Direct short-term insurer and financial services provider, MiWay Insurance Limited, explains why emerging entrepreneurs and small businesses cannot afford the risk of operating without the appropriate insurance cover.

Running a small business is an extremely challenging undertaking and one that comes with plenty of financial risks. Emerging entrepreneurs have to contend with issues such as cash flow and resource management, and they’re also vulnerable to threats like theft and product damage, which can be crippling for any enterprise just getting off the ground.

Many up-and-coming entrepreneurs, whose focus tends to be on day-to-day operations and the preservation of financial stability, tend not to give insurance the level of priority it deserves. This can prove to be incredibly costly down the line.

Every business is different, and each comes with its own unique set of risks and rewards, which is why it’s important for business owners to choose an insurance solution that keeps them covered where they need it most.

Is your company adequately insured?

Given the high crime levels in South Africa, entrepreneurs today tend to be fairly savvy when it comes to protecting their shops or offices against theft. Still, depending on the businesses and cover in place, it may be worthwhile insuring particular items for out-of-office use, or accidental loss or damage.

What about liability cover?

Even a small enterprise could come into contact with people at some point, whether in the form of customers, clients or employees. Should any of these people be injured as a result of visiting the company’s premises, or purchasing one of its products, the business could be liable for some fairly sizable bills.

As such, it’s vital to protect the company’s bottom line with public liability cover, which will safeguard the business against any expenses that might arise as a result of a business-related accidental injury.

For business owners with employees, it’s important to ensure that the insurance policy includes employee liability insurance, which covers the business in the event of injuries to staff members while on the job.

Whether a company offers a product or a service, it’s also vital to consider product liability insurance, as both are bracketed in the same category under the Consumer Protection Act. While it’s unlikely that a company’s service could incur harm, life has a way of taking surprising turns when they are least expected.

What about goods-in-transit cover?

Transporting goods in the heart of a South African summer can be a truly treacherous undertaking for businesses with heat-sensitive products, which tend to be fairly expensive to repair or replace when damaged.

As such, any business shipping items such as flowers, chocolates or electronics should ensure they’re appropriately protected against loss as a result of improper cooling, which can put a severe dent in an already stretched bottom line.

What about business vehicle cover?

Given the alarming accident rate on South Africa’s roads, the prospect of vehicle damage is very real. It’s important to insure any delivery vans owned by the business, as the cost of replacing these can be crippling.

Goods-in-transit insurance can also be linked to a specific vehicle as a way of reducing premiums. It means the load is covered in the event of accidents, theft or hijackings – all of which are unfortunate, but very real, possibilities.

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