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All Posts in Category: Business Insurance

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Why Insurance for Small Businesses is Important

Insurance for small businesses is important for many reasons. It provides certainty against events that could destroy a small business or financially decimate the business or sole trader. We work so hard to build up our businesses and assets and all could be lost through an event that could be covered by a relatively inexpensive Insurance Policy. Small Business Insurance is relatively inexpensive as most insurers have packaged the required covers into a relatively simple and inexpensive package.
  • Makes your business look more credible
We often see where consumers are trying to choose which Sole Trader or Small Business to engage with that they will seek out companies that are fully insured. The fact that the company has insurance provides protection for the consumer which the value and the fact that a company has insurance shows a level of professionalism and responsibility on behalf of the insured company.
  • Provides protection for your employees
Employers Liability insurance protects your employees and compensates them for injury or damage sustained in the course of their work provided that they can show that there was negligence on behalf of their employers.
  • Attracts and retains employees
Employees want to work in companies where they can progress and that have a professional outlook with the security of their position. Having the correct insurances demonstrates that the business is professional and committed to protecting themselves against events that could harm the business and protecting members of the public and employees against injury and damage caused by the company.
  • It grants peace of mind
As a small business owner, we may be kept awake at night worrying about events that could harm or destroy our business. This could be losing a valued customer or supplier, changes in the market or economy or problems with employees. Another very important threat to the business is from potential insurance claims. This could be from Property Damage, Business Interruption, Employers Liability or Public / Products Liability. If not properly insured any of these events could destroy a business or financially ruin a sole trader.

 

Types of policies:
  • Public Liability Insurance
Public Liability insurance protects the insured by indemnifying them in respect of any action that may be brought by a member of the public for injury or damage caused by the negligence of the insured.
  • Commercial Combined or Package Policy
Most insurers now have a number of options available to Small Businesses. These include the ability to provide cover the various risks separately or as part of a commercial combined insurance or a Package Policy. A package policy, for example, could insure a Shop or Restaurant or Office and give all of the covers that they may require as standard within one policy. This gives the cover in an uncomplicated and economically viable way.
A Commercial Combined Policy allows the insured to choose which cover sections that they require and tailor the cover to their needs but still retaining all of the covers under one policy.
  • Employers Liability
Employers Liability insurance protects the insured by indemnifying them in respect of any action that may be brought by an Employee for injury or damage caused by the negligence of the insured. This gives protection to the Employee and also to the Employer.
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Home Insurance

Choosing the Right House Insurance Tips

When protecting your greatest asset it is important to source the correct house insurance. In order to do this you should use an independent house insurance broker who can deal with and compare policies from a large panel of insurers and advise you on what is best for you in relation to price and cover. All home insurance products are not the same and the only way that you can know that you are getting the right cover and the best value is to use the services of an independent broker. An independent Insurance Broker will know the differences in cover between the various insurers and will be able to match you with the most suitable insurer based on cover and price.

Plan your Policy Wisely

When deciding to purchase home insurance you need to plan the policy wisely. You need to consider what your requirements and risks are!
You will need buildings insurance and if you have a mortgage you will need the insurers to note the interest of the lender on the policy and issue a letter of indemnity.
You will need to consider contents insurance and how much it would cost you to replace all of the contents of your house if you had to go out and buy everything new! A good way to do this is to take a little time and go through the house room by room and note all of the contents and personal possessions and list the replacement cost. You may be surprised at the total number you reach at the end!
You need to provide details of any single item worth more than 5% of the total contents sum insured.
You need to consider what contents you need cover for away from the house – Jewellery, Clothes, Sports Equipment, Golf Clubs etc. and then you need to ensure these items for “All Risks” cover.

Know Approximate Replacement & Rebuild Costs

When you insure your home and possessions it is essential that you make sure you are insuring them for the correct value. In the event of a claim insurance companies will check that you are insured for the correct value at risk and if you are underinsured they will reduce the amount of the claim by the amount you are underinsured by! For example, a house with a rebuilding cost of €300,000 that is insured for €200,000 – in the event of a small fire where there is €60,000 of damage caused the insurers will calculate the % of underinsurance and reduce the claim by this amount! – in this case 30% underinsurance so the claim will be settled at €40,000 leaving the insured with a shortfall of €20,000 to make up themselves. The same condition will apply to underinsurance of your contents and all risks items. To check that you have the correct rebuilding costs on your policy please see https://www.scsi.ie/advice/house_rebuilding_calculator

Keep a List of your Valuables

In the event of a claim under the contents or All Risks section of your policy, you will want things to go as smoothly as possible. There are a number of ways to help with this –
List all of your valuables (typically any item worth more than 5% of the total contents value) and if possible have photos and valuations for these items.
The same applies to items that you have covered while away from the house (All Risks Cover) it is always helpful to have photos and valuations in the event of a claim.
Take all reasonable steps to make sure your property is protected. Although your insurance policy will cover you in the event of a loss it can be a very traumatic experience and prevention is better than cure!
Always make sure you have smoke alarms in the house and if they are not mains operated check the batteries regularity and test that the siren is working. This not only protects your property but it may well save your life in the event of fire.
Get an intruder alarm fitted and make sure that you activate it every time you leave the house and at night when you go to bed.
Use your locks – many people have five lever mortice deadlocks fitted to their external doors but do not use them when they leave the house. This makes it easy for burglars to break into your home! However, if you double lock the doors at night make sure you leave the key in the lock or in a designated spot nearby to ensure you and your family will not be trapped in the house in the event of a fire.

Be Wary of Annual Increases

Be aware of annual property value increases that could drive your house insurance policy up due to it increasing your rebuild costs.
Most house insurance policies have index linking built into the buildings sum insured. This means that the insurers are automatically increasing the buildings sum insured each year to protect against inflation. This gives you additional protection but you can choose not to accept the increases if you feel that the sum insured is sufficient without the index linking.
The most important thing is to make sure you are adequately covered while not overpaying for cover you do not need.

Always Shop Around for the best House Insurance Deals

There are many insurers who all offer various home insurance policies and products which means that there are hundreds of options available to you at your renewal time giving a choice of covers and prices.
Always shop around as a good broker will check all the options for you and make sure you are getting the best cover and value for money.
The best deal this year may not be the most competitive next year!

Less is not always More

Getting a very low cost deal is not always the best idea. Make sure everything is covered in your home for your policy to be worthwhile.
When you consider the difference in premium between a policy that is focused purely on a cheap price and a policy that is focused on quality covers and then considers the potential downside from not having a claim covered in the event of a loss – the savings may not be worth the risk.
The way to avoid this is to use a broker who will find you the best combination of cover and price!
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Commercial Insurance

The Benefits of Business Insurance

Many people regard purchasing business insurance as a (necessary) evil as most company owners thankfully have not had to rely heavily on their Business Insurance Policy. In truth having the correct business, insurance gives peace of mind that in the event of an unforeseen catastrophic event the future of the company and therefore the income of the owners and the employees are protected. Companies are built up over years and sometimes generations and all this can be wiped out in one fell swoop. The correct Business Insurance Brokers always looks like good value for a substantial claim.

To comply with the law

Some Insurances are a legal requirement. If you own or operate any vehicles in a public place you will require motor / Road Traffic Act insurance. This might be a car insurance, Commercial Vehicle Insurance, Fleet Insurance Policy or Special Types Insurance. If you have a forklift that operates in an area that falls under the definition of a public place under the Road Traffic Act you must have motor insurance on it by law. Not knowing that you needed a certain type of insurance is not a valid defence in the eyes of the law, find out more about EU business laws.

Having the correct Business Insurance makes your Business Look more Credible

If you are competing for business with other similar companies you can increase your credibility with prospective customers by being able to demonstrate a higher level of professionalism by having the correct insurances in place with the correct Limits of Indemnity. Many companies do not have the correct insurances in place to protect themselves, their Employees or their Customers. It is becoming increasingly common for prospective customers to seek confirmation of Public Liability, Products Liability and Employers Liability Limits of Indemnity. We are also finding that it is now almost becoming the norm for proof of Professional Indemnity cover to be provided.

Having the correct Business Insurance Provides Protection for your Employees

Should one of your employees be injured in the course of their work Employers Liability Insurance will cover you in the event that they bring an action against you alleging negligence leading to Injury or Damage. The average cost of an Employers Liability claim in Ireland is well over €20,000.  When you see the types of injury that can occur in the workplace – ranging from very minor up to life-changing and even fatal you see the importance of being fully insured for employers liability. The standard Limit of Indemnity on an Irish Employers Liability Policy is €13,000,000

Having the correct Business Insurance Protects your Products & Assets

A business can be built up over years and accumulate assets including plant and machinery, equipment, stock and the buildings as well. In the event of a serious fire or major storm or flood damage, it is essential that the business can claim on their property insurance policy. Most businesses would struggle to recover from a serious property loss due to fire if they did not have insurance in place to protect them. Equally as important as property insurance is Business Interruption Insurance. BI Insurance is also known as consequential loss insurance and it covers the loss of profits resulting from an event that leads to a claim under the property insurance.  For example – a wholesale business that has its warehouse full of stock in preparation for Christmas. If there are a fire and the warehouse and all the stock are destroyed this will be covered by the Property Insurance but the insured will not have anything to sell and may go out of business. The Business Interruption Insurance will cover the loss of profits resulting from the fire for a period of either 12, 24 or 36 months depending on which option was chosen when the policy was set up. As you can see from this the correct Business Insurance Policy can guarantee the survival of your company in the event of a life-changing event.

What are the Main types of Insurance for Available for Businesses?

PROPERTY
Fire & Specified Perils Loss or damage to insured’s physical assets caused by fire or other specified perils.
Terrorism Physical loss or damage to physical assets by any act of terrorism
Glass Breakage Loss or damage to fixed glass (including neon or signage if requested) by breakage resulting from a specified peril.
Computer Loss or damage to computer or ancillary equipment caused by a specified peril
Money All risks loss to money including damage to safe / strong room
Marine / Goods In Transit Loss or damage to the subject matter whilst in transit
Contractors All Risks Covers the cost or reinstating works under construction where it is damaged by fire or other specified perils
Claims Costs Covers the costs of hiring professionals with a view to presenting a claim to underwriters
 Small Businesses  Insurance for small businesses applies to the same categories as mentioned here
BUSINESS INTERRUPTION
Fire & Specified Perils Loss following interruption to the business due to damage to property caused by fire or other specified peril
Terrorism Loss resulting due to necessary interruption to the business arising from any act of terrorism
Increased Costs of Working Additional expenditure necessarily incurred as a result of a specified peril
Rent Payable / Receivable Financial loss incurred due to a continuing obligation under lease to pay rent or a restriction from receiving rent on a premises under lease that has been damaged by a specified peril
Book Debts Covers losses in respect of the inability to trace debtors following the breakdown of computer equipment by a specified peril.
Loss of Revenue due to Computer Breakdown Loss of revenue or increased costs incurred following the breakdown of computer equipment by a specified peril
LIABILITIES
Employers Covers the legal liability for bodily injuries to any of your employees or diseases caught by them arising in the duration of their employment in the company
Public Covers legal liability which results from bodily injuries which are accidental to any third party person or loss of or destruction to their premises arising in the connection with the business.
Products Covers liability for bodily injury related to accidents to any third party person, or loss/damage to their premises, caused by any sort of defect found in goods sold, serviced, needing repairs, changed, treated or supplied  in connection with the business
Products Guarantee / Tamper / Recall Provides cover for failure of the product to fulfil its intended function which is not covered by a Public/Products Liability policy
Design Liability Liability arising from design work carried out for a fee
Directors & Officers Covers legal action against individual Directors or Officers for carrying out alleged wrongful acts in the management of the business. The cover includes reimbursement to the Organisation where they are legally obliged to indemnify an individual Director or Officer
Employment Practices Liability Covers claims brought by any of their current or previous employee for a broad range of employment linked accusations including the following:                                                                                                     –    Wrongful or unfair dismissal, discharge or termination of employment                                              –    Harassment                                                                                                                                                  –    Discrimination, including race and sex discrimination
Professional Indemnity Covers claims arising from negligent acts, errors or omissions in the course of professional services provided for a fee.
Libel / Slander Covers Legal Liability for third party damages, costs and expenses resulting from claims alleging libel, and/or slander to title goods, and/or infringement of trademark, registered design, copyright, patent right arising from matter contained in specified publications.
Wrongful Arrest Covers legal liability to pay damages in respect of wrongful arrest and false imprisonment, committed or alleged to have been committed by you or any person employed by you or on your behalf.
Pension Trustee Liability Covers claims against the trustee’s alleging negligent management of Pension or other Fund affairs
Legal Expenses Covers legal costs incurred in defending/maintaining legal actions for example in property/ contract/employment law disputes
Environmental Liability Liability arising from pollution or environmental damage and/or contamination, which is sudden, unintended and accidental. It does not cover gradual pollution nor deliberate acts.
Cyber Liability Legal liability to pay damages to third parties arising out of the performance of online / software activities due to one of the following:

–   Libel or Slander from the use of email

–   Damage to websites/networks from unauthorised access

–   Loss of business income from hacking/denial of service

Marine Liability Covers legal liability to third parties or property damage arising out of marine operations.

 

MOTOR
Motor Legal liability arising out of the use of a mechanically propelled vehicle causing bodily injury and/or property damage to third parties. The cover can be extended to include damage to own vehicles caused by an insured peril.
Contingency Legal liability to pay damages, as a result of bodily injury and/or property damage to third parties arising in connection with the use of employees own motor vehicles, not the property o the insured but being used in connection with the insured business.
Special Types Motor insurance can be arranged for special types of vehicles such as forklift trucks, factory trolleys, cranes, dumpers, road rollers and tippers where the use of the plant in a public place involves compulsory third party insurance as required by the Road Traffic Acts.
ENGINEERING
Statutory Inspection Covers third party inspection of plant/equipment to comply with legislation.
Engineering (Miscellaneous) Cover is available for fragmentation / breakdown / explosion / sudden & unforeseen damage to plant / damage to surrounding property / explosion and third party liability.
Hired In Plant Legal liability in respect of the use of hired in plant
MISCELLANEOUS
Personal Accident Cover for accidental bodily injury and or illness sustained by insured persons resulting in death or disablement during the operative time.
Travel Covers expenses incurred on trips outside of the country of domicile
Credit Covers insolvency of an insured buyer and/or protracted default of an insured buyer
Fidelity Guarantee / Crime Covers financial loss as a result of fraud or dishonesty by employees acting alone or in collusion with others or committed by any other person.
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