With so many different types of insurance for small businesses on the market, making a decision on the extent of cover needed can get confusing.

Opting for specialised packages such as shop insurance, graphic designer insurance and builders insurance is one way of ensuring all of the core elements are included.

However, even within the same niches, every business is different and individual requirements need to be taken into consideration with modifications and add-ons.

Whether you’re researching what kind of insurance to get in preparation for launching a startup company or already have a venture up and running but aren’t confident you’re adequately insured, here are several questions designed to make you reflect on the extent of cover you need and want.

1. Do you provide advice or services to clients?

Businesses providing advice and services in areas such as graphic design, consultancy, public relations, IT, marketing and photography should be covered by professional indemnity insurance.

Public indemnity, also referred to as PI insurance, is essential cover for avoiding financial ruin should an unhappy client decide to take action against you, claiming the likes of professional negligence, copyright infringement, loss of data or breach of contract.

Even the most competent and experienced professionals can get caught out by small mistakes or difficult clients that can quickly unfold into a legal situation.

This business insurance covers the potentially crippling expenses of proceedings along with any subsequent compensation pay outs.

2. Are you an employer?

All businesses in the UK with one or more employees are required by law to have employers’ liability insurance.

This type of business insurance covers the costs of facing claims for compensation from staff members who are injured or become ill as a result of their work.

As this is a compulsory component, employers found without this protection can be fined or even face prosecution.

3. Is your business public facing?

Cafes, restaurants, fashion boutiques, bed and breakfasts and beauty salons are among the types of businesses that are public facing and therefore need to be protected with public liability insurance.

Those who visit people’s properties to carry out work such as builders, interior designers, plumbers and electricians are also considered public facing and need protection reflecting this.

Public liability insurance is designed to cover the associated costs of dealing with compensation claims from clients or members of the public who are injured or whose property is damaged as a result of the work you’ve carried out.

4. Does your business rely on having premises and certain contents/equipment?

Whether you’re a landlord, shop owner or run an office, having adequate properties or premises to run your business from will of course be imperative.

Buildings and contents insurance is essential for covering the costs of structural damage caused by unforeseen circumstances such as freak weather or vandalism.

This business insurance also covers the costs of replacing or fixing contents stolen or damaged during a burglary or robbery.

If your company relies on a lot of tools and equipment for its everyday running, specialised equipment cover is highly recommended.

Other add-ons will be needed if you work from a home office and keep stock and cash on site, as standard home contents insurance does not cover business items.

Extra cover is required for landlords with empty properties.

5. Could your business continue if you were injured?

Many small businesses are built on the hard work and unique skills of individuals.

If your business relies solely upon you being fit and able to work and there’s nobody else to take the helm if you need to take time off following an accident, including personal injury insurance in your policy makes perfect sense.

Personal injury insurance provides the financial support needed to get by while you’re unable to work due to an injury.

If you want to extend the protection to cover any trade losses incurred as a result of your company being out of action due to unforeseen circumstances such as being injured, business interruption insurance is another option.

To find out what kind of business insurance cover you need, get in touch with The Insurance Octopus for further details or to request a quote.