Your guide to business insurance
We’re used to hearing about big brands and their role in the economy, but 99.9% of all businesses are small or medium-sized (SME). These businesses employ 60% of people working in the private sector and generate 47% of all private sector turnover (£1.8tn).
In a sector this vast, it is not surprising that there is also huge variety. Around 62% of all SMEs are sole traders, 30% are companies and 8% operate as partnerships. Only 44% are registered for VAT or PAYE. Three quarters of businesses do not have any employees.
More and more people are starting up businesses, whether they plan to work alone as a freelancer or develop into a larger business. Since 2014 the number of UK businesses has risen 3%; since 2000 it has risen 55%.
Risks faced by small businesses
As you grow and develop, what are the threats and opportunities faced by your businesses? For many aspiring businesspeople, from caterers to carpenters, there is always a lingering worry about meeting legal obligations. Without the resource that bigger firms have to keep up with the latest regulations and rules, how can small businesses ensure they stay on the right side of the law?
On the other hand, there is also the issue of liability for mistakes. Everyone makes mistakes, especially when they are starting out, but whereas an established company would simply deploy some PR people on a damage limitation exercise, for a small business errors can result in court claims that destroy livelihoods.
For example, as a carpet fitter you might advise a café on the best type of flooring suitable to them. If the flooring is not sufficiently non-slip, you could be facing a legal claim for not only replacing the flooring, but injuries caused to customers and the lost takings while the café closes for the refit. Having the right insurance in place is essential to ensure that if something does go wrong, you are covered.
Types of insurance open to small businesses
There are three main types of insurance that small businesses should consider: public liability, professional indemnity and employer’s liability. Which of these policy types you need will depend on the individual characteristics of your business.
You will need public liability insurance if you have premises which are open to the public. The insurance provides cover if someone is injured or has their property damaged while on your premises. For example, you might be an upholsterer with a small shop where you offer interior design consultations. If the customer’s chair gives way during the consultation, public liability insurance would help you cover legal costs and damages of any resulting personal injury claim.
Professional indemnity insurance applies to businesses which provide expert advice, providing cover if your advice turns out to be incorrect. For example, you might work as an electrician and recommend a high-tech system for a commercial complex which turns out to be unsuitable. Professional indemnity insurance will protect you from suffering a heavy financial penalty for your error. It will also cover you for any errors or omissions in the advice you gave to the customer.
Taking on employees is a great step forward for your business, but it also multiplies your risk exposure. That’s why it’s a legal requirement to take out Employers Liability insurance. If the apprentice of your painting and decorating business pours paint all over an expensive carpet, this type of policy will mean you don’t have to shell out for the replacement yourself. Employers Liability also provides cover if a member of your staff gets hurt whilst working under your direction.
How Stride can help you
Stride offers a range of business insurance products tailored for particular types of professionals. Rather than taking out multiple policies to cover your public liability, employer’s liability and professional indemnity, you can obtain a tailored package from Stride Insurance to cover all your needs.
If you are a shop fitter or builder with people working under you, you may wish to consider our Tradesman and Contractors Liability Insurance, which provides cover for public liability, employer’s liability and tradesman liability.
On the other hand, if you are a gardener or landscape gardener and open a plant nursery or gardening shop, you might consider our Retail Insurance package. The comprehensive cover will provide clarity about the protection in place for your business.
A tailored approach
Rather than offering one-size-fits-all policies which might not be right for the unique characteristics of your business, Stride Insurance offers a tailored service. We also believe in providing quotes without delay – for most of our small business insurance products, you can obtain an online quote immediately.
Why not get a quote for your business today? Insurance will provide essential cover to protect your livelihood in the event of a claim. Get in touch to see how we can help your business.