Know Risk is a community education program designed by the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) to improve our understanding of insurance and how it relates to managing the many risks we all face in life.
Insurance for your business - weighing up the options
If you’re just starting your own business and are looking to put some insurance policies in place to protect it, you may have noticed that there are a lot of options.
Two of the more overarching decisions you will need to make when it comes to insurance for your business relate to whether to go with a broker or buy direct from an insurer, and whether to purchase your policies individually or as part of a business pack.
As with most decisions of this magnitude, it’s always best to go in as informed as possible. We can help clarify the differences between each of the options so that you will be better equipped to make a decision.
Business packs vs. individual policies
As you may have noticed, the sheer number of insurance types that are relevant to small businesses can seem overwhelming — public and product liability, cyber, property, contents, machinery, plant and stock, to name a few. Other policies that may be a needed for your business can include, but are not limited to, money, legal liability, business interruption, glass cover and money cover.
Depending on the size and nature of your business, you may only need a couple of these insurance types or you may need a few. If it’s the latter, a business pack may be the most logical and cost-effective way to go.
In a nutshell, a business pack policy will combine a number of business-related insurances into one policy. Most insurance companies offer public liability, general property, contents, machinery, plant and stock, and product liability insurance policies as standard in a business pack policy.
Then, depending on your needs, you can add some extras if you need to — such as public and product liability, cyber, property, contents, machinery, glass cover, plant and stock, to name a few.
If you’re unsure about what’s best for your business or what insurance types might be most pertinent to your situation, talk to an insurance broker or your insurer.
Using a broker vs. buying direct from an insurer
When you’re purchasing insurance for your business, you can organise and purchase those policies yourself or you can have a broker do that on your behalf.
The role of a broker is to provide you with advice that is particular to your situation; some brokers may even specialise in the types of insurance you are seeking. Brokers will find and compare quotes on your behalf, will help guide you through the process, explain things about the policies on offer to you that you may not otherwise have noticed. Many brokers also help manage claims, which save a lot of time.
Purchasing insurance policies direct from the insurer also has some great benefits. Sometimes it can be more desirable to have control over the process yourself. You may feel that you have a good understanding about the different types of insurance decide your situation doesn’t warrant getting a broker involved.
While businesses can be similar, each business has unique challenges — what is right for your business may be entirely different to what another business needs, so don’t get too caught up in what everyone else is doing. Just do what’s best for you and your business.