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All organisations, including sole traders and the self-employed, need business insurance, because risk is everywhere and problems usually arrive without warning, giving you no time to prepare. Businesses that have contact with the general public, work for local councils or central Government, or operate in high risk-industries are especially vulnerable to major financial compensation claims if things should go wrong. Put simply, the potential costs and problems that may come from not having insurance protection can far outweigh any savings you may make by not buying cover.
No. Only employers’ liability insurance is legally required. Other business insurances are optional, although some clients and organisations may require you to have certain types of cover in place – such as public liability insurance – before they will trade with you.
Employers’ Liability (EL) Insurance is a legal requirement for most UK employers. EL protects you and your employees, (including those who no longer work for you), should they be injured or become unwell as a result of working for your business. EL typically covers the associated legal and compensation costs, and other damages of such events, but it can also cover accidental injury or damages caused by an employee to a third party, like your customers.
As well as employer’s liability coverage, most businesses will protect themselves by buying a range of insurance:
Public liability insurance protects your business if someone is injured, or their property is damaged because of the services that you or your business provides. This type of cover, also known as PL or liability insurance, is designed to protect your business against third party claims for injuries or property damage from a customer or client, passer-by, or a visitor to your business premises – whether you’re at fault or not.
Professional indemnity insurance, also known as professional liability insurance, is an essential type of cover for individuals and businesses that advise clients, help them navigate complex financial or legal affairs, or provide them with vital information that is published in the media. In these kind of cases, errors can cost thousands or even millions in legal compensation claims. Professional indemnity (PI) can protect you if a client makes a financial loss because of your work and then makes claim against you or your business. Trade associations, government bodies, public institutions, and major customers will often require proof of a minimum level of PI insurance before doing business with you.
Portable equipment insurance, also known as tools Insurance or business equipment insurance, covers the cost of replacing business tools and equipment if they’re lost, damaged, or stolen. Items that are typically covered include:
Cyber insurance protects businesses from financial loss created by data breaches and cyber-attacks. It covers legal claims, compensation costs, and fines under the GDPR (where legally insurable). In some cases, it can also provide a fast response plan including legal, IT, PR and customer service support.
There are many types of business insurance, and they can cover almost any type of risk, covering your business from loss caused by accidents, errors, omissions, theft, loss, fire, flood and more. Typical cover includes protection from:
The amount of business insurance you need depends on the type and size of your business, plus, if you employ others, you will need a minimum of £5 million employers liability insurance. To calculate the levels of cover and what type of policy you need, start with the basics. For example what would it cost you to replace your…
Then you should think about the type of work your business does, the size of your sales and contracts, and the potential claims you could face from clients, consumers, and suppliers if anything were to go wrong. You should also check with your professional body or industry regulator, as they may set a minimum level of insurance you must carry.
Lastly, you must also consider what it would cost you to keep operating in the event of a crisis. For example, if your premises were destroyed in a fire, how much would it cost to secure temporary accommodation and how much would it cost to get back up to speed? Could you afford to pay your employees in the interim? Could you afford to pay yourself?
Remember, all insurance seems like a secondary cost until you need it. Then it’s suddenly essential.
Never mind the fines by not having employer’s liability insurance, accidents, errors and omissions can happen any time and to any business, delivering the potential for crippling financial compensation costs that could close your operation down. In short, running a business without the correct insurance protection in place is like walking a tightrope without a safety net. Things may go fine – until they don’t, and then the impact can be enormous.
Potential risks from not having business insurance include:
All business involves risk, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer the consequences if things go wrong. Don’t gamble with your organisation’s future. Contact Swoop today to compare top-quality business cover from different providers and to discuss all your insurance needs.
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