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Simply Business insurance: at a glance
Simply Business provides insurance to around 800,000 small businesses, sole traders and landlords, and is one of the UK’s biggest providers of business insurance. It’s a broker, so it compares quotes from a number of insurers (many of which are established names). Businesses can also manage their policies through Simply Business.
Its emphasis on speed, with the promise of same-day cover and documents, and online quotes in minutes likely to appeal to time-poor business owners.
Simply Business business insurance pros and cons
- You can make a claim online or over the phone.
- It offers UK-based customer support. Online policy management is available for some changes and to view policy documents.
- You can pay your premium annually or in monthly instalments.
- You can shop by specific industry or trade.
- You can’t call customer services later than 5.30pm on weekdays, and weekend contact is limited to Saturday between 9am and 2pm.
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.
Simply Business insurance key features
- Online policy management and claims
- 24/7 claims line
- Extensive cover options for a wide range of professions
Simply Business insurance full review
Simply Business is a business insurance broker that offers cover from a range of insurers to businesses, the self-employed and landlords in the UK. It has been around since 2005 and has a sizable position in the market.
Its starting point is usually public liability insurance, but you can build a policy that suits your business risks. So you might begin with core cover – including public liability and employers’ liability, for example – and then add more specialist cover, such as online retailer insurance, if you need it.
It might be reassuring that Simply Businesses specialises in business cover, so its focus and expertise lies with commercial risks. This isn’t always the case with other providers and brokers that tend to serve consumers too.
As Simply Business is a broker, the policy you may decide to take out via them will be provided by another firm. Simply Business will look to place your business with the most appropriate provider for your needs.
This review is based on Simply Business and not the firms they broker to. The types of products, benefits & features referred to in this review cover the range of firms Simply Business conducts business with. Specific details such as the pro’s and con’s refer to Simply Business’ services.
Find out more about Simply Business insurance – including how it measures up to key priorities of business owners, according to our NerdWallet survey*.
What types of insurance does Simply Business offer?
There is an extensive range of cover on offer, which you can buy separately or as a package. The amount of cover offered will vary as Simply Business is a broker rather than an insurance provider.
The main types included are:
- Public liability insurance: This covers compensation costs if a member of the public is harmed because of your business, or the cost of replacing or repairing their property if it’s damaged due to your business activities.
- Product liability insurance: If you design or supply a faulty product, this can cover compensation and legal costs if a client claims against you. This is bundled with its public liability insurance, rather than being standalone cover.
- Employers’ liability insurance: This pays compensation if permanent or temporary employees become ill, are injured or die due to their work and make a successful claim. It also covers associated legal fees.
- Professional indemnity insurance: This covers the cost if you’ve provided negligent advice or services and a client makes a successful claim against you.
- Stock insurance: This covers the cost of replacing stock that’s damaged or stolen due to an unexpected event, such as a fire or a burglary.
- Business equipment cover: This covers the cost of replacing essential portable items, such as a laptop or a camera, if they are stolen, lost or damaged.
- Tool insurance: This covers the cost of replacing your tools of the trade if they’re stolen, lost or are damaged in an unexpected event, such as a fire or flood.
- Personal accident insurance: A sum is paid out if an individual in your business who is covered by the policy is seriously injured, disabled or dies because of an accident.
- Contract works insurance: This pays out to repair or redo work on -site if it’s damaged by fire, flood, vandalism or theft.
- Buildings and contents insurance: Commercial property insurance can help repair or rebuild a property your business owns, which can be combined with contents insurance for your business’s belongings.
- Business interruption insurance: This covers lost income if your business can’t operate after an unexpected event, such as a fire or flood or equipment breakdown.
You can also find the following cover options:
- Self-employed health insurance: A choice of two healthcare plans for sole traders or small businesses with no employees. The more comprehensive plan includes access to private treatment.
- Landlord insurance: Covers fixtures and fittings, and your contents, as well as options for landlord home emergency cover, loss of rent and unoccupied insurance.
Simply Business insurance features
Here’s a deeper dive into the features of insurance offered through Simply Business. We’ve also considered what business owners said was most important to them in our NerdWallet survey.
Professions and trades covered
Simply Business offers cover to an extensive range of professions and claims to cover 1,000 different types – ‘more trades than anybody else’. There are too many to mention here, but specific trades it caters for include:
- arts and entertainment
- finance and legal
- media, marketing and design
- tradesperson and construction
As well as individual trades, you can buy packages for:
- self-employed insurance
- contractor insurance
- limited company insurance
- online retailer insurance
- consultant insurance
- freelancer insurance
- sole trader insurance
Searching for insurance by industry might be convenient, though not all businesses in the same sector will need the same cover.
In our NerdWallet survey, shopping by industry was ranked seven out of 10 for importance, with convenience and industry expertise a factor worth mentioning for some.
You can pay your premiums annually or in monthly instalments. You will pay interest on monthly payments and also a small fee if you pay by direct debit and your premiums are over £100.
In our survey, the option to pay monthly was the second most important factor, with annual payment ranking fourth. So having this choice is a priority for many.
Online policy management
You can manage your insurance through an online account, where you can access your policy documents, make changes, renew or cancel, or make a claim.
As with other insurance providers, you will need to submit an online request or pick up the phone to make certain changes, such as cancelling a policy or because you’ve had a change of personal or business circumstances. There is a £15 fee for making changes to your policy during the policy term, unless it’s within 14 days of the start date.
Web-based policy management was ranked third in importance in our survey, so it’s a key consideration for many businesses.
You can call its UK-based customer services about your cover to make changes or get a quote. Lines are open 9am-5.30pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 9.30am -5.30pm on Thursdays, and 9am-2pm on Saturday.
Interestingly, phone support was only ranked eighth in importance in our survey. Effective self-service through an online dashboard was seen as more of a priority for most.
Making a claim
You can make a claim on your policy online, over the phone, or by post. Making a claim online first, with supporting information, may be a more efficient way to start things off.
Claims are handled by Sedgewick (a third party) and lines are open 24 hours a day. You can track claims and upload documents through an online portal.
The route for home emergency and health insurance claims is slightly different, with a dedicated home emergency phone line and online portal for health.
In our survey, being able to make a claim online was the number one priority in the survey, considered an important factor for nearly half (48%) of business owners. So this is a big tick for Simply Business.
Simply Business has a Trustpilot rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars, based on over 2,600 reviews (as of 7 March 2023).
Bear in mind that this rating is based on the entire Simply Business brand, rather than being based on any specific product or offering.
Can you shop by profession with Simply Business?
Some packages are grouped by profession, which might be a useful way to see the usual types of insurance applicable to your business. Always focus on your own business risks, though, as these won’t be the same for everyone.
You might find it useful to see the types of risks your profession typically faces grouped together – such as public liability for injury to others and equipment cover for a cleaner – and find a straightforward route to creating a package of cover and getting a quote to match.
Pages also include example quotes for that type of cover, along with the type of excess (the amount you agree to pay towards the overall cost of an insurance claim) you would pay on a claim, depending on the type of cover.
How to choose the right business insurance
The business insurance you choose needs to address the risks your business faces. There is a wide choice of cover available, but some businesses 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 family, or if you employ family and your business is incorporated as a limited company.
- Professional indemnity insurance is required by their governing body or regulator for some professions, such as solicitors and accountants.
- You may be asked to have a specific level of public liability insurance to carry out some work, including public sector contracts.
- If you use a vehicle for work (other than commuting), you should consider business car or van insurance or commercial vehicle insurance. Bear in mind that, if you drive any vehicle, you are required by law to have proper insurance.
When it comes to choosing between providers after getting a quote, look at the level of cover provided, as well as the price. You may also want to compare the quote details with other providers.
How to get Simply Business insurance
You can get a quote by phone or online. You choose the cover you need and answer questions about your business, which will include:
- name and address
- contact information
- business structure
- number of employees
- policy start date
- the industry you are in
You can then review the quotes you receive and apply for the one that suits you best, if you want to, or compare the quotes with other providers. Quotes are valid for 30 days, or until the insurance starts.
How to save money on Simply Business insurance
As Simply Business is a broker, it can offer quotes from a number of insurers. So once you receive your quotes, you can compare prices and potentially pay less for the cover you need. Though bear in mind that it might still be possible to get your cover for less elsewhere.
Paying annually rather than monthly can save you money, if this is an option. That’s because you will be charged interest if you pay in monthly instalments.
Simply Business offers some incentives to buy insurance with them, such as a £25 gift card if you set up a reminder to buy cover. It also offers a referral scheme for existing customers, where if you recommend Simply Business to someone else and they buy cover, you both receive a gift card. These are just an added bonus rather than a reason to buy cover, though.
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