Learn more about the basics of business insurance, including cover for premises and contents, public and employers' liability, and more.
Time, care, passion and resource have all been poured into your business, and now you need to protect all that hard work.
To make sure your business is safe, learn how to choose the right business insurance policy.
Business insurance is a general term which covers the variety of policies that are available, or may be a legal requirement, for your company. These include:
Depending on your business type and needs, you'll require a selection of the above policies to complement and protect your firm.
Check the terms and conditions of any policy before taking it out to make sure that what you think is included is actually covered under the policy.
If you have premises then a business premises insurance policy could protect your commercial buildings against a range of risks, including fire, storm damage, explosion and flooding.
The level of cover available will vary between policies, so it's important to check that what you expect to be covered is included.
Some policies may include cover for accidental damage as standard, but check beforehand.
If your landlord is responsible for insuring the premises and your lease complies with the Code for Leasing Business Premises in England and Wales 2007 then the insurance should be fair, reasonable and represent value for money
As with standard home insurance, to get the right business premises insurance you should insure the building for the full rebuild cost.
If you're a tenant, then your landlord will be responsible for insuring the premises, unless the business has a shop front.
In this case, obtaining suitable cover is the responsibility of the tenant.
If your landlord is responsible for insuring the premises and your lease complies with the Code for Leasing Business Premises in England and Wales 2007 then the insurance should be fair, reasonable and represent value for money.
You have the right to request details of any commission received by your landlord and the details of the relevant insurance policies relating to the premises.
Business contents insurance isn't a legal requirement, but it may be advisable, especially if your business relies on expensive equipment.
Before deciding the level of cover to purchase, you should consider your business needs and what you want to get out of the policy.
You'll be able to choose between new-for-old cover or indemnity insurance.
The former will meet the full cost of replacing items if they're stolen or destroyed, while the latter will deduct the cost of wear and tear so that you're returned to the same position as you were prior to the loss.
If your business has any contact with a third party - ie members of the public - it could benefit from public liability insurance, which could protect it in the event a member of the public is injured or their property damaged because of the business.
A legal requirement, employers' liability insurance protects your employees and your business in the event that someone is injured or becomes ill as a result of their work.
If you offer professional advice and expertise to other businesses, you may need professional indemnity insurance.
This could protect you if a client believes you've been negligent and have therefore cost them time and money.
As the nature of businesses vary, so does the nature of the insurance they need.
Whether you're a builder who has expensive tools or a removal service that needs to protect the goods it moves, specialist business insurance should be able to provide you with the right kind of cover for your needs.
If you operate your business from home, your standard home insurance policy may not be sufficient to protect your business needs.
If you haven't told your home insurer that you're using your home as a place of work, your policy could be declared invalid.
When taking out business insurance, your provider will likely ask you a number of questions relating to your business and its practices.
If you need both employee liability insurance and public liability insurance, a joint policy could prove cheaper
These are likely to include:
All these questions can determine the level of risk your business presents to an insurer.
If your business has been subject to claims in the past, then its risk may be determined to be higher and an insurer may increase the premium, making cover more expensive.
Similarly, if your health and safety record is less than squeaky clean, you could find your insurance cost increased.
Think about combining different types of business insurance policies.
For example, if you need both employee liability insurance and public liability insurance, a joint policy could prove cheaper and more convenient than arranging each policy separately.
When you compare business insurance, remember that the right policy isn't necessarily the cheapest.
If you search with Gocompare.com, you'll have the option to purchase online and/or speak to a specialist in a UK-based call centre if you need further guidance.