If you’ve decided to take the plunge and set up your own business, you’ll know that it can be a daunting and challenging experience – particularly in the current economic climate. But there are certain elements that you need to tackle head-on to ensure that your new venture and assets are adequately protected. Business insurance is one area that a company shouldn’t operate without; yet the terminology used can often leave new business owners more confused than ever. Here’s a quick guide to business insurance without the jargon…
Buying your business insurance
Whilst there are various channels available for purchasing an insurance policy, as a business owner, you know your business the best – so going direct to the provider means that not only can you fully understand exactly what your company is covered for, but you can also be sure that your insurer is provided with accurate information about your company.
The insurer will then proceed to ask a series of questions to help determine which insurance product is right for your business. It goes without saying that it’s vital you are honest with your responses and realistic with the level of cover you need as the insurer will only pay out for the amount that is covered. It’s important that you check how much cover you receive as standard for things such as goods in transit or loss of money as you’ll find that these can vary between insurance providers.
Buildings and contents cover
One key area of the policy is business contents, which covers the cost of replacing or repairing your trade contents and stock in the event of an incident such as a fire, malicious damage or theft. You’ll need to consider the value of your contents; taking into account all equipment such as furniture, electronic equipment, food stock and cash tills.
Most insurers will require you to have a minimum level of security, such as a certain type of alarm and specific locks on external doors to demonstrate to them that security precautions have been taken. Failure to comply with these requirements can invalidate your policy, so it’s important you check the terms of your cover.
Depending on whether the premises you are working from are owned or leased, you may also need to insure your buildings, against rebuilding costs should a disaster occur. In addition, for business owners that may live on the premises,(common with publicans and shopkeepers for example), you should also have the option to include household contents cover to protect personal items in a similar way to home insurance.
Employer’s liability is a legal requirement for any business that employs staff and covers costs if your business has to pay damages to an employee as a result of injury or disease, caused whilst working. Anyone who works for your business is an employee, including those under contract, temporary staff or those taking part in an apprenticeship or work experience scheme.
Public and products liability
Public and products liability should come as standard on an insurance policy, which protects your business in the event of the public being injured or their property damaged as a result of your business activities, or for damage or injury caused by defects in your products. This is especially valuable if your business is centred around providing a service or goods to the public.
There is evidently a lot to think about when establishing a new business, but making sure you have the correct business insurance should be at the forefront of your mind. With an array of insurance providers to choose from and policies varying between companies, it really is worth taking the time to shop around for a company that understands your business and gives you the most appropriate cover for the best value.
About the Guest Post Author: Premierline Direct is a specialist in business insurance who is currently celebrating its 10th birthday.