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Hiscox business insurance: at a glance
Hiscox is a long-established provider of insurance, covering around 400,000 businesses in the UK.
Its main focus is on liability and property cover, depending on the risks you want to protect against and the premium you can afford. There is online policy management and dedicated customer services phone lines for claims and queries.
Learn more about how we bring you our review.
Hiscox business insurance pros and cons
- Annual or monthly premiums option, with no interest charged on monthly payments.
- You can make a claim over the phone, by email or through the online portal.
- You can buy your policy – and view your documents – online.
- Not all types of cover are available to buy online – for example landlord and commercial vehicle insurance.
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.
Hiscox business insurance key features
- Easy to shop by industry
- Claims online, by email or by phone, 24/7
- Online portal for managing your policy
Hiscox business insurance full review
Hiscox offers a range of business insurance for various types of set-ups, including sole traders. You can build your own policy and choose optional add-ons to build the package you need.
Find out more about Hiscox business insurance, including how it measures up to key priorities of business owners, according to our NerdWallet survey.
What types of business insurance does Hiscox offer?
You can buy the following types of cover from Hiscox:
- Public liability insurance (up to £10 million): This covers legal fees and compensation costs if members of the public (including clients or visitors) are injured or their property is damaged and your business is at fault. It also usually includes product liability insurance, which offers protection if you supply or sell faulty goods.
- Employers’ liability insurance (up to £10 million): This covers legal and compensation costs if a permanent or temporary employee becomes injured or ill, or dies, due to their work and a successful claim is made against your business.
- Professional indemnity insurance (up to £10 million): This covers legal and compensation costs if a client makes a successful claim for poor advice or mistakes made by your business.
- Personal accident insurance (£5,000 to £100,000): A fixed sum is paid out if you or an employee are seriously injured, become disabled or die because of an accident in or outside work.
- Cyber insurance: Protection to help your business recover financially after a cyber event, such as a data breach, phishing or ransomware attack.
- Directors’ and officers’ liability insurance: This is cover for directors and key managers if compensation claims are made against them for mistakes or wrongful acts.
It also offers commercial property insurance:
- Buildings insurance: If you own your business premises (outright or with a mortgage), such as an office, showroom or warehouse, this covers the rebuild cost after damage by fire, flood or storm.
- Contents insurance: This is cover for business belongings and stock at your premises if they are stolen or damaged. You can also include portable equipment insurance for when you take tools and equipment away from your premises, including loss, accidental damage and theft.
There are optional add-ons to this core cover, such as legal protection insurance, which can cover the cost of defending yourself if someone takes legal action against your business.
Hiscox business insurance features
Here are some of the main features of Hiscox business insurance. We’ve also considered what business owners said was most important to them in our NerdWallet survey.
Professions and trades covered
Hiscox covers a large number of professions, and has a range of add-ons to core policies to mitigate trade-specific risks. So it can offer industry-specific cover, as well as the flexibility to build the policy you want.
You can also specify your profession when you get a quote, but if you’re not sure if yours is covered, you call customer services.
You can pay your business insurance premiums annually or monthly. You won’t pay interest if you pay monthly, which could be helpful to know if you find paying in instalments better for budgeting.
Having the choice between annual and monthly payments was key for a number of business owners in our survey, with instalments being the second most important factor and the paying up front not far behind in fourth.
Online policy management
Hiscox offers an online business insurance account to access your policies, or to save and retrieve quotes. You can also use their live chat, if it’s a simple query.
Similar to other insurers, you can call customer services to make changes to your policy or email them if you prefer. The availability of web-based policy management was the third most important factor in our survey.
You can call customer services about your cover or to get a quote. Lines are open Monday to Friday 8am-7pm, and closed on weekends and public holidays.
In our survey, being able to call customer services to make policy changes was ranked eighth in importance, with most seeing the self-service, online route as a higher priority. Even so, a conversation with customer services is still an important route for some, and the weekday opening hours are slightly longer than some providers.
Making a claim
You can make a claim 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can do this by phone, email or through its online portal. There are different numbers depending on the policy in question. A claims handler should get back to you within 48 hours.
In our survey, being able to make a claim online was important for nearly half of business owners, and was the top ranking factor.
Hiscox has 4.4 out of 5 stars on Trustpilot, based on over 800 reviews (as of 7 March 2023).
Bear in mind that these reviews aren’t exclusively about business insurance, as Hiscox also offers general insurance.
Can you shop by profession with Hiscox?
Hiscox offers cover for some specific trades and professions. This considers the typical risks those businesses might face day to day and the cover needed to help protect them.
Some of the professions you can shop by include:
- IT and technology, including developers and IT consultants
- coaching and education, including private tutors and online coaches
- retail and shops, including florists and jewellers
- health and wellbeing, including dentists and therapists
- advertising and creative, including graphic designers and photographers
- hair and beauty, including hairdressers and nail technicians
- food and drink, including caterers and cafes
- design and construction, including architects and engineers
- financial and legal, including accountants and brokers
Always focus on identifying your own business risks, though, as these won’t be the same for everyone. You can also use a search box to find your profession if you can’t find it elsewhere on the website.
In our NerdWallet survey, being able to shop by industry was ranked seventh out of 10 in importance. So while it’s not top of the list, if you’re looking for the sort of cover that’s right for your industry, you’ll find plenty of trade-specific pages.
How to choose the right business insurance
The cover types you choose need to address the risks your business faces. There are a lot of types to choose from, broadly grouped into liability, property and vehicle protection. However, some businesses may 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 need it.
- Professional indemnity insurance is required by governing bodies or regulators for some professions, such as chartered surveyors and financial advisers.
- You may need to have a specific level of public liability insurance to carry out some work, including government contracts, or if you exhibit at events.
- 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, you could contact an independent business insurance broker. Membership and trade bodies may also help you work out the minimum level of cover you need.
How to get Hiscox business insurance
You can get a quote for Hiscox business cover online in around five minutes. When applying, you will need to provide some details about you and your business, including:
- your type of business activities
- business name
- business location
- when you started trading
- annual turnover
- policy start date
- number of employees
You may be asked to get a quote over the phone if you are in certain professions or depending on your annual turnover, or if you can’t find your work from the dropdown.
You can add or remove the cover you need as you go through the quote process.
Once you have a quote, you can apply online or over the phone, if you’re happy with the price and cover features. You may also want to compare the quote details with other providers.
How to save money on Hiscox business insurance
If you choose to pay by monthly instalments, you won’t be charged interest. You also won’t pay admin fees if you make changes to your policy, though changes can affect your premium.
Hiscox also offers incentives, but it’s key to first and foremost make sure the level of cover is right for you and the premiums are affordable. There is a refer-a-friend scheme for existing customers. If you have a policy with and recommend Hiscox business or home insurance to someone else through their designated route, you will get £150 to keep or share, though terms apply.
There is also free PR and media support if you need to manage any fallout from a claim that could affect your business’s reputation, and a free legal review service for contracts and other legal documentation.
At NerdWallet Ltd UK we base our reviews on the results of surveys we conduct to understand what key product features are important to those who use them, and align them to the product we review.
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 it is likely there are others available that we have not reviewed. The review is our opinion, but it does not constitute advice, recommendation or suitability of your financial circumstances.
You can view our review methodology here.