Don’t Wait Until After a Fire to Purchase Insurance

By smei

Posted 29/04/15

As they say, “where there’s blame there’s a claim.” Nowadays, even minor incidents can lead to major claims for compensation. So if you’re self-employed or you run a small business, it’s important to take the first steps to protecting your business and ensure you get the right cover in place from the outset. By taking these preventative steps, it should help reduce the impact of a claim on your business. 

If you are just starting out, it can be difficult to know where to begin but finding out about the basics of a business insurance policy is a good place to start. Below are details of the four main types of cover to consider when looking for business insurance.

Public Liability Insurance – Is there risk of injury to people visiting your premises?

As customers visit your shop, there’s a chance they could slip or trip causing them to injure themselves. You might be held responsible and face a costly claim for compensation. Public liability insurance is designed to cover such instances. It is also worth noting that you will also need public liability cover if you are planning to exhibit at a conference or local trade show.

Product Liability Insurance – Is there risk of someone becoming ill due to the food or products you sell? 

Product liability insurance covers (along with other things) the cost of compensating anyone who becomes ill due to contaminated food that your business has sold them. Your business may be held legally responsible for any injuries to customers as a result. SME Insurance typically offers policies that cover public and product liability with a £2 million limit as standard however this figure can be increased to £5 million.

Employers’ Liability Insurance – Do you employ staff?

Most businesses who employ staff, are legally obliged to have employers’ liability insurance in place. Although, your business may be exempt if you are a family run business (only employing family members) and aren’t incorporated. A business may also be exempt if the owner owns 50% or more of the issued capital.

These staff may be full time, part-time, temporary, voluntary, casual, or contract staff. If an employee is injured or becomes ill while working for you, you could face a claim for compensation. It is also worth noting that you must be insured for £5 million. If you do not hold a current employer’s liability insurance policy which complies with the law you could be prosecuted and fined. Employer’s liability cover arranged by SME Insurance Services comes with £10 million as standard.

All Risk Policy – cover against fire, theft, vandalism and accidental damage.  

Food establishments are often at a higher risk of fire due to the cooking equipment used in the kitchen. In the event of a fire, repair work and replacement of equipment and stock can be costly. Therefore we believe it is important to ensure you have an all risk policy in place before you start trading. An all risk policy protects your business in the unfortunate event of fire, theft, vandalism or accidental damage.

Business owners should take a sensible approach by ensuring they have the correct level of cover in place initially and review regularly throughout the operational life of their business. Having the right cover could help you to avoid having to invest large amounts of resource and capital into rebuilding the business after an unfortunate loss. By seeking expert advice and making a considered investment in your business insurance before it’s too late, this will provide peace of mind and help ensure that you get back up and running quicker after a setback.

To discuss your individual business insurance requirements, please call us, or email NewBusiness@smeinsurance.com.

Posted 29/04/15

Author: smei

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Fullers Bakery has used smei for the last 3 years for business premises insurance. The changeover from our previous insurers was seamless and efficient with queries and special requirements all handled very professionally.

George Fuller, Fullers Bakery

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