Employers liability insurance

Covers claims from employees who have been injured or become ill as a result of working for you.

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Your team is growing.

Fresh faces, skills and energy. A few more pairs of hands to lighten the workload.

A valuable asset, your people are key to your success. Looking out for them makes sense, and it’s a legal requirement.

Employers liability (EL) insurance gives your team reassurance, while protecting your business. It’s a win win.

From £5.35 per month

Compulsory for employers
Covers legal costs
Work related sickness
Working from home

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Why employers liability insurance?

Workplace risks

All the health and safety in the world can't protect you from workplace accidents and sickness. And if one of your staff becomes ill or injured while they're working for you, your business could be held liable.

If that happens, employers liability insurance will ensure you can defend yourself and cover any compensation costs.

It's the law

Employers liability insurance is a legal requirement for every employer in the UK – even those who just work with contractors, casual, temporary or part-time staff.

Your policy must cover you for at least £5m, and you can face expensive fines to the Health and Safety Executive if you don't have it.

Compensation culture

The rise of 'no win, no fee' services has made the chances of a facing an employers liability claim more likely, even if your business isn't to blame.

It only takes an allegation that you've done something wrong and these services make it easy for employees (and ex-employees) to take action against you.

Who needs employers liability insurance?

If you're a UK business with one or more employees – including contractors, casual, temporary or part-time staff - then employers' liability insurance is a legal requirement. The only exceptions are immediate family members and employees working abroad, although the latter may be covered under similar laws where they are based.

Employers liability insurance guide

What is employers liability coverage?

Taking on employees brings a lot of responsibility, not least ensuring everybody stays safe and well while working for you. Risks are part and parcel of running a business, even if you’re office-based, which means accidents can happen and employees can suffer injury or illness, whether down to trips, slips, back-pain or repetitive strain. And if that happens, your business could be found liable, facing hefty legal costs and demands to pay compensation.

In situations like this, an employers liability policy is your lifeline, as it will cover the costs involved in a claim, ensuring you can defend your case and stump up any compensation payments. It will even pick up any potential fines you could face from the Health & Safety Executive, which is responsible for safeguarding staff in the workplace. Oh, and did we mention employers liability cover is a legal requirement? So, it should be a top priority as soon as you start building your team.

When do you need employers liability insurance?

No excuses. EL is a compulsory insurance for businesses that employ one or more people, which means as soon as you take on staff, you are required to have it by law. That includes if you take on contractors, casual, part-time or temporary staff.

The only times you could be exempt is if you’re a public organisation, if you employ a family member, or have employees based abroad. Although,in the latter case, your staff may very well be covered by laws in the country where they are based. If you are a sole trader, you don’t require EL.

What are the risks?

Whatever business you’re in, employee claims can cover a whole host of workplace hazards, from broken bones caused by a fall, posture issues from bad seating or mental health issues blamed on stress or pressure. Even if you’ve done everything in your power to look after the wellbeing of your staff, sometimes events are out of your control.

We also live in the days of ‘no win no fee’ lawyers that have made it easier than ever for employees to make a claim about recent or historical issues. This compensation culture can cost businesses millions in pay-outs and legal costs, putting a serious dent in your finances and reputation.

Things you can do

To minimise the chance that you’ll face an employers liability claim, you need to get acquainted with your health and safety and risk management obligations. As a startup or small business in the digital, tech or media sectors, this shouldn’t be too big a task, however you should carry out a risk assessment and ensure you have taken steps to control and mitigate the most significant hazards facing your employees.

If you have more than five staff you should also have a written health and safety policy. Beyond that, make sure all staff are given the training, information and instructions they need to do their job safely and effectively, and have first aid arrangements, in case an accident ever occurs on site. For more information, the Health & Safety Executive should be your first port of call.

What to watch out for

As an employer, you can be fined as much as £2,500 per day that you go without employers liability insurance. When you purchase EL from a business insurance provider you’ll receive a certificate, which must be displayed either on your premises or online, where employees can find it and where it is accessible to inspectors from the HSE. Failure to do this could result in a fine of up to £1,000. Make sure your insurance cover is purchased from an authorised insurer and if you’re not sure, consult the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which has a list of these.

Other covers to consider

Cyber insurance

Covers your liability for failing to protect data, as well as penalties for not complying with data protection law.

Professional indemnity insurance

Covers your liability to customers for professional mistakes, errors or omissions in services you provide.

Contents and equipment insurance

Protects your property against theft, loss or damage.

Management liability

Covers you for negligence in media content and advertising, including website, blogs and social media.

Public liability insurance

Covers your liability to members of the public for bodily injury or damage to their property.

Commercial legal protection

Covers compensation awards, professional fees and legal costs associated with a range of legal disputes.

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Award-winning insurance

We're the British Insurance Awards 2018 Insurance Start-up Winner - recognised for our innovative range of covers, online customer experience and flexible subscription model, which make buying and managing insurance easy and accessible for businesses in the digital industries.

Employers liability insurance FAQs

What is employers liability insurance and what does it cover?

If you employ people in your business, then you are responsible for their health and safety at work. In the event that one of your employees (past or present) suffers (or claims to suffer) an injury while working for you, employers liability insurance covers your business for any possible legal fees or compensation payments. It is also a legal requirement and you can be fined by the Health & Safety Executive for every day that you don’t have it.

What kind of businesses do you provide cover for?

Digital Risks covers a broad range of business types. Whether you have an established company, a small startup, or you work as a contractor or freelancer, we can certainly take care of you. When you start an online quote, just start typing the first few letters of your business activity and our system will do the rest. And if it’s not on the list, give us a call and we’ll sort you out with a tailored policy.

Is it mandatory to take out employers liability insurance?

If you’re a UK based business that employs one or more people - including contractors or freelancers - then EL is a legal requirement. Every day without this cover can cost you £2,500 in fines to the Health and Safety Executive. Plus, fines aside, it will also help ensure you can cover any incident or injury claims, and look after your staff in the best way possible.

Do I need to have a employers liability certificate on display?

Your employers liability certificate must be displayed – either on your premises or online – and be made available to inspectors. Failure to do so could result in a £1,000 fine.

What isn’t covered by employers liability insurance?

Employers' liability insurance only covers your business for claims made by your employees, or past employees, for any injuries or illnesses suffered as a result of their work for you. It does not, however, cover you from any similar claims made by your customers or other members of the public. These are covered by public liability insurance.

How can I make changes to my employers liability policy or make a claim?

Our monthly subscription model gives you ultimate flexibility, with the option to cancel or change your cover at any time. A small business can grow and change quite frequently, which is why we made it incredibly easy to amend your policy - just get in touch with us by phone, email or webchat in the bottom right corner of this page.

Same goes for making a claim with Digital Risks. We won’t burden you with loads of process and paperwork. All you need to do is let us know what happened and we’ll sort everything out for you as soon as possible.

What excess would I need to pay?

There is no excess to pay when you make a claim on employers liability cover. Everything is handled from our side.

What kind of claims does employers liability cover?

EL covers all claims resulting from personal injury or illness suffered by your employees as a result of their work for you. Depending on what your business does, of course, the nature of these claims may vary, ranging from minor accidents, to stress or other mental health issues. Here are a few examples...

  1. Something as silly as slipping on a wet floor in your co-working space kitchen can have serious consequences. And while most insurers won’t cover shared workspaces, Digital Risks has designed bespoke cover specifically for this scenario.

  2. What if a plug in your office malfunctions and electrocutes one of your team mates?You too could face a nasty shock if your business faces a legal claim for injury or long-term health damage. If that happens, employers liability insurance would pick up the bill.

  3. In the unfortunate event that your building becomes a victim of damp or mould, unsightly walls won’t be the only thing to worry about These issues are often accompanied by contaminated air that could have serious implications for your team’s health,especially those with existing respiratory conditions. And even if there are no asthma sufferers on your team, damp and mould could seriously affect their immune systems for an extended period - and no amount of paracetamol is going to solve the problem.

What else do I need?

Digital Risks’ employers liability cover comes as part of a package together with public and product liability. So you’ll also be covered for claims made by members of the public relating to damage or injury caused by your business activities or products.

You may also want to consider taking out professional indemnity insurance, which covers you if one of your clients claim they suffered financial losses due to your professional negligence.

How do I get a employers liability certificate?

As soon as you take out a cover with us, we’ll send out your certificate (or a policy schedule) for each element of the cover you’ve purchased. This will show the level of cover you have, along with the start and end dates of its active period, and the costs involved.

How do I get an invoice?

Invoices for your monthly payments are available on request, so all you need to do is give us a call (or drop us a line), and we’ll get the requested documents sent out to you as quickly as possible. Alternatively, we can set up your account so that you automatically receive these on a monthly basis.

What are the levels of this cover and how much will it cost me?

The limit for employers liability insurance stands at a fixed amount of £10 million. Instalments for this cover can cost you as little as £7.70/month - it all depends on the size of your team and the package you choose with us.

How can I pay for my cover?

At Digital Risks, we don’t like to put constraints on anyone, especially our customers. All of our policies are sold as flexible pay-monthly subscriptions, helping you to manage your cash flow, and giving you the freedom to change or cancel your cover at any time.

Further reading
6 Dec 2019
1 minute read

The 12 risks of Xmas: on the fifth day of Xmas...

With office parties in full swing, the festive season is a peak time for property damage. Whether dancing on the tables, or trying to perform gymnastic feats around the pot plants, at Christmas, no computer, table or chair is truly safe.

5 Dec 2019
1 minute read

The 12 risks of Xmas: on the fourth day of Xmas...

Christmas is one of the busiest trading periods for many companies, particularly online retailers. But it is also a notorious time for IT failure, when people take their eye off the ball.

4 Dec 2019
1 minute read

The 12 risks of Xmas: on the third day of Xmas...

Rumour has it that businesses slow down around Christmas, but this is rarely the case. At this time of year, it’s easy for staff to let work slip or miss SLAs, earning the wrath of clients.

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Authorised by the FCA

The FCA supervises UK financial services firms to protect consumers. We are directly authorised and regulated by the FCA and our Firm Reference Number is 656459. These details can be confirmed on the Financial Services Register at www.fca.org.uk or by calling the FCA on 0845 606 1234.

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Our insurance products are underwritten by Standard & Poor’s A-rated financial strength or higher. This means the underwriter has been independently assessed by the world’s leading credit rating provider and found to have a strong capacity to meet financial commitments (pay claims).

Protected by the FSCS

If you are a business with an annual turnover under £1m, charity with an annual income under £1m, or trust with net assets under £1m, then you will be entitled to compensation from the FSCS in the unlikely event we cannot meet our obligations. Full details and further information on the scheme are available at www.fscs.org.uk