Posted on Tuesday, August 2, 2022

The Complete Commercial Insurance Checklist for Businesses

There is always a certain amount of risk involved when you run a business and while an entrepreneurial spirit thrives on taking chances, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do everything possible to protect all your hard work. You might be asking yourself if you really need business insurance? The answer is that having the right type of commercial insurance could mean the difference between your business flourishing or going under. Consider the rollercoaster ride we’ve experienced over the past few years – the pandemic, load-shedding, riots, floods, drought, rising fuel prices, unemployment and war in Ukraine – and the impact these have had on businesses in South Africa. With First for Women’s business insurance, you can protect yourself, your employees and your business’s assets, giving you the support you need for your business to prosper during challenging times.

What is commercial insurance?

Just as in any other aspect of our lives, accidents can happen in our businesses and, if they do, they can cause severe damage and bring problems when you least expect them to. Good commercial insurance provides cover for businesses and corporations, limiting the damage you may suffer if your business or employees meet with misfortune.  

There are many different kinds of commercial insurance designed to meet every kind of risk a business may face. The differing needs of varied business types and sizes are catered for. Tailoring your insurance to your unique enterprise can be the key to its success.  

Commercial insurance doesn’t just benefit large corporations. Small businesses, even those operating from a home office, can benefit just as much as their larger counterparts from having good insurance cover. This is because commercial insurance protects all types of businesses against the risks that could impact their success, financially or by reputation. 

It is important to get business cover separate from your personal insurance. This is because business insurance has higher coverage limits, as well as protecting multiple assets and employees at the same time. A commercial policy is usually structured to meet the company’s day-to-day activities so that all risks and threats are covered.

 The business insurance checklist

While each business is unique, there are certain types of cover for business insurance that are recommended for all business owners. This includes policies like general liability cover. There are certain industries, however, such as B&Bs or aviation, that may require additional insurance coverage. For the best advice on what your business needs it’s worthwhile speaking to a trained broker at First for Women.

 Type of insurance for business you will need

Here are a few different insurance policies that you may want to consider:

1. Worker’s compensation insurance. If your company has any employees, you should consider getting worker’s compensation insurance. This will cover medical treatment, disability and death benefits. 

2. Commercial property insurance. If you are asking yourself: “Do I need commercial property insurance?[1]” The answer is yes – if you own or rent premises for business use. This insurance covers equipment, inventory and furniture if there is a fire, storm or theft.

3. Liability insurance protects your business from legal claims that are caused by injury or damage to someone else’s property. There is also product liability cover that protects companies from any harm caused to the public by the products they sell.

4. Errors and omissions insurance. This covers a business against any negligence claims due to mistakes made or malpractice. For instance, accountants might need errors and omissions insurance in case they make an error in a customer’s books that result in a tax claim.

5. Business interruption insurance. In case your business can’t operate, this policy will compensate you for lost income.

6. Office insurance. Even if you run your company from your own home, you still need specific commercial insurance to give you protection for office equipment and inventories that home insurance will not cover. 

7. Commercial vehicle insurance. If you use vehicles for your business, consider getting car insurance for business, which will cover employees operating insured vehicles. 

 Commercial items that need to be insured

Your business might contain more assets that need protection than you realise. Some of these items could include:

  • Office equipment, including computers and furniture

  • Building (roofing and structures)

  • External structures on the property

  • Business records such as accounting documents or client files

  • Security systems 

  • Communication equipment 

  • Speciality equipment such as heavy machinery or technology

 How to get commercial insurance in a few easy steps 

Don’t be intimidated when taking out commercial insurance, it is easier than it might look. It will just take a few simple steps to see which cover is right for your company’s needs.

1.      Review your risks and decide what type of insurance you need.

Some businesses are riskier than others, so it is important to look at what your business offers in order to assess effectively what insurance you will need.Think about the following: 

  • What type of accidents could happen to either clients or employees at your business premises? For instance, heavy machinery could pose a high risk. 

  • If there is any type of negligence, could it result in your company being sued for damages? 

  • What about the products you sell? Could they potentially injure someone?

  • You also need to consider your employees. If you employ other people, worker’s compensation insurance is a must.

  • Finally, are there any natural or unexpected disasters that could take place such as fires, floods or riots? If so, it is better to insure against these eventualities.

2.      Discuss your needs with a trained broker

Once you have evaluated your risks, it’s time to speak to a trained broker. They will know the policies that your company needs. A broker will get different quotes and let you compare insurance options. At First for Women, we have  a dedicated team of insurance brokers who can provide you with top-quality advice about your business needs and potential risks. 

3.      Create a business insurance inventory

Keep a detailed inventory of all your business assets to ensure that everything is covered if you need to make a claim. Your commercial assets include the building you work from, as well as everything inside it, including computers, furniture and documents.

It is a good idea to walk through your business premises several times and make a detailed list of all the contents. Take pictures of everything and note down important details, such as item descriptions, serial numbers, purchase dates and the estimated value. Try to keep receipts whenever you purchase something. Make copies and store them both as hard copies as well as in the cloud.

4.      Purchase the policy, keep it up to date and review it each year

When you have decided on the right policy, it is important to keep up to date with payments. It’s also a good idea to review your policy yearly when it is up for renewal to keep up with any changes your business might have undergone. Look at things, such as staff being hired or operating at new premises, to see whether you need to add any additional policies.

Get a Business Insurance quote from First for Women

Give your business every tool it needs to flourish by getting the right commercial insurance. Contact First for Women today for a business insurance quote and receive a detailed assessment of what it is your business needs.




Disclaimer: The information in this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, legal, or medical advice. First for Women is a licensed non-life Insurer and FSP. T’s & C’s online. 

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