Running a business, large or small is a potentially stressful undertaking. To the list of things one must consider, insurance is particularly important, dependent on the industry or sector your business falls into.
Whether self-employed, or running a small business with employees, it is important that you adequately protect your assets; be those goods, property, staff, equipment or simply your good name.
There are several ways to do this and different vendors have extensive lists detailing the different types of cover they have available for small businesses. It is also possible, in some cases, to gain cover through any trading associations or unions you may be a member of. For example, BECTU (the trade union for media and entertainment in the UK) offers its members insurance up to £10 million. This sort of insurance is highly dependent on the industry in which you trade and you should take the time to check this before taking out any additional cover, to avoid duplicating any protection.
If your business employs staff, then the law requires that you take out employers’ liability insurance. AXA employer’s liability compulsory insurance for example insures your business against the cost of claims made by an employee injured whilst working for you. Similarly, it covers claims made by employees who have become seriously ill as a result of working for you.
This type of business insurance is necessary if you employ permanent staff, hire out contractors or make use of any temporary staff, even for a short amount of time.
Failure to take up this insurance is illegal, but also leaves a business open to all the costs involves with any claims. This could, in extreme and unfortunate circumstances, result in closure of the business.
If you are self-employed, your priorities may be protection of yourself and your equipment. If you work with members of the public or in an environment in which you are in regular contact with members of the public, it is necessary to protect them too.
One of the better ways to protect yourself and the public is through a type of cover named public liability insurance. While not compulsory in the same manner as employers’ liability cover, AXA Business public liability insurance will protect a self-employed person against similar claims that would otherwise prove unaffordable. It covers the cost of claims made by a customer or member of the public who has experienced injury, damage to property or even loss of life because of you or your business activities.
In addition to these, there are other types of business insurance which are optional but potentially helpful, dependent on your business sector and the manner in which you trade. Business interruption insurance could possibly protect your business against lost income if you are forced to stop trading for a short time. Along the same vein, business equipment insurance, taken out on tools or equipment, will protect you if any of these thing are lost, stolen or damaged, dependent on the level of cover. Since these items are likely to be essential to your ability to trade, this may be a likely choice for additional cover.