As a business owner, you will encounter a wide range of business insurance policies, some of which are mandatory, and others which are simply sensible to have in place.
Whichever types you need, it’s always wise to compare business insurance policies from several different providers, in order to determine which is the best value for money, and which offers the best cover your company’s operations.
What insurance policies does your business need?
First, be aware of any mandatory business insurance cover that your profession requires you to have in place.
If you have employees, you are required by law to take out employers’ liability insurance, unless you are the sole director of a limited company and own at least 50% of the share capital, or if you employ only family members.
In professional services, you might find professional indemnity insurance to be a contractual requirement by the end-client.
Meanwhile, in public-facing hospitality roles, public liability insurance could be required before you can open your doors to the population at large.
Draw up a list of the bare essentials, and you have your starting point.
What other insurance cover do you want?
On top of the insurance policies that your business must have in place, think about those that are technically optional, but still desirable.
The possibilities here are much wider, but they include buildings insurance, key man insurance, Directors & Officers insurance and business continuity cover.
Add these to your list, and you can complete your rundown of all the different policies you need to arrange in order to be confident that your company, equipment and employees are all protected.
As with other kinds of price and product comparison, the internet is a powerful tool to help you find the best value for money.
Even if you don’t want to put your faith directly in a price comparison site, you can often find complete policy wordings on insurers’ websites, without having to let them know that you’re interested in arranging any cover.
Run a few searches for the major providers, and any minor specialist insurers who can offer the specific cover you need, and make a note of those with good reputations and positive press.
Then, download their policy wording and compare them – even if you don’t read them all in magnifying-glass detail, you should make sure you go through your preferred policy in full before entering into any kind of legally binding agreement.
Speak to insurance providers
If you manage to whittle your list of potential providers down to just a few names, then it’s probably time to get on the phone.
Depending on your specific needs, you might be able to negotiate a single, reduced price for several different types of insurances, or a higher level of cover if your premises contain high-value equipment or supplies.
Again, even if you don’t intend to arrange cover with a particular provider on your list, it can still be worth giving them a call to find out directly whether they can offer any extras or discounts.
Go via a broker
Finally, if you don’t have the time or the inclination to do any of the research yourself, you can go through an insurance broker to get everything you need.
A whole-of-market business insurance broker should be aware of all of the main products currently available, and it’s their job to advise you on the one that suits you best.
In turn, if their advice turns out to be incorrect, you can often claim against their professional indemnity insurance for any costs you face as a result.
Somewhat ironically, this effectively gives you an extra layer of business insurance protection in return for using the broker’s services.
More help and guidance on business insurance
To help start-ups and small businesses to quickly get to grips with business insurance, ByteStart has a series of guides on the various insurance policies businesses might take out;
- ByteStart’s Guide to Professional Indemnity Insurance – What You Need to Know Before Buying Cover
- Which Types of Insurance Must Your Business Have?
- A Guide to Income Protection Insurance for Sole Traders and Start-Ups
- Guide to Intellectual Property Insurance for Start-Ups and Small Businesses
- What to do if Disaster Strikes Your Business Premises and You Need to Make an Insurance Claim