Why Your Small Business Needs The Right Insurance Now More Than Ever

After bushfires, floods, and lockdowns, this is how business insurance* can help you.

If last year taught us anything, it’s that you have to expect the unexpected. From natural disasters like bushfires to a global pandemic that brought business to a halt everywhere, with small business owners being thrown a lot of curveballs. While you can’t control the weather or virus outbreaks, you can control how prepared you are for unexpected situations.

Having business insurance in place takes a lot of risk and stress out of managing a spa or clinic. BizCover can help you find the right policy for your needs and circumstances. 

“We know that many businesses, especially small businesses, need a faster, simpler insurance experience. We help you compare and buy the cover you need – at a competitive price – from some of Australia’s leading insurance companies. With BizCover you can get instant cover online and in minutes for multiple business insurance products such as Professional Indemnity, Public Liability, Business Insurance, Management Liability Insurance, Cyber Liability Insurance, Tax Audit insurance and more,” says BizCover spokesperson, (Daniel Gomez).

In terms of cost, there’s no one-price fits all answer. Your insurance needs will vary depending on a variety of factors, such as the industry you operate in, your trade and the type of business you run. It will also be influenced by the size and location of your business and your appetite for risk. Some of the factors that can influence the cost of a Business Insurance policy include: 

• the type of cover and cover options taken 

• the nature of your business 

• the value of the property insured 

• where your business is located 

• the number of employees you have 

• your annual turnover 

• claims history

And it’s not just natural disasters  that can hurt your business; most commonly, it’s a small mishap happening in your premises that can cost you a fortune. Fabian**, the owner of a luxury day spa who employs a number of therapists notes, “I rent my premises and it was a requirement under my contract with my landlord to hold a Public Liability policy. I’ve always enforced strict health and safety procedures, so I never really expected any accidents to happen”. 

Yet, a junior therapist who he had recently employed, failed to replace the non-slip mats in one of the spa rooms after cleaning up from the previous customer. The next customer, a middle aged lady, slipped and fell down sustaining a hairline fracture and ligament damage to her left foot. She commenced legal proceedings against Fabian’s day spa for the cost of the medical treatment she incurred as a result of the injuries she sustained, as well as the loss of her income while she was unable to work.

The seriousness of the customer’s injuries, and claims that she was unable to perform any work were suspicious, so his insurer appointed assessors to conduct an investigation. In addition to this, they engaged a law firm to act on Fabian’s behalf to obtain copies of receipts for medical treatment, and information from the customer’s work confirming the timeframe she was unable to work and would not be paid for. The entire process took three months to finalise with the customer, and total costs incurred for the assessors and lawyers were $30,000. On top of that a further $45,000 was paid out to the customer for compensation for the medical treatment and loss of income.  These payouts were met by the insurer after the policy excess was paid.

Here are a few simple tips to help you minimise your risk:

  • Develop a risk management plan to prepare for a possible natural disaster. This can include reviewing and updating emergency evacuation routes, testing fire safety detections, maintaining trees around your premises and protecting windows from flying debris.
  • Install adequate security devices to control unauthorised entry into your salon, ensure you have sufficient interior and exterior lighting and conduct background checks on your employees.
  • Implement Occupational Health and Safety procedures, ensure you keep walkways and floors dry and clear of tripping hazards and make use of non-slip mats where necessary.
  • Ensure all employees are appropriately trained and qualified for the tasks they are performing, only use your equipment and products in the way they are intended, always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and respond to any customer complaints regarding your services in an appropriate and timely manner.
  • Ensure you have quick access to the contact details of tradespeople in your area such as plumbers and electricians etc. and have a backup plan for your business’ operations should a catastrophic event occur, such as a second location you can operate from.

Lastly but perhaps most importantly, identify the unique risks to your business and safeguard against them by making sure you have the right insurance policies in place. It’s also a wise idea to conduct an annual review of your policies as your business evolves and changes.

For any more information, visit www.bizcover.com.au

*As with any insurance, cover is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in your policy document.  The information contained in this article is general only and should not be relied upon as advice.  BizCover Pty Ltd (ABN 68 127 707 975; AFSL 501769)

**name has been changed.