As a small business owner means you are accountable and responsible for the protection of your business against any risks that could threaten the survival of the business. However conscientious you may be, you are still at risk from customers making claims against you; even if you know you are in ‘squeaky clean,’ they may think otherwise. Identifying the kinds of risks your business is prone to and implementing comprehensive protection is what a good insurance advisor will work with you to accurately assess. There are several types of insurance that you need to be aware of and make sure you are covered.
The most important policy you need is one that protects you from accidents on your premises where someone wants to make a claim against you. If someone injures themselves, their medical bills and lawyer’s fees are covered by general liability. It protects you against anyone claiming your advertising is not honest, or claiming you breached a patent or copyright. A business can be sued if a customer claims to have been hurt by one of your products or a neglect to carry out a service competently. Someone may claim you created an unsafe environment for them which caused them injury. An insurance consultant will assess your levels of risk for your area of business and help you to choose the level of liability you need to be covered for.
Your general liability policy is not going to protect you from clients claiming unprofessional standards. If you are a service provider, whether a dentist, divorce lawyer, builder or massage therapist, you need protection against claims of malpractice, incompetence or neglect.
Business premises protection
Your premises should be protected from all eventualities or ‘perils’ such as flood, fire, malicious or accidental damage, plus any loss of earnings from closure due to damage to the property. Business property insurance protects all your on-site business assets such as computers, machinery, inventory and raw materials. It will cover costs of repair to your property after any major incidents. The policy should include re-reimbursement for any major disaster while the business is unable to operate and is getting back on its feet.
Home business protection
If your business is based in your home then you need to be fully covered just the same, as if you had business premises. Most business insurance policies will offer an add-on for home insurance for little extra cost.
Business vehicle protection
If you use your vehicle for business use your policy should extend to cover all business risks. Your standard vehicle insurance may turn out to be redundant if your main use of the vehicle is for business.
If you have any employees, the government requires you to have the relevant policy cover. This will cover lost wages if a member of staff is injured as result of working on in your business. It will also offer a payout to the workers family should they lose their life as a result of working in the business.
There are other insurance areas to take into consideration which your advisor will highlight based on your needs. As a small business owner, you want to keep all outgoing to minimum so it is best to shop around as policies to vary greatly. A good insurance advisor will put together a tailor-made package for your needs.