Any guide to business insurance is unlikely to offer an entirely comprehensive review of the whole subject. The combinations and permutations of the various elements that might go into making up any given insurance package might prove as seemingly endless as the types of business organisation in existence in the UK.
The good news in all of these possibilities, however, is that – whatever your particular line of business – you are likely to be able to find the cover that suits your particular needs and circumstances.
The following information is designed to help you identify that particular package, so that you pay only for the cover you specifically need, and therefore secure critical insurance for the business you are running.
Do remember, however, to always seek help and advice from a professional if you are not entirely sure which product is suitable for you.
What is likely to be covered?
If every enterprise is likely to be different, with unique needs and requirements when it comes to insurance, is it possible to define some of the underlying components typical to businesses at large?
Fortunately, the answer is yes – and the common features of the typical business insurance package are what help to inform this particular guide.
In a nutshell, these are likely to be divided into two main categories of risk – the liabilities to which your business may be exposed and cover for the various financial investments you may have made. Specifically, therefore, you might be considering:
- public liability – a general duty of care you owe not only to your clients or customers, but also to members of the public who might otherwise have chosen to have no connection at all with your business. Nevertheless, you owe any individual a duty of care – and business insurance typically includes your indemnity against any such claims;
- professional liability – if you have made it your business, then a particular test may be made when it comes to assessing the reasonableness of your duty of care towards your customers. Because it is your business, in other words, the law might expect a higher standard of care with respect to the advice, guidance or information you offer. Business insurance packages might indemnify you against such claims;
- employers’ liability – if you employ any staff in the running of your business, you may also have a legal responsibility for ensuring that they are covered by your employers liability insurance;
- in addition to indemnity against any such liabilities, of course, business insurance also typically extends to those more tangible items in which you may have invested – and upon which your business depends;
- these may range from the business premises themselves, to stock in hand, stock in transit, cash held on the premises, or the interruption of business earnings following the occurrence of an insured event.
Given the potentially very wide range of risks that may or may not need to be covered, therefore, you might want to consider enlisting the help of a specialist provider in this kind of insurance, whose background and experience might assist you in securing the cover you need at a price you may be able to afford.
Types of business insurance
There are probably as many different types of business insurance as there are different types of business.
As the business owner or manager, therefore, your priority is likely to be one of identifying the type of business insurance cover most closely suited to your particular needs and circumstances.
Nevertheless, it may be possible to group different types of policy according to categories of business – thereby also illustrating the very wide range of endeavours typically covered by this form of insurance:
- one of the more obvious ways of distinguishing different types of business, for instance, may be to look at the premises – whether it be a workshop, restaurant or shop, for example – and to consider the relevance of insurance in protecting those premises against some of the most common risks such as fire, flooding, storm damage, impacts, vandalism and theft;
- alternatively, it may be possible to group enterprises according to the types of goods or services being offered. Different types of insurance, for example, may be appropriate to a shop or restaurant with particular types of goods for sale, compared to the business that essentially sells services – such as consultancies, accountants, solicitors or other professionally qualified sources of advice and guidance;
- whatever the precise type of business for which you may be responsible, however, there is one aspect of cover likely to take pride of place – indemnity against a range of liabilities which may threaten not only the enterprise’s financial well-being, but its very existence;
- included under this heading may be your public liability, your professional liability, a liability for the products you sell, and a liability towards any employees you may hire to help run your business;
- each of these potential liabilities is considered in more detail throughout this guide, but with the possibility of claims amounting to several millions of pounds, it may be seen that liability insurance plays a central and critical role in the typical business insurance package.
Getting bespoke business insurance cover
Despite the huge range of different types of business – each with typically very particular insurance needs and requirements – you may be surprised by the number of general insurance providers claiming to offer the specific cover you need.
If you are concerned about finding the type of cover specifically tailored to your particular business needs and circumstances, therefore, you might want to choose a specialist provider with particular expertise in arranging insurance for your particular type of business and a close working relationship with those insurers providing cover in your sector of the market.
Although there may be many providers eager to secure your business, therefore, you might want to spend more than a moment or two considering the added value a specialist provider might bring to your search for appropriate business insurance.