Business Insurance Checklist for SMEs in 2015

Whether you’re researching insurance providers for the first time or are reviewing your current policy with a view to updating, having adequate cover in place is a key component in guarding your business from a variety of risks.

As an independent commercial insurance broker, The Insurance Octopus specialises in tailored protection plans for small businesses. Rather than being restricted to one offering, our expert consultants scan the market to find the very best major and niche providers suitable for individual companies. We do the footwork so you don’t have to.

While bespoke plans can be finished with various add-ons to meet specific business needs, there are a number of integral elements that form the foundation of a solid insurance plan.

Buildings and Contents

There are many unforeseen circumstances that can lead to your business premises requiring repairs. From flooding following torrential rain through to vandalism such as smashed windows and graffiti, the risk of your shop, office or properties falling victim to circumstances out of your control must be prepared for with buildings insurance.Under building contents insurance, all fixtures, fittings, stock and personal belongings of staff and customers will also be covered.

Employers Liability

It’s a legal obligation for businesses employing one of more people to have employers’ liability insurance. This protects against potentially huge compensation costs if a member of staff falls ill or is injured as a result of their job and decides to take legal action.

Personal Accident

For builders, plumbers, electricians, gardeners and other contractors, the risks of being injured on the job are of course much higher than those associated with office-based roles. To provide peace of mind should you or a member of your staff be unable to work following an accident, personal injury cover ensures a weekly payment or lump sum will be provided to cover the period of absence.

Business Interruption

Whereas buildings insurance protects your business from the cost of repairs, business interruption insurance covers any loss of income suffered while a building is out of use. Each and every day counts so having to shut up shop for a week while essential work is carried out results in an inevitable dent to your income. This protection applies to circumstances out of your control, such as damages caused by freak weather or criminal activity.

Public Liability

Will there be people in or around your workspace that aren’t employees? If you’re a tradesman, have a shop on the high street or run another public-facing business, this insurance covers you against compensation claims should a person be injured or have their property damaged as a result of your negligence. Compensation claims could arise from a customer being hurt slipping on a wet floor in a coffee shop or after a neighbouring house is seriously damaged during construction work.

This essential protection needs to be adapted to suit specific businesses. For example, public liability insurance for hair and beauty salons must feature an extension to cover treatment risks.

Professional Indemnity

From consultants, analysts and computer programmers to project managers, marketers and graphic designers, there are many businesses needing professional indemnity cover to protect against the financial fallout should a client sue for damages caused by a mistake or bad advice. Claims that come under the umbrella of PI insurance include infringement of intellectual property rights, loss of data, negligence, dishonesty and defamation.

Regularly review your insurance

Always remember to update your business insurance as your company grows and adapts. Even the smallest change could leave you vulnerable if you’re not adequately protected. If you take out a policy through The Insurance Octopus, our consultants will be on hand to make any necessary adaptations to your plan. Get in touch to find out more.