A simple guide to business insurance

Business insurance can seem a complicated business. Here is an indispensable Q+A guide from Tower.
Published in:   Business

Business insurance can be a difficult nut to crack. With so many different types of cover to choose from, it may seem hard to know which option to go for. Often, business owners end up with the wrong kind of insurance altogether, which is why it’s important to get it right.

At Tower Insurance, we believe in plain speaking and simple facts, so to help you gain a better understanding of business insurance, we turned to a quick Q&A session with one of our business insurance consultants, Matthew Gleeson.

What kind of insurance does my business require?

When you first get in touch with Tower for a business insurance quote, our experienced, friendly team will ask you a few questions to find out what kind of business you’re in so that we can tailor the cover to your needs. 

Businesses are complex, and they vary – what might be a good fit for a florist won’t be as relevant for a tradesman. We’ll do our best to gain an understanding of your business, and help you find insurance that suits your needs. We’ll do our best to gain an understanding of your business, and find an insurance solution that fits your needs. 

How do you figure out how much coverage I need? 

We’ll take into consideration not only your business as a whole, but also any outside factors that could affect you. Understanding the risks your business is exposed to can be difficult. That is why it’s important to take the opportunity to look at your business risks regularly and have plans in place. 

Say, you are a property owner and your negligence impacts neighbouring property owners. It’s possible that your firm could be held accountable for damage to other property and stock, as well as lost income for those other firms. You may also have to pay big legal fees should such a situation arise. This is when we can cover your business for general liability. 

Even though this incident isn’t directly your fault, you could still be legally liable. Often, business owners think that such things just won’t happen to them, and then it does – what a terrible way to find out you’re under-insured! 

What is statutory liability? 

Statutory liability provides protection if you accidentally or unintentionally breach certain New Zealand laws. Simply put, it will cover the cost of defending yourself, whether in court or elsewhere. Say, for example, if someone slipped on water spilled inside your shop, although it was an accident, you may still be in breach of the health and safety act. Statutory liability can provide cover for your defense against these types of mistakes. 

If it ends up in court, statutory liability will cover legal fees and other costs. 

What about employer’s liability? 

If you have staff, you may have additional responsibilities. Talk to us today about employer liability insurance and how it can help protect your business. 

How does Tower cover my business assets? 

As a store owner, what are the key items in your building? Your assets. Without them, you can’t operate! Many businesses underestimate the value of their equipment and stock, which can lead to them getting back just a fraction of what it is really worth in the event of burglary or damage. 

At Tower, our main focus is providing a comprehensive cover that will replace your shop or store’s fit-out, stock and equipment. If needed, we can also provide cover for the income of the business, should something significant occur such as a fire. Many businesses underestimate the value of their equipment and stock, which can lead to them getting back just a fraction of what it is really worth in the event of burglary or damage. 

Do I need business vehicle insurance if I already have regular car insurance? 

Only in certain circumstances will regular car insurance cover business activities, and these exceptions are rare. If your insurance company has no idea what you’re using your vehicle for (with regards to business), it’s difficult for them to insure you properly. 

By taking out business vehicle insurance, we’ll know what your transport is used for – whether that’s hauling bricks, or transporting the tools of your trade. This allows us to provide you with cover that suits your business. 

For example, say you were to have an accident in your work van and the goods it was carrying got damaged – our business vehicle policy can provide some cover for the loss. This wouldn’t be the case if you only had regular car insurance. In some cases, a policy will allow for multiple drivers of your work vehicle for greater flexibility and even cover your vehicle signage – a detail that makes your business unique. 

If you only use your car to go to and from work, business vehicle insurance may not be necessary. We understand that your vehicle is your lifeline so it’s important to make sure you have the right protection. If you’re using it for work purposes – building site visits, transporting business materials or visiting clients – you should look into getting business vehicle insurance. 

Can Tower cover my work equipment, such as tools kept in my van or locked in a secure garage? 

Tower can provide replacement cover for your tools or your equipment if they’re stolen from your vehicle or another location – this is known as a ‘floating’ cover. We can also cover them against malicious or accidental damage, and a range of natural disasters. 

Remember, if your question about business insurance is not covered above, you can always get in touch with our friendly, helpful team who will be more than happy to talk you through things.

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