When budgets are tight it can be tempting to go it alone in business to reduce expenses by cutting out any middlemen. While keeping things in-house may be okay for some low-level business decisions, going direct with your business insurance really shouldn’t be one of them.
Business insurance tends to be a complicated beast, with a minefield of clauses, risks and caveats that need to be carefully negotiated. It means effectively managing your own insurances is rarely as simple as it may seem, requiring considerable amounts of time and energy that, for most business owners, could be far better spent elsewhere. Likewise, attempting to reduce your costs by reducing and/or forgoing some of your policies can also prove a dangerously false economy, leaving gaps that could expose you financially in the event of claim and potentially threaten the very future of your business.
What do you need to consider?
In short, a lot! Every business and industry is different. This means off-the-shelf insurance cover and packages, whilst seemingly an easy option, may fall some way short of meeting your actual requirements. For example, they may provide you with too much cover – or, even worse, not enough.
The type of business insurance you require will depend on many things including your industry, business size, premises, equipment and location. To ensure you are adequately covered it’s important to perform an in-depth analysis of your current and future business needs, factoring in your growth plans.
As explained on the Australian Government’s online portal for business owners, www.business.gov.au, there are three main types of business insurance:
1) Asset and Revenue Insurance including motor vehicles and fleet – breaks down the compulsory third party and comprehensive insurances needed for company and business vehicles.
2) Personal and Workers Insurance – otherwise known as workers compensation. It covers you for any injury or illness arising from the workplace by your staff.
3) Public Liability Insurance – if you or a staff members is found liable to a third party accident, death or injury.
Beyond these areas, you’ll find a multitude of additional insurances for businesses depending on your situation. If you’re self-employed, for example, you may want to consider personal accident and injury protection, which covers you for loss of income while incapacitated. Other choices range from building and contents insurance to burglary and farm insurance.
Ask an expert.
With so many options and considerations to weigh up, it really does make sense to work with a specialist insurance adviser. Just as you trust an accountant with your finances and a solicitor with legal matters, they’re professional insurance experts. It’s their job to know all the risks and all the options, as well as every detail of the policies they recommend. They’ll use their insurer relationships to help you get the very best value cover possible. They’ll save you time and worry. They’ll also be your trusted advocate in the event of a claim – an insurance expert who can deal direct with the insurer on your behalf at a time when you’ll really appreciate it.
Why sweat over decisions and research that isn’t your specialty? Leave it to the experts and, chances are, you’ll come out with a much better outcome. You’ll also have more time to focus on what you do best – run your business successfully.