Insurance helps you recover from unforeseen events that impact your business financially, helping you get back on your feet so that you can continue to operate. Whilst you may not see the tangible benefits of insurance until you need to make a claim, those who have experienced a major claim truly understand the value of having insurance protection. Experience tells us that insurance buyers who have suffered a major incident have an astute focus in putting insurance protection in place.
It is quite noticeable that we are seeing an uptick in our customers being asked to evidence insurance by their customers and suppliers. Not just the fact that they have bought it but the scale and scope of covers. The business environment is taking insurance protection more seriously as part of the supply chain process.
Tips for arranging the right insurance for your business
- Demonstrate that you are a well-run business
There is a material difference in the way insurers treat buyers who show they want to buy insurance and can show risk understanding versus those buyers who just “need” to buy some business insurance and are unable or unwilling to commit to risk understanding. A harsh fact of an increasingly selective commercial insurance market. A market that is also taking a harsher approach to businesses moving from one insurer to another frequently. You may not think that continuity is important in the world of insurance but a short term premium saving may not always be as beneficial over the long term.
Put simply, insurers will charge lower premiums for businesses that are well run.
It is important that you can evidence this through areas such as:
- risk assessments and actions taken to address the risks identified
- quality control procedures
- financial accounts that are filed on time
- attitudes to claims notification
- accreditation and professional qualifications of you and your people
- training and ongoing development of your employees.
- Use an insurance broker
The vast majority of businesses still use a professional insurance broker to arrange the correct covers just as they do in using solicitors and accountants. Insurance can be a tricky product to buy without advice. A broker like Anthony Jones can help you navigate the process and select the right insurance cover tailored to your specific needs. An insurance broker will work for you and will search the market on your behalf to find the insurer that is right for you.
- Make conscious buying decisions
It is vital to know what you are buying when arranging the right insurance for your business. But as much as you can afford and be aware of what you have decided not to buy. The insurance sector spends more time talking about words than numbers so take the time to read through the important documents linked to the policy you are taking out such as your policy wording and policy schedule. Dull we know but important.
Putting your business in the best position to deal with adversity
Whilst having insurance will be a vital part of your business risk management, ultimately it should be the last part of what you do when thinking about protecting your business . Risk will always be there, and a lot is not insurable so the steps you take to pre-empt risk will be just as important
- Have a business continuity plan
Insurance will help you get back on your feet after a loss, but it is good practice to maintain an up-to-date business continuity plan that complements the insurance you have bought.
Take a look at our recent blog about business continuity planning for some more tips and links to templates to get your started.
- Notify your broker/ insurer of changes to your business
Significant changes to your business may have a material impact on the insurance policy you have – and the ability of that policy to pay out following a loss. It is prudent therefore to notify your insurer or your broker of such changes which include (but are not limited to)
- A significant increase or decrease in stock or labour force
- A change is business activities or winning a major contract
- Mergers or acquisitions
- Increase in turnover as this could affect any business interruption cover
- unoccupied property
- Be cyber aware
Sadly, cyber-crime continues to be a big threat to businesses of all sizes and the number of cyber-attacks and threats have been heightened in 2021 as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. It’s not something your business can afford to ignore as the impacts of suffering a cyber-attack can be wide ranging and hugely costly to your business operations.
As an SME you have a responsibility to protect your business and staff from day to day cyber security threats. Actions you can take include staff training, backing up data securely and having robust cyber security policies.
- Keep good records
It is important to keep accurate records for your business. These can help you to evidence a claim and to get the fullest claim settlement in the event of a loss, notably in the event of a business interruption loss. They are also important with regards to your responsibilities to disclose information under the Insurance Act.
Anthony Jones are an independent, trusted insurance broker who specialise in both personal insurance and business insurance. We have teams of experts who can help whatever you’re needs, and we put a large focus on risk management as well as claims support. Two areas we feel are vital. If you have any questions or want any more information about how we can help you or your business, then get in touch with us today.