How to choose the right insurance for your business

Whatever industry you work in, it’s essential to have the right protection in place. In some areas, insurance cover is a legal requirement of running a business – but even when it isn’t, it’s always sensible to consider insuring your premises, equipment, furniture and fittings against unforeseen circumstances. Not only will this shield you from the cost of replacing everything if you fall victim to a fire or theft, it will also reduce downtime by helping your business to get back on its feet more quickly. With this in mind, take the time to review all the business insurance policies available and see which ones are right for you and your operations. It may be a lot easier to receive a professional liability insurance quote than you think

Businesses that employ one or more members of staff are required by law to get employers’ liability compulsory insurance, which protects the company against claims from employees, often regarding injury, accident or sickness incurred while working for you. Additionally, if your company has any vehicles, you must have third-party motor insurance as a minimum – although it is recommended to take out comprehensive cover in case company cars are damaged or stolen. In sectors where you are in the business of providing advice, such as accountancy, legal and financial services, you will also be legally obliged to get professional indemnity insurance to protect against claims of negligence: if you are unsure of whether or not you need it, your trade association will be able to advise you.

These are just the minimum insurance requirements for a business, and most will take out a range of other policies to ensure their operations are as protected as possible. If you are in the retail industry, you may wish to consider shop insurance, and similar specialist policies exist for restaurant and café owners, pub landlords, warehouse operators, office managers and many other professions. Commercial and residential landlords can benefit from a wide range of insurance policies, including those that protect unoccupied properties and those let to tenants.

Some businesses may also protect themselves with key person insurance, which covers the loss or unavoidable absence of a critical member of staff – your chief financial officer, first instance, or even yourself. This is worth particularly worth considering in a small business that employs very few people, as any long-term absence could add up to a large hit in earnings.

If you run your business from your home, it is also worthwhile to think about whether you are covered by your existing home and contents insurance – insurers may consider your personal and business insurance needs to be separate. Your policy needs to cover the full value of all the equipment you use to run your business and, if you have clients or members of the public to your home office, you will need to get public liability insurance. If you are using your own vehicle for business purposes, you should also notify your insurance provider to find out whether you need to extend your policy.

Your insurance provider should be able to offer specialist packages for home workers – just make sure you are fully protected, as it’s both your livelihood and your home that are at risk!

Guest Post by Adam

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