Starting a small business in the South African market can be an experience that’s equal parts exciting and daunting. And while SA houses a thriving SME sector, it’s not free from risk – theft, load-shedding, climbing inflation costs, extreme weather conditions, liability claims, and unforeseen events that cause harm.
Here’s why investing in comprehensively safeguarding and protecting your business against risks with business insurance is crucial.
Some of the risks to be aware of that can be covered and protected by the cushion of business insurance include:
1. Damage to Your Business Property – Your warehouse or office, building equipment, and stock are vulnerable to damage from theft, fire, floods, and other unforeseen events or disasters. You need to mitigate this risk.
2. Business Operations are Interrupted –Unexpected events like fires, even load-shedding changes, and natural disasters can interrupt your business operations. This leads to lost income and an inability to pay your expenses. Did you know you get insurance for that?
3. Third-Party Claims – Liability claims taken against your business for damage, injury, or negligence to a third party can be financially and reputationally costly.
4. Cyber Attacks – With cyber-attacks rising in SA, your business can risk data breaches, financial loss, and reputational damage. Your antivirus is not equipped to deal with this level of cybercrime.
5. Your Employees are Exposed – Your SME employees are exposed to risks like work-related injuries, illnesses, and accidents that could lead to liability claims.
6. You Face Legal Action or Fines – Your business is also subject to various laws and regulations that could result in legal disputes or regulatory fines if not followed timeously. There is business insurance for SMEs that can protect you from these risks.
7. SARS Audits – SARS is increasing its audit rates, and this process can disrupt your business and incur costs for legal and accounting advice. Tax insurance is a cost-effective way to protect your SME against this.
8. Vehicle insurance – If you are using any vehicles in the business, make sure these are placed under a business policy, and an insurer won’t pay out a claim if the car was damaged whilst being used for business unless specified in your policy. Plus, goods in transit are generally not insured under a personal policy
10. SASRIA Cover – Make sure your policies include SASRIA, as this provides coverage for damage to property caused by unique risks such as politically motivated malicious acts, riots, strikes, terrorism and public disorders
All the above risks can be prevented if you invest in a reliable, comprehensive business insurance plan. Insurance offers SME business owners confidence and peace of mind to make business decisions that help them grow while feeling secure in knowing that their assets and staff are covered against the risks.
Find your insurance type
Finding an insurance package that works for your business is a lot like finding a partner to start a relationship with – you need to shop around and ask the essential questions – what the insurer can offer you, what you’d like to cover, what your budget is, and knowing your business niche and needs.
However, there are some known business insurance ‘types’ to help you decide which may best fit your business and growth needs, namely:
1. Property Insurance – This type of insurance safeguards your business property against damage or loss caused by specific perils such as fires, storms, theft, or accidents.
2. Business Interruption Insurance – This type covers potential losses of income and increased expenses when your business operations get interrupted.
3. Liability Insurance – This type of insurance protects your business against third-party claims for damage, injury, or negligence – in cases where you are legally liable.
4. Cyber Insurance – This type covers losses due to cyber-attacks, including data breaches and business interruption.
5. Employee Insurance – This type helps protect and cover your staff through work-related injuries, illnesses, accidents, and employment practices liability claims.
6. Professional Indemnity Insurance covers liability claims related to professional advice or services.
To help get you on the right track, RBS, one of the largest independent brokers in SA, is offering comprehensive and reliable business insurance coverage to help get you started on safeguarding your SME business and growth objectives.
Some of the things they promise to deliver for their business clients include expertise and experience, comprehensive coverage, tailored solutions, risk management support, competitive pricing and value-added services.
Risk Benefit Solutions, better known as RBS, originated as an entrepreneurial-focused services business in 1998 and today is one of the largest fully-fledged black-owned insurance brokers in South Africa and a Level One BBBEE contributor. Celebrating 25 years in business this year, our growth has contributed to offering clients a unique approach to risk management by positioning our skilled resources as an extension of our clients’ risk management team. Our company covers a broad spectrum of services, including Insurance Broking, Risk Management, Commercial and Corporate Risk Advisors, and Corporate Vehicle Hire Services. With its head office in Cape Town, RBS has offices in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and globally, represented through its board membership with WING (Worldwide Insurance Network Group).