Hiscox Business Insurance Review

Hiscox Business Insurance Review

A direct insurer with a long history that is great for providing cyber and professional indemnity, as well as more standard coverages. But they don't cater to all professions.

Good for

  • Straightforward wording documents
  • High customer service level
  • Best at Professional indemnity policies
  • Direct insurer cuts out the middle man

Bad for

  • Expensive policies
  • Manual work not covered
  • Non-advisory stance can cause confusion

Editor's Rating

4.0/5.0

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.

Hiscox has a long history in the insurance industry, tracing their roots back to 1901 as a broker-only insurer and launching direct to consumer policies from 2013 onwards, but how do they fare today?

Customer ratings are mixed across review platforms, so let’s take an in-depth look at what real customers have to say , as well as checking out the cost of Hiscox business insurance and the occupations they cater towards to help you decide if Hiscox is the best business insurance for you.

In This Review

Hiscox Business Insurance: Overall Review

Hiscox has won several awards for service recently, including being raised to platinum service status by Feefo in 2020 and 2021 with some excellent feedback from their customers. Their reputation has taken a bit of a hit in the last couple of years as a result of controversy surroundingbusiness interruption payments during the pandemic, but are they still worth a look? Here’s what you need to know, including data on which business insurance products they offer and what real customers have to say.

Note: we particularly like that Hiscox offers professional indemnity insurance, as this is not often easy to obtain by contacting insurers directly, typically being a broker-dominated policy type. In addition, they are one of only three direct insurers deemed to be a “qualifying insurer” to issue professional indemnity policies to chartered accountancy businesses (AXA and Direct Line being the other two).

About Hiscox Business Insurance

Hiscox have over a century of providing insurance through brokers, however they only entered the UK direct to consumer marketplace in the last decade, offering home, business, event, and motor insurance policies.

Still, in that time they have grown to offer commercial covers (such as professional indemnity and public liability policies) for over 300,000 small businesses in the UK. Hiscox specialise in professional indemnity however they have growing experience in liability and office covers. Some insurers outsource their claims handling, but Hiscox has an award-winning, in-house claims team, which will be reassuring for some customers.

6 reasons to buy business insurance direct from Hiscox Business Insurance

You might be wondering if buying from Hiscox is the best and cheapest option for you. Here are a few perks of buying your business insurance directly from Hiscox business insurance:

  • Avoid the middle man. Hiscox insurance policies are underwritten by Hiscox Ltd, meaning they are able to amend and explain their policy covers with authority.
  • No admin fees to make changes. Self-explanatory, however if you make a change which makes your business more risky your premiums can rise to account for the new risks (e.g. new activities, changes in turnover or new client requirements)
  • Experienced insurer with high quality coverage. Hiscox have a specialist background, meaning their professional indemnity policies in particular benefit from a wealth of underwriter experience and contain some coverage which is difficult to obtain elsewhere on the open market.
  • UK-based call centre. Open 8am to 7pm, Monday to Friday in case you need assistance
  • Certificates provided with documentation. Proof of cover documents sent with your full policy documents, useful for proving insurance to clients.
  • Flexible limits of cover. Allow you to modify your cover level and the premiums you pay depending on your needs.

3 reasons not to buy business insurance direct from Hiscox Business Insurance

  • Higher premiums. Hiscox pride themselves on offering the right covers, not the cheapest, so for standard policy coverage you may find cheaper quotes elsewhere
  • Controversy following Covid-19. For some business owners the fact that Hiscox (and several other UK insurers) were ordered to pay these claims has soured their opinion of the insurer.
  • Niche/specialist target market Hiscox covers are targeted towards office and niche professional services, so if you carry out manual work, manufacturing or retail activities you may not be able to obtain quotes.

What do they do best? Hiscox are best at providing professional indemnity policies for consultancies and other non-manual specialists. Their cyber policy was one of the first available in the UK and offers some excellent features.

What are they missing? Hiscox have trouble insuring manual trades, product liability and certain other niche areas. If you can’t obtain terms with Hiscox they may be able to recommend another company that can help.

Bottom Line

If you fall into Hiscox’ target range, you will likely find their service level high and their policies competitively priced. For those who fall outside of Hiscox’ ideal customer profile you may find their premiums much higher than competing insurers, or be unable to obtain a quote with them. Be sure to compare policies like-for-like, as in some cases a premium difference can be explained by a significant cover difference.

Types of cover available from Hiscox Business Insurance

  • Public liability insurance protects against claims made by third parties (e.g., customers or members of the public) that your business caused personal injury or property damage.
  • Employers' liability insurance protects against claims made by your employees if they become ill or are injured due to their work for you.
  • Professional indemnity insurance is used if a client claims they've suffered a financial loss due to professional advice or service deemed negligent.
  • Legal expenses cover can provide access to and money to pay for professional legal support in case of contract disputes, debt collection and other tax and legal issues that can be a major headache for a small business.
  • Contents and equipment insurance protects your business's computer and other necessary equipment including furniture and portable equipment.
  • Building insurance protects your building premises if you own the property (otherwise this is your landlord's responsibility).
  • Business interruption insurance provides cover for the cost of temporarily relocating and lost turnover if your working premises became unusable due to an insured event like a fire or flood.
  • Cyber insurance can help with financial, reputation and systems recovery in event of cybercrime.

In addition, Hiscox offers personal accident insurance to businesses and sole traders in case employees or directors are injured and unable to work – the policy pays up to £250 per week or a lump sum in the event of a serious accident . We like that Hiscox’ personal accident policy will cover injuries from activities both in and out of work, including most sporting injuries.

How much does Hiscox Business Insurance cost?

The cost of business insurance is highly variable, and will depend on factors like your occupation and how much cover you need. Here are starting costs for Hiscox business insurance, as well as information on the limits of cover available.

Type of business insuranceLimits availableStarting prices
Professional indemnity insuranceChoice of cover levels (up to £10 million)From £139/year
Employers’ liability insurance£10 millionFrom £62/year
Public liability insuranceChoice of cover levels (up to £10 million)From £58/year
Cyber InsuranceChoice of cover levels (up to £10 million)From £119/year
Business contents including portable equipmentvariable levels of cover availablen/a
Legal expenses coverFrom 100,000 to £500,000From £57/year

Hiscox Business Insurance Customer Service Reviews and Ratings

Hiscox Business Insurance Ratings & Customer Reviews
Feefo customer experience rating4.7 out of 5
Trustpilot customer service rating2.8 out of 5
Defaqto2 stars (professional insurance portfolio)

Is Hiscox Business insurance any good? To find out, we've scoured through hundreds of online customer reviews to learn how customers rate their experience with Hiscox Business insurance. Here's what we found:

Hiscox Business Insurance at Feefo

Hiscox have their own company page at Feefo where over 3000 customers have left their impressions of the company.

The majority of these have left 5 star reviews, with far less in the 4 star category and almost none in the 1-3 star range, reflecting that the vast majority of Hiscox customers using Feefo are very pleased. Here is a sample of the praise for Hiscox on Feefo:

"Such an easy, straightforward process. Met all our requirements too.” "The sign up and purchase procedure was easy to do” "I was recommended Hiscox by another company in a similar industry. They provided me with excellent service. I asked for several quotes using different circumstances & nothing was a problem. Very easy to communicate with & very friendly. I'd highly recommend them.”

Hiscox Business Insurance Trustpilot

Hiscox Business Insurance has earned just 2.8 stars out of 5 at Trustpilot with an almost equal and overwhelming majority of 5 and 1 star reviews, based on 532 reviews total.

This shows that customer experience has been extremely good or extremely bad at Hiscox, with the majority of negative reviews focusing on refused claims, especially with regards to business interruption claims during the pandemic. Insurance claims are usually polarising however in this case it’s likely that the Supreme Court case has potentially skewed the overall review average towards the negative.

Following the Supreme Court ruling Hiscox has published guidelines on claiming for business interruption, hopefully rectifying some of the issues mentioned in their Trustpilot reviews. In some cases insurance claims will not be valid, even with the Supreme Court judgment, and these appear to be a source of further negative reviews.

Here is a selection of good and bad reviews for Hiscox found on Trustpilot:

The Bad:

" Hiscox does not provide the required cover and will find any loop hole to reject claims made against them. Don’t waste your money with this insurer.”

" Hiscox are dragging their heels on Business interruption insurance payouts for professional photography studios despite losing in the High Court are dragging their feet and questioning whether we were told to close!! We have letter from Parliament stating we were told to close”

" Undue Price Raise on Policy Premium ? Is it fair to increase approx. 20% Insurance fee over the previous year ? Just beyond belief. Is there any government's body to regulate these institution over their unscrupulous behaviour? People are affected by Covid, and these people are waiting to cow into. Please advise!”

The Good:

"I needed this insurance as a condition of a contract I was awarded. It was all completed on line. The conditions were easy to follow, the policy met my needs, and the price was competitive. Policy documents arrived very quickly after payment.”

"First time I had to call and make a claim with Hiscox in the many years I have been with them. I called and spoke to Lauren Thrower and wow she was amazing. The call was answered quickly. Lauren followed up with an email registering the claim. After that I was astounded at her speed and exemplary knowledge and how quickly the claim was dealt with. The communications and emails were excellent and Hiscox has me as a customer for life. Lauren & Hiscox keep up the good work.”

How to Claim with Hiscox Business Insurance

If disaster strikes and you need to submit a claim on your Hiscox Business insurance, read the Hiscox ‘Make a claim’ page, and for specific insurance product claims here are Hiscox' contact details:

Contact information for Hiscox Business insurance claims
Online ‘Claims Portal’https://claims.hiscox.co.uk/
General (e.g., public liability and employers' liability)01206 773 899
Professional indemnity01206 773 899
Cyber01206 773 791 or 0800 840 2782
Legal expenses (open 24/7)0800 731 3548
Personal Accident020 8315 0732

Stated opening hours are 8:30am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday, although access to the claims portal is 24/7.

Who is eligible for Hiscox Business insurance?

Whilst at the time of writing Hiscox Business Insurance specialises in Professional services and office-based businesses and Professional indemnity, liability and general commercial policies, insurers are always making changes to their product offerings.

Hiscox will cover a wide range of business activities including but not limited to:

  • Accountants
  • Consultants
  • Estate Agents
  • Freelancers
  • Graphic Designers
  • Hair & Beauty
  • Home business
  • IT Professionals
  • Marketing services
  • Offices
  • Professional services
  • Surveyors

However the following professions and trades may struggle to obtain quotes from Hiscox:

  • Builders
  • Caterers
  • Groundworkers
  • Landlords
  • Landscapers
  • Tradespeople

If you would like to speak to Hiscox Business Insurance about your business insurance you can reach them here, or call them on 0800 280 0351 or 01904 293 403 .

Alex Roebuck

Alex is a freelance writer with a background in professional indemnity underwriting and has worked as both an insurance company employee and at a brokerage. His insurance experience encompasses a range of SME and personal products, although he also has interests in technology, literature, finance and all things esoteric and complex.

Comments

The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.