As an owner of a small business, there are lots of issues that you need to be concerned about, including a number of risks that the business can be exposed to due to its operation, acts of omission and commission by employees, issues with customers and suppliers, as well as your own employees. Without adequate insurance, a small business can be very easily wiped out if its operations are affected by damage to its infrastructure or due to legal suits by others. As a cautious and prudent business owner, you need to constantly keep reviewing your insurance cover to ensure that you have adequate cover and not wasting money on something that is not required. A brief checklist for an end-of-the-year review:
Review Your Liabilities
You need to ascertain that you have paid all the premiums that were due on the various insurance covers that you have taken out. Making a list on a computer spreadsheet is the easiest way of keeping track of all the policies and the due dates of the premiums. If there are any claims that you have made or if there are any claims made against you, you may be required to make adequate provisions for in your year-end accounts so be sure to consult your accountant or financial adviser.
Review Your Coverage
As a business owner, you are potentially exposed to a whole lot of risks that can substantially affect your business unless you are adequately insured with the appropriate cover. Make sure that your business property, as well as equipment, is covered against loss or damage due to fire and severe weather incidents. If your building is in a flood-prone zone be sure that you get flood cover. If you have employees, you should consider employment practices liability insurance that will safeguard you from claims of wrongful or discriminatory practices from your employees.
If employees are required to be on the road for company matters, then consider auto insurance to keep them protected. Make sure you get a number of car insurance quotesso that you get the cheapest premium. You need to be conservative when estimating the value of the cover that you need to acquire. Do consult a competent insurance agent to make sure that you are not underinsured. Find out if you benefit from an umbrella policy that can give you larger coverage and limit your losses better.
Review Your First-Party and Third-Party Insurance
Apart from making sure that your property is insured adequately, you need to also take care of safeguarding your inventories of raw materials as well as finished goods. If your business has the responsibility of taking care of third-party goods then you need to have a cover that protects you from its damage or loss. If your business is such that it handles a lot of cash, then consider fidelity insurance that will protect you from employee pilferage and theft.
Review Insurance Covering Risk of Doing Business with Others
When you engage contractors or sub-contract your work out, their failure to work as committed may expose you to litigation from your customers. You need to have indemnity agreements signed with your contractors that will shift the responsibility of such claims on you to them. Alternatively, you may consider insurance policies to be taken out by them wherein you are named as an additional insured. In case, they fail to deliver as contracted, you may be in a position to claim damages from the insurance company in whose cover your company has been included. You need to conduct an annual check that these covers are in place or else you may find yourself in a soup.
Review Your Personal Insurance
As the owner of a business enterprise, the fortunes of your company are intricately linked with your personal wellbeing. When you are reviewing all the insurance covers, you should make it a point to also examine your own personal insurance cover to ensure that it is in force and adequate for the risks that can be normally anticipated. Make sure that you have adequate auto insurance that will protect you from claims by others besides keeping you protected if you are involved in an accident caused by someone who is not insured. Also, make sure that your home and personal belongings are adequately insured against fire and natural disasters. If you find the task of reviewing your insurance too complicated, make it a point to get in touch with a competent and experienced insurance consultant to help you to assess the situation and recommend the future course of action.
Author bio: Steven Hayes is an insurance consultant. He specializes in advising SME owners, on how to optimize their insurance coverage, by providing multiple car insurance quotes. Steven is also a passionate blogger and writer of articles on insurance; some of which, can be read on http://rsadirect.ae/