If you have a business of any sort, you may be at risk. These risks vary from natural disasters to burglary and from staff accidents to prosecution for professional negligence. Fortunately there are several types of business insurance products available that can at least help to reduce the financial aspect of these risks.
Public liability insurance
This form of cover exists to protect a business from claims arising from injuries to members of the public or damage to their property. Typical examples of such claims may include someone slipping and injuring themselves badly while on your premises or who has their clothing ruined accidentally by a member of your staff.
This may also be needed to cover third party property risks such as if your boiler explodes and badly damages an adjacent property.
Employers’ liability insurance
Although there are a few special exceptions, in general by law if you employ someone you must have this form of insurance. This covers the risks of them having accidents or succumbing to sicknesses directly related to their duties.
Professional liability insurance
This form of insurance is often thought of as covering people in the medical care and legal professions etc. In fact, anyone who provides professional services may need such insurance. In today’s litigious world your clients, customers and even patients may sue you if your services, products or advice and guidance, prove to be faulty and cause them material or consequential harm.
Commercial premises buildings & contents insurance
This is one of the types of insurance for businesses that can be overlooked. If you are operating from commercial premises (this includes offices) that you own or rent, you may be advised to consider specialist insurance to cover your contents and building. This will protect you from the risks of natural disasters such as fire and issues such as burglary with its associated vandalism and theft.
It’s worth remembering that even if you operate from an office at home, this could change your insurance risk profile and it may be a mistake to assume that problems would automatically be covered by your household buildings and contents policy. At the very least it makes sense to notify your insurance company.
This list is not exhaustive but it should indicate that there are numerous risks out there. If you are unlucky enough to suffer one or more of these, the financial costs could prove horrendous and very possibly beyond the means of you or your business to meet. The legal costs alone of fighting a court case can be staggering.
It is for these reasons that various types of business insurance exist but as even the above simplified list alone indicates; insurance for businesses can be complicated. If you are worried about your exposure but baffled as to which of these or other forms of insurance you need, you do have an option.
Not all insurance providers are entirely sales-orientated and there are specialist providers of insurance for businesses out there who offer help and advice. Some of them specialise in placing business risks that can be difficult to accommodate in ordinary business insurance policies.
So there is no need to try and wade through the sometimes confusing jungle of various types of business insurance – contact a specialist and ask for advice. It’ll cost you nothing and may even put your mind at rest.
By Daniel Ralphs