Why every SME requires unique insurance solutions

By: Morné Stoltz, Head of Business Insurance at MiWay

Running a small business is an extremely challenged undertaking and one that comes with plenty of financial risks.

Not only do emerging entrepreneurs have to contend with issues like cashflow and resource management, but they’re also particularly vulnerable to threats like theft and product damage, which can be crippling for any enterprise just getting off the ground.

Yet for many up-and-coming entrepreneurs, whose focus tends to be on day-to-day operations and the preservation of financial stability, insurance tends not to be given the level of priority it deserves, something that can prove incredibly costly down the line.

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. But what about weather related mishaps? Or damage to important orders?

Every business is different, and each comes with its own unique set of risks and rewards, which is why it’s important to choose an insurance solution that keeps you covered where you need it most. Here are just a few of the options you might want to consider before it’s too late:

PUBLIC LIABILITY COVER

Even if you’re running a one-man show, chances are your business will 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 your premises or purchasing one of your products, your business could be liable for some fairly sizable bills.

As such, it’s vital that you protect your bottom line with Public Liability cover, which will safeguard your 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 your policy includes Employee Liability, which covers your business in the event of injuries to staff members whilst on the job.

Whether you’re offering a product or a service, it’s also vital to consider Product Liability, as both are bracketed in the same category under the Consumer Protection Act. And while it’s unlikely that your service could incur harm, life has a way of surprising you when you least expect it.

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 like 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 that already stretched bottom line.

BUSINESS VEHICLE COVER

Not only is it vital that you keep the goods you’re transporting protected, but you’ll also need to think about covering the vehicle carrying them. 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 the business owns, as these can be crippling to replace.

Goods in Transit cover can be linked to a specific vehicle, so as to reduce premiums. It keeps your load covered in the event of accidents, theft or hijackings, all of which are unfortunate but very real possibilities.