Why does a business need insurance & what types are available in the UK?

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For UK businesses, some forms of insurance are required if you have employees whereas others are useful to protect the company from certain risks but aren’t compulsory.

Sometimes companies get sued or are threatened with a lawsuit over a frivolous claim, but just refusing to settle and taking the matter to court or arbitration can be overly costly and put its solvency at risk. Buying insurance for a business provides peace of mind in an increasingly litigious world because not having done anything wrong sadly doesn’t provide full protection.

Let’s look at a few different types of business insurance in the UK.

Public Liability & Employer’s Liability Insurance

Public liability insurance covers when an individual (employee, client or someone else) is on the premises and injures themselves. This could be a slip on a wet floor, falling down a flight of stairs or something else. Insurance can potentially cover legal costs and claims from the affected person for compensation.

With Employers’ Liability insurance, this is necessary for a business to have when they employ one employee or more. Here, the claims come from employees who state that they’ve hurt themselves on-site or gotten ill because of working there (bad air quality, a chemical spill, etc). UK businesses must at least have this form of insurance or face a maximum fine of £2,500 for every day the operation wasn’t properly covered. Often you can use online resources to compare insurance between insurance providers to get the most competitive quote for this essential form of business cover.

Manufacturing Insurance

For manufacturers, the challenges and risks are different to business where the employees are all stationed in the office. With manufacturing, there’s a greater risk when working with tools that employee accidents can happen. Also, the accidents could be far more severe and costly.

In terms of public liability cover, coverage starts around £1m for manufacturing businesses. With employers’ liability coverage, a £10m coverage is fairly common. It used to be the case that cover was provided at the £5m level, but that’s often believed to be too low for many complex businesses now. Most companies opt to go for £10m as the extra cost isn’t considerable.

Within manufacturing, there are also subsets that focus on different types of manufacturing. This helps to price cover differently because the statistics indicate some manufacturing professions are riskier for employees than others. Therefore, manufacturing insurance may have separate policies for precision engineering, a wholesale bakery selling to retail bakers, a printer or a joiner, to name just a few.

Takeaway Business Insurance

Insurance for different food businesses that offer takeaway options for busy professionals has a need potentially for several types of coverage. There’s a risk of using a bad food ingredient that could make a customer sick. That requires public liability insurance to cover the risk. Employees working in the business could cut or scold themselves while preparing food for takeaway, so the obligatory employer’s liability insurance covers that one.

For delivery drivers on their scooters, there’s the risk to the scooter, to other drivers on the road, pedestrians in the street or crossing the road, and the employees themselves. A variety of insurance cover protects against all of these risks.

It’s always best to discuss the specific needs of your business for insurance with an insurance broker. They can advise you about what the most useful cover will be. Being a broker, they can find not only the best deal from a roster of UK insurers to cover the right business risks, but also discover ways to get coverage for unusual risks too. Only when going through a broker can you be sure to get both the best deal and the right cover in a single conversation.

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