What insurance do I need for my business?

Having the right types of business insurance is vital to the success of your company. The right cover will help you manage the various risks associated with running a business. The types of insurance you should buy will depend on what type of business you have, but there are also certain kinds of insurance that every business should have. Whether your enterprise is big or small, new or old, local or global, you need cover that will protect you from the potential negative consequences of any damage to the business property and equipment or any lawsuits against the business from either customers or employees.

Property

If you own the building or buildings your company operates from, you need to buy business property insurance to protect yourself against the kind of losses that can result from damage to the property. Property and buildings insurance typically insures you against both natural disasters, such as flooding and other consequences of severe weather and man-made causes of damage like vandalism and gas explosions.

Assets

You don’t only need to insure your commercial property but also the stock and equipment inside it. A good business assets and equipment insurance policy will protect your company’s assets from theft, damage and breakdown. If your venture’s assets also include company cars, you need to buy separate motor vehicle insurance to cover them. Even if you just use your own personal car for commercial purposes, check with your insurance provider that the vehicle is covered for both private and business use.

Employer's liability

All organisations that employ staff are required by law to have employer's liability insurance. As of January 2013, the proscribed legal minimum of cover is £5 million. This will protect your business against being sued by employees who have sustained an injury or illness in the course of their work. In addition, a business owner who’s also one of the company’s key workers should look for a specialist policy that will provide cover against the loss of income that would result from falling ill or getting injured.

Public liability

Although public liability insurance isn’t mandatory, it’s a good idea to get it, especially if your business acts as a contractor or supplier. Other organisations, including local authorities, may not let your company on to their site if you don’t have insurance against legal claims for injury, illness or death to people outside of your business. Public liability insurance also protects you against claims for damage to others’ property caused by your enterprise.

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About the Author

Based in London, Autumn St. John has been writing career- and business-related articles since 2007. Her work has appeared in the "Guardian" and "Changing Careers" magazine. St. John holds a Master of Arts in Russian and East European literature and culture from University College London, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in modern history from the University of Oxford.

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