In 2011, a multinational company in the business of electronics, entertainment and gaming revealed that the data of its 77 million gaming network users had been hacked, severely compromising sensitive personal information of the numerous gaming enthusiasts in its fold. As a result, the company faced several lawsuits and complaints from aggrieved customers.
The company and its insurer fought a long legal battle. The insurer denied the company’s claim, as third-party hacking incidents were not covered in its Commercial General Liability Insurance.
Not only business giants and corporate companies, but small and mid-sized businesses are 62% more likely to face cyber attacks, according to a survey by IBM. While some companies with insurance policies and procedures are able to recover money and get back on their feet again, most are not so lucky and face dire consequences, including shutdown.
Building a business is hard, but rebuilding it even harder!
Insurance for small and medium businesses is as important as a foolproof business plan.
Protecting the office premises. Guarding against theft. Safeguarding the business against loss. Being prepared for machinery breakdown. It’s all in a day’s work for small and medium businesses!
From the day business owners start a business; they are exposed to a number of risks. Thus, it’s essential that every business should have all the necessary insurances in place to protect it against uncertainties.
However, many new entrepreneurs and business owners might find themselves at sea when considering insurance options. Not surprising, as there are a plethora of insurances to choose from, their terms and conditions are often complex, ambiguous, and open to interpretation. Moreover, it’s no easy task to understand what are the kinds of insurances your business requires. Through this article, we will simplify this task for you.
Here are nine types of insurances that small businesses definitely must have.
1. Property Insurance
Property insurance is a safety net for any of your business’ property, owned or leased, against damages and risks. Office, shop, warehouse, factory as well as machinery, tools, inventory and electronic equipment are assets or properties of a business. Property insurance typically covers damages and losses due to theft, fire, and losses due to unavoidable circumstances.
This insurance may cover material damage and increased cost of working due to the damages. However, it might not cover wear and tear, depreciation of assets or willful acts of destruction. Every business that owns property should consider purchasing this policy to ensure the protection of physical assets against events such as fire, accidental damage, theft, and natural disasters, among others.
2. Commercial General Liability Insurance
Small businesses are specifically exposed to various forms of liability claims. At times company products, services or employees may cause bodily injury or property damage to a third party- customers, vendors, suppliers or non-employees.
In such a situation, CGL insurance could provide compensation. CGL covers both the legal costs and settlement costs for the damages caused.
Every business, small, mid-sized or large, should definitely have CGL insurance. The advantages? Apart from protection, it implies legitimacy and could add value to your business, enhancing the business reputation and business growth. In a nutshell, it protects your business from monetary losses occurring due to legal liabilities from third parties, such as customers or vendors.
3. Business Interruption Insurance
Imagine a disaster such as a cyclone, an earthquake or riots bringing a temporary halt to your business activities; or an accident such as a fire affecting business and resulting in financial losses. That’s when Business Interruption Insurance can help you keep the wheels of the economy running.
Also known as Consequential Loss of Profit Insurance, this insurance would protect your business in times when it is unable to operate due to a disaster that is covered under your property insurance. It helps small and mid-sized businesses plan and manage for uncertainties and could cover your business against the loss of income and the increased cost of working, too. This means you are prepared to get your business up and running after uncertain incidents.
4. Directors and Officers Liability Insurance
Let’s face it – most often it is the business owners, directors, and the decision-making employees who have to face legal actions. Just because your small business is privately held and not listed, doesn’t mean you are free from that risk. Among the different types of insurance for small businesses, the Directors and Officers (D&O) Insurance is particularly specific to directors, managers, and employees who are empowered to make decisions for business in a company.
Here are some D&O Insurance basics: D&O Insurance provides financial protection for directors, officers, and managers, in the event of a claim against them. It pays for defense costs and financial losses resulting from a lawsuit.
Reports show that D&O insurance claims have increased manifold in the past years, which makes this insurance even more relevant for businesses. This insurance can help directors and owners take important decisions for the business while not having to worry too much about the personal legal ramifications.
5. Employee Health Insurance Policy
Employees are every company’s biggest assets. Companies need their best resources at all times. Employee health insurance is designed to address employees’ and their family members’ health needs. When the situation arises, this insurance helps shoulder the hefty medical costs – a benefit for employees. It is also an incentive for employers to find and retain talent. Besides, the good health of your employees often translates to better productivity at work, doesn’t it? Most employers prefer purchasing group health insurance policies for their employees.
6. Errors and Omission
Also known as Professional Liability Insurance, this insurance is most helpful to businesses that provide professional advice and operate in high-risk industries.
It protects against negligence, mistakes and errors committed. Typical examples would be the infringement of intellectual property, copyright issues and reputation damage to a third party.
The Errors and Omission Insurance might come to your rescue when you face legal claims of committing errors that cost your customers’ money or intangible damage. This insurance covers the cost of expenses arising from legal procedures such as settlement charges, attorney fees and legal representation costs during a lawsuit. Businesses providing professional services to their customers should definitely have this insurance. For example, technology companies, consultancy firms, individual professionals (designers, engineers, doctors, business consultants, and accountants) among others.
7. Public Liability Insurance
Did you know? As a business owner, you are not only liable to your employees, customers and all those directly related your company; you are also accountable to the public in general. A random visitor getting injured in your office premises, your neighboring office facing damages due to an accidental falling of fixtures in your office, and other such instances are your liabilities. That’s where Public Liability Insurance could be a knight in shining armor. It can cover all the amounts, and legal expenses, too. However, this insurance will not cover intentional damage, or if a company has released a defective product or service in spite of knowing about it beforehand.
8. Employees Compensation Insurance
Employees are assets for companies. In the event that they suffer accidents, either directly related to their jobs, in or outside the work premises or due to other factors during the course of the employment, the Workers Compensation Insurance or Employees Compensation Insurance would cover the company’s liabilities towards the employee. Events such as disablement (total or partial), death or the contraction of an occupational disease, are covered under this insurance.
9. Office Package Policy
Small business owners invest heavily in their enterprise. The commitment is emotionally, physically and financially draining. Thus, you need to protect your business against unforeseen uncertainties and risks that could plunge you into irreversible losses from which you struggle to recover. It could cripple your business or make it dysfunctional and in the worst case, might even force you to shut shop.
This is where having a compact policy such as an Office Package, which covers a whole range of risks, can come to your rescue. It covers furniture and fixtures, tools and machinery, office building, legal liabilities to third parties, additional rents, and even terrorism, in some cases. This insurance could help you out of a hole in a number of unexpected situations.
Apart from these nine types of insurance, there are a number of other policies specific to different aspects of business, such as Product Recall Insurance, Group Accident Insurance, and Cyber Risk Liability, among others. Moreover, different industries might have different insurance needs.
Explore options for business insurance
Circumstances, contexts, occurrences, and risks of each business will vary greatly, but considering all the insurance options for your enterprise would be a wise thing to do. Insurance is a boon. And it is up to the business owners to tune into its benefits.
If you’re looking for insurance companies in India, for business insurance advice, you can explore the insurance policies offered by PlanCover. From protecting your office premises to office owned vehicles to protection against theft – PlanCover offers a wide range of policies that cover each and every business risk. For more details visit our website.