During times of change and vulnerability insurance cover is essential to business operations. Whether they apply to your business assets, employees, clients and customers or members of the general public you service, core insurance remains vital to the ongoing protection of your business.
With current uncertainty for businesses throughout Australia, we want to help you with some key insurance information about these business insurance essentials to provide support through this time.
Staying protected with small business insurance
Protection with public and products liability, and professional indemnity insurances provides vital safety nets for the ongoing business risks associated with many small businesses and the services you provide.
Public liability insurance covers impacts to a third party (member of the public) that may result from negligence by you or your staff, such as failing to demonstrate reasonable care for others, resulting in injury to a member of the public.
The definition of injury includes physical or mental harm, including shock or trauma. Damage to property applies to any negative impact that might happen at your premises or work site, at your customer’s premises, at an event that you’ve organised or venue you’re responsible for, or a financial loss that can be traced back to negligence or a failure on your part.
Your insurance cover kicks in when the person or company that sustained the alleged injury or damage makes a legal claim against you or your business. This means that you and your staff are protected in the case of a mistake, oversight or risk that was unknown at the time – but also from the costs involved with answering the claim, even if it proves groundless, and for making a settlement payment out of court.
Professional indemnity insurance covers alleged breaches of a professional duty, such as a claim of malpractice or professional misconduct, as part of providing professional services. For example, a fitness professional who advises a client to engage in a fitness program that exceeds a client’s fitness abilities, resulting in an injury.
Professional indemnity is mandatory for being licensed or able to practise in some occupations, and a condition of employment contracts in others. For anyone who delivers a service it’s a protection against the financial or reputational damage an injured or disgruntled customer can cause your business.
Professional indemnity insurance covers all your legal costs, from getting advice from a lawyer, defending the case, paying a settlement or fines or penalties, and the cost of damage limitation if you engage a public relations company, for example. Since claims based on wrong or misleading advice can run into six figures and beyond, this cover is crucial to ensuring your business can continue to trade.
While these policies are not specifically related to COVID-19, they are vital to supporting your business operations through this changing time.
Staying safe in your business practices
Adhering to COVID-19 Health Department and government guidelines is critically important to protect you and your staff, and ensure that you are taking all reasonable levels of precaution.
For many businesses this involves working remotely. While this challenge can be supported by technology, people also need social interactions to work effectively in teams so make full use of the phone, video and shared platform resources that enable ongoing dialogue and engagement. Our Gallagher Workplace Risk team has developed a suite of resources to help you and your staff stay connected, happy and productive.
Supporting small businesses through these challenges
There are considerable government and service provider initiatives aimed at supporting small businesses to ensure that you can continue to operate throughout this crisis.
Gallagher also has a dedicated pandemic information hub where you can find the latest insurance and risk related information on keeping safe throughout the COVID-19 crisis, tips on planning and responding to COVID-19 and on how to communicate with customers and staff.
We will continue to provide updated and information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and key implications for insurance and risk management.
To the extent that any material in this document may be considered advice, it does not take into account your objectives, needs or financial situation. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate for you and review any relevant Product Disclosure Statement and policy wording before taking out an insurance policy.