Running a business is a risky business, which is why it is important to make sure that you take out commercial insurance – it is one of the most important investments a business can make and it is something you should ignore at your peril. You need to protect your people, your customers and your assets from a host of possible risks.

There are four main categories of commercial, or business insurance:

1. Liability insurance – including employer’s liability, which is required by law if you employ staff. The other liability covers are public liability insurance, products liability insurance, professional indemnity and commercial legal expenses insurance.
2. Building insurance – including property owner’s liability. This is for the structure of the building rather than the contents and you can take out insurance against loss of rent.
3. Business contents and computer insurance, at, or away from your business premises.
4. Business car and van insurance – you are legally required to insure against third party damage or injury.

Having remained at relatively low levels for some time, commercial insurance rates are on the up – market conditions are more difficult, insurers’ profits are dwindling and reserves are being depleted.  Why?  And what can you do to make sure you and your business don’t suffer?

  • There has been an increase in successful injury claims being made against businesses by the proliferation of legal firms now offering ‘no win no fee’ services.
  • Commercial property prices have increased, causing insurance premiums to rise.
  • Some insurers are charging higher premiums or withdrawing completely from insuring higher risks such as self drive vehicle hire companies.
  • Most businesses should still be able to secure commercial insurance with ease, but a business that has already experienced a considerable loss may be viewed as high risk. Significant previous losses, as far as insurance companies are aware, may mean a greater risk of high or frequent claims.
  • Insurers may be reluctant to cover a new business, or one that is at greater risk of making frequent claims.
  • A number of larger insurers no longer underwrite major books of business, which has led to a reduction in markets and higher prices.

Times may be tougher than ever, but as a business owner it’s crucial to ensure you’re protected from the unexpected.  Make an insurance broker, experienced in all aspects of business insurance, your first port of call.  Your broker will understand your needs and can arrange a commercial insurance package, tailored to your needs, at a price that’s right for you.  And if you want to safeguard your savings, you may be able to enter into a longer term deal, which will make your commercial insurance cover more affordable.

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