Protecting the Business
Running a business is no small undertaking and comes with a myriad of things that you have to think about, from office supplies to VAT returns.
Buried in there somewhere is the concept of business insurance.
For a small business, growing from your own personal project into a fully-fledged company with employees and office space, business insurance is one of those new things to add on to a growing list demanding of your time. Do you need it? Yes, you do – but do you have the time to understand all the nuances?
With a more established business, insurance is going to already be in place, but is it the right insurance and does it really cover the things you need it to?
The First Steps of Business Insurance
The legal requirement
The first type of business insurance that you must have, by law, is Employers’ Liability Insurance. This cover has to be in place as soon as you employ someone in your business, even if it is just part-time or for a really short-term.
Employers’ Liability Insurance protects you if your employee falls ill, or is injured, as a result of working for you. They are entitled to compensation (which is only right to look after them as they recover, or worse – if they are unable to recover), and the size of that compensation could be incredibly high. Without the insurance, you could be forced into bankruptcy and, additionally, your employee could be left unable to cope with their future.
This is why Employers’ Liability Insurance is required by law. The cover will pay for any compensation as well as protecting you from any legal costs associated with the claim.
Cover to protect your business
Even if you are a business of one, you may want cover to protect your business in the event that your products or services accidentally cause harm or other issues to a customer.
Professional Indemnity Insurance protects you from a direct claim for compensation due to anything related to your services – from a loss of profits due to work being late, through to an injury claim resulting from a mistake with your work.
It is peace of mind that allows you to get on with your job without worrying that a single slip on your part could result in the end of your livelihood. And, as many will agree, you will often do a better job if you are not worrying about it so much!
The Established Company
If your company has been trading for years, you will already have put in place insurance to cover you but maybe it is time to look in deep at the cover and make sure you haven’t outgrown any policies put in place early in your business’s life.
Public Liability Insurance
Covering a wide range of things, from a customer slipping up in your car park in the snow, to one of your business-owned cranes toppling and caving in the side of a local shopping centre, Public Liability Insurance is something which will have been set up as soon as your business stepped outside the bounds of a small office, and into the wider world.
Or you may be taking those first steps to integrating your company with the public.
Knowing that you are protected from compensation claims and the costs of damage allows you to venture out with confidence – the confidence needed to do a first class job.
Whatever your needs are, there are professional advisors ready and waiting to discuss the details of your specific business to get the best Public Liability Insurance for you.
You have insurance on your home – Business Property Insurance is the same for your work. Protecting you from having your equipment lost or stolen, making sure you still have somewhere to work should there be a fire or covering all that expensive computer equipment, Property Insurance will give you the reassurance you need.
Making sure you are insured for the right sum is especially important with Property Insurance – remember to add up every asset the business owns, from the large office on the industrial estate right down to a lowly mousepad. Ask yourself whether, if the worst happens, you are going to want to replace any of it personally.
It is so easy for the business to grow and the insurance to lag behind – make sure you regularly update your sum assured with new acquisitions.
Your business is not insurance (unless it is!) – it’s doing whatever it is you do best, whether that be construction or catering, website development or weaving. Worrying about the possibility of a legal claim for compensation against you, or what you would do in the case of a break-in, is an extra layer of headache on top of an already difficult job.
Calling an advisor to talk to them about Professional Indemnity Insurance will speed you on the path to worry-free work.