Markel Direct Business Insurance Review

Markel Direct Business Insurance Review

Read the NimbleFins review of Markel Direct, including target businesses, policies, and real customer testimonials to help you decide if Markel is the right insurer for you.

Good for

  • Broad policy cover including cyber
  • Technology, care, electrical and building services specialists
  • Award winning Professional Indemnity insurance
  • Direct insurer cuts out the middle man

Bad for

  • Third party monthly payments
  • Some heavier manual work not covered

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.

Markel Direct have been active in the insurance space since their origins in 1930 in Virginia, with their UK insurance products available online since 2011. They certainly have a long history in insurance, but how do they fare today?

Customer ratings are generally good 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 Markel Direct business insurance and the occupations they cater towards to help you decide if Markel Direct offers the best business insurance for you.

In This Review

Markel Direct: Overall Review

As an insurer, Markel Direct are not well known in the consumer space and therefore appear to be commonly overlooked—but are they worth a shot?

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 immediately noticed that Markel’s policies appear to be competitively priced with lots of customisable add-ons (Including Professional Indemnity, which can be hard to find outside of brokers), however their personal accident policy appears to be work-only, which loses them some points compared to policies which cover you for accidents sustained anywhere, even whilst playing sports.

About Markel Direct Business Insurance

Founded in 1930 to insure jitney buses in Virginia, Markel grew swiftly, incorporating other insurance lines through organic growth and acquiring other providers. In 2000 Markel opened their London offices to provide policies through brokers. In 2011 Markel launched its online insurance service for direct access by businesses and consumers.

They currently offer policies for a range of businesses, specialising in technology, care, electrical and building services, but with policies to suit a range of other business types. 2024 marks the fifth year in a row that Markel has been awarded the Feefo Platinum Trusted Service Award—an achievement made even more impressive when you consider that many insurers have seen their service levels deteriorate since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, they were named as the UK’s No.1 commercial lines insurer for service 2023/2024 by Insurance Times, in their broker survey.

5 reasons to buy business insurance from Markel Direct Business Insurance

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

  • Avoid the middle man. Markel insurance policies are underwritten by Markel, 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).
  • Difficult to source Professional indemnity direct. Markel are offering a policy which is not particularly easy to source outside of brokers.
  • UK-based call centre. Open 8:30am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday in case you need assistance.
  • Flexible limits of cover. Allow you to modify your cover level and the premiums you pay depending on your needs.
  • Award-winning service Recipients of Feefo platinum service awards for five years running; UK’s No.1 commercial lines insurer for service 2023/2024 in Insurance Times broker survey.

3 reasons not to buy business insurance direct from Markel Direct Insurance

  • Limited types of business covered If you don’t fit into their target business types you may not be able to obtain a quote.
  • Non-advisory If your business is especially complex or requires specialist insurance you may be better off speaking to a broker.
  • Limited personal accident cover Markel’s personal accident policy only covers accidents at work or on the way to and from work (it's a true "occupational" personal accident insurance). Other insurers like Hiscox and Directline provide 24h and sporting injury covers as standard.

What do they do best? Markel offer a competitive professional indemnity policy for consultants, technical specialists and teachers/tutors, including dance and fitness professionals. They are also a source of charity insurance which can be difficult to obtain outside of brokers.

What are they missing? Markel don’t offer suitable covers for heavy manual trades and manufacturing, and they might struggle to offer a comprehensive policy for very large or complex businesses where a broker might be more suitable.

Bottom Line

If your business activities fall into Markel’s target range you will likely find their policies to be well-suited to you and competitively priced. In fact, for charities and some fitness/dance professionals Markel may be one of the only places to source cover outside of brokers and regulatory bodies.

Be sure to compare any Markel quotes with others on a like-for-like basis, and don’t be afraid to ask Markel representatives to explain their covers to you in detail.

Types of cover available from Markel Direct

  • Professional indemnity insurance is used if a client claims they've suffered a financial loss due to professional advice or service deemed negligent.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Directors and Officers cover protects the personal assets of business owners and directors in the event of claims that they have been negligent in running the business. Covers a range of alleged wrongful acts.
  • Personal Accident Insurance canprovide financial aid to employees in the event they are injured at work or on their way to work.
  • Cyber insurance can help with financial, reputation and systems recovery in event of cybercrime.
  • 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.

How much does Markel 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 estimated starting costs for Markel Direct 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 £5 million)From £81.76/year
Employers’ liability insurance£10 millionFrom £50/year
Public liability insuranceChoice of cover levels (up to £5 million)From £50/year
Cyber InsuranceChoice of cover levels (up to £250,000)From £45/year
Business contents including portable equipmentVariable levels of cover availablen/a
Legal expenses coverFrom 100,000 to £500,000From £56/year
Personal AccidentChoice of cover levels (up to £100,000)From £28/year

Markel Direct Customer Service Reviews and Ratings

Markel Direct Ratings & Customer Reviews
Feefo customer experience rating4.8 out of 5
Trustpilot customer service rating4.2 out of 5

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

Markel Direct at Feefo

Markel Direct have their own company page at Feefo where over 2,600 customers have left their impressions of the company in the past year.

Last year the majority of reviewers 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 Markel Direct customers using Feefo are very pleased.

Here is a sample of the feedback for Markel Direct on Feefo:

The Good

"Very easy to use. The customer support staff are helpful and quick to respond.”

"Great service very simple process for quote and god value for Professional Indemnity”

"Excellent service. Very easy online application. at one point I needed to speak to a real person and I got through quickly to someone who was knowledgeable and helpful.”

The Bad

”I received no emails from them confirming cover despite numerous requests. All I received was a credit agreement with a third party threatening to charge extra fees if I did not sign within the deadline. I cancelled the policy as I had no confidence in the product.”

Markel Direct Trustpilot

There have been 100+ reviews on Trustpilot, yielding a 'Great' 4.2 star rating; the Trustpilot reviews echo the picture seen at Feefo, supporting the opinion that Markel Direct delivers a consistently high customer experience.

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

The Good:

" The online form was easy to fill in and all requirements were full filled. Prices were reasonable in comparison to others and it worked out cheaper than going through a broker. Would recommend Markel Direct for your insurance needs.”

" Great communication, fantastic, quick response. Really happy as I was not felt pushed to go with you. Genuine interest of your guy to help sorting out my insurance.”

" Easy to use, and the best price that I could find for my needs.”

The Bad:

"Your company is a total disgrace. I called to renew my Professional Indemnity, as I have done over the past years, and it was accepted, payment accepted and insurance documents received by email. Later I was informed, first by phone and then by email that you no longer cover Marine Consultancy work.”

"Dreadful. Had no issues until i cancelled the policy. I got confirmation of cancellation however later received a threatening letter advising i had missed a payment. I contacted them and was assured the policy was cancelled and to ignore the email. A month later i then got ANOTHER threatening email with an additional £27.50 charge saying i was now overdue two payments. I contacted them and no response. Disgraceful company with bad customer service, save yourself the headache.”

How to Claim with Markel Direct

If disaster strikes and you need to submit a claim with Markel, read Markel’s Making a claim page, and for claims on specific Markel insurance products you can also call the following numbers:

Contact information for Markel Direct insurance claims
Claims email address[email protected]
General (e.g., public liability and employers' liability)0345 355 2227
Professional indemnity0345 355 2227
Cyber0345 355 2227
Legal expenses0345 350 1099
All other claims0345 355 2227

Stated opening hours are 8:30am to 5:30pm, Monday to Friday. Markel offers its policyholders additional features depending on the policy you purchase, all of which can be found here.

Who is eligible for Markel Direct insurance?

At the time of writing, Markel Direct offers policies for Professional and tech services, teachers, tutors, and dance & fitness specialists. They supply a range of products including Professional indemnity, liability and general commercial policies.

Insurers are always making changes to their product offerings, so even if you don’t fall into these categories it may be worth contacting Markel Direct to discuss a quote.

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

  • Consultants
  • Dance professionals
  • Engineering and technical contractors
  • Fitness professionals
  • Home business
  • IT Contractors
  • Marketing professionals
  • Offices
  • Photographers
  • Professional services
  • Teachers and Tutors

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

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

If you would like to speak to Markel Direct about your business insurance requirements you can reach them here, or call them on 0800 640 6600.

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.


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.