Business insurance is there to protect your company against a variety of issues that could happen during operations. It can cover you for damage to your property, legal liability, employee-related risks and loss of stock and contents. All businesses need insurance or similar protection, and choosing the right cover shouldn’t be taken lightly. It’s important to ensure you get the right type and level of cover to suit your business. You may obtain cover through an insurer or a mutual. When looking for cover for your business, it is always a good idea to shop around to see what is available and how much it will cost you. Always bear in mind that the cheapest cover available isn’t always the most suitable for your business, and do talk to providers who specialise in providing cover for your particular type of business.
Key things to remember when getting a cover quote
- Choose a scalable plan – cover can be increased as your business grows
- Never assume that things are covered
- Know the specific obligations for your business – some cover is legally required
- Read your cover documents carefully – are you covered for all the things you need?
- Ensure your cover limits are adequate for your needs
- A thorough risk assessment will help you understand your risks
- Talk to insurers and mutual providers who specialise in your industry
Factors to consider when getting a quote
Your quote will be dependent on a number of factors. One of these factors is the type of business you are running. Some businesses are at higher risk than others, including those dealing with the general public. Another factor is your company’s size; if you have a high turnover, you may need more business interruption cover as well as stock and contents cover.
Your premises’ size will also need to be taken into the equation, as the costs involved for rebuilding will vary, and the larger the property, the more it will cost to rebuild. The location is another consideration as the provider will be looking at whether you are in an area of high crime or where flooding is likely. You may also have to disclose details of your claims history.
Managing business risks – identify the areas for cover
By carrying out a risk assessment, you will start to see the cover you might need. Accidents do happen and could cost you your business if you are not sufficiently covered. First of all, identify the risks in your business and talk to your employees to get their views. Identify who could be affected, which could include staff, customers, visitors, contractual workers and people with specific needs. Evaluate the risks and implement precautions. The risk assessment will help to identify the various aspects of cover you need.
The Retail Mutual offers a free risk assessment guide to help you get started. Click here to download.
Keep all relevant information to hand
When you are going through the quotation process, it is important to keep all relevant information to hand. You may know your business inside out and know the answer to every question; it is still important to have all paperwork or answers to the questions to hand. For example, one question we ask at The Retail Mutual is the percentage of your business premises that has a flat roof. Would you know the answer? Whatever you do, don’t try to guess on any of the questions as this could affect your cover. Most providers will understand and can make adjustments to your quote once you know the answer.
Comparing quotes – like-for-like
This is actually harder than it seems. When looking for a quote for your business, it’s tough to find the best deal. You can only compare quotes if you are looking at similar covers. Don’t get caught in the trap of going for a cheaper quote only to find later on that you need to make a claim and it doesn’t cover what you want it to. Try to work out what you need cover for and if you are not sure, talk it through with the mutual or insurer. A company that is happy to spend time with you explaining what you need and why will probably be a good company to go with. One thing is for sure; you’ll find that business cover quotes can vary considerably.
Guidelines for comparing like-for-like quotes
- Does the quote include the fundamental elements you need?
- Is public liability cover included?
- If you employ staff or use volunteers, it is a legal requirement to have employers’ liability insurance
- Stock and contents cover – is your limit high enough?
- Does the cover include business interruption?
- Payment options – does the provider charge interest over the year or have additional fees to update your cover?
- Are there any significant exclusions that can alter the value of the cover to you? For example, an exclusion for flood cover or theft outside business hours.
The bottom line – how to get the best business cover quotes
- Choose a company that you can speak to on the phone
- Select a provider that covers your type of business
- Make sure the provider offers all the elements you need
- One size doesn’t fit all
Does The Retail Mutual offer business insurance?
As a mutual, we don’t offer insurance; instead, The Retail Mutual provides an alternative, with business cover for over 100 different types of independent businesses on and off the high street. The Retail Mutual’s cover options include employers’ liability, public and products liability, business interruption, buildings and more
Would you like a business cover quote?
The Retail Mutual has been supporting independent businesses with an alternative to insurance since 1999, providing cover to over 100 different trade types including retail, hair salons, barbershops and catering businesses. Why not see what we can do for your business by getting a free no-obligation quote from us? Start your quote online today or speak to a member of our service team by calling the number below.