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Insuring a new business

12/9/2012

“Insuring a new business needn’t be complicated and a little time spent planning what needs to be arranged from day one, will avoid unnecessary problems in the future.” This useful guide by Paul Brooks of Oasis Property Insurance Services Ltd outlines the sorts of insurance cover which you need to think about.

If like many start-ups you are going to work from home, you will almost certainly find that any existing car or household insurances will need to be upgraded or changed.

For car insurance, the policy will need to be extended to include business use – even if the only business journeys you make are to the post office. Motor insurance is a compulsory insurance, so it’s important to make sure that the cover you have is right.

For household insurance, (buildings and contents), whether insured separately or together you will need to let your existing insurer know that you are working from home. However your household policy will not be suitable for business purposes, regardless of whether customers or clients visit your home. Separate arrangements will need to be made, although many insurers are now able to offer specialist homeworker insurance policies that can combine both personal and commercial insurance needs.

Of course if you are letting out your property, you will need to arrange a Landlords insurance policy as a household policy simply won’t do.

Whether working from home or from business premises, it’s important to insure your property, especially your stock and computers. If you have any portable items like phones and laptops, don’t forget to arrange insurance for when you take them outside.

If you intend to have employees, the law requires that you arrange Employers Liability insurance.

Public and Products Liability whilst not required by law, should be considered a must and you may find that many of your clients insist that you have the cover.

If your business is a service rather than the supply of a product, Professional Indemnity insurance should be considered. You might find that your clients insist that you have this cover and if you choose to join a Trade Association, it may be a condition of membership.

If you should be unfortunate enough to sustain a loss such as a fire, flood or theft at your premises, then there are likely to be significant costs keeping the business going and replacing lost profits. Business Interruption insurance should be seen as a must and the level of cover and the period of interruption that it covers should be carefully selected.

Other insurance covers to consider include Money, Goods in Transit, Legal Expenses Directors & Officers and Personal Accident.

TIP – Combining different types of insurance cover under one policy, may work out cheaper and can avoid gaps in cover.

TIP – check any contracts that you are asked to sign to see if insurance is a requirement and at what level, especially for Public Liability and Professional Indemnity insurance covers.

TIP – Some insurance providers offer interest free monthly instalment facilities so do ask what’s available – great for helping with your cash flow. 

If you would like more specific guidance about insurance, you can contact Paul on 07585 125333 or  paul@independents-ins.com

Lucreative Business Services Ltd, Company No. 8274956, Registered Office: Millbrook House, Mill Road, Liss, GU33 7BD