can be a large cost of doing business, although it is a necessity due to the crippling cost if some risks are uninsured.
Business liability insurance
One of the main areas that business insurance covers is public liability. This is where a member of the public, either a customer or someone otherwise unconnected to the business, suffers because of the business’s actions. Under vicarious liability the business is also responsible for the actions of its shareholders. Being successfully sued is often the end of an otherwise successful small business and insurance
cover should be carefully checked.
Employer’s liability insurance
is connected, but it covers the employer’s liability for when an employee is injured or otherwise harmed at work. Like public liability this is designed to cover the employer if something goes wrong and an employee has a case for damages.
In both cases insurers require that businesses have policies and procedures in place to minimize these liabilities. One of the great drivers for workplace safety have been insurance conditions.
Small business insurance
The main market for business insurance is small business, and this is who the market is geared up for. Unlike many standard domestic policies, small business insurance is rarely sold directly. It is also hard to know whether business insurance quotes
give an adequate level of cover unless the small business owner is very experienced in insurance.
The best way of getting a suitable business insurance policy is usually through an insurance broker
, who will be able to advise on the types of cover available and what the practical implications are. They should also be able to advise on sensible ways of lowering business insurance rates
Business car insurance
Many small businesses own cars either as part of the business, or as a perk for their workers. For all but the smallest car fleet, it is often far cheaper to get car insurance
through specialist fleet insurance providers (or the fleet insurance arms of an established domestic auto insurer) than it is through a domestic insurance provider. Insurance brokers are usually best placed to find the best business insurance policy for a car.
Health insurance small business advice
For the small business health insurance
can be an issue. Health insurance is often a crucial reason for many people who decide to work in a large firm in preference to a small firm. Large firms can use their buying power to get better deals and to use this as a way of competing for employees. Small businesses should not simply consider health insurance as part of the rewards package to attract and retain crucial staff, but also as a way of getting staff back at work more quickly than they would if they relied solely on state funded healthcare.
Affinity group insurance
It may be possible to register employees as an affinity group with a group insurance provider such as SSQ
or The Personal
. This can provide them with cheaper home, life, health and car insurance with little cost to the employer. Some employers may be too small to do this on their own, but could explore joining a scheme with similar firms in their industry or through their chamber of commerce or another local business group.
A good broker should be able to steer a business towards specialist providers who specialize in certain sectors. Some examples are Desjardins
who tend to specialize in non-profit companies, The Co-Operators
who specialize in farmers and Sun Life
who specialize in large employers.
Banks are now aggressively trying to secure business insurance work with their customers. These rarely offer the best deals and except in the simplest cases should not be taken without some advice.
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