Every business is unique, and the requirements of suitable business insurance are just as unique as each business. Using a case study, this article analyses the many insurances available and highlights the importance of seeking professional advice when acquiring cover for your business.
Small business insurance – why you need it
Several years ago, Steve and Brian started a small web-design business, GotyaOnline. Steve was responsible for growing and supporting their client-base, while Brian designed and built the websites.
Expanding to include maintenance of client databases and online shopping facilities, they bought new technical equipment and rented office space.
Recognising the importance of insurance, they sought professional advice about suitable cover for a small business like GotyaOnline.
Uppermost in their minds were the different kinds of losses they needed to insure against, such as:
- Property/equipment damage or loss
- Loss of Key personnel
- Cyber attack and ransomware
Any of these events could potentially lead to business interruption, security breaches and reputational damage, all of which may expose GotyaOnline to legal action.
With assistance from their planner, Steve and Brian conducted a business risk analysis and considered the following insurances:
Property and assets cover
GotyaOnline owned state-of-the-art equipment to manage its clients’ online operations. Property and assets cover would insure against equipment damage or loss resulting from fire, flood, theft, etc., the kinds of events that could potentially lead to business interruption and GotyaOnline being unable to fulfil business commitments.
This cover helps support a business experiencing loss of revenue or profits resulting from an event causing computer failure or business interruption. Cover is in the form of compensation to help keep the business operating during prescribed hard times.
Key person insurance
Steve and Brian are both integral to GotyaOnline’s operations and client account management. If either was unable to work due to illness or injury, the business could suffer considerably.
Insurance provides financial support enabling the business to engage suitably qualified people and systems to minimise the impact to GotyaOnline and its clients.
This protects Steve and Brian against liability for damages, occurring in the course of their business, and the costs associated with defending legal claims brought against them by clients.
This specific type of life cover protects shareholders if something were to happen to one of them. It provides a lump sum payment enabling the surviving shareholder to purchase the other’s shares, at a previously agreed price.
It offers surety for an effective business succession plan if one of the partners was suddenly out-of-the-picture through death or disability.
This covers a business’s liability if subject to a data breach involving sensitive customer information, names, addresses, credit-card details, etc.
With more businesses storing data ‘in the cloud’ and functioning online, this form of insurance is increasingly relevant.
Steve and Brian’s adviser assisted them in understanding their risks and developing a contingency plan that included an insurance portfolio tailored to GotyaOnline’s specific requirements.
When a neighbourhood power surge knocked out GotyaOnline’s systems, it caused physical computer damage and disabled web-connectivity. Besides GotyaOnline being offline, its clients couldn’t access customer databases, potentially exposing GotyaOnline to legal and reputational damage.
GotyaOnline’s insurance provided financial support to quickly restore the business’s online connectivity, and replace damaged equipment. Within 24 hours, GotyaOnline was returned to operation with minimal interruption to the business or its clients.
Every business is different and no one solution covers all. If you’re uncertain about insurance, speak to a qualified professional and get the most appropriate cover for your business needs