Whether you are just starting out or have an established business, it is vital to have the right business insurance cover in place to protect your venture.
Many business owners are unsure which insurance they need. Every enterprise is different and, while some insurance is a legal requirement, many policies are not mandatory but may still make good sense to consider.
The best way to find out which commercial insurance you need for your business is to speak to an experienced insurance broker. They can advise you about what cover you need.
While you may not know the full value of your insurance until something goes wrong, having the right cover in place will give you peace of mind. After all, it takes years of hard work to grow a business, but one unforeseen event could change everything.
Every business that employs staff based in the UK must have employers’ liability insurance. Businesses must be insured for a minimum of £5million but most insurers offer cover up to £10million.
Employers’ liability insurance is there to cover the cost of compensation in the event of a member of staff having an accident or falling ill as a result of work. You could be fined if you do not have adequate employers’ liability insurance in place.
While it is not mandatory, public liability insurance is essential for many businesses. It covers you if a member of the public claims compensation or legal costs as a result of being injured or having their property damaged. It would also provide protection should one of your employees be found to be legally liable for causing damage to property while working off-site.
Some businesses also choose to take out product liability insurance. This provides additional protection in case an item you make or supply causes injury.
Professional indemnity insurance provides protection if an error made by you results in detriment to one of your customers and they claim against you for this.. This includes professional negligence, which could be a simple mistake, a breach of care or providing poor advice. Professional indemnity insurance also covers errors such as a breach of client confidentiality, libel or losing data or documents. It will fund your legal costs and the compensation to your client.
Mistakes can happen to anyone, but the outcome could be extremely costly, as well as threatening the reputation of your business. That’s why, while it is not a legal requirement, many regulators and industry bodies – including those for accountancy and surveying – require their members to hold professional indemnity insurance.
If you own your business premises, you will need buildings insurance to protect against damage caused by events such as fire, floods or storms.
Contents insurance covers everything inside your buildings. This could be furniture, electronic equipment and stock. If you lease your building, you will not need buildings insurance but you should take out contents insurance to protect your assets. Stock insurance will also protect your stock against theft or damage.
It’s the people that make any business a success. Having someone off work as a result of an injury can have a major impact on a business. You may face the additional cost of hiring temporary staff to cover their work. Personal accident insurance covers you if you or a member of your team is unable to work following an injury. If you are dependent on particular individuals, it is something you should consider.
Sadly, cybercrime is on the rise. All businesses now need to take a serious look at how they are protecting themselves against the growing threat of a cyber attack. There is also the risk of personal data being inadvertently lost or shared through simple human error.
If you suffer a cyber attack or lose customer data, your business will face significant disruption and it can be expensive to put things right. Cyber or data insurance will cover your business against claims arising from data breaches.
Whatever business you’re in, you will almost certainly need legal advice from time to time. Being faced with unexpected legal costs could significantly impact the bottom line.
Commercial legal expenses cover is there to ensure you can access specialist legal advice if you need it. For example, you may be faced with an employment tribunal or commercial contract dispute. These serious situations require legal representation, which can be costly.
However meticulously you run your business, you cannot control every event. Insurance is there to protect you against the unexpected, whether that is a mistake by one of your employees, a fire at your premises or a cyber attack. Regularly reviewing your insurance needs will help ensure your business has the right cover as it grows and evolves.