The law says that you must have Employers' Liability Compulsory Insurance (ELCI) when you employ members of staff.
The majority of insurance packages or insurance polices which are sold cover three types of liability - employer’s liability, public liability and product liability. A brief outline of the differences between each of these is given below.

Employers' Liability Compulsory Insurance (ELCI)

You need this by law.  As an employer you must arrange cover to compensate your employees if they suffer an injury, accident or are made ill whilst working and during the course of their employment.

The minimum cover you need is £5 million but many insurance companies would give a minimum of £10 million. You must renew your policy each year and display a valid copy of your certificate where your employees can easily read it. From 1 April 2009 you may display your certificate electronically. If you choose this method you need to make sure your employees know how and where to find the certificate and have reasonable access to it.

From 1 April 2009 there is no longer a legal requirement for employers to keep out-of-date certificates. However, employers are strongly advised to keep, as far as is possible, a complete record of their employers' liability insurance.

For more information ELCI please download the HSENI leaflet 'Employers' Liability Compulsory Insurance - A guide for employers'.

Public liability insurance

This covers your liability to another person you do not employ such as a customer or visitor who is injured as a result of your business’s activities (for example they trip on a trailing cable or damaged carpet). Public liability insurance will also cover you if one of your employees, through the course of their work activities, injures someone or damages their property. This particular cover is voluntary and you can choose the limit of indemnity insurance you need.

Product liability insurance

This covers injury or property damage which has arisen from a product that you supplied. This cover is voluntary and you can choose the limit of indemnity insurance you need.

Where can I get more help?

You can get more detailed information on the different types of insurance you may need for your business from the NI Business Info website at:


Key legislation

Please note that these links are to the original legislation, visitors should verify for themselves whether legislation is in force or whether it has been amended or repealed by subsequent legislation.