Insurance Advice for the Small Business Owner

If you own or manage a small to medium-sized based business with fewer than 100 employees and less than KSh. 5M in annual sales and are looking for insurance, you may be confused about what business insurance coverage you do and do not need.

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A business insurance policy typically comes as a packaged policy where several essential insurance policies are combined under one policy. This helps lowers premiums and is easier to administer for both the client and the insurance company. 

Many insurance companies also provide tailored business insurance policies to meet the insurance needs specific to your particular type of business.

Bear in mind that a business insurance policy sometimes may be inadequate to meet your needs and can leave you exposed to some risks. To settle on a business insurance policy, you need to find out what the policy does and doesn’t cover. 

Business insurance policies generally cover two basic areas of coverage, property and liability. 

  1. Property Insurance

Property insurance is one of the most important investments for your business as it protects your building, equipment and inventory. Many business insurance policies provide replacement cost coverage for buildings and most business contents.

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Replacement coverage means that in the event of a claim, you’ll receive a large enough settlement to replace your contents without any deduction for depreciation.

To help in this process, it is recommended that a small business owner have an accurate inventory of all of the contents in their premises and their replacement value. 

Business insurance covering property will often also come with business interruption insurance. When the property is damaged, you will end up losing business income.

Business interruption insurance covers loss of net income and normal operating expenses, including salaries. Typically, it covers you for up to 12 months as a result of an insured peril like fire and burglary. 

2. Liability Insurance

The general liability coverage in a business insurance policy protects your business against claims of a bodily injury, property damage or a lawsuit resulting from an accident that led to bodily injury.

Also, from potential loss emanating from libel, slander and false advertising claims, even if those claims have no merit. Product liability insurance would protect from claims arising from defective products that you manufacture or sell.

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But, general liability coverage does not cover your business where a client accuses you of making professional errors or being negligent. Coverage for professional negligence and errors is provided under a professional liability insurance policy.

It also does not include work injury benefits insurance. Work injury benefits insurance is required by Kenyan law under the Work Injury Benefits Act (WIBA). Most businesses ignore this legal provision with serious consequences once an employee is injured while at work.

3. Other Types of Business Insurance

In addition to above, there are other types of business insurance that your business may need depending on your industry, size and risk profile. Some of these include:

  • Fidelity guarantee insurance to cover theft by your employees.
  • Money insurance to cover actual money on the premises and while in transit to and from the bank.
  • Cyber liability insurance to cover data breach or loss of your client’s data.
  • All risk insurance to cover items such as electronic equipment and valuables. 
  • Motor insurance to cover your vehicles.
  • Directors and officers insurance to protect the directors and officers of a company in the event of lawsuits as a direct result of their actions.
  • Group life insurance for staff.
  • Group medical insurance for staff.
  • Group accident insurance for staff.

To ensure that you purchase adequate business insurance coverage, we recommend that you work closely with your insurance agent.

If you already have a business insurance policy, you should also consult your agent if there are any significant changes in your business, such as new employees, additions or reductions in assets, or expansions because these can affect your risk profile and premium.

Furthermore, when comparing premiums, always compare the costs versus the level of coverage you are getting. You may be offered a cheap policy but one that does provide you with an adequate level of protection.

Reputation also matters. No matter the cost, never insure your business with an insurer that has a bad reputation. 

Written by;

Kihara Kimachia; An Insurance Expert and a Consultant. To learn more visit; insuranceguru.co.ke

 

Read Also;

Home Insurance 101

5 Ways to Avoid Debt in 2020

3 Tips on How to keep your company safe and compliant

 

 

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