Aside from COVID-19 taking a massive bite out of the retail and hospitality sectors over recent months, all businesses have had to work through changing political landscapes, varying consumer demands, diverse logistical challenges, and some extreme weather conditions over the last 12 months. All of these events have had implications for businesses, ranging from stock shortages to employee security ‒ and they have shown us that we never know what is around the corner.
As 2021 will no doubt continue to bring more surprises and risks; here are some of the ways that you can protect yourself from the unexpected over the next 12 months.
You may have a huge full-time team, or employ one person on a part-time basis ‒ either way, you are legally required to have employers liability insurance in place. Not only does this cover you if an employee claims compensation for a work related illness or injury, not having the policy in place puts you at risk of a fine.
Professional indemnity insurance protects your business if a claim for compensation due to negligent advice, services or design is successful. Cover can include historical claims – but to remain protected, you must have cover in place at the time of the claim, regardless of when the incident it relates to happened.
Customers are critical to any business, but of course they need protection. If a member of the public is injured on your premises, you need to have a policy that will cover both their costs and any losses you may experience should a claim be made against you.
Your products are of course, on the whole, prepared in-store. However, using brought-in ingredients and additional goods ‒ such as drinks ‒ means you need protection. If someone alleges they have sustained injury or illness caused by something purchased from you, or by your business failing to protect them, product liability insurance provides protection for such an incident.
Granted, not the type of cover most business owners put top of their list, but COVID-19 has increased cyber-crime1, as more people work without the protection of employers’ firewalls. If you store any customer or supplier data, then you could be deemed vulnerable to this increasingly common type of crime, so it is worth keeping on your radar and consider adding cyber cover to your insurance policy.
Personal Accident and Sickness
As well as ensuring your employees are covered, you may also want to include cover for yourself in your policy. Personal accident and sickness cover means that if you’re unable to work, you are covered with a weekly amount if you’re off work on a temporary basis ‒ or through a lump sum if you’re off work permanently.
Supply chains across all industries have been hit hard this year: this type of policy means any losses resulting from machinery issues are covered ‒ vital when the timeframes for problem-solving may have been extended, through no fault of your own.
It’s a lot to remember, and some types of cover are included automatically in your package policy, whereas others can be added on separately. It’s also worth remembering that if your business is a member of a trade body or franchise, that organisation may only allow you to remain a member if you have valid insurance in place. So, maintaining the right cover could also ensure you still get access to all that vital additional support.
Quotes from well-known and specialist insurers, including: