Insurance - something you purchase and rest easy thinking you’ve done everything you need to do. But protecting your business goes beyond just paying your renewal year after year. Changes to your business’ operations, forgetting to inform your broker of something, or not doing enough research before choosing a provider - there are some of the situations where your insurance may not be covering your business it its current circumstances. So how can you be sure whether the insurance you have is appropriate, or if you might have some gaps?
Here are some signs that might indicate the cover you have in place is not providing you with all the protection you need:
1. You made assumptions about your coverage
Great calamities can start with small assumptions, and this is especially true in the case of insurance. Regardless of the type of insurance you’re taking out, it’s easy to assume certain events will be covered under your policy. For example, you might assume that because you hold Professional Indemnity Insurance, you’re also covered if a member of the public slips and falls over at your premises. However, this is not an event Professional Indemnity Insurance would usually cover, but one that would usually be covered under Public Liability.
It’s therefore important to not make assumptions about any coverage, but always ask your broker questions to help you clarify any confusion and be sure you’ve not misunderstood your cover. If certain events cross your mind, ask your broker whether your policy would cover them, rather than think or assume they are covered.
2. You didn’t review your policy schedule
Whether you took out your policy over the phone, online or in person, when you receive your policy documents and schedule, it’s important to carefully read over these to ensure all the details are accurate. Even seemingly minor errors such as spelling mistakes can cause complications if you need to make a claim. So after taking out your policy, don’t just file away the paperwork – be sure you have the right protection in place by reviewing your paperwork and ensuring all the information on it is correct.
3. You chose the cheapest offer without researching
Few of us would turn down the chance to save money, and when running a business, every dollar counts. While it’s a good idea to shop around when it comes to insurance for your business, it’s important to also consider factors other than price. Choosing the cheapest option without reviewing the coverage may leave you with gaps in your cover, many of which you only come to know about when making a claim.
And don’t forget to consider the claims process – some providers that offer heavily discounted premiums may have lengthy or confusing claims processes that will make an already difficult time even more stressful. Considering a combination of price/value for money, coverage, reputation and the claims process can help you make a decision that is right for both your finances and your business.
4. You didn’t describe your service accurately
This is important if you run a business that is involved in providing a service, and hold Professional Indemnity Insurance to cover you for allegations of professional negligence. It’s important you review your policy documents to ensure the services your business provides are stated accurately. If you start offering a new service that is not noted on your schedule, you will also need to contact your broker to ensure your policy is updated to reflect these.
5. You’ve hired a contractor
If you engage a contractor to work for your business, your Public Liability and/or Professional Indemnity Insurance may not automatically cover their actions. If this is excluded, and your contractor is held liable for professional negligence or bodily injury, legal action could also be taken against you as the business owner, leaving you with large legal bills. So if you’ve hired someone to work for your business as a contractor, then it is also important to update your insurance to reflect this. Depending on the policy you hold, it is possible your contractor may also need to take out their own insurance.
6. You weren’t asked about optional extras
Most insurance policies have standard features, and some optional extras that are available at an additional premium. When taking out your insurance, if you were not asked, or provided with the option to include extra features, then this may indicate there is additional protection you’re missing out on. Even if you choose to forgo the features, it’s a good idea to find out what is available in case your needs change, or you change your mind.
A quick conversation with your insurance broker can help clarify any confusions about your coverage and be sure you properly understand your policy.
The importance of speaking to an experienced broker
The best time to make sure you have the right cover is when you’re not in the middle of a claim or about to make a claim. A quick conversation with your insurance broker can help clarify any confusions about your coverage and be sure you properly understand your policy. A good broker will take the time to ask the right questions to get a thorough understanding of your business to help you make the best decision for you.
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