Your New Year Insurance Checklist
Whether your business is back in full gear after the festive season or not, now’s the time to review your insurance to ensure it’s up to date. Delaying a review means your company risks being underinsured, which could have dire financial consequences.
An annual review, such as at the start of the year, is a valuable habit to form. However, internal changes in your business throughout the year should prompt an immediate evaluation of your cover.
This comprehensive checklist will guide you on this.
Does your detailed inventory or tax depreciation schedule include every piece of equipment in your business? If you have redundant machinery you’ve since disposed of, take them off the list. You might also have hired-in plant, so if your insurance covers that, be sure to list it as such.
Plant and equipment insurance can give you peace of mind when machinery breakdown arises. It can be costly and time-hungry to transport equipment for repairs and get it back in service. Particularly if parts are held up in the current supply chain delays. You can minimise the risk of disruption with cover for:
- Material damage, including for loss, damage, destruction or theft of physical assets, accidental overload, etc.
- Hired-in plant, which may be a condition before you can hire it.
Moving or changing your business premises takes a lot of energy and organisation, so you may not have got around to updating us. If that’s the case, we’ll need details of the construction and age of the building, as well as security and fire protection details.
If you’ve taken control of the new premises before you move out of your current one, you’ll need to insure both sites. We can also check your policy to verify if it covers your items while in transit – if not, we’d advise it. One option is to take out transit insurance if you’re using a professional removalist, but read the fine print closely and know what you’ll be paying as the excess.
For businesses operating from rented premises, check your lease agreement to see if the owner has transferred insurance responsibilities to you. Often tenants must insure glass, air-conditioning systems and the internal fit out even though they are owner chattels. Occasionally, the landlord insists you insure the actual building, too, but we recommend you don’t agree to that.
For businesses on a growth spurt, you may have taken on extra staff that aren’t mentioned in your insurance, particularly workers’ compensation insurance. That’s a reminder to check if you’ve bought more equipment or larger premises to accommodate them. You should also revise your deferred compensation plans, key-person strategies and buy-sell agreements.
Maybe your company has expanded from a small to medium-sized enterprise, even changed its structure, so has a wider range of risks. Therefore, these types of insurance might be needed:
- Directors’ and officers’
- Business interruption
- Public liability
- Employer’s liability if you employ one or more people
- Marine insurance for products you import
- Professional indemnity.
So as your business evolves, no doubt your services and offerings will too. Protect your sustainability with the right insurances be they legally compulsory or because of the people you deal with in your day-to-day operations.
As a supplier, seller, or deliverer of goods, you may be liable for those products. Even in the form of a service or repair. Insurance can protect your business if your products cause:
- Death or injury
- Emotional distress or a psychiatric illness
- Property damage
- If the product fails or is unsafe.
The law considers you the ‘manufacturer’ of a product if you import it and there’s no manufacturer’s representative of that product in Australia.
Find out more about the cover your business might need from this business.gov.au website.
Change in revenue
If you’ve recently increased stock, expanded your services, or product range, then you may be expecting higher revenue. Track your revenue for any changes as they may prompt a policy review of your insurance. Insurers need to know your turnover to ensure you’re covered appropriately. Otherwise, you risk interrupting your cover if the insured amount is lower than your actual turnover.
We can guide you on the percentage change in your revenue that prompts a policy adjustment. Feel free to discuss with us your overall needs for reviewing your insurance cover so you can get on with a successful 2022 in your business.