As a small business, there are two things you depend on more than anything else. The first is your people and the second is your equipment. Without either of those things, your business would likely be unable to operate.
Most business owners are well aware of the importance of people and equipment, so you do what you can to protect them both. This includes having comprehensive health and safety policies in place for the people, and regular maintenance routines for your equipment.
However, even with all the best intentions and attention to detail, negative events can happen.
For example, one of your employees could suffer an injury at work, putting them out of action for weeks or even months. On the equipment side, a vital piece of equipment could break down or be stolen.
If either of those things happened to your business, would you be able to operate as normal?
If you have the right insurance in place then, in all likelihood, the answer is yes.
How to get the right insurance
With the right insurance policy in place, you can get compensated if an adverse event happens. The compensation could be enough to cover the cash shortfall while you’re unable to operate, or it could pay for the cost of hiring a temporary employee needed to fill the role of your injured employee, for example.
To get the right insurance policies in place, it’s important to understand what you need to insure against and how much you need to be covered for. Working with an insurance broker can help you identify these elements as well as select the right policy for your business and your budget.
As a guide, it’s important to insure against your equipment breaking down, being damaged, or being stolen. As well as the cost of repairs or replacement, you may also want to consider business interruption insurance, which can make up the revenue you lose when you can’t operate as normal.
If you have an employee who is so crucial to the business that losing them would put your business at risk, you may want to consider key person insurance. This type of insurance works like a life insurance policy except the beneficiary is the business rather than the next of kin. The funds can be used to pay for temporary replacement staff or to compensate an employee injured at work.
Mitigate the risks
The best way to protect your people and property is to mitigate the risks they face. For people-related risks, that means having strong health and safety policies in place and enforcing them. Setting a culture of safety is crucial and can help prevent lost time due to injuries.
An insurance broker can come to your premises and help you identify the risks that your employees face. From a slippery floor that could cause falls to a tricky piece of machinery that could cause a more serious injury, most insurance brokers can identify the key risks facing your business, from which point you will be better placed to decide priorities and how the risk can be mitigated. In many cases, the changes you make won’t even cost a cent.
For example, if your employees are conditioned to walk past puddles on the floor, set a policy that regular training and signage installed may be the simple mitigation method. Rewarding employees for safe behaviour can be a fast and effective way to put a strong culture of safety in place.
Or, if your employees are at risk of being injured through fatigue caused by too many hours at work, then you can mandate that they take more time off. Simply keeping an eye out for these risks can help you identify them quickly and mitigate them effectively. Doing so can even save you money on your premiums and ACC levies.
Source: NZBrokers Blog Article
Originally posted on June 27th, 2019.
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