Insurance for business

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The UK holds many business opportunities for just about anything imaginable, from retail and wholesale to science and technology and everything in between. Regardless of whether you have an existing business, relocating or starting a new business, one the most important decisions you will ever make about your business is insurance. The topic of business insurance can be a complicated one, questions about what type, how much coverage, what is covered and what is required by law all have to be addressed to protect you and your investment.

Of the many types of business insurance available in the UK, there are three basic types that every business should have. The most common and most expansive by far is liability or employer liability insurance, which generally covers injuries to workers that occurred in the course of employment. There are many specific types of liability insurance pertaining to business including public liability, product liability and personal indemnity just to name a few. The second of the basic three types is property and building insurance that protects the actual structure against fires and disasters. The last of these three is business assets and equipment coverage which usually includes items like computers and machinery. Of the three basic types, liability is required by law and the other types may or may not be depending on your particular situation.

With the economy as troubled as it has been, the urge to cut costs by carrying the bare minimum of coverage required by law can be very tempting. When it comes to business insurance in the UK, you can't take chances with a bare minimum, a business is far too important and valuable to leave to chance. Just carrying employer liability insurance leaves you exposed to a multitude of risks that can leave you and your business in financial ruin. Everything from products in transit to faulty or damaged goods can begin an endless trail of legal and financial pitfalls that could be handled much easier with the proper coverage. Most of the time things like defective products are covered by the manufacturer, but if the company goes out of business the financial burden can fall squarely on your shoulders. These are the situations that defective product coverage, goods in transit coverage and personal or personal indemnity coverages are designed for.

There are also issues like employee theft or maliciousness, that most people would assume would be covered under an employer insurance program. In reality however, employee theft or damages are not covered under most policies and would require additional coverage specifically stating these terms. In addition, there are many intricacies within the common types of coverage that apply to your unique situation. Business to business operations, software distribution and many other public or private services require specific types of coverage, and may even require safety inspections depending on your business. In the case of machinery and industry businesses, engineering insurance and regular on site inspections are both required by law.

There also the big question of how much coverage you need and who you can get it through. By law, businesses in the UK have to carry a minimum of 5m for employer liability and usually 5m for anyone other than employees, but this can vary according the type of business. On top of these you must consider the limits of liability or the 'actual payout' of the cover you have. For instance, property and building coverage should always cover the full cost of 'rebuilding' because the market value may change. In addition, business assets can covered 'as new' or 'indemnity', meaning they can covered for the full retail price when new, or if covered as indemnity, the payout will be adjusted due to wear and tear. As you can see there is quite a bit to consider, and you never want to leave anything as important as your business at risk. Choosing the right coverage and in the right amounts will ensure your success and the longevity of your business.

 

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