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Starting a business can feel rewarding. Yet your business dreams can end too soon due to accidents, thefts and liability issues. It only takes one employee getting hurt or accidental damage caused to a customer’s property to have a claim filed against your business. Pulling money out of your business accounts to pay all the expenses for litigation, damages, and related legal fees can ruin your profits as you may have to close your business for good.

SME insurance for a wide range of industries

There are vast amounts of insurance types available to small businesses based on the types of services, products and operations they provide. Getting tailored business products allows you to obtain the right insurance without paying for things that don’t relate to your business. Certain types of insurance, such as employer’s liability, may also be required by law.

Basic types of insurance that most small businesses need:

  1. Buildings and content insurance: Even if you have the business in your own home, you should still look into this type of insurance coverage. Most regular insurance policies designed to protect the contents of your home are insufficient to protect content that relates to your business. Also, if you operate a business that requires you to take items from the home as you drive to work sites, then you also want those items protected from loss or theft. As an aside, one of the key benefits of cloud based accounting software is that your records are all safe as they are not stored on your premises.
  2. Employer’s liability insurance: When an employee becomes injured or sick, employer’s liability insurance will cover legal and compensation claims. The insurance should be a minimum of €5 million although most businesses will obtain €10 million or more in protection. The insurance should cover seasonal, contract and casual employees as well as conventional workers.
  3. Public liability insurance: This insurance protects your business in case of injury or loss claims made by customers. So your business is covered if a customer is injured at your business location or if the customer is injured on their property due to the negligence of your workers.
  4. Product liability insurance: If you sell products to customers, especially over the Internet, and the products are defective and injures the customers, you may face serious compensation claims. With product liability insurance, your business will be protected.
  5. Business interruption insurance: In case your equipment or building becomes damaged to where you cannot proceed with operations, this insurance will allow your business to survive until operations can return to full capacity. The coverage will pay for profit shortfalls and increased production costs.

In addition to the mentioned insurance above, there are other types of policies you may want to obtain based on your operations. You may need third-party motor insurance if your business uses motor vehicles to perform services, or professional indemnity insurance if you provide consulting services.

As with all these important decisions it pays to talk to your accountant. They will be better placed to advise you on the best options which will empower you to select the most appropriate insurance policies for your small business.


Marc O'Dwyer

After completing a Graduate program in Marketing, Marc’s impressive sales career began at Allied Irish Banks, Pitney Bowes and Panasonic where he received numerous Irish and European sales performance awards and consistently exceeded targets and expectations. In 1992, Marc’s entrepreneurial spirit led him to set up his own business, Irish International Sales (IIS). Initially, this company was a reseller for Take 5 Accounts and Payroll software. Within four years, IIS became the largest reseller of Take 5 in Ireland, acquiring four other Take 5 resellers. He also found time to set up two mobile phone shops under the Cellular World brand and a web design company offering website design services for small businesses. In 2001, he bought the majority share in a small Irish software business, Big Red Book. At that time, the company was losing money. The company became profitable within two months, and Marc then acquired a payroll company to compliment Big Red Books Accounting products. In 2003, IIS were appointed as Channel Partners with SAP for their new SME product, SAP Business One. Marc sold his Take 5 business and concentrated on developing this new market for SAP As a result, by 2007, IIS was recognised as the largest Channel Partner for SAP in EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa). In 2008, the IIS Sales Manager bought the Company from Marc in an MBO. He launched Big red cloud in June 2012, the online version of big red book, to date the company successfully converts 59% of trials into sales and the number of customers is growing rapidly. Marc continues to run both Big Red Book and Big Red Cloud which now support 75,000 businesses. He is a very keen sportsman, having played rugby for 20 years, represented Leinster at under 16 and under 20 levels, and league squash with Fitzwilliam Lawn Tennis Club for 10 years. Marc has competed in 11 Marathons, including the London and Boston Marathons, and has completed several Triathlons and Half Ironman races. He has also completed six Ironman Races in Austria(x2), Frankfurt (Germany), Nice (France) , Mallorca (Spain) and Copenhagen (Denmark)

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