Guide to start up business start up insurance
If you’re planning to start your own business, you’ll have a lot to think about. There are many potential risks and hazards to consider, before starting your new venture. Insurance and risk management might not be the most exciting item on your agenda, however to help you proceed with confidence, it’s critical to get it right.
Insurances are legal contracts where the small print can be complex – buying a cover that sounds ‘about right’ after skim reading a technical legal worded policy document or cover summary could leave you exposed during the most vulnerable period of your new company’s development.
Getting advice from a qualified broker on what is the best insurance package for you before buying has a number of benefits. Your new fledgling business is too precious to trust the internet to find you the right insurance – speak to a broker.
After taking the time to fully understand you and your new business, a broker can compare a range of insurance products from a variety of insurers that is right for you – so effectively do the leg work you might do on the internet for you, with the added advantage that they have a professional knowledge, understanding and experience of the cover being offered and how it fits with the specific requirements for you and your new business venture.
Additionally, a broker will have a close working relationship with insurance underwriters and will take time to understand your business so that they can present your requirements accurately. Often brokers will be able to access cover and prices that may not be available on the web.
Every year, a broker will also negotiate best annual renewal terms for you, approach the market should better cover and terms be available – all in good time for you to make your renewal decision, fully advised.
Should you need to make an insurance claim or respond to claim against you, brokers are also there to help you all the way – from help understanding your cover and notifying your insurers to best settlement.
How can I find out what covers are right for me?
There are a range of considerations to be made. It may be that you can buy what’s known as a ‘combined’ insurance policy for your start-up business. As the name suggests, this ‘packaged’ approach provides you with a range of covers all under a single policy. These package policies typically offer public and employers liability included along with property, business contents and computers as an example. Alternatively, you could benefit from wider cover and better prices by buying elements of cover individually.
What cover should you be looking for as a start-up business?
It’s important that you consider your key business assets and liabilities when considering the right insurance package for you and your business; here are a few types of insurance cover a start-up business may need to consider –
Liability Insurances – where you have staff, even if part-time or casual workers, you will need Employers Liability Insurance by law. Similarly, where you come into contact with members of the public, either at your premises or elsewhere, it’s likely that you should consider taking out public liability insurance.
Professional indemnity insurance – where you offer advice or technical specification, you can be held accountable if that advice subsequently leads to errors, omission or other such losses for your client. Professional indemnity cover protects you in such circumstances up to an agreed limit.
Building and contents insurance – where you run your business from premises, whether rented or owned, you will likely require building insurance. Content cover will protect you in the event of a break in, flood or fire, and you suffer loss or theft of equipment.
Stock/contents insurance – where you have stock for sale or for use in client projects, you will need to protect it from damage, loss or theft. Where goods are carried or damaged whilst in transit will also need to be considered and adequately covered.
Computers / IT Insurance – some businesses will have laptops and other portable technology that can be stolen or damaged whilst out and about, such losses can be very expensive for a start-up business and insurance protection should be considered.
Cyber Insurance – most businesses will collect payment, advertise and/or communicate with their clients and suppliers electronically. Simply holding basic client or supplier data is now a legally regulated business responsibility. Cyber crime has massively increased over recent years and appropriate advice and adequate protection should now be considered as standard for all businesses.
Directors & Officers Liability Insurance – A lot of people mistakenly think that where they are a director of a Limited company, they cannot be held personally liable for alleged wrongdoing. In fact they can, and this type of insurance is designed to protect directors in just such circumstances.
Business vehicle and fleet insurance – where you have vehicles that you use in the course of your work, whether a car, van or specialist commercial vehicle, they will need to be insured. A regular personal insurance policy is likely to be voided by business use.
Legal Expenses Insurance – the cost of legal support and representation when you need it is expensive. Basic legal expenses insurance will offer you a free legal helpline on business matters so you can access legal advice when you need it. Wider cover is also available for employment matters, contract disputes or debt recovery matters.
When it comes to insuring your fledgling start-up business, researching on the internet can be a great place to start, but we offer –
- The right cover for you at the best prices.
- Risk management and insurance expertise and advice for you and your business.
- Claims support and assistance when you need it.
We highly recommend you speak to a qualified, experienced broker to ensure what you are buying is suitable for you so your start-up business can trade and grow confidently.