No matter the size of your business, insurance is important.
While insurance can be expensive, it’s never worth risking going uninsured; after all, how can your business survive an unexpected accident, natural disaster, fire, theft, or lawsuit?
Luckily, getting insurance can help.
Business insurance is designed to protect businesses by covering potential financial losses resulting from unexpected events such as theft or damage.
Most business owners don’t realise that without insurance, their business could be at risk. You should consider it an essential investment because it protects you and your livelihood when something goes wrong.
Researching business insurance can seem like a hassle, so the key to prioritising it is understanding it. It’s easy to get lost in the jargon, the different coverages and different kinds of policies.
But you can cut through the confusion by educating yourself – the Insurance Council of Australia has a portal called ‘Understand Insurance’ to help you make better decisions about your business insurance.
Business insurance can be broken into three basic categories: liability insurance, property insurance and business interruption insurance.
Two forms of insurance are compulsory for most Australian businesses:
Other common types of business insurance include:
Your insurance needs will vary according to the industry, trade and type of business you are operating.
For instance, Maxine Imrie runs a school bus business WR & MR Imrie Bus Service in Cootamundra.
“Our insurance cover includes business insurance, vehicle insurance, public liability insurance and insurance to cover our property, in particular, the bus depot,” she explains.
So how do you know if you have the right coverage for your business?
Here are some factors to consider when assessing your business insurance needs:
We highly recommend talking to a professional insurance broker to help you identify what business insurance options are right for your business.
Maxine says “Our insurance was put in place through a specialist business broker that deals with public transport companies – and in particular, buses. Also, our predominant business is a Transport for New South Wales contract to deliver school bus services in the region. Our insurance broker understands what policies are required by Transport for New South Wales and the specific wording Transport for New South Wales requires within our insurance policies.”
To find a broker, visit www.needabroker.com.au or call NIBA on 1300 53 10 73.
Once you’ve decided what type/s of insurance and how much cover you need, the Insurance Council of Australia has a simple tool to help you find an insurer.
Your insurance broker may also be able to refer you to specific insurers.
It’s good practice to review your policy once a year to make sure you are still adequately covered for your business.
Maxine says “We review our insurance every year. And that is to make sure that we’re comfortable within ourselves on what things are being insured for and the replacement value of things. While it’s great to use a specialist broker for our industry, ultimately we are responsible should the worst happen.”
Maxine has a final piece of advice: “I understand that trying to trawl through all of the documents is really hard and it’s laborious.
But at the end of the day, if you don’t do it, you can lose everything that you’ve worked for.
“So take half an hour to have a look through the documents and if you don’t understand what it means, highlight it, go back to the broker, or ask your solicitor. We hear too many horror stories of people being under-insured or assuming that something was covered and then it’s not.”