According to Business-Money.com , up to a third of UK businesses are woefully uninsured when it comes to protecting their company’s future against the threats they may face. This is a damaging problem with far-reaching consequences, especially when it applies to small and medium businesses.
It’s easy to see why business owners fall into this trap, especially in the initial years of their business. There are so many costs that have to be taken into consideration that a payment to insurance just seems like another burden – and one that can be skipped. Few of us like to think of the worst case scenario about anything in life, and this is even more true when it comes to our business goals and how they float amidst a changeable economic outlook .
However, you might be reading this and thinking: well, I’m fine. I’m insured! I did my research, checked with insurers such as Kingsbridge.co.uk , found a policy I liked and then bought it. Ticked off, job done. So I don’t need to worry about any of these things; in fact, you might even be tempted to feel a little bit smug about it. And so you should; you’ve ticked off something that a huge amount of business owners don’t do.
However, just how well did you scrutinise the small print? If you don’t, your safety “just in case” insurance policy could be an expensive banana skin waiting to trip you up.
Under-Insurance: Why You Should Worry
The most tempting thing to do when buying a policy is to go for the lowest level of cover, because that makes the premium reduce. You might also be tempted to increase your excess as high as you possibly can because, again, the premium reduces. The problem is that doing this can leave you woefully under-insured .
Most of us buy insurance because we know we should, not because we ever envision having to claim on it. So look through your policy documents and ensure you are actually protected against possible issues.
Tip: If you own premises, then you especially need to check for any damage that weather can do – this is an area many insurers fall down on, or at the very least have strict rules on what does and doesn’t apply.
Away From Office: Are You Covered?
There are a plethora of reasons why you might take business equipment away from the office. If you’re a contractor or involved in a trade, you might not even have an office, instead choosing to store the tools of your trade in your home. The problem comes when you have a problem outside of your home: are you covered if your tools get stolen, for example?
Even if you do have an office, there are many reasons you might leave it. Do you attend conferences, business meetups, go and meet prospective clients for lunch? If you carry any business equipment with you, it might not be covered unless you have checked with your insurer that it is.
Insuring Your Customers
If you make a mistake, does your insurance cover you? Make a bad decision for a customer (it happens to us all eventually) and you could be on the receiving end of legal action. Always check and see whether you are insured for any potential problems you inflict on customers, and how supported you are if things progress down the legal route. Insurance itself isn’t the only question you have to answer: the policy you choose has to be fit for purpose too.
Maria Fonseca is the Editor and Infographic Artist for IntelligentHQ. She is also a thought leader writing about social innovation, sharing economy, social business, and the commons. Aside her work for IntelligentHQ, Maria Fonseca is a visual artist and filmmaker that has exhibited widely in international events such as Manifesta 5, Sao Paulo Biennial, Photo Espana, Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Joshibi University and many others. She concluded her PhD on essayistic filmmaking , taken at University of Westminster in London and is preparing her post doc that will explore the links between creativity and the sharing economy.