Setting up a small business, whether on your own or with a partner, carries certain risks, and for many people this is part of the appeal. However, protecting your business and yourself against those risks is important. It can help ensure that your business survives, even in the wake of a potential disaster, and it can even protect your reputation as well as the financial stability of you and any other partners or employees that are part of your business.

General liability insurance not only covers the legal costs that are associated with lawsuits, but can also cover damages. Whether you provide services, or you offer consultancy services and professional advice, the provision of a poor quality service or costly advice can land your business in court facing a potential lawsuit.

Insuring equipment and property against loss means that you can replace business-essential items like machinery, office equipment, and even the premises from where you work. Whatever your business, the tools of your trade, which may include computers and other office equipment, are essential to the successful completion of projects and the longer you are without, the longer you will be losing money. Insurance not only ensures that you have the finances to replace items, but that you can do so quickly and when required.

Auto insurance is a legal requirement when on the road, and it is worth noting that some personal auto insurance policies will not cover you for business or professional use. A separate and dedicated policy will provide the protection that you require, and can be customised to include machinery and equipment that you carry in your business vehicle.

If you employ any workers then worker’s liability is likely to be compulsory, although not if it can be proven that workers are self-insured. If an employee suffers an accident and gets injured, or if they become ill as a direct result of their work or working conditions, it is your worker’s compensation insurance that protects you against all associated costs, including legal fees and compensation.

A Business Owner Policy, or BOP, is essentially a package of insurance policies that include elements of the above and any other elements that are considered essential to your business. Every business has different demands and requirements, and every entrepreneur has different insurance needs. A BOP from XL Catlin can be tailored to only include the insurance that you need, and to ensure that every area of risk is covered.