Running a business takes an incredible amount of time and effort – so it’s no wonder owners sometimes forget about protecting themselves.
However, getting business insurance means you can safeguard against the worst outcomes while protecting your operations' integrity. Here are five things you need to know about business insurance.
1. WHAT IS BUSINESS INSURANCE?
Like every other type of insurance you might already have (e.g., life insurance, income protection, car insurance), business insurance is a dedicated policy that protects you and your company against losses. Depending on the policy chosen, your coverage might specifically protect you against damage to your physical office or store, your employees, or your customers.
Everyday life can be unpredictable, and things like theft, stock damage, fire, and machinery breakdowns can seriously impact your ability to run a business. That means that you may be hit with high costs unless you have the right business insurance should the worst occur.
While taking out business insurance is an ongoing cost, the protection it provides is worth the monthly premiums to ensure your workplace operations run smoothly.
2. WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BUSINESS INSURANCE TO CONSIDER?
The sheer volume of policy options on the market can feel overwhelming. But since there’s a wide variety of industries to cover, there needs to be a diversity of policies. Generally, however, the main business insurances are:
Professional indemnity: protects you if someone suffers a loss (financial, reputational, etc.) due to a service you provide or after following your advice.
Public liability: covers against costs due to negligence causing death, injury, property damage, or economic loss.
Business interruption: if you are unable to operate due to circumstances beyond your control (e.g., severe weather event, flood, or fire), this policy will cover your losses. It may even cover against a pandemic like a coronavirus crisis.
Property damage: covers insured events that result in damage to your workplace, stock, and contents.
Theft and burglary: covers for loss or damage to any of your business contents (including stock) due to someone getting into your workplace illegally or deceptively. This usually doesn’t include losses for stolen cash, but separate policies cover this, which you may wish to bundle together.
Workers’ compensation: covering employees in case of work-related injuries.
Directors and officers (D&O) insurance: protects the assets of corporate directors and officers if they’re sued by employees, customers, vendors, competitors, shareholders, or other relevant parties.
Errors and omissions insurance: also known as E&O insurance and professional liability insurance, helps protect you from lawsuits claiming you made a mistake in your professional services.
If your business operates in a dangerous or risky sector, you may wish to take out more niche business insurance. These may cover:
deterioration of stock
damage to computers and electronic equipment
goods in transit.
3. HOW MUCH DOES SMALL BUSINESS INSURANCE COST?
There’s no ‘umbrella cost’ for business insurance – it will depend on a variety of factors, including:
the policy types applying to your business
the type of work you do
the amount of cover needed
any operational risks
your history of previous claims.
Once you’ve chosen your insurer and your policy, you have to pay premiums to keep it active and renew it annually.
If your circumstances change during that period, you need to inform your provider to ensure you are adequately covered against any risks.
Business insurance is a smart investment that could save you a significant sum of money and help keep your business running if the worst occurs, so it’s well worth the additional admin time.