How can business insurance suit my needs?

4 min read | Published 21/03/2024

From employers’ and public liability insurance to buildings and contents, there are different policies to consider whether your business is new or established. In this guide, we’ll look at the different types of business insurance and how they may be able to protect your business against unforeseen events.

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What types of business insurance might I need?

Business insurance is a term used to cover a range of policies to protect your business and cover you against potential losses.

Not all businesses need all types of insurance - it depends on the types of risks your business faces. Knowing what’s available is a helpful place to start. From there, you can decide what might suit your business needs.

Here’s a list of some of the main types of business insurance policies:

Employers’ liability insurance - This is a legal requirement if you employ one or more people. The exception is if you only employ immediate family members. This protects your business if a member of staff is injured or falls ill because of work. It’s therefore required by most businesses, new or established.

Public liability insurance - While not a legal requirement, this can protect you if a member of the public feels they have a reason to claim against your business. For example they might be injured or their property damaged as a result of the work your business carried out. A potentially useful policy for new or established businesses that serves customers or comes into contact with the general public.

Personal accident insurance - If you work in potentially hazardous environments this insurance may be a good idea. Examples include working high up, with chemicals, explosives or electricity. It can cover you for any loss of earnings and medical bills as a result of serious injury.

Buildings and contents insurance - If your business has a premises such as an office or factory, this could be a policy to consider. It covers things like equipment, computers and the workspace itself. Many of the items covered here could impact the day-to-day running of your business if they were lost, stolen or damaged. You can also look at alternative versions, such as tools insurance, if that’s more appropriate for your business.

Professional indemnity insurance - This type of policy can be useful if you provide advice or professional services. For example it might be helpful for solicitors, financial advisors or surveyors. It covers you if things go wrong as a result of advice given.

Business interruption insurance - If your business cannot carry out its work for reasons beyond your control, this can be a policy to consider. For example it might help if your business operates outdoors and bad weather makes that impossible. It can cover you for loss of earnings and incurred costs.

Cyber insurance - Unfortunately new and established businesses alike are not immune to the effects of cyber crime. This type of policy can protect you in the event of data breaches, online fraud and cyberattacks. It can be particularly useful if your business is conducted online. But you still might want to consider it if you keep employee and/or client information digitally.

Goods in transit insurance - Consider this if you’re looking for protection against theft, loss or damage of property during transport. The property you’re looking to cover may belong to a customer or client.

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How do I find the right policies for my business?

Knowing which policies you need can feel overwhelming. There are many different policies available, designed to cover a range of events.

Whether you’re just starting out or have been trading for a long time, start by thinking about:

  • What your business does

  • The types of environments you work in

  • The people you interact with

This will help you start to work out what type of events you could encounter that you’d need protection against.

Protection may be financial or an immediate replacement of goods. So it’s worth thinking about what poses a risk to your business. Think about what might impact your ability to continue trading should something happen that you didn’t expect or plan for.

To make things easier, some policy providers offer business insurance bundles. This is typically worked out by grouping policies that are of general use to certain trades and professions. Here are a few examples:

Self-employed business insurance - Policies designed specifically for sole-traders, freelancers and contractors

Limited company insurance - Policies and cover offering the right level of protection with limited companies in mind

Tradesman insurance - Typically offered in various forms for specific trades, such as builders, hairdressers or plumbers

How much does business insurance cost?

The amount you’ll pay will depend on a range of factors. Things likely to influence to cost are:

  • The number of policies you take out

  • The level of cover you opt for

  • The level of excess you set

  • The size of your business and the number of employees

  • Business turnover 

  • Cover limits

You can shop around to find the right policies at the right price for your business.

About Alex Ryde

Alex joined in 2019, bringing his expertise to a range of roles working in both the Analytics and Commercial teams. More recently he has stepped across to focus on Product, where he’s been focusing on scaling up the teams’ SME offering.

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