As a business owner, you’re constantly managing risks, from employee injuries to property damage or injury to people from your products or at your premises. The causes can vary from floods and storms to cyber-attacks and related fraud or computer system breakdown or fires. All of which can disrupt your operations or, at worst, put you out of business, so having the right type of business insurance to protect you against these financial risks is important.
The correct business insurance can protect you, your workforce and your business assets, giving you the peace of mind to know you’re protected from unexpected large financial losses.
An insurance policy put into place by a professional adviser will provide invaluable protection against all types of insured events, from equipment breakdown to injury to the public and fires, reducing financial uncertainty and protecting your livelihood.
What types of insurance is your business required to have?
You may require certain types of business insurance, either:
● By law or required in your lease contract, these may include:
- Workers compensation insurance
- Motor vehicle (CTP) personal injury insurance
- Public liability insurance
● Or because it is recommended for your industry. Examples include:
- Building and contents
- Theft and burglary
- Business interruption
- Cyber liability insurance
- Product recall
Business insurance required by law
1. Workers’ compensation insurance: As a business owner and employer, you must cover employees against injury and inability to work resulting from a workplace injury. Workers’ compensation can provide weekly compensation and lump sum benefits in the case of permanent disability. It’s also important to check if you need to be included as a working director, as coverage may be provided to you personally. With limited cover, it’s important also to consider personal accident insurance.
Workers’ compensation rules vary between states and territories, so it’s important to check the relevant regulator for exact requirements for your location and industry and seek professional insurance advice when making your decision.
- Workers' compensation for contractors: If you’re an independent contractor, you will likely require your own insurance. Make sure to browse the Australian Government's Business website. It offers a lot of useful resources for contractors and employers. If your business employs a contractor, your state or territory's workers' compensation authority will have all the information you need.
- Workers' compensation for sole traders: As a sole trader, it’s unlikely you can obtain workers compensation insurance. However, you’re likely to need ongoing income if you can’t work to pay your regular bills. You should consider personal accident, life, and sickness insurance if you have an accident or permanent disability.
2. Compulsory third party (CTP): In Australia, trucks, cars, and other road registered motor vehicles must have CTP insurance, including any vehicle registered under your business. This is different to the truck or car insurance that you may have for damage caused to other people’s property or the vehicle itself.
CTP covers you or the company, if it’s a business vehicle, against personal injury claims from third parties due to an accident. Third parties are usually the not-at-fault driver involved in the accident, i.e. passengers, pedestrians and cyclists. However, some CTP insurers offer an extension to cover injury to the at-fault driver, which should be considered.
Since CTP doesn’t cover damage to your business vehicle or other people’s property, you will need a separate cover, such as Third Party Property Damage Insurance or comprehensive insurance.
3. Public liability insurance: Some industries may have compulsory insurances, like aviation, to cover the legal risks that businesses may encounter.
Public liability insurance, which covers third-party personal injury or death, is one example. However, it is only compulsory for certain businesses and self-employed business owners in certain states.
For example, in Queensland, it is a legal requirement that some types of trades or building companies have a Building and Construction Commission home warranty insurance.
What business insurances are optional?
Other types of business insurance are your choice. These insurances may not be compulsory but will provide financial security for you and your business.
Types of insurance you may consider include:
- Business assets – property, theft, breakdown, loss of money and general property;
- Employees – personal accident and travel insurance;
- Customers – product liability, product recall and professional indemnity;
- Stakeholders – management liability, fraud, cyber and social engineering;
- Earnings – business interruption and trade credit.
Examples of optional business insurances
1. Professional indemnity insurance: Professional indemnity insurance protects your business from financial losses due to claims made against you relating to the professional services provided to clients, plus legal defence costs.
Professional indemnity insurance is meant for businesses that provide professional advice, which requires some particular skill, training or qualification. For example, a builder may be blamed for structural faults in a concrete slab floor years after it was laid.
Like many other professions, builders are required by law to meet particular standards. As a result, they can be held liable if loss or damage occurs due to not meeting the standards in their state or territory.
This is where professional indemnity insurance is essential to protect you and your company against expensive legal costs and any damages if awarded.
2. Natural disaster insurance:
Depending on where you live, damage caused by flooding, fire and storms/hail may not be top of mind. Still, the best way to manage the type of natural disaster in your area is to be prepared and have a plan that includes comprehensive business insurance, tailored to your business.
Note: The Australian climate is highly prone to bushfires and storms/ flooding.
Every bushfire season bears immense risks to lives, personal belongings, homes and businesses. Therefore, you need to make sure your cover includes bushfires, storms and floods.
➔ More resources about natural disaster insurance.
Where to seek advice on types of business insurance
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when choosing the appropriate types of business insurance.
The knowledgeable team at Insurance Advisernet are specialists in business insurance that will suit you and your business.
We make it our business to understand your objectives, needs, financial situation and risk profile to develop appropriate strategies and solutions to manage your financial risks and provide appropriate insurance coverage. As a result, thousands of Australian business owners have benefited from choosing Insurance Advisernet and our nationwide network of professional risk and insurance advisers.
Our specialist business insurance is suitable for many small to medium-sized (SME) businesses in various industries. We have specialised insurance cover for aviation, import/export, and transportation operators, to name just a few.
➔ Learn more about our SME Business Insurance pack right here.
Business insurance for small & medium-sized enterprises
Business insurance policies typically offer a range of individual insurance policies under a single package that matches your individual needs, financial situation, and risk profile to reduce administration and provide package discounts.
It’s important to remember that the type and level of coverage in a business package policy can vary considerably from insurer to insurer.
Some of the more common inclusions you can expect to see in a business insurance policy involve:
- Property Damage: Covers property damage to business assets such as stock, equipment and customer goods.
- Burglary & Theft: Covers theft of goods from the insured premises.
- Liability: Covers legal liability for injury and damage caused to a person or property of a third party.
- Computer & Electronic Equipment: Covers loss or damage to computer and electronic equipment.
- Business Interruption: Covers loss of net profits, plus standing costs in the event of property damage or electronic or machinery breakdown.
- Money: Covers theft of cash on the premises during business hours, outside business hours and during transit.
- General Property: Covers portable property that you take away from your premises against material damage.
Finding the right insurance for your business can be difficult and time-consuming.
A great way to ensure the appropriate level and type of coverage is to start reviewing your current business insurances and exploring more effective options by speaking with an Insurance Advisernet adviser near you.
Contact us today for business advice you can trust. Call (02) 9954 1311 or fill out our online contact form, and our friendly team will be in touch with you!
This communication including any weblinks or attachments is for information purposes only. It is not a recommendation or opinion, your personal or individual objectives, financial situation or needs have not been taken into account. This communication is not intended to constitute personal advice.
We strongly recommend that you consider the suitability of this information, in respect of your own personal objectives, financial situation and needs before acting on it. This document is also not a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) or a policy wording, nor is it a summary of a particular product’s features or terms of any insurance product. If you are interested in discussing this information or acquiring an insurance product, you should contact your insurance adviser to obtain and carefully consider any relevant PDS or policy wording before deciding whether to purchase any insurance product.