What types of Business Insurance do I need?
Some business insurance types are required by law and some are optional at the businesses’ discretion. It’s important to be confident that, should the worse happen, you are able to claim for financial assistance to support your business needs. Motor insurance is a key insurance type required by law for business vehicles as well as privately used vehicles. Public liability insurance will save cost if a client decides to sue. Clients will feel more secure if you state in terms of business that you have insurance cover for public liability.
The cost of protecting businesses has risen steeply in recent years. It makes sense to shop around because premiums vary widely between different insurers. You can use online comparison sites to compare quotes and also check local Insurance Brokers who can find good deals and offer advice on terms. Find an Insurance Broker at the British Insurance Brokers’ Association. BIBA members handle over two-thirds of the UK’s industrial, commercial and consumer insurance. www.biba.org.uk
Insurances required by law:
Just taking money to the bank counts as business use, so your insurance cover would have to include business use. Often low mileage may be covered without extra charge but check with your insurer.
Employer’s Liability Insurance
If you have employees, other than your immediate family, you must have employer’s liability insurance.
This insures you against claims made by the public for injury or damage caused in the course of carrying on your business. It covers any damage you might cause whilst on your premises or in a clients house such as knocking over a vase, spilling coffee on a carpet etc. It is relatively cheap. When you agree your first client appointment a phone call to a broker can provide a cover note from that date.
This covers liability for errors or omissions in professional services provided. In Home Staging or Interior Design this is likely to mean any misinformation supplied or negligence on your part. Premiums can be very expensive.Careful language and detailed quotes can avoid misunderstandings and claims
Taking care when speaking, carefully crafting wording on your business publicity and website and providing detailed quotes can avoid misunderstandings and claims from clients.
It’s important to avoid making statements or ‘guarantees’ about things which you may not be able to fully control. Be clear in your business terms and conditions statement, and send a letter to the client confirming appointments which also covers the nature of your work and what will be included. This offers you some level of protection against false claims against you and would be regarded as a form of contract.
‘Verbal agreements’ can also be regarded as a contract so be clear in explaining details, particularly avoiding statements which give the customer a unreasonable expectation of a ‘property valuation or fast sale after the home staging process’. Stick to your area of expertise.
As a self-employed person it is wise to consider adequate life assurance.
You should insure your business premises, equipment and stock against damage by fire, flood and other unforeseen events. If you are working from home you must notify your Insurers. Usually unless you are storing products at home or having clients call to your home there will be no charge. However ask them to confirm in writing that you have notified them.
This insures against claims for injury or damage caused by the products you supply.
Goods in Transit
If you collect or deliver goods in your own vehicle, or send them by post, you should insure them whilst in transit.
This insures you against the risk of your customers failing to pay you for goods or services.
Loss of Profits
This covers you against loss of profits if, for example, your premises were burnt down and you were unable to trade.
Your fire insurance would only reimburse the cost of the physical damage to the building, equipment or stock.
This insures against being unable to repay a loan due to death or illness.
You may want to insure yourself against becoming too ill to work – check policy options including critical illness with an Insurance broker. Key Person insurance can be taken out to provide for the death or illness of a key employee.
For further details always check with an insurance company or Insurance broker.