We’re all busy running our businesses and sometimes thinking about business insurance is one of those chores which we all dread and put off until the last minute.
Here, Julie, our Head of Finance, has put together a guide for making your annual business insurance renewal process easier and less stressful, with tips on what additional insurance you may need and how to ensure your insurance is not voided by out of date information.
What is business insurance?
Business insurance offers your business commercial insurance protection against legal action or in the event that a compensation claim should be made.
Its main purpose is to give your business financial protection against possible future financial liability risks. The level of cover you choose will depend on your type and size of business.
Types of business insurance
There are many types of business insurance on the market depending on what type of cover your business requires.
There is the standard professional indemnity insurance and employers’ liability insurance, which is a necessity for anyone who is classed as an employee. If you have an office then you will also require public liability to protect your business from any incidents with visitors or members of the public to your office/workplace.
In addition to this, there are many add on insurances such as cyber insurance, private healthcare, contents insurance and property insurance if you own your own premises.
Income protection insurance for your employees is an excellent choice to implement if you’re thinking about improving your health and wellbeing offering as it protects their income should they become signed off work for a long period due to illness.
Do I need business insurance?
Whilst it’s not a legal requirement to have most business insurances, the one type of insurance which you legally have to have in place is employers’ liability insurance. This covers you in the event that one of your employees suffers an injury as a direct result of working for you.
Despite it not being a requirement for other types of commercial insurance, it’s advisable to have at least basic cover in place to protect you financially from any possible financial losses that may arise due to damage, theft, loss and compensation claims.
How much is business insurance?
Business insurance can vary in price depending on what insurance you are looking at and what level of cover you require.
For a small or medium-sized business, the cost of your generic business insurance covering, employers’ liability, public liability and professional indemnity could set you back in excess of £1000+.
Whilst this might seem expensive, it’s well worth the cost to know that your business is as protected as it can be.
My business insurance tips
Here are my top tips for renewing your business insurance:
Key person insurance
Key person insurance protects a business against any losses which may be suffered due to an employee becoming critically or terminally ill or dies. This could be for a director, senior management or any other person who plays a critical role in the business which could be costly to replace or cause significant disruption to the business.
If you have not got key person insurance in place then I would strongly advise you do so. If one of your senior management team were to be signed off as long-term sick, it can be costly to try and find a replacement as well as honouring a salary of some kind to that person.
Having key person insurance in place provides you with the cover needed for these instances. Of course, hopefully you won’t need to use it but, if you did, then you would be able to claim for the costs of bringing in a replacement to cover that position for what would be deemed a small premium. Think about who in your senior leadership team this could benefit you for.
Check the details
It can be easy to not think about details and just automatically renew your insurance as it was in the prior year but I would always check your details before renewing.
If you end up having to make a claim and these details are incorrect, you may find your claim voided.
You should be checking your details such as turnover, employment costs and headcount.
It may also be worth checking details for where your equipment is covered. If you have workers who work remotely it is worth checking to ensure it is covered in their home and for travelling to the office.
Always check that the travel coverage is correct as this can often change as head count increases especially given people are back to travelling around more.
Additional insurance needs
It’s always worth a thought to see if there are any other insurance needs your business may now have which you have not got in pace.
An example of this is cyber insurance which is becoming increasingly more popular given the technological advances happening. Many larger firms are requesting this as standard from their suppliers so it is definitely worth a thought.
You should also be able to add insurances specific to computers if these are a specific part of your business, business travel, goods in transit, material damage cover plus many many more.
It may also be time to look at what beneficial insurances you can take out to help your employees.
These can include business health insurance or private access to healthcare and income protection, both of which are popular forms of insurance for your employees.
They can be a selling point within your offer of employment when hiring so they are definitely worth investigating if your business is in a position to offer them.
Get a broker
My final tip would be to find yourself a broker. They will be able to advise you on all of the above plus more and help you to keep your insurance on budget whilst protecting all aspects of your business.
They will contact you prior to the renewal to discuss your needs and to check the details are all up to date.
This definitely takes the hassle out of it for you and means you don’t have to be adding reminders to your diary to get this done, they will contact you with an initial proposal at the time. They will also be able to handle any claims you wish to make and can advise of the likelihood of that claim being accepted.
There are many companies offering business insurance so make sure you shop around for the one that works best for you. Many have perks on the side such as access to help and advice and free add ons.
It might be a slightly less jazzy job to get off your to do list, but it goes without saying that having solid business insurance cover in place is invaluable and could help save you money in the long run as well as giving you peace of mind that all aspects of your business is covered.