Insurance is as important to small businesses as it is to corporations. With all the focus being on how to make a business work, other important factors can fall through the cracks and that is why it is important to pay attention to the ABC’s of small business insurance.
Starting a business can be challenging at the best of times, from securing funding to identifying potential collaborators and clients. There are many obstacles to overcome on the road to successful entrepreneurship.
While new business owners tend to prioritize growth strategies, they often fail to focus on the ‘what if?’ factor, which ignores the potential risks that their enterprise may encounter down the line.
While business owners in traditionally high-risk industries, such as trucking, tend to be more aware of the need for careful coverage due to the regular transit of valuables, other entrepreneurs often they make the mistake of underestimating possible risk factors for their operation.
This makes them vulnerable to potentially devastating losses, says Jason Mellow, head of MiWay Business Insurance.
“Given today’s economic climate and ever increasing overheads, businesses and SMEs in particular, simply cannot afford to operate without the correct insurance cover in place. And given the variety of business insurance options now available to up-and-coming entrepreneurs, there’s simply no reason to run unnecessary risks,” he says.
Many entrepreneurs only become aware of the potential risk factors when it is already too late, but while a business, such as a beauty salon may seem relatively risk-free, this is not necessarily the case. Accidents can happen anywhere and you could be liable for significant damages that your business may not be able to afford.
Mellow encourages small business owners to consider these commercial insurance solutions based on the nature of the business:
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Insurance for beauty salon owners
It’s summer and that means that hair and beauty salons are typically booked in advance. However, this financial boom can be put at serious risk if your equipment is not properly insured. It is critical for small business owners in the beauty industry to ensure that their machinery is covered and specified in their insurance contracts so that it can be replaced quickly without disrupting service delivery .
Mellow says it will also be a good idea to invest in liability coverage to protect your interests in the event of third-party claims, which could arise if a customer or staff member is injured on your premises. or as a result of your business offer.
“It is also worth remembering that if you use one or more vehicles for business purposes, even if it is your personal car, it should be covered and specified under your commercial insurance policy.”
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Insurance for restaurant owners
The restaurant industry is also growing and typically characterized by significantly increased income. However, the anticipated profits of a bumper festive season can go up in smoke if you don’t take the necessary precautions beforehand.
In this case, your equipment is also essential to ensure that you can meet the increased demand and you must ensure that all your vehicles, furnaces and other specialist machinery are accounted for in the bill of -your insurance.
Business Property Insurance is also necessary for restaurant owners, as it provides coverage not only for your premises, but also the equipment in case of accidental damage, theft, fire, water pipes outbreaks or natural disasters, says Mellow.
You should also consider adding Emergency Assistance which gives you the option to call on specialists such as locksmiths, plumbers and security guards in case something goes wrong. And with load shedding likely to continue for the foreseeable future, you may also want to look into Stock Insurance, which offers you recourse if any of your raw materials are damaged as a result of stock surges and stockouts. energy.
“Like their customer-facing counterparts, restaurant owners would also be well advised to ensure they have some form of liability coverage in place to protect themselves against claims arising from unforeseen perils.”
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Insurance for craftsmen
Small businesses that run mobile operations such as electricians, glass installers or plumbers, are typically more exposed to risk due to the fact that they spend a lot of time on the road. As these operations expand, it is important to ensure that the coverage in place remains comprehensive, particularly when multiple vehicles are used daily, says Mellow.
If, for example, you listed one regular driver for a vehicle but have since expanded your operation and now have several drivers behind the wheel, you may find yourself in difficulty when it comes to claiming, as the premium of Your monthly does not accurately reflect your risk factor.
In this case, says Mellow, it would be better to choose a Multiple Driver coverage option, which allows up to five individuals to be listed as regular drivers of the same vehicle, or Pool Driver Insurance, which offers even greater flexibility and does not require you to specify who is behind the wheel at any given time. The Pool Driver option is more flexible but means a higher premium to cover this added risk.
He adds that Employer’s Liability Cover is necessary for employers who manage mobile workers, as this offers you protection and peace of mind in the event that an employee is injured for any reason at work, whether due to a dog bite or an unexpected fall.
There is also Broadform Liability, which protects you against a variety of incidents such as public liability, faulty work or accidental damage to a client’s property and Mellow says this is also highly recommended in this case.
“No matter what industry you’re in or the size of your business, insurance is essential and neglecting your insurance can have a negative impact on your business if an accident occurs. Therefore, if you start a new venture or want to expand an existing one, protect the business you have worked so hard to build by consulting your insurer to better understand your risk profile and make adequate provisions for any possible eventuality.”