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Why Do You Need Insurance?

Business insurance

Finding the right business insurance can be a difficult and complicated process. There is a certain amount of jargon associated with the subject which can put off many small firms. Companies want an insurance policy which will protect them when times are bad, or, if disaster happens. This is where your broker comes in handy.

Why insurance is important

It's the law!
If you employ anyone, insurance is a legal requirement. Employers' Liability cover protects your staff and labour only sub-contractors in the event of an accident or injury at work for which you are legally liable. By law, if you have employees, you must have at least £5 million cover.

In a business-to-business setting, an insurance policy acts almost like a credential. By having a high level of cover you are demonstrating that you are a respectable business which takes health and safety very seriously, and that you fully understand your own responsibilities.

You might consider the risks that your business faces to be small or even affordable, but if this is the case then there is a very good chance that you are underestimating them.

The chances of your business being hit by a flood or destroyed by a fire might seem low, but disruption to your work can have serious consequences. Road works, police cordons and criminal acts could incur huge costs to your business and cash flow. However, all of this could be prevented with the right insurance cover and a business continuity plan. Talk to your broker about the cover available for your business.

Insurance you must have

Liability insurance

Most businesses need some level of liability insurance, and employer's liability insurance is the most common one.

If you're about to take on staff then you should ensure you have liability insurance first. Also, if you're or thinking of becoming a limited company then it's a legal requirement, as technically 'the company' is the employer. Talk to your broker to find out what level of liability insurance your business needs.

If any member of your staff is taken ill, suffers injury or death and this is deemed to be as a result of their work, then you are potentially liable.

The law states that you must have cover in order to cope if this happens. By law employers must have at least £5m of liability, although many policies offer £10m. There are just under 400 deaths and nearly 30,000 major injuries at work each year in the UK, therefore you should avoid any cuts here.

Motor insurance

Drivers know, motor insurance is a legal requirement, but many come unstuck when using vehicles for work related activities.

You might think that your current insurance covers you, but unless your policy includes business use then you're mistaken.

If you're employing someone who's using their own vehicle for work purposes other than travelling to work, then you have a responsibility to ensure they are fully covered. This could be as innocent as dropping you off at a meeting - it doesn't matter - they still require business insurance.

Public liability

Public liability insurance, though not compulsory, is something only the most cavalier business would cut back on. It covers you for damage against property or persons that you might encounter during your work eg your customers

Many clients won't deal with you or can't legally deal with you unless you have it, so you might consider it to be obligatory. This is particularly true when dealing with the public sector.

Planning ahead

Disasters don't just happen to other people.

Well they do, but they can most definitely, happen to you as well, so it's important you plan ahead should disaster strike.

Business continuity or interruption planning is about protecting your business from incidents such as floods, fires, burglaries and physical damage. With business continuity insurance, you buy a policy that's enough to cover yourself and your business for the worst-case scenario. A cautious business would look to get as much as two years' worth of cover but many make do with one-year policies or less. Your broker can advise you on the right cover for your business.

Many business owners underestimate the disruption caused by a major incident such as a fire. It's not just the rebuilding, lost stock and equipment you'll need cash for, but also the loss of business and possibly the time needed to re-recruit staff and to encourage former customers who have gone elsewhere.

Some firms get policies which protect them if a key supplier is unable to trade. This might be a worthwhile extension if you are in manufacturing but probably not if you can easily switch suppliers and continue without interruption. Your broker will advise you accordingly.

Find a broker - An insurance broker will offer you the best independent advice for your business and help you get the cover that’s right for you.

* Please note that this site is not influenced by Aviva and only lists brokers that are registered by BIBA (The British Insurance Brokers’ Association is the UK’s leading general insurance intermediary organisation representing the interests of insurance brokers, intermediaries and their customers). These are updated by BIBA and not Aviva.

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