For many small businesses, getting the right insurance is complicated and often at the bottom of the to-do list. But investment in protecting your business far outweighs the consequences of something going wrong. What’s more, you could be breaking the law by not having the right cover in place.
Here are the eight types of cover you’re most likely to need:
Cover for employees If you employ anyone, in any capacity, you must have employers’ liability insurance – it’s the law. If caught without, you can be fined up to £2,500 every day you don’t have insurance in place. It covers compensation claims if a member of staff suffers injury or illness at work.
Cover for clients Accidents can happen, which is why you should consider public liability insurance to cover you against damage to your clients, the public and their property. In today’s litigious society even minor accidents can lead to major compensation claims.
Motor insurance Make sure you get cover for business use (even if you only occasionally use your car or van for work) and that you cover any colleagues who will be driving a company vehicle. Look for a policy that provides a courtesy vehicle if yours is off the road so you can keep your business running. And always remove your tools at night – they are a target for thieves and may not be covered if your vehicle is broken into.
Cover for you If you are injured at work it could mean a loss of income while you recover. If you can’t survive without your income then consider personal accident cover. This may pay out a lump sum or a weekly wage, up to a maximum limit, until you return to work.
Cover for tools and plant Without your tools there is no business, and insurance will pay to replace them quickly. But also keep them safe and secure – don’t leave them in a van or car overnight and make sure your storage area is locked and plant secured.
Cover for business equipment AXA research suggests two-thirds of van drivers run their business from their vans. If you carry business equipment, such as a laptop or smartphone in your vehicle, get it insured. Your motor policy will not cover these items, so talk to your home insurer or specialist business insurer about getting cover through them.
Cover for property If you have office space at home or you keep tools and equipment in a shed or garage at home, speak to your home contents insurer to check you are covered. You may need additional cover or security to ensure you are protected.
Cover for the site Contract works insurance will cover a site while you are working on it, so if the works are damaged or materials are stolen or damaged, you will be compensated.
Darrell Sansom is managing director at AXA Business Insurance