Do I Need a Business Insurance? – Episode 31

Do I Need a Business Insurance

Are you contemplating on getting insurance for your business but find yourself asking questions like “Is it worth it?” or “Do I really need it?” In episode 31 of Business & Life Conversations, Melissa Donaldson from Allsure Insurance joins us to tackle this dreaded topic – Business Insurance. She answers all our questions and gives vital information about the importance of business insurance, the different types of business insurances available and the coverage it gives businesses and, most especially, how to go about getting insurance for your business.

Important Links Mentioned in the Show:

Allsure Insurance

Angela Henderson Website

Angela Henderson Active Business Facebook Group

Angela Henderson Facebook Business Page

Angela Henderson Instagram

Prefer to read Do I Need a Business Insurance? Here’s the transcript:

ANGELA:

You’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations podcast, with Angela Henderson, episode 31.

Hey there, you’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations podcast, my name is Angela Henderson, and on this show we talk about improving your business, life or both. By having amazing and rich conversations with brilliant guests. Who will inspire you and who will give you tips and tricks, to help you grow both in life and in business.

Well hey there, and welcome back to another episode of the Business & Life Conversations Podcast. I’m your host, Angela Henderson from Angela Henderson Consulting. As always, thank you so much for being here. Over the years of being in business, if there’s one topic business owners like to avoid, it’s business insurance. I can’t tell you how many businesses that I speak with through Angela Henderson Consulting that either a, don’t even know they need insurance, b, know they need insurance but don’t want to pay the monthly fee, or c, know they need the insurance but feel so overwhelmed they don’t know where to start.

This is why I’m super excited to have Melissa Donaldson from Allsure Insurance today, joining me on the show to talk about all things business insurance collectively, but more specifically exploring why you need business insurance for your business. Is business insurance a requirement? Is business insurance worth it? What types of business insurances are out there? And is your business covered under your home and contents insurance? And how to explore getting business insurance for your own business. It’s obviously a lot to discuss, but it is all super important, because we don’t want you to risk, obviously, yourself, your family, or your business.

Before we get started, I’d just like to share with you that this episode is sponsored by my free Facebook group, Australian Business Collaborative. If you’ve been wanting to be connected with like-minded business owners who will help answer your questions, provide you with support, and make you laugh, then you are perfect for my free group. Just head to Facebook and search Australian Business Collaborative. Now, I won’t make you wait any longer. Let’s go ahead and jump into the conversation with Melissa today about all things business related. Welcome to the show, Melissa.

MELISSA:

Thank you, Angela. Thanks for having me.

ANGELA:

Gosh. Now, listen, obviously super excited. I like to get to know the guests a little bit before we jump straight into, obviously, also quite a heavy topic, business insurance. Right?

MELISSA:

Yes.

ANGELA:

So, tell the audience a little bit about who you are, a little bit about the business, and also what is your favourite book?

MELISSA:

Favourite book? All right, we’ll start with the business, a family-run business that’s been around for over 30 years now, so my parents actually started it. Over 11 years ago now, my brother and I actually bought out Mum and Dad, so my brother is my business partner, so that’s pretty cool. We do all sorts of insurance. We’re a bit nerdy and geeky when it comes to insurance, as sad as that might be, and understand it, and that’s what we’re here to help our clients. Trying to make sure that they understand what they need and make sure they’re covered.

ANGELA:

Perfect.

MELISSA:

Now, my favourite book. I love biographies and autobiographies, so one of my favourite ones is actually a book about Weary Dunlop, of all things. So yeah, I really enjoyed that book.

ANGELA:

Okay. And who was that? Can you tell us a little bit more, because I’m not too familiar?

MELISSA:

Weary Dunlop was an Australian soldier, and his story that’s about the hardship and the trials and what they went through was quite amazing, so I really enjoyed that for inspiration.

ANGELA:

All right, perfect, so a little bit of, you also like the history?

MELISSA:

Yes, yes.

ANGELA:

And now again, exciting, as we were talking prior to the recording, you are getting ready for a wedding very soon, which is super fun.

MELISSA:

Yes, it is, very exciting.

ANGELA:

Again, you said exciting and a little bit nerve-wracking, but listen..

MELISSA:

Ooh, it is.

ANGELA:

So fun. Between having to balance, obviously, the business, and you’ve got a partner, your business partner too, which means there’s probably a lot of communication that has to happen between you guys. And so business insurance. It is a topic, as I mentioned earlier, many business owners are unsure about whether they need insurance, and if they do, what types of business insurance do they need?

MELISSA:

They need, yeah.

ANGELA:

But the way I see it is, insurance is a cost of doing business, and it’s relatively a small cost, if you consider that a huge fire could explode you could say that you’re going to have to put out, or a lawsuit, or an employee accident could ultimately put you out of business.

MELISSA:

Correct.

ANGELA:

It’s super actually important, but yet so many businesses are failing to do this. Even if your business is incorporated, your personal assets could be at risk if you are sued or found personally liable. So again, I don’t know about you, but as a business consultant, I cannot emphasise enough the importance of holding the appropriate and adequate business insurance. What are your thoughts about that, Melissa?

MELISSA:

Spot on. It is such a small cost, and it should actually be part of your business planning and factored in. I always get a bit surprised when people want to reduce the cost of the insurance, and it’s ridiculous sometimes, when you’re considering like a public liability policy that might cover your butt for 20 million might only cost you eight or nine hundred dollars, and you’re going, “That’s so cheap, because if you do something wrong that they’re going to pay out to the tune of $20 million, is nothing in comparison to what they’re offering for you.”

So yes, you do need to have insurance. It’s really important, and public liability is one of those bare minimums, essentially what you’re trying to do with insurance. And so people go without it. I don’t understand it.

ANGELA:

I almost would have to say, if I went back and looked at my data with all the clients that I’ve helped, you know. I would have to at least say 90% didn’t have insurance, or have thought about insurance, before they started working with me. Again, some of those clients, all I can do is advise accordingly. Obviously very big disclaimer, I’m not an insurance expert. But I do say things like, “Do you have insurance? Do you need to be linked to a broker?”

MELISSA:

I think they get a bit scared about the cost. Because it’s an unknown, so they actually haven’t asked, and haven’t researched it. So, when they go and do it, and find out that it’s not that expensive, and there’s options to pay for it, and things like that. Then they go, “Oh okay that’s not so bad”. And often I find when we educate our clients, and help them like that, then they go and are free to actually then go and grow their business more, because they actually know that they’re covered.

ANGELA:

Yep, spot on.

MELISSA:

We see that a lot.

ANGELA:

And so why do you ultimately thing that businesses need insurance? Obviously, there’s the obvious, but do you have anything else to add to why they need that business insurance?

MELISSA:

It’s piece of mind, essentially, for us. We find that once they’ve got it, they know that they can go and grow the business and do the things that they wanted to do because they’re protected. It’s also unfortunately just litigation. Australia is.. I think New South Wales is the second litigious state in the world. So, we’re fast catching up to what happens in America.

ANGELA:

Don’t remind me.

MELISSA:

I know. So at the end of the day, it just comes down to somebody wants to sue you. And you do hear it all the time, people get upset about something and, “I’m going to sue them.” Well that’s exactly right, so that’s why you need your insurance to cover off on protecting you.

ANGELA:

Many people don’t have the insurance. But is business insurance a requirement for all businesses, some businesses, what is the actual requirement?

MELISSA:

No legal requirement to have public liability. The only legal requirement would be Workcover, to have that if you’ve got employees. So, there’s certain rules on that and each state’s a little different with those things. But the public liability is not legally.. unless, sometimes a lot of other businesses will require you to have it. That’s where we find that people are then asking for it. So, if you’re working and doing anything for Councils or you’re wanting to put your things in the market, they’ll actually ask you to have public liability insurance.

ANGELA:

So really, collectively, those compulsory business insurance requirements are the worker compensation, the public liability, and would you also talk about the third party personal injury insurance?

MELISSA:

It depends on your business and what you’re doing, and how it works.

ANGELA:

Also, would it be.. again if you’re a doctor, or something like that, something where you’re a nurse, registered practice, or even a psychologist, again there’s certain things that you really need to have, or do you not in order to be able to practice those particular disciplines?

MELISSA:

Yeah they’re very specialist areas. And there’s often malpractice insurance and things like that, that they will require. And a lot of the times we find that if you’re say a chiropractor, there’s often a scheme available so the insurances for those people can be reduced, because they’re collectively purchasing. There’s all sorts of ways of getting those insurances, and needing it. But yes, you definitely need those sort of covers. And people giving advice is another one that a lot of we find our clients don’t understand as well. So professional indemnity..

ANGELA:

That’s what I have.

MELISSA:

You will, that’s right. But a lot of people start up doing coaching and all sorts of things, but not having any of that covered up on. So that gets a bit of a concern.

ANGELA:

Yeah, no absolutely. It’s one of the things that I say when I’m.. potential people want to work with me as a business consultant. I say, “Whether or not you work with me, or you work with someone else, one of the first questions you should be asking people is do you have professional indemnity insurance. Do you have a contract to sign?” And there’s other things. But if they say no, and no, I say man, run for the hills. Because they haven’t really thought through how can they be giving sound advice if they’re not doing it for themselves?

MELISSA:

That’s right.

ANGELA:

.. to look for. Now for those listeners that are out there going, “Okay, Angela, Melissa, this sounds great, theoretically..”

MELISSA:

Very boring, blah, blah.

ANGELA:

But listen, why would you say business insurance is worth it? What do people have to lose?

MELISSA:

Potentially everything that they’ve tried to develop, and to grow, and to build. You could lose your home, you could lose your business, all that stuff just can go out the window if somebody’s coming after you and wants to sue you, and you don’t have insurance. They will take the lot.

ANGELA:

And do you see that often? Like you said it’s starting to increase, obviously, you said in New South Wales in particular. But obviously is it.. I guess what I’m saying, in America you hear about it all the time. Obviously, there’s more people in America, it’s just part of their culture really over in America. I don’t hear about it a lot here in Australia. But obviously with you being in the insurance business, you would hear stories, what, weekly, monthly?

MELISSA:

Yeah, you hear stories all the time. And we get the stories with people that have insurance, so we know that’s it’s getting covered off on. For example, just a trip and fall for some people that had a caravan car that we know. That would have been close to a $200,000 claim. So, unless you have public liability, you actually are finding that money to pay that person out.

ANGELA:

Yep. So again, it can be just a matter of someone’s shoe lace being untied, on your particular location. And they fall, they break a hip, they break their nose, they break their leg, they take time off of work, someone’s got to pay for it.

MELISSA:

The other side I see to the insurance is it’s like having lawyers and legal representations on retainer, because they actually have a whole staff of lawyers, and solicitors, and QCs, and all those sorts of people, that if somebody makes a claim against you, they’re the ones that jump in and help fix it. So, you’re not actually having to worry about doing that sort of thing.

ANGELA:

So again, it’s worth it a, because again it’s protecting yourself, but b, again they’ve got a team of people who are going to help you walk through that process if necessary.

MELISSA:

And the other thing is a fraudulent claim against you. We see that too.

ANGELA:

Oh wow.

MELISSA:

Yeah that’s scary. So, you would still have to defend a fraudulent claim against you, regardless. So that’s another thing.

ANGELA:

And again, you don’t want to really have deal with that I’m assuming from an emotional point, but also just from a logistical point on your own.

MELISSA:

It’s awful.

ANGELA:

So again, by having being covered, your insurance is going to have your back and help you sort that through.

MELISSA:

Yep, correct.

ANGELA:

Perfect. So, let’s move on to for the listeners out there, there’s a variety of listeners. There are some who are product and e-commerce business, those are some who are service based business. Talk us through.. obviously as I was doing some research, there’s so many different types of insurance. So, we’re obviously not going to be able to go through everything today.

MELISSA:

There is lots.

ANGELA:

But it would be good if you would touch upon some of those main insurances. I know for example, with Finlee and Me, my first business we had 1400 different baby products. Because the products were again for kids, my insurance did cost me a little bit more because my risk was higher. Whereas now my insurance is different because I’m focused on the service-based business. So, walk us through some of the types of insurance that is out there, so that the audience gets a little bit more familiar with what they potentially need.

MELISSA:

Okay. One of the things that we see, like you had with your business Finlee and Me, and the baby goods. So they’re considered high risk, so public liability. The other thing that a lot of people don’t know is that if you’re importing goods into Australia, you’re actually then considered the manufacturer.

ANGELA:

Yes.

MELISSA:

So, you actually need public liability for it. It scares a lot of people that don’t realise that’s happening, and the insurance companies we see are very, very particular about dealing with America, and China. So, you have to be very careful about those things. Importing and bringing things in, there’s insurance for the tangibles, for your building, for your contents, for your stock. There’s insurance for your equipment that might break down, if you’ve got a food business and you’ve got fridges and freezers. It will cover those insurances to make sure that they can be replaced or fixed. And then any of the stock in it, deterioration stock covered.

Insurance for transporting goods, or importing goods. Transit insurance. What else do I think would be a good one to cover off on? Tax audit insurance. You can get cyber insurance that’s the new biggest thing out at the moment. So, covering off on your business under a cyber attack. If you get called to have.. like they do the ransoms, so the insurance companies, again they’ve got a group of, a team of people that will help get in fixed your business. Get it back onto track, pay a ransom if they needed to even to get that all restored. So that’s a pretty big one coming up.

ANGELA:

Got you. Again, we’re seeing a more.. Let me just give you an example. So, this morning, at 5:00, so I’m downstairs in the kitchen cooking breakfast this morning. Hubby goes, “What were you paying?” It was like 5:58. 5:58 this morning, “I received a thing for about $600, what bill were you paying?” And I was like, “I was in bed.” And he was like.. So, legitimately, someone had.. now knows his BSB, and his account number, had requested.. so thank goodness Commonwealth has their measures in place. Had requested him to approve the transaction, and then two hours later, so it’s 10:00 now, at 8:00 Dale rang me. That happened at 6:00, 8:00 he rang me and he said, “Now, Ange they’re into my email.”

MELISSA:

Oh no.

ANGELA:

So luckily it’s not related to the business, but what I’m saying is that’s just one example where I could see the benefit if you have a business. This whole technology and cybercrime insurance that you’re talking about, is probably going to be next level I’d say in the next five years. Because if my husband, just today can have this happen and luckily enough like I said, Commonwealth, and when he rang Commonwealth they said yes, we can see that there’s a hold on there for just under $600. And then the hit was from Jakarta for his email so we can only assume that it’s somewhere over in Indonesia. I definitely can see that this is going to happen more as people get more and more sophisticated online.

MELISSA:

And a lot of businesses get held to ransom, so they get told that they need to pay X amount by such and such a time. Apparently, that’s all getting a bit cheaper because there’s so many in the market stealing that they’ve actually had to compete against each other, which is interesting.

ANGELA:

Oh my goodness, that’s just interesting. Yeah, within its own rights.

MELISSA:

But there’s some sort of ethics in it that they do hand back the files, because there’s no point then not handing back files, because then they won’t be able to get ransom from someone else, because so it’s interesting.

ANGELA:

The world is a crazy place. To kind of recap some of those types of insurance for those listeners that are out there, really you could look at category one, your personal or loss of income. Things like your income protection, or disability insurance, your life insurance, your permanent disability, trauma, management liability, employee dishonesty, I think was another.

This second category is your stock, your products, and/or your asset insurance. So, things like building and contents, burglary, deterioration of stock, electronic equipment, farm insurance, tax audit, property in transit, etcetera.

Your third kind of tier is your accidents and that liability insurance. So again, things that you talked about is that public liability, even product liability, professional indemnity, or the management liability.

And then the one that we’ve just been talking about a little bit more, that category four is where that technology and the cybercrime insurance. Which is going to cover you for electronic equipment, cyber liability, etcetera.

So, there are those four main categories that business owners out there, that you need to be thinking about. And then you’re probably sitting there going, okay well that’s really great. You’ve now listed the types, you really got me paranoid now that I need to get this insurance.

MELISSA:

Scared. That’s right.

ANGELA:

But if businesses need help with finding the right business insurance, where can they explore this?

MELISSA:

Talk to brokers. They are the ones that understand your business, and they understand what your needs are. So it’s usually a nice conversation, and what do you do, are you importing? Or are you growing your business? Have you got staff? All those sorts of things which help determine what insurances you might need. So that’s the best way to start, is go to a broker.

ANGELA:

And is that.. so tell us a little bit more about you guys. So is that what you would do? So, we can send them through to you?

MELISSA:

Yes, please. We love helping clients.

ANGELA:

Obviously yes. People can go online and look for brokers, they can do all that, but this where I’m totally happy for you to plug yourself, because that’s why I bring on guests, and I trust the guests. So, if you’re out there and you guys are wanting business insurance, and you’re kind of going, where do I start? And obviously a lot of my listeners are still Australian based, so if you are in Australia, where can they find you, Melissa?

MELISSA:

We’re based in Geelong and Hobart, so you can find us online. We’ve got www.allsure.com.au and you’ll find us there. You can send us emails or phone us. We really.. we’re a bit nerdy and like I said earlier, we actually get quite excited about helping clients. And really, enjoy helping those ones that are a bit stuck and they don’t know where to go, and don’t know what to do. We enjoy helping them and getting them to understand what they need, and what they require. We don’t mind questions. And we talk in normal language. I hear that a lot, that a lot of people say, “I’ve got a broker, but I don’t understand what he’s saying to me.”

ANGELA:

Yeah, a lot of jargon going around. And a lot of big words.

MELISSA:

There is.

ANGELA:

I think it’s important. So yeah, so the beauty about.. again I’ve only known you for a short time, and we’ve obviously had email contact back and forth, is that you seem super approachable, super friendly. And again, if you’re in Australia, you’re on the same time zone, give Melissa a call.

MELISSA:

Makes it easy.

ANGELA:

Drop her an email and allow her brother and herself to obviously help you guys explore. And again, I also say it’s super important, speak with Melissa, and then speak with someone else. Double check, make sure that you’re the right fit, the right personality, because you want to trust the people that you’re going to be, have in your business..

MELISSA:

Because it is about trust. Correct.

ANGELA:

Absolutely. And get a couple different quotes. But I always say go with your gut. Your gut can never lead you astray for the most part. And I think it’s just.. but whatever you do, take action. Start researching what business insurance you need. Start getting some quotes, and just do it. I would hate to see anyone’s personal stuff get compromised, your family breakdown, your marriage breakdown, because it simply isn’t worth it.

And as you said, Melissa, earlier is for example for my professional indemnity insurance, I think I pay monthly. It gets just direct debited, because I didn’t want to pay the large kit and caboodle up front. So, I think I pay about $90 a month. So that’s $45 a fortnight. It’s like $23, maybe, a week. You break that down by day, that’s nothing you guys. It’s $4 a day, which the majority of you listeners out there, because I know in my Facebook group, you guys drink coffee like 2 or 3, 4, 5 a day. Seriously it’s like one cup of coffee a day.

Again, all insurances are a different price, but I’m just speaking on behalf of mine that it’s about $4 a day roughly is what I’m paying, give or take.

MELISSA:

That’s correct. A lot of times that’s probably pretty average for those sorts of things, so that’s easy.

ANGELA:

So, yes.

MELISSA:

The other thing is that don’t necessarily.. you can do it yourself, and go online and find it. But you don’t actually understand the intricacies of policies. So, it doesn’t actually.. the price I give you for the premium is it. There’s no extra on top of it. It’s all included in it. So, the advice and the expertise you get as part of it. So, I don’t see why somebody would try and do it themselves.

ANGELA:

Yeah, and again, especially for those of you that are new in business or start up, listen, I know business owners who have been doing this for years, and still don’t have insurance.

MELISSA:

That’s terrifying.

ANGELA:

It’s not your zone of genius to understand business insurance. Give that zone of genius to someone else, so that they can ensure that you got the right insurance. Just because you go online and find an insurance and then you’re all happy, hunky-dory going great, I’ve got insurance. And you still worry about it, you could have the wrong insurance. And if you’ve got the wrong insurance, you still can get sued. So, then you’re no better off. I totally agree, whether or not you’re going to go with Melissa, or you go with someone else, make sure you actually speak with a human. I know it’s scary, I wouldn’t want you guys to get off of Facebook, or stop typing. You might have to use your words. But..

MELISSA:

You can do it. You can do it.

ANGELA:

Because it’s not just about.. It’s also about educating yourself. There’s been time where I’ve been screwed over by SEO companies when I first started copywriters, because I didn’t understand their job. I didn’t understand the process. So now I make it my business to understand what I’m paying for, what I’m going to get, and that it’s okay to ask more questions if I need to. If they don’t want to answer my questions..

MELISSA:

And we love that.

Yeah. Ask questions, we love it.

ANGELA:

So yes. Well Melissa..

MELISSA:

Sorry just one other thing quickly is that also then if you have a claim, we actually help you with that, so you’re not left to your own devices in trying to put that together and submit it. We do that as part of our service too.

ANGELA:

Because again, having to collate all that data, put it in chronological order, submit things by a certain date. That’s the easy bit. Then if you’ve got to appear in court, or other things, it all gets very complicated. And you still have to run a business. So, if you’ve got people like Melissa on your team being able to help you then I say, that’s what you need. Because really, it’s an extension of your team. Is what it is, they become.. even though you’re contracted per se out, you’re still part of, ultimately the overall team for each business.

MELISSA:

Yeah, we like to see us like that, part of the team.

ANGELA:

Yeah, I think team is a good thing because there’s no division, I guess. It’s just, yeah, I like to look at it as an extension of the business. So yes listen, I know this is not an over, it’s not an hour-long podcast guys, but you can obviously tell from Melissa’s and our conversation, the importance of getting business insurance for your business. And as we said earlier, please feel free to reach out to Melissa and for my team and I will also be putting together the whole transcription for this episode at www.angelahenderson.com.au where all the links to Melissa will also be there. So if you didn’t get that or you missed it in your driving, you can just head to www.angelahenderson.com.au click on podcasts and all that information will be in there.

And of course, as I mentioned earlier this particular podcast was sponsored by my free Facebook group, the Australian Business Collaborative. So, head on over and join the community, as I’d love to see you there. But for the rest of you, have an awesome day no matter where you are in the world. And I look forward to connecting with you on my next episode of the Business and Life Conversations with Angela Henderson.

Have a great day, everyone! Bye.

Thanks for listening to the Business and Life Conversations podcast with Angela Henderson, Business Insurance. www.angelahenderson.com.au.

Angel Henderson Consulting

​​Founder of the highly successful online store Finlee and Me, Angela taps into the decade's worth of knowledge of how to grow a thriving enterprise and pours it into her business consulting clients. As a business consultant, she partners with start up and small businesses to grow their brands through hands on support, ensuring foundations are laid in order to leverage growth. Her skills were honed at the helm of Finlee and Me, where she learned everything from branding, PR, sales funnels, email marketing, website, copy, SEO and more. She knows what it truly takes to have a strong brand, consistence sales, steady growth and over all dedication. Angela has been featured in the media including Talking Lifestyle with Ed Phillips and David Koch, Inside Small Business and on numerous Australia and International podcasts.

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