Business Insurance cover for your specific needs
Smarter Insurance have been offering professional indemnity, employer’s liability, public liability and other combined commercial insurance cover to a huge range of clients – from individual traders to large, blue-chip corporations – since 1973. We specialise in making sure that your business is covered for all eventualities. We also recognise that every business is different and therefore strive to tailor your cover to meet your specific needs.
Our core business insurance packages
Our three most popular business insurance products are professional indemnity, employer’s liability and public liability. Let’s look at each of these in more detail.
Accidents happen. With the best will in the world, they happen to us all, no matter how careful we are, and if they involve members of the public, they often bring compensation claims in their wake. If you want to make sure your business is protected against these claims, you need to make sure you have public liability insurance cover.
Public liability insurance is absolutely essential for any business that deals with the general public. As well as helping to cover costs if you need to pay compensation, it also helps with legal costs resulting from property damage or loss, personal injury or, in worst case scenarios, accidental death. Compensation may also need to be paid for consequential loss of earnings.
Public liability insurance may be necessary if your company:
- is a retail outlet
- is a charitable foundation
- deals directly with members of the public
- promotes or organises events
- manages property
- works with business partners or on third-party premises
If you need public liability insurance, or you’re unsure as to whether you do or not, give us a call at Smarter Insurance today, and discuss your options with one of our insurance experts.
Anyone with employees is legally obliged to take out employer’s liability insurance (excepting health service bodies and public organisations – if you have any questions concerning your status, give us a call today).
This insurance exists to provide cover against claims made by employees who suffer ill health or personal injury while working for you. Even if your risk management and health and safety provisions are of the highest quality, it is still vitally important for you to ensure that you are adequately protected just in case claims arise. Employer’s liability claims may arise at any time for such common every day occurrences as workplace falls, machinery-related injuries or illnesses or injury related to stress.
If a claim is made and you do not have adequate employer’s liability cover, you could be eligible for some rather hefty fines.
Professional indemnity insurance protects you in cases where clients believe that your advice has led to financial loss or damage to their business or to their business reputation. Without appropriate professional indemnity cover, you may well be liable to pay legal costs and damages. Although it is not a legal requirement, professional indemnity insurance can save a company from negligence claims that can actually cripple a company’s finances.
Let us help you find the right cover
Whatever your business insurance requirements, Smarter Insurance can help you arrange full cover quickly and easily. Call us on 03334 000610 for immediate assistance.
Under what circumstances will I need liability insurance for my business?
As soon as a business has one or more employees, it will require employers’ liability insurance. This protects you in the instance your employees had an accident or developed an illness as a result of working conditions. According to the Employers’ Liability Act 1969 you will require a minimum of £5million worth of cover although many businesses will invest in more.
However some types of businesses are exempt for example government departments or non-limited family businesses. It is always wise to check if you think you may be exempt as this could save you money and it is important to make sure you are abiding to the law. If you do not have the correct liability insurance you can be fined up to £2500 per day or your business can be closed down.
If your business involves working with the public, even if this just means they have access to your premises, you may also need to consider public liability insurance. This is in case a member of the public were to have an accident on your business premises and claim against you.
If you are unsure whether you need liability insurance for your business then check with a business insurance expert because having the wrong cover can be very costly.
What variables affect a business insurance premium?
As with every type of insurance there are a number of variables that influence the price of your premium including the following:
- Size and value of your business may influence the cost of your insurance because companies worth more are more likely to be sued and lose larger amounts of money. There are also typically more people and equipment involved which increases the chance of an accident.
- Location of business premises also affects your premiums for a number of reasons such as the value of your land and property, the laws within your area, the rates of crime and the geographical risks such as flooding.
- Type of work: this refers to high risk businesses, which may involve people working in construction or electricians. Unfortunately such businesses will have higher premiums than say an accountancy firm because their day to day work poses a higher risk of injury and subsequent claims.
- Level of cover and extra covers: when it comes to the level of insurance they range from general liability to employment practices liability cover and you may need different cover dependent on you type of business.
- How long you have been in business and no claims bonus: the larger your no claims bonus, the cheaper your insurance will be.
- History of previous claims: people who have made more claims are considered to be high risk and more likely to claim again which will be more costly to the insurers.
- Number of employees: when taking out employees workers compensation insurance this is directly related to the number of employees you have, the more employees, the more chance of an accident, thus increasing your premiums further.
Some of these variables work similarly to most other types of insurance but business insurance does have additional factors you need to consider.
What is business interruption cover and do I need it?
If there were to be a devastating incidence of a fire or flood in your work premises, we understand that this can have huge repercussions. Most equipment and stock will take several weeks to replace however the premises are often what takes the longest to restore. If your building were to flood due to natural disaster or a pipe bursting, it could take months to dry out and in the meantime this will cause you loss of earnings. This can mean employees cannot be paid, you may run out of money to get your business running again and you may also lose customers to competitors.
In such an instance, business interruption cover will pay for your loss of revenue, staff costs and rent and bills. This means that in a stressful period you do not need to worry about your loss of income and you can afford to get back on your feet as quickly as possible. However it is important to bear in mind that you will only be covered for the loss of earnings if you can prove what your revenue would have been according to previous accounts which makes this difficult for start-ups.
Business interruption is not a necessity so if you think you would still be able to trade, pay for alternative premises and turn over enough profit without your business premises operating then you may not need it. However for most businesses, loss of premises, stock and equipment makes trade impossible.
Is my equipment covered?
Equipment cover does not usually come as standard with a business insurance policy. Typically you will be asked whether you want your equipment covered and to what level. There are different options available when it comes to covering your business equipment. You can have cover that covers equipment confined to your office or worldwide equipment cover which is useful for larger businesses with multiple sites.
It is still important to check the fine details if you opt into equipment cover because some things will be exempt or will require an extended policy. You can request to only cover specific items or change your premium according to the value of your equipment.
Bear in mind that business interruption cover is not the same as business equipment insurance. Business equipment does not cover any loss of income as a result of damage to your equipment. If you have business interruption cover this fills in for your resultant loss of earnings but not replacing or repairing the property itself. It would be advisable to have at least one or both of these types of cover if your equipment is a crucial part of running your business.
If I subcontract on my premises do I need employers’ liability insurance?
In most instances, yes. You are responsible for insuring anyone working for you on site at your premises. Any business who has employees will legally require £5 million worth of employers’ liability insurance.
However they are some exclusions. If they are independent contractors who are not working exclusively for you may not need it. Also if they are clearly in business for their own personal benefit and not for yours they would not be considered as working for you. If they are able to employ a substitute for when they are unable to work and this responsibility is not yours they are not considered your employees. These terms can be quite subjective so it is always worthwhile checking with an expert about your personal circumstances.
If you are using subcontractors who are not considered as your employees this means you will need public liability insurance as your employers’ liability insurance will not cover them. It is worthwhile finding out if they have their own PLI for when they are working away from your premises on your behalf. It is best to make sure you have the correct level of cover to avoid breaking the law and potential large fines.