BUSINESS Insurance Questions Answered

Q

What insurance should I have for my new business?

This depends on the type of business that you have and whether or not you will employ anyone. For an overview of the different types of Insurance you may be better going to the legal aspects section in the Knowledge Section of this site. However a minimum requirement for your own peace of mind is 'Public Liability Insurance' this protects you from damaging other people and their property, whether you are visiting them at their home, or place of work, or they are visiting you. For most businesses Public Liability Insurance is relatively inexpensive (£100 - £150). However you may be better discussing your particular situation with your local Bank or Insurance Broker.

A personal insurance, or 'keyman' insurance is a good idea if your business relies on you (or any key person) and business would suffer if they were to be unable to work.

Insurance for tools of the trade may be necessary for some professions and also a general business insurance with a 'loss of profits' cover in case, for instance, your office or workshop were to suffer damage, or your stock were stolen, and you were unable to trade until it was repaired or replaced.

If you employ staff (even on a part time - or voluntary basis) you must have Employers Liability Insurance to protect them, and you, from any losses incurred through accident.

You may require professional indemnity insurance if you are in the business of giving people advice. this covers many professional such as doctors, solicitors, financial advisors, business consultants, architects, etc. It can be very expensive, however the first place to start your trade association or institute, if you belong to one, since they often offer subsidised, or specially negotiated, rates.

The other area is your vehicle insurance - make sure it covers business use, if you intend to use it in the course of the business. Check with your Insurance company what you need.

Q

Will my house insurance cover me working from home?

Not necessarily. Even if you have a small office at home it is better to check with your insurance company. If not, in a worst case scenario, you may end up not being paid a penny if your business computer bursts into flames and burns the house down. To be on the safe side tell your insurers (in writing) and pay any additional premium requested.

Q

What is Professional Indemnity Insurance?

Professional Indemnity Insurance is advisable if you give professional advice to customers and clients, for example in the case of Doctors, Solicitors, Financial Advisors and Business Advisors (yes we do have it). It protects you in the event that your advice is acted upon and it proves to be wrong (or mis-acted upon) it can be very expensive - but it's a must if you're in that sort of profession.