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How to Insure your Business

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21 / Dec / 2011

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There are many different types of business insurance that are designed to cover your needs, which can be grouped into four main areas:

• Employers liability or Workers’ Compensation insurance

• Property or assets insurance

• Public/product/professional liability insurance

• Car insurance

Employers’ liabiltiy or Workers’ Compensation is a mandatory requirement for all businesses that employ staff. It provides cover for the financial costs of claims made by a staff member for work-related injuries, disease, illness or even death.

Property insurance covers the costs associated with the repair or replacement of your physical assets, including your building, equipment, furnishings, fixtures, inventory, computers, and business documents and records.

Fire & perils insures against destruction or damage to your business, including building and contents, from a specified insured event, including fire, explosion, storm, earthquake or water damage.

Business interruption covers you if your business is interrupted due to damage to your premises, from an insured event, which affects the trading results of the business.

Burglary covers loss of business stock, contents, and machinery by theft following a forcible and violent entry into the business premises.

Engineering equipment or machinery breakdown insures you against the cost of breakdown of machinery, computers and electronic equipment owned and operated by your business.

Loss of money protects you against the loss of or damage to your business’ money from theft, armed hold-up or fire, either while the money is on your premises or in transit.

Goods in transit covers against loss or damage to your property whilst it is in transit. This is available for Australia only or worldwide, depending on your business needs.

Glass breakage covers accidental loss or damage to internal and external fixed glass including Perspex signs which you own or for which you are legally responsible.

Employee dishonesty (fidelity guarantee) protects you against fraudulent or dishonest conduct of employees acting alone or in collusion with others. This mainly relates to theft or misappropriation of money or other items owned by you by your employees.

Electronic equipment covers specified equipment such as computers, faxes and electronic cash registers against accidental loss or damage including theft and breakdown.

Third party injury liability (Compulsory Third Party) protects your business from any legal liability arising out of an accident involving one of your vehicles that results in injury to another person.

Public/product/professional liability insurance

Public and product liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance protect the owners and operators of a business from their financial liability to third parties arising out of an event or occurrence that they are legally covered for during their operation.

Comprehensive car insurance insures you against loss of or damage to your vehicles due to a collision and other accidental damage, theft, fire, and also includes indemnity for any legal liability for third party property damage.

How to get the best business insurance deal

• Shop around. Insurers are fighting for market share in small business lines and some will be willing to take on more risk than they have in the past.

• Consider your risk profile from the insurer’s perspective and adopt risk reduction strategies that will minimise the insurer’s exposure to loss.

• Select an insurer or broker that understands your industry and knows your claims history.

• List the risks that pose the biggest threat to your business and insure against those.

• Weigh up the cost of insuring predictable risks: these are the most expensive to insure.

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