Navigating your way around business insurance

Starting a small business requires tireless effort and endless financial reserves. Besides dealing with necessary tasks to start the business—affording exorbitant start-up costs, establishing a customer base, forecasting cash flow problems—new small business are besieged on all sides by risks.

The only sure-fire thing you can count on during the tumultuous beginning stages of your business or later in its development is the protection offered by commercial insurance. Avoid losing everything to a disaster that you could have easily insured—purchase robust and comprehensive commercial insurance to keep your small business protected on all sides.

Essential covers

Small businesses vary widely in their insurance needs. Many different factors—including industry, location, and size—will determine the type of insurance your business needs to survive. All businesses, however, can benefit from the essential covers listed below.

  • Employers’ liability is mandatory for all UK employers. It covers employers’ liability for bodily injuries or diseases their employees may suffer in the course of their employment.
  • Property protects your commercial property, buildings, and contents from a broad range of risks.
  • Business interruption recoups lost profits in the event that insurable property damage causes your business to temporarily close.
  • Public liability covers your liability for third-party injury and property damage arising from your business’ operations.
  • Products liability insures against damages and costs arising from accidental injury or damage caused by products supplied by your business.
  • Cyber liability provides protection against a host of cyber threats, including hacking, stolen data, and system failure.

This list is not exhaustive. Depending on your specific business, you may need to consider additional cover options to fully protect your business.

Additional covers to consider

Carefully consider the needs of your business—is there anything unique about it that would require additional insurance protection? Consider the following additional covers. Many businesses cannot afford to go without them.

  • Motor fleet
  • Legal expenses
  • Goods in Transit / Marine Cargo
  • Theft by employee
  • Equipment breakdown
  • Stock
  • Loss of money
  • Trade credit
  • Professional indemnity
  • Crime
  • Key person
  • And much more

Scrutinise your business weaknesses

Harshly scrutinising your business’ weaknesses can help you choose which covers you need and devise a long-term plan to strengthen your business against foreseeable risks.

Part of investigating available insurance covers is determining the points where your business is weakest. Pinpoint the spots where your business is the most vulnerable, and secure insurance that bolsters those vulnerabilities.

Risk management

Many start-up/SMEs choose not to implement robust risk management programmes until a workplace incident forces them to, which is a mistake that can cost them a significant amount of money.

Are you taking the proper steps to keep your workers and business safe?

Creating a culture of safety in the workplace is central to keeping your employees healthy and productive together with having risk management policies and procedures in place to keep your business assets and reputation safe.

Keeping updated on new legislative developments that impact your business

Staying abreast of new legislative and regulatory updates can be exhausting, but it is necessary if you want to avoid whopping fines.

Benefits of using an insurance broker to assist with insurance/risk management

Insurance is a necessary part of our life and although it seems like a chore, you must make sure it is done right. Mistakes in buying insurance cannot be easily undone and can ruin your lifetime achievements and reputation with one incident.

Expert opinion/knowledge

Brokers are licensed officials who are capable of offering professional services to their clients.  Insurance brokers serve at your best interest to ensure that you find the most suitable deals in the market. A broker recognises extraordinary requirements, identifies the cover you need, arranges it with an appropriate insurer and makes sure your documents are present and correct too.

Brokers are knowledge banks concerning all aspect of insurance including risk assessments in determining the best possible ways in which you can protect your property / reputation from damage. They are there to assist you in providing professional education on insurance programmes and protection mechanisms.

A wide range of selection

Brokers can access a wide range for insurance companies that you may not be aware of and obtain competitive cover and competitive prices and save you from the hassle. The cheapest option is not always the best option.

Flexibility

Insurance brokers allow you to communicate with them through the medium that is convenient for you. This way, you are allowed to express yourself in a way that is convenient for you. The method of communication is key when purchasing insurance programmes and the broker may need time to explain to you the existing products in the market, alternative solutions / options available.

Honesty

All brokers work is based on the principles of good faith, therefore they ensure that they serve your best interest.

Advocacy

Apart from obtaining the most suitable insurance product, they also help when you need to make a claim. They are there to ensure you get an immediate and fair compensation when you make a claim.

Responsibility

Insurance brokers should be part of your safety team in the event a catastrophe occurs. They will be the first respondent to the calamity to ensure that you have all the support that you need.

A broker can only work according to the information that is offered to them. Ensure you find a broker that you trust and spend a bit longer with them to discuss your risks and how to minimise these risks to ensure you are protected properly either by insurance programmes or other risk transfer mechanism.

Trust the insurance professionals to craft you a sturdy bespoke policy that offers reliable and comprehensive protection.

Heather Coupland
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Heather Coupland

Heather has over 20 years' experience in the business insurance and risk management sector providing protection for companies. She is passionate about helping companies of all sizes to protect and grow their business through bespoke insurance and risk management programmes. Her focus is on being an extension to your business for you to enjoy enhanced insurance protection, competitive premiums as well as a professional and efficient service.