Guide

Insure your business: people, life and health

Identify potential business risks and insure against them

In order to decide on the type of insurance, first identify the risks facing your business and employees.

Certain types of insurance are compulsory for any business and some are required if your business is involved in a particular type of activity or way of operating.

Some of the most common types of required business insurance are:

  • employers' liability - although you don't need this if you own the business and you're the sole employee
  • motor insurance

Make sure that your liability insurance is fully up-to-date. If someone successfully claims personal injury compensation against you, the NHS can now recover charges for treatment - including ambulance costs.

Read the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) guide on Employer's liability (defective equipment and compulsory insurance) (Northern Ireland) order 1972.

Prepare your business

It's important to prepare your business to survive major disruption and to re-establish normal operations as soon as possible after a problem occurs. An effective health and safety policy can help prevent accidents, and a procedure for data backup will help you cope with a computer breakdown. But there will inevitably be events that are out of your control.

In these cases, you may find that having the right insurance cover can minimise disruption to your business. For example, you can buy insurance to help you cope with an unexpected change affecting one of your key employees - like illness, retirement or death. The types of insurance you might want to consider include:

  • fidelity guarantee against loss as a result of staff dishonesty, eg theft
  • professional indemnity insurance
  • accident and sickness
  • key personnel
  • income protection
  • critical illness
  • private medical care
  • loss of profits

Other types of insurance will insure your employees against personal risks. Consider cover for:

  • group life
  • personal accident
  • travel
  • permanent health
  • private medical

You should also think about insuring the assets of your business - see insurance: business property and assets.

For more information on assessing risks in your business, see health and safety risk assessment.