EXPERT INSIGHT: Is your small business protected? - X-Forces Enterprise
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EXPERT INSIGHT: Is your small business protected?

As a new business owner, how can you ensure you are adequately protected as you begin trading?

We asked XFE corporate partner The Military Mutual to shed some light on commercial insurance for small businesses.

 


 

The Military Mutual’s CEO Lee Mooney shares his thoughts for small business owners to help them to identify the right kind of commercial protection for their business.

Lee Mooney

Lee Mooney, CEO The Military Mutual

 

Some kind of cover is absolutely crucial for businesses, whether they’re start-ups or longstanding companies. The world would grind to a halt if businesses of any size or shape could not protect themselves from catastrophic, or even just painful, unexpected and unplanned for events. No business owner likes to think about suffering any losses as a result of circumstances outside of their control, but these events obviously do happen and it’s critical that businesses have a safety net to fall back on so that they can get things back to “business as usual” as soon as possible and minimise any damage caused to the company.

However, simply buying some cover should not be the sole consideration for businesses; it is also important to spend the time to make sure that the cover they are taking out meets the business’s needs. We’ve therefore compiled a list of considerations that business owners should make before taking out cover to ensure that they have something to fall back on.

 

1.  Identify any potential risks

The first step you should take when looking to take out cover is to identify what you actually need it for. Think about the worst-case scenarios for your business and how you can protect yourself from these. Business owners should also ask themselves what their most valuable assets are – it could be intellectual property, or physical assets such as machinery or property. What is the most important element needed for your business to operate and what would happen if it disappeared? Cover for Business Interruption that protects your profits if your business is unable to trade could be an important consideration and Employee Liability cover is of course a statutory requirement for all businesses with employees.

2.  Make sure the sum covered is sufficient enough

This is one of, if not the most important thing to check when weighing up what cover you’re going to take out, as it will largely determine how much money you will receive in the event of a claim.

The sum covered is the maximum amount your provider will pay out in the event of a claim. If the sum covered does not meet the total value of what you are protecting then you will lose out. For example, if you have a factory that would cost £200,000 to rebuild but only take out cover with £100,000 as the sum covered, you will only be protected for half of any losses. Therefore, if you were to make a claim for £20,000 worth of damage to the property, your cover provider would only pay out £10,000. This is called averaging and is a common industry practise in response to inadequate levels of cover being purchased.

3.  Check the terms and conditions

Most forms of protection will not cover everything, so it is crucial to make sure that it does cover against the risks that your business may face so that you can rely on it to pay out if you make a claim. There may also be certain requirements that you will have to meet to ensure that the cover remains valid, so it is worth making sure that you fully understand the terms involved.

4.  Ask yourself if you trust the cover provider

A trusted brand can provide that extra element of reassurance that you and your business will be looked after properly and respected as a customer. The Military Mutual was established with the aim of doing the right thing to support our military family with quality cover at a great price. We have members, not customers, and we care enough to give our members a say in how we run our business.  As a discretionary mutual we can respond to circumstances that can even be outside the terms of the cover if we feel it is justified to do so and, we do always want to recognise any unique needs of our military family members, who after all are also our owners.

5.  Shop around for the best deal

You often tend to get what you pay for. So cheap isn’t always best. The cheapest cover tends to have the least protection, but once you’ve established your business needs, it is worth checking with different providers to see who will offer you the most cost-effective deal. Make your choice not just based on price but on quality of cover and your trust in the brand and you won’t go far wrong.

6.  Regularly review your business cover

Cover for your business is not a click and forget purchase. As your business changes and grows, so must your protection needs. If you don’t regularly review your cover to ensure that it still meets your business’s requirements, your business may end up outgrowing its protection, leaving you with a product that potentially won’t fully reimburse you for any losses.

 

Cover for your business should therefore not just be treated as a box ticking exercise. Not taking out the right protection for your business will potentially leave you in financial difficulty further down the line if you do have to make a claim. For example, you may discover that the amount you’re covered for is not sufficient, or that what you are claiming for is not covered in the way you expected. Business owners must make sure that they have identified all the risks and are protected against them to strengthen their company’s longevity and have peace of mind. Running your own business is not easy and removing worries where you can by making secure and confident choices to protect your business from the unexpected will reduce stress.

 

 


 

To learn more about how The Military Mutual can help you, visit www.themilitarymutual.co.uk or call 0203 903 5357.

 

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