Starting your own business can be a challenging yet exciting process. When starting a new business – you have likely researched or received guidance on all of the processes that you need to go through during registration.
Depending on the type of business or industry you own – there are different challenges and requirements – defined as ‘risks’ to your business.
This article provides you with a comprehensive introduction to identifying the risks that your new business may face as well as how you can arrange for relevant coverage to help to mitigate these risks. This guide will give you a solid understanding of insurance & risk as a new business. We will also discuss how insurance brokers can play a role in supporting you in managing risk and ensuring that you have all of the specific policy coverage required. As highly established Insurance Brokers in London, we often advise clients who run both new and established businesses about risk and insurance. We have therefore included core information below.
Insurance For Established Businesses
Established businesses or business owners who already own a business and are looking to expand will also benefit from all of the guidance that we have provided within this article. It’s highly important for an established business owner and those who are looking to expand to constantly assess the risks that your business faces and ensure that you arrange for relevant coverage.
Creating a Clear & Comprehensive Risk Management Strategy or Plan
The first step is to assess all of the risks that your business may face. There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach which is why it’s best to carry out your own risk management assessment. This assessment should be carried out by a ‘competent person’ or an individual that has sufficient training & experience in making the risk management assessment. Insurance brokers are also able to support you with this in terms of helping to draw up a risk management strategy and then suggesting insurance policies that may be relevant in terms of mitigating these risks. A good risk management strategy will:
- Identify the core risks that the business may face in everyday operations as well as rank them on a priority basis. There are several systems that someone might use to assess the likelihood of a risk happening and this will influence how essential it is to consider coverage for this type of risk.
- Assess the core areas of risk that may affect your business. These include security & fraud, compliance, financial and economic, and reputational & operation risk. You may also have additional areas to consider such as HSE requirements for example. Some of these requirements will be required by law whereas others will be in the form of recommendations.
Insurance Policies & Mitigating Risk
When researching insurance for new businesses – you may have encountered the term ‘risk appetite.’ This can apply to both the way in which an insurer will approach the likeness of a risk happening vs the way in which your business approaches a certain risk. The level of risk that insurers are willing to take may depend on the conditions of the risks that you face as well as the services that you provide. Some examples of this may be:
- Concerns that new drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident than more experienced drivers and therefore it’s more likely that a claim may need to be made. This is likely to reflect in the original policy.
- Concerns that older buildings are at a greater risk to newer buildings in terms of a claim needing to be made therefore this is likely to reflect in the original policy.
Amending an Existing Risk Management Policy
As your business grows and progresses, your attitude and approach to risk may change. You may also find that new risks appear that you will need to address. This is vital for both newer and established businesses because of the fact that risks can change. The way that you operate may change or you may offer new products or services. You may hire different employees or use different supply chains.
Different operational requirements or expansions also include additional risks and you may need additional insurance policies to ensure that you are covered. This is why it’s highly important to amend your existing risk management strategies and make sure these are regularly updated and reviewed.
Protecting Your Business From Risk
In an ideal world – you will want to arrange for coverage to protect against all major risks – but this may not be viable for new businesses. Therefore, your approach to risk must reflect the most ‘catastrophic’ and ‘likely’ events and plan accordingly with coverage. This is where an insurance broker can support you and your business. Insurance brokers can assess the risks that affect your business as the ‘competent person’ and offer relevant advice and recommendations on the insurance coverage you may need.