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    How to make the most of your business insurance

    Discover the top four tips to maximising your business insurance

    Jayde Walker | The Little Typewriter

    Aside from having the right cover, one of the top considerations with insurance is how to maximise your policy. 

    Which cover you decide to buy is just the starting point. 

    To protect your business against all risks and manage your insurance effectively, it’s essential to understand the policy and increase your chances of a successful claim. Business costs can quickly rack up. But by minimising risks and improving precautions, you’re able to save money and gain more benefits from your cover. 

    Here’s how to optimise your business insurance for the most significant results. 

    1. Choose the right cover 

    Without the right cover, your business is at serious risk. 

    The best insurance for your business depends on the industry, number of staff, where you work from and what risks are associated with the work you do. 

    Choose the right cover by:

    • Conducting a risk assessment
    • Considering common business threats that apply to your industry
    • Determining what types of insurance coverage you need – for example; professional indemnity insurance (service-based, if you offer advice for a living), public liability insurance (protects against injury/damage caused by your products/services), business insurance (package option to cover multiple policies such as building, contents, theft and general property) and cyber-liability insurance (protects against online risks) 
    • Checking if there are any compulsory policies your business needs

    Tip: One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is underinsuring. In fact, according to the Insurance Council of Australia, only 63% of businesses have enough cover. Make sure you weigh up your business assets, include the most valuable in your cover and reevaluate if you buy new equipment or extra stock. 

    2. Review your business activities 

    Activities grow as your business does, so it’s essential to make sure you’re protected if things change. 

    If you have an insurance broker let them know when business activities differ. They’ll be able to review coverage options on your behalf to find the most beneficial one for you. 

    Check your policy to see if existing coverages need changing. Or, you may need to buy more protection. Significant changes to report include if you move your business to a new location, change the amount of staff you employ or introduce operational variations like expand product/services offerings. 

    Group of three people sit around a desk inspecting a document
    A group of people inspect a document / Source: Beger & Co Lawyers

    3. Regularly evaluate your protection and risks

    The best way to lower your insurance costs is through a yearly evaluation. 

    Checking insurance statements is usually on the bottom of the to-do list. But avoid the set-and-forget tactic to review every 6-12 months, so you know what you’re working with. 

    Tip: Review your deductibles as well.  Set an amount you can easily come up with if you need to make a claim. Higher deductibles may be beneficial for lower-risk businesses, as they help discourage you from filing smaller claims. Some insurance companies offer discounts for policyholders who don’t file claims. 

    4. Avoid bad practices

    Bad practices increase the costs of your business insurance. 

    Consider the actions you take (and don’t take) if you want to avoid out-of-pocket costs and higher insurance premiums. Failing to provide training to staff and not maintaining a safe workplace are just some of the culprits that can increase your expenses.

    Contact local commercial law experts

    Make sure you:

    • Keep adequate records for risk management programs
    • Take reasonable care to ensure your staff are safe at work and on the job
    • Provide staff with regular training to prevent accidents
    • Review geographic risks such as natural phenomena
    • Comply with employment laws
    • Choose a reputable insurer, licensed in your location and provides a good service 
    • Implement more robust risk management to reduce insurance costs
    • Understand the policy details, such as contract terms, what it does and doesn’t cover and how you get paid for each claim

    Some business owners are better off working with an insurance broker who helps by providing risk management advice and increasing your chances of a successful claim. This prevents high premiums, under or over-insuring and uncertain claims as a result of paperwork not being filled out correctly. 

    Getting your cover and policy right is the difference between being adequately insured or leaving your business exposed to incidents.

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