When should I have my insurance certificate at hand?

3 min read | Published 13/06/2024

Displaying your business insurance certificate in the correct place can be just as important as taking out the insurance itself. Find out what you need to know.

Share this guide
When do I need to show my insurance certificate
Your business can be hit with a £1,000 fine if you don’t make your employer’s liability insurance certificate available to your employees.

Once you apply for business insurance, you need to understand what to do with the certificate that comes with it. It’s important to display your business insurance certificate correctly for several reasons.

Our expert panel reviews all content. Learn more about our editorial standards and how we operate

What is a business insurance certificate? 

A business insurance certificate is a document you receive from your insurer when you take out a policy. It proves that you have suitable cover in place and outlines the policy details.

You’re sent business insurance certificates when you get employer’s liability insurance, public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance.

Compare business insurance

Displaying your business insurance certificate

Once you’ve bought a business insurance policy, it’s important to understand when, where and why you have to display your insurance certificate.

Am I legally required to display my policy?

By law, you are required to display your employer’s liability insurance certificate where your employees can see it. That’s because the policy itself is a legal requirement. 

There’s no requirement to display your public liability or professional indemnity insurance certificates, but it can be beneficial. 

Where should I display my certificate?

You must display your employer’s liability insurance certificate in a prominent place, either at your business premises or digitally.

You could frame and display it at your workplace on the staff room wall, in the kitchen or in the reception area. It needs to be somewhere everyone can quickly access if they want to view it. 

If you’d prefer to use a digital copy, you can add it to a shared drive or post it on the company’s intranet. Again, it needs to be somewhere everyone can see it. You should also make sure new starters know where to find it. 

Always replace the certificate with a newer version if you update or renew your insurance policy. 

Why do I need to show my business insurance certificate?

Your business can be hit with a £1,000 fine if you don’t make your employer’s liability insurance certificate available to your employees.  

This won’t apply to your public liability insurance certificate, but displaying it can express a level of professionalism. It shows you take workplace health and safety seriously.

In addition, you often need to show your insurance certificate before working with contractors. They might want to see proof that you have cover in place before they work with you.  

The same applies to your professional indemnity insurance certificate. Displaying it shows potential clients and customers you have adequate insurance in place.

How long do I need to keep my employers’ liability insurance certificates?

As of 2008, you no longer need to keep out-of-date insurance certificates. However, it might be worth filing them away somewhere safe so you have a record of previous policies. 

Ex-employees or current staff can still make claims years after an incident occurred. If this happens, you’ll need to provide proof that you were insured at the time by showing your employer’s liability insurance certificate. 

What should my employer’s liability insurance certificate include?

Your employer’s liability insurance certificate should show the following information:

  • The level of cover: This is the maximum amount your insurer pays out if you make a successful claim.

  • That you have a valid policy: This states the company has taken out valid cover.

  • The insurer’s name: This is the name of the policy provider. The certificate is also signed by a company representative.

What other certificates should my business display?

Alongside your insurance certificates, there are other documents you should have on display in your workplace. These include:

Health and safety law poster

It’s a legal requirement to display the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) poster where employees can easily read it. It explains health and safety laws and what workers and employers should do if an incident occurs. Alternatively, you can hand out the equivalent health and safety leaflets to your staff. 

It’s also good practice to display your company’s health and safety policy. 

First aider information

You need to display a list of the first aiders in your building and where to find them. You should also state where your workers can locate first aid equipment. In addition, you’ll need to explain all first aid procedures in effect at your business premises.

You should keep these documents up-to-date.

Do I need business insurance?

The only type of business insurance that is sometimes required by law is employer’s liability insurance. However, other types of business insurance can provide valuable financial protection for your company in the event something goes wrong. 

Below is a brief list of the benefits of different types of business insurance:

  • Employer’s liability insurance covers the cost of compensating employees who become injured or ill while carrying out their role at the workplace. It’s a legal requirement for almost all UK businesses that employ people.

  • Public liability insurance covers the cost of compensating members of the public injured due to the work you’ve carried out. This insurance also covers damage to an individual’s property. It’s not a legal requirement but can protect your business. Some trade bodies and industry regulators insist their members have it in place.

  • Professional indemnity insurance protects you against the cost of being sued if your business financially damages a client. Again, it’s not a legal requirement, but some trade bodies and regulators ask for it.

Read more:

About Alex Ryde

Alex joined in 2019, bringing his expertise to a range of roles working in both the Analytics and Commercial teams. More recently he has stepped across to focus on Product, where he’s been focusing on scaling up the teams’ SME offering.

View Alex Ryde's full biography here or visit the confused.com press room for our latest news.