Stride business insurance explained
Business insurance explained
Running a business is exciting and rewarding, but sometimes the risks involved can be daunting. That’s where business insurance comes in. Events outside of your control can throw you off track: a trusted customer fails to pay; an employee seeks compensation for an injury at work; or a roof leak in your premises damages equipment and products.
For small and medium-sized businesses, the cost of dealing with a crisis can have severe impacts, even threatening the viability of the organisation, including legal problems. Let’s take a look at some of the most common insurance coverage needed by small to medium-sized businesses, including those that are required by law…
Commercial buildings insurance
This is an obvious one, but it is important nonetheless. The fabric of your building could be damaged by a range of factors, such as fire, flood, high winds or a falling tree. The cause could come from outside, such as a vehicle colliding with the building, or inside, for instance a gas leak or electrical fault.
Your buildings insurance should provide cover for the rebuild cost of the property. If you have a mortgage over the property, it will invariably be a requirement by the lender that the building must be insured. To comply with the terms of your buildings insurance you will need to ensure the building is well maintained and checked regularly. If a fault results from wear and tear, you may not be covered.
Depending on the nature of your business, you might want to insure products and materials kept in your premises, office furniture or machinery and equipment used by the company. You should also arrange cover where you let parts of your building to other tenants, for example reception and toilet blocks.
Employers’ liability insurance
If you have an employee other than a close family member, it is likely to be a legal requirement for you to have employers’ liability insurance. This provides cover against claims that employees were injured or their property damaged at work. Cover is required even if the employees are unpaid volunteers, part-time workers or on casual contracts.
Public liability insurance
Public liability insurance provides cover against the risk that someone is injured or their property damaged while on your premises, or because of your business activities. Even if members of the public are not routinely invited onto your premises, this is still vital protection. It could be as simple as a courier slipping on some uneven floor, or a client scalding themselves on a hot tap. You could face a claim for compensation and legal costs amounting to thousands or tens of thousands of pounds, so it’s best to be protected.
Professional indemnity insurance/directors and officers insurance
Everyone makes mistakes, but when you make them in the course of a business then the results can be very expensive. Professional indemnity insurance provides cover if you give advice which a client later challenges, claiming it fell short of the required standard and caused them to lose money. Directors and officers liability insurance provides protection against claims that can be levelled against senior staff, for example for negligence, health and safety breaches, data protection and accounting errors.
Product liability insurance
If you design, manufacture or supply products or materials, you could be liable if someone suffers an injury caused by a faulty product, or their property is damaged. Even if you did not manufacture an item, but you feature your company name on it, change or refurbish it, import it from outside the EU or the original manufacturer has become insolvent, you could be facing a claim for compensation. Product liability insurance provides protection against this type of claim.
One of the most worrying situations for a growing company is when a major creditor falls into financial difficulty or insolvency. This could be a client or supplier, but if money is owed and it seems unlikely to be paid within the near future, the business can suffer a cash flow crisis, possibly impacting on its own credit rating. Credit insurance helps organisations assess who to do business with, and provides support when things go wrong.
Insurance suited to your individual needs
These are just some of the types of insurance you might need to protect your business. Depending on the nature of your organisation, you might wish to consider other policies such as business interruption insurance, trustee liability insurance and engineering insurance. Whatever your risk, Stride are commercial insurance specialists and can provide a tailored service to meet your needs.