What Is Small Business Insurance and Why It Is Essential

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You have an idea and you are excited to get started with it and earn a living. There are so many things to consider from shop or office space, choosing a name, products to offer, people to employ. At early stages you don’t even know that it will work and you will have enough customers. Next thing you know you are totally engrossed in the business and making improvements and adjustments to it every day.

Misconceptions About Coverage

It is surprising to know that so many small business owners have no idea about insurance. Some haven’t even considered that they may need one. There are so many misconceptions about it. Many think that they pay additional money on top of their rent to the landlord under building insurance premium and that covers everything. Needless to point out that it only covers the brick and mortar value of the landlord’s property and has nothing to do with what is going on inside it.

Also, many operators haven’t considered possibilities of anything happening. So, they have absolutely no contingency plan in place. It is in a way good that they are not overwhelmed with worry that they may lose it all to fire, water damage, theft and many other perils. The fact of the matter is that they may just be naïve about the risks involved with their operations. 

As soon as someone talks to them about it, the first thing that comes to most entrepreneurs’ minds is that they should cover their fixtures and fittings. Of course, they should but there are more important things to consider first and they could be much costlier than losing a few pieces of equipment. 

Protecting Employers and Public

Even though shop owners are least concerned with this part of business insurance this actually is the most important part. You know the value of an equipment and you know that it can easily be replaced. It is just a matter of money. Contrarily, it is very difficult to guess possible damages and injuries customers and workers may suffer in a workplace.

A simple unfortunate slip and fall could cause serious injuries. Believe it or not, it is your responsibility if it happens in your premises. People are very litigious these days, especially, with no win no fee lawyers lurking everywhere. Even legal defense costs could be large enough to cripple any enterprise.

Also, at least the employer liability portion of any commercial combined policy is a legal requirement as soon as you have one person working for you. And it makes sense to have public liability too. In any case, they are usually sold as a package. The good thing is that they are relatively cheap considering they offer substantial coverage.

How to Find Cheap Office or Shop insurance

Thankfully, a large number of insurers have already come up with commercial combined business insurance packages for restaurants, takeaways, supermarkets, offices and factories. A single policy can include almost everything that relates to a daily operation and covers most possible losses.

Buildings: If you own the building or get the consent of the landlord you can include any damages to it from fire, flood, storms and other accidents. Usually, it works out a lot cheaper if you were to arrange one coverage for the building and shop than having two separate policies.

Fixtures and Fittings: This can include any equipment, furniture and shop fittings. Say you suffered a fire or water damage and you need to refit the whole thing from scratch. Who has spare money for such an unfortunate happening. But most people can pay small yearly premiums. That is why it is essential that you arrange a policy to compensate for such claims.

Stock: Depending on the nature of the operation large sums are invested in stocks. For example, a supermarket has more stock than fixtures and fittings and they are usually easily perishable in case of water or smoke damage. Knowing you can be compensated for such occurrences would ease your mind.

Glass: This usually means the shop front. Often, owners find that their front glasses are shattered due to vandalism when they turn up to start the day. Surprisingly enough, many owners more concerned with this than fire or other much larger destructions because they feel it is more likely to happen.

Cash: This portion is becoming less and less relevant because most transactions are cashless these days. Nevertheless, it is a good inclusion to have. If you have a safe you could insure large sums, depending on its specifications.   

Loss of Business: This is the profits you would lose if your business were to close. For example, there was a large emergency public utility works outside of your shop that prevented your customers coming in. That would cause you to lose money for the duration of it. Then, you can make a claim for the profits you would have made if it didn’t happen.

Employer and Public Liability: As mentioned above this is a very important portion of any such policy. Interestingly enough, this is actually the cheapest portion even though coverage is usually in millions. Policyholders would usually get an Employer Liability Certificate with the documents. They can hang it in their premises to show that they have such a provision. This may actually be a legal requirement in most states and countries. Any business who wants to expand in the future should get public liability cover to protect themselves from any claims.

Insuring Vehicles Used for Business 

This is the next thing to consider. One thing with small operations is that they need to get by without spending a lot of money for initial set up. That is why, they naturally use whatever they have got first. Automobiles are no exception. It is hard to know when a personal vehicle needs commercial insurance. But you must make sure that you have the right coverage as soon as you realize you are stretching the boundaries of a personal car insurance policy. Again, luckily many carriers actually offer business use inclusion within personal policies. So, you may still be fully insured for such use and keep a personal policy that is much cheaper.

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