Guide

Business insurance: the basics

Business insurance you must have by law

Some types of business insurance are a legal requirement.

Most employers must have employers' liability compulsory insurance (ELCI). This protects your business against claims from employees for accidents or sickness they may suffer as a result of working for you. For detailed information, see liability insurance or download ELCI insurance guidance from the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) (PDF, 122K).

If your company uses motor vehicles on the road, you must purchase at least third-party motor insurance. This covers your business' liability for personal injury to someone else or damage to property. You may also want to purchase comprehensive insurance to cover damage to or theft of your own vehicles. Sometimes employees use their own vehicles in their job - make sure that insurance for all such vehicles has been extended to include business use.

Businesses in certain professions - such as the law, accountancy and financial services - are also legally required to take out professional indemnity insurance. This protects against legal liability for losses suffered by customers as a result of negligence. See liability and professional indemnity cover.

If you're in any doubt as to whether you're required to have professional indemnity cover, contact your trade association or professional body for advice. You can find details of your industry's trade association with the Trade Association Forum.