Getting insured is an important part of running your business. So why is it so confusing to figure out which policy go with?
So you’ve got your qualifications and certificates, now you want to start practising so you can share what you’ve learned with the public, and make some cash along the way. But an important part of running your business is to get insured. Its not easy working out which to go with, so here are a few tips to help you navigate the maze and find the insurance policy that’s right for you.
Why do I need insurance?
Insurance is there to protect your business if anything goes wrong. It can protect you if a client makes a claim against you, and it also can reassure potential clients that the practitioner they are about to book with is reputable and trustworthy. Also if you are planning on joining a professional association they more often than not will insist that you have therapy insurance in place before accepting your application.
What types of insurance are available?
Malpractice and professional liability
Often referred to as professional indemnity, covers legal costs and expenses incurred in your defence, as well as any damages or costs that may be awarded, if you are alleged to have provided inadequate advice, services or designs that cause your client to lose money.
Public liability insurance
This type of insurance covers accidental bodily injury committed either by you or your business, and also covers any kind of damage to third party property (for example, damaging a client’s personal possessions). This includes injuries such as a client tripping over your equipment, or slips and trips in your treatment room, as well as accidental damage to a client’s property, such as knocking over a pot while visiting a client at their home, or spilling essential oil over their carpet.
Products liability insurance
This isa type of business insurance that can cover the cost of compensation claims if someone is injured or their property is damaged by a product that you’ve sold. In certain situations you may be liable even if you haven’t actually manufactured the product.
Employers liability insurance
This is a legal requirement if your business employs members of staff. Even if you’re employing an individual on a temporary basis, this cover should still be in the place. It covers claims for injury or illness sustained to employees on or off company premises while on business. Employer’s liability insurance must be for a minimum of £5 million and your certificate should be displayed where your employees can see it.
What else should I be aware of?
Some insurers offer a package that includes all or some of the options listed above. You do also need to consider the following:
- Is the insurance suitable for the practices you are qualified for?
Most policies will cover most practices, however if you are doing anything invasive like acupuncture, you may need additional cover. Similarly, counselling or psychotherapy type practices, or even nutritional practices may need additional, or different, cover
- Some providers will insist on seeing copies of your qualifications or certificates, so it is important to list all the practices you will be offering when you sign up, and ensure you still have the relevant certificates
- Is legal cover included?
It is important to ensure that you have legal cover, as this will cover the cost of legal proceedings involved when a claim is made. Many providers do include this in their package, so remember to check
- Teaching/tuition cover – if you are planning to teach, whether it is a course devised by yourself or a third party syllabus, you need to ensure your insurance covers you
As with many important purchases, it pays to shop around to ensure that all the vital features are included in your policy. Speak to the providers and get as much information as you can. Many of the providers provide packages but always check that the package works for you before buying.