We handle business protection insurance enquiries every day and are often asked very similar questions, so below is a guide to the ins and outs of business insurance. Search online for shareholder protection / key man insurance / relevant life and other business insurance in general, and you’ll likely come across info for various different types of policy, much of which is outdated and often describes something completely different. There are also many different names for the same thing, so you’d be forgiven in thinking the industry can be pretty confusing. The main areas are below:
- Shareholder protection
- Key man insurance
- Relevant life insurance
- Professional Indemnity insurance
- Public Liability insurance
- Self-employed income protection
- Commercial buildings and contents insurance
- Locum insurance (for GPs)
- Business interruption insurance
- Overheads insurance
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Business Protection Overview
First off, business protection insurance is not a specific insurance product but rather an umbrella term used to describe all of the different insurance products available to businesses (as above). Most business owners that enquire with us are looking for advice on either a specific type of policy, or a range of products that best suit them and their company. The most common products people ask us about are key man insurance, shareholder protection, professional indemnity, public liability insurance, and relevant life cover. There are also several other niche insurance products such as locum insurance, business interruption insurance and overheads insurance. The different business protection options are designed to help businesses (and individuals within businesses) in the event of something unforeseen happening. This may be to pay out benefits if someone in the business dies or becomes critically ill and is unable to work; it may be to protect the business legally if someone is injured; or even to insure the building the business occupies.
Small business insurance
Small business owners typically look first for the essential insurance products they need in order to trade (namely – public liability and professional indemnity cover), and then as the business grows begin to appreciate the wider need to protect the business they have put so much time and effort into building. At this stage, smaller businesses can benefit from various policies to protect the lives and incomes of shareholders and employees alike. Group plans can be taken out by larger corporations with tens of employees, whereas there may be more suitable policies for companies with fewer members of staff. Relevant life plans for example, are designed to pay out a death in service benefit to employees whilst also being a tax deductible expense. Key man cover for indispensable workers can pay out lump sums to cover the cost of wages, replacement, lost earnings etc. in the event of death or illness to anyone within the business – these policies may be even more relevant to smaller companies that rely on the everyday tasks carried out by one or a number of individuals without which the business would cease to function.
Business insurance comparison
In order to compare the numerous business insurance quotes you can get from scores of providers in the market, you will first need to establish exactly what type of protection you are looking for. Each policy is designed to fit a different purpose, so there is no need applying for key man quotes when you are looking to offer employees death in service as part of a benefits package. Similarly, some providers offer more comprehensive policies than others, and each has their own criteria to determine what is and is not acceptable in terms of medical history, occupation, age etc. Remember: The cost of a policy at quote stage is not always the cost of a policy after underwriting. As with standard personal insurance, the insurer first needs to calculate the risk by way of medical questionnaires and other underwriting procedures to do with viability and plausibility of the cover applied for. Then once all the information is assessed terms are offered. If your employee has had certain medical issues and you have applied with a provider who is less flexible or understanding of these illnesses; or perhaps your employees work at heights and the provider has certain rules around the maximum acceptable; then it is often the case your monthly premiums will be increased, cover reduced, or even declined, whereas the right insurer may have offered cover on normal terms. Many policies that go with one provider because they are cheapest on initial quote, may not be post underwriting. This is why it’s crucial to have an expert who knows the whole market review your business needs and do all the research for you upfront.
Business insurance quotes
To get a quote and to find out who the best insurer for your business may be, make an enquiry in the form above and we will pass you to one of the specialists…