There are approximately 4.2 million small businesses in the UK and as one of them you should know how important it is to protect yourself, your employees and your customers against any potential risks.
Choosing the right insurance depends a lot on the type of business that you run but as a starting point, here are a few of the vital policies that you will need to get your business off the ground.
- Public liability insurance
This insurance covers you if a member of the public suffers an injury on your premises or if any of their property is damaged because of a fault with your business. Having this type of insurance in place will make sure all legal costs are covered as well as any compensation claims if it is indeed your business that is at fault. Public liability insurance covers:
- Compensation claims
If there have been any injuries to a third party or any damage to their property has been caused, you will be covered for compensation claims. This includes if the incident was in your business premises, at a customer’s home or somewhere else.
- Legal expenses
If a claim is made against you, this cover will provide you with the cost of any subsequent legal proceedings.
- Cost of repairs
It will cover the cost of any damage you have made to a customer’s property.
- Medical fees
In the worst case that a customer has suffered an injury where they need to be hospitalised, insurance will cover the cost of any treatment they require.
- Professional indemnity insurance
In the case that a customer claims your business has failed to provide adequate services or advice professional indemnity insurance will provide cover for the legal costs that you need to defend such a claim. It will also cover the cost of any compensation that may be payable to a customer to rectify the situation.
Many businesses require this type of insurance including accountancy, engineering and surveying firms as well as those who are working on a contract basis. Even if you own a business where you are not legally obliged to have professional indemnity insurance in place, it’s a good idea so that you can avoid paying thousands of pounds in compensation and legal fees. It can cover you for a wide range of unwanted scenarios including:
- Professional negligence
- Loss of data or documents
- Unintentional breach of copyright or confidentiality
- Defamation and libel
- Loss of goods or money
- Employer’s liability insurance
Employer’s liability insurance will cover you against any cost of compensation claims that arise from illness or injury to your employees that have been caused as a result of work undertaken for you. This type of insurance is a legal requirement if you have a business that employees one or more people each day and at minimum businesses should have £5 million in cover and there is a fine of £2,500 for every day that you are uninsured.
Remember that if any members of your family work for you they do not need to be added to employer’s liability insurance, but all part-time workers and temporary employees do.
- Business vehicle insurance
If you run a business that requires vehicles, you will need to arrange the appropriate protection. This type of insurance is a legal requirement in the UK if your car or van is used for business-related purposes. For example, if you are a tradesman that uses their van every day for work. Be aware that standard vehicle policies will not give you a high enough level of protection as they only cover you for commuting and social use.
With this insurance, you will be protected even if you travel to a number of different locations for work or if you drive with employees or colleagues. If your vehicle is damaged, stolen or vandalised, this insurance will cover the cost to fix any issues so that you can get back on the road. At the end of the day, you don’t want to be forking out thousands of pounds of your own money if you’re temporarily out of business.
There are much fewer small business insurance options out there than there are for something more common such as car insurance so when looking for the best quote, you shouldn’t expect to find as many. Always read through the terms and conditions of the policy and review your quotes in detail, paying particular attention to any exclusions. Sites such as Call Wiser allow you to compare quotes from some of the leading insurance companies in the UK so you can get the best deal for your budget and, more importantly, your business.