Business insurance protects business owners against a range of possible losses including vehicles, travel, worker’s compensation and buildings. Businesses have much different insurance needs than a normal person and due to the range of different businesses in operation today, also require specially tailored insurance solutions. Since the range of insurance products available to business is so vast, this article will focus on small businesses and their insurance options.

The main types of insurance small businesses need are vehicle, property, liability and worker’s compensation. Worker’s compensation cover will usually be required by law if employees are working "danger jobs" such as road works, handling heavy machinery like cranes or similarly dangerous jobs.

Vehicle insurance cover

If your business requires you or your employees to travel using your vehicles, then business vehicle insurance is crucial. More expensive than personal vehicle insurance, business vehicle insurance covers the vehicles used for business travel. Business vehicle insurance is generally more expensive because a "regular driver" does not always need to be specified. This is due to the fact that business vehicles are often used by multiple employees and they also tend to travel more than personal vehicles.

Property insurance cover

Property insurance cover covers all your physical assets from loss. This may include your business’ offices, place of trade, outbuildings and more. It can also provide additional cover for your stock. For example, if you own a corner store, your property insurance can cover your shop, the windows and all the equipment and wares inside the shop from loss or damage. Different levels of cover can also be chosen to include fire, theft flood and even acts of terrorism.

Liability insurance cover

Liability cover will insure the business against any law suits that may arise due to negligence by yourself or your staff. For instance, keeping with the example above, a store employee mops the floor in an aisle in your store, but forgets to put up a caution sign. A customer walks in and slips on the wet floor. If that person gets injured, they are entitled to sue your business for loss of income due to being unable to attend work, medical bills and punitive damages. These claims can be very high and usually a small business does not have funds to pay out such claims. If you have liability cover, your insurance policy will cover the claim up to the insured amount.

Worker’s compensation

Worker’s compensation is similar to liability insurance, but it covers your employees against injuries sustained on the job. This kind of cover may be mandatory in some cases. If you are in a dangerous field, such as a road works contractor or even in landscaping, where your employees are in close contact with dangerous equipment, you may need worker’s compensation insurance. Investing in proper safety training can mitigate your risk, directly lowering your premium for this type of cover.

Choosing the correct amount of cover can be daunting, but the important things to consider are the type of business you own, the replacement cost in the event of a complete loss of assets and the amount of funds available for a monthly premium. When you call your broker, make sure you have a complete inventory with replacement costs so that you can choose the correct level of cover.

Stuart Broad is a marketer who works for a number of South African business insurance sites. If you are looking for a budget insurance, he recommends trying to get Insurance  at InsuranceHound.