How to choose an insurance provider for your business

Choosing the right company to handle your business insurance can be a tricky process; there are hundreds of firms chasing your business and acres of small print to wade your way through.

But the bottom line is you need to protect the business you’ve taken so long to build up and getting the right insurance policy can help you do that, especially in those crucial start-up years.

Your first step should be assess the risk you’re insuring against as accurately as possible – all insurance is measured by risk, the higher the risk the higher the premiums. Overestimate the risk and you’ll be paying for cover you don’t need, underestimate and you could leave yourself, your business and your employees exposed.

It’s a good idea to note down what level of cover you’re looking for, that way you won’t be tempted by insurance sales people selling you cover you don’t need.

Here are few areas to think about when you’re choosing an insurer:

  • Think about how your business might change over the next few years and how that will affect your insurance needs. For example, your equipment might be getting on a bit so you need to think about replacement costs. Or perhaps you plan to install CCTV so your risk of being burgled decreases and that should be matched by a reduction in premiums.
  • If you feel you need some expert advice, you could deal with an insurance broker. But, be warned, you may have to stump up commission fees.
  • Read the small print in any policy documents, and if there are areas you don’t understand call in your solicitor, or an expert adviser, to explain these clauses.
  • Be scrupulously honest with your insurance company about information relating to your business; disclose your previous claims records (details of any recent thefts for example). Failure to do so will invalidate your insurance should you have to make a claim and it’s discovered you haven’t been entirely truthful.
  • Remember if you employ any staff – even if they’re casual or part time – then you must take out employers’ liability insurance. If you don’t you’ll be putting both yourself and your team at risk.
  • You’ll get a better deal from your insurer if you insure several items at once.

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