buying goods and tools can protect you against having to pay out of pocket for replacements early on or further down the line.

How to get business contents insurance

If you feel ready to take out business contents insurance, you can get a quote at the top of this page.

Click ‘Get a quote’ to get started.

Before taking out business contents cover, you should ensure that it meets your business’s requirements so that you don’t end up either over- or underinsured.

Business Contents Insurance FAQs

How does business contents insurance work?

Business contents insurance covers tools, equipment and stock used by your business. If any of this was damaged or destroyed by an insured event – such as a fire, flood or theft – then your insurer could pay out to repair or replace the affected items.

You can find out about what is covered in your policy wording or in the ‘summary of cover’ document provided by your insurer.

If you find yourself needing to make a claim on your insurance, you should contact your provider to tell them what has happened. You can usually do this over the phone or online. You may need to give information such as:

  • your name and address
  • your policy number
  • details about the claim you’re making
  • a crime reference number from the police, if you are claiming for loss or theft
  • photos or other evidence of what has happened

You may need to pay an excess – this is the amount you need to pay out before your insurer steps in to cover the rest of the cost. Check the terms of your cover to see the amount of excess you agreed to pay when you first took out the policy.

Do I need business contents insurance if I run a home business?

Although it’s not a legal requirement, you may want to consider business contents insurance if you run a business from home.

Your home insurance policy may not cover you for ‘business use’ – including storing your business’s stock or tools at home. If you have a computer, mobile phone or any other equipment that you use for business, you may need business contents insurance to ensure these items are protected from unexpected events such as theft, fire or flooding. The same applies to stock you keep at home.

If you’re self-employed and work from home, there are other business insurance options that you may want to consider. For example, if you have clients over to your home, then you may want to look at taking out public liability insurance. This could cover you if a client was injured, or killed or their property was lost or damaged as a result of an accident while visiting your home business.

Am I covered while travelling?

If you travel between places for work – for example, if you trade at a number of markets in your local area – you may need to transport stock and equipment. Business contents insurance can cover your possessions while in transit, though this may come as an optional add-on. If you want protection for goods in transit, it’s worth checking whether this is included before you take out cover.

What other types of business insurance should I consider?

If you are thinking about taking out a business insurance package, there is a range of cover that could be relevant to your business.

For example, if you have a lot of contact with clients or the public, you may want to consider public liability insurance. This could cover you if someone got injured or worse, died, because of your work. It can also cover damage to someone’s property.

If you have employees, you’re likely to need employers’ liability insurance. This cover is legally required if you employ anyone who works in the UK and isn’t a member of your family. You can be fined £2,500 for each day you’re not correctly covered, so it’s important to make sure you get it right.

You can find out more about the types of cover you could get for your business on our dedicated business insurance page.

About the author

Kristina is a writer at NerdWallet. A recent graduate trading French for finance, she has experience creating content for student newspaper Cherwell and an edtech company. Read more

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