Guide

Business insurance: the basics

Protect your staff with insurance

Small businesses are often dependent on the people who work for them - particularly the owner-manager. As a result you should assess whether you need insurance to protect yourself and your business in the event yourself or your key staff are unable to work.

You may also want to consider offering private health insurance or critical illness cover to attract and retain key staff.

Different forms of cover

  • Key person insurance compensates your business up to a pre-agreed limit for the loss or unavoidable absence of crucial personnel - including the owner-manager. It may be appropriate if your business depends on a few employees.
  • Critical illness cover pays a sum of money to specific employees or the business owner in the event of a serious illness such as a heart attack or stroke.
  • Income protection insurance protects individuals by paying their salaries while they're unable to work.
  • Private health insurance funds private healthcare for specific employees. As well as being an extra benefit of employment, it could help them to return to work more quickly after an illness by paying for rehabilitation treatment.
  • Life insurance pays out a lump sum or regular income to the beneficiaries if an employee dies.
  • Permanent health insurance provides benefits if an employee suffers from a prolonged illness or disability.
  • Personal accident cover pays fixed benefits if an employee dies or suffers loss of a limb or sight following an accident.

Although some of these may be available through a general insurance broker, it's generally best to purchase these types of cover from an independent financial adviser (IFA) who will be able to take account of your overall financial situation and planning. 

If you do choose to deal directly with an insurer, it's worthwhile checking that they are a member of the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

For information on these types of insurance, see insure your business - people, life and health.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) also provides further information on business insurance.