Amidst all the excitement and your eagerness simply to swing into action with your new business venture, it might be easy to overlook some of the basic necessities needed even by the most modest startup enterprise.
Chief of these may be your need for business insurance – which may take a number of different and equally important forms:
Commercial property insurance
- if you have invested in the purchase of your own business premises, the structure and fabric of the building needs to be insured against such major threats as storm damage, impacts, flooding, fire and vandalism;
- although this might be a safeguard taken on by your landlord if you are renting the premises, you are nevertheless likely to have invested heavily in equipment, furnishing and fitting out your shop or office space;
- one way or another, therefore, you may need to consider commercial property insurance – which may be arranged through specialist providers such as ourselves here at UKinsuranceNET;
- a retail business, in particular, is likely to carry considerable stock – which again needs to be insured against loss, damage and theft;
- if your business is a restaurant, takeaway, bar, hotel or bed and breakfast, stock may take the form of perishable items and foodstuffs requiring special consideration when it comes to arranging suitable insurance;
Product liability insurance
- you have a responsibility for ensuring that the products you sell, or use in the provision of any trade or service you supply, are free of defects and entirely serviceable;
- even though the products may carry a manufacturer’s warranty, you may still be held liable for any defect or failure on the part of products you have supplied;
- product liability insurance is designed to indemnify you against such claims;
Public liability insurance
- whether you have customers, other visitors or members of the public coming to your business premises – even if this is an office in your own home – or you are out and about making sales of your goods and services, you still run the risk of public liability;
- if anyone is injured or has their property damaged in the course of your business activities and you are held liable for any breach of your duty of care, you may be ordered to pay a substantial sum by way of compensation;
- indemnity against such claims is provided by public liability insurance and – in recognition of the scale of claims which may be made – typically offers cover of up to £1 million, and often much more than this;
Employer’s liability insurance
- in addition to any public liability cover, you also have a legal obligation – except in a few rare circumstances – to hold employer’s liability insurance if you employ others in the running of your business;
- this provides indemnity in the event that an employee is injured at work or contracts an illness or other medical condition in the course of their employment by you;
- a minimum level of cover of £5 million is currently required by law;
Professional liability insurance
- if the services you provide entail a degree of professional knowledge or competence – such as lawyers, accountants, architects or management consultants – you may be held liable if the advice you give subsequently proves to have been ill-founded or in error;
- a number of professional organisations and institutes insist on members having an appropriate level of professional liability cover.
Even if you are just starting up your business, therefore, insurance of one kind or another may play a critical part in getting your enterprise safely and successfully off the ground.