Taking the WTF out of insurance
When it comes to starting a business, those in the arts can find themselves in danger of falling into creative clichés. Pouring energy into choosing names, designing logos, and crafting business cards. The fun stuff. But what good is a snappy slogan when your basic business needs aren’t in order?
For those whose eyes glaze over as soon as they Google ‘insurance’, I had a chat to Claire from Bizcover to glean some guidance. BizCover is an online platform that instantly compares business insurance options for small businesses in New Zealand and Australia. Opening in 2008, they’ve been around the block and more importantly, they ‘get’ creatives. Claire, part-time poet and full-time Marketing & Communications Manager, tells me they’ve worked with clients in the arts for over a decade, and many in their own team have creative side hustles.
So, here is how she breaks it down:
Do you even really need it?
Chances are, if you need it, you’ll know. Andrew Laking, one of the brains behind Wellington’s Pirate & Queen event production, sought out insurance simply because “most organisations we work with under contract require that we have it for public liability.” However, whether you should have insurance (public liability and professional indemnity are just two examples that could be relevant), is an entirely different conversation.
Claire used a freelance videographer as an example. If they were working on location and their equipment failed so the shoot couldn’t proceed, it may not be intentional, but they could be liable for the costs of the shoot. This is just one of the unfortunate situations that one could find themselves in.
Deciding whether you need insurance is about weighing up the risks. What could go wrong? And what would it cost you to fix it? As said by Hannah McCreery from Two Sides, a boutique copy and content writing business based in Hamilton, “I haven’t actually been in a situation where I’ve had to use my insurance, but it’s a comfort knowing it’s there. It’s a safety net really.”
Claire and Andrew - Pirate & Queen events
You decide yes… So what next?
If you’re like Andrew, you may have been told exactly what type of insurance you need. But for others, the different categories can be headache inducing at the least. Claire suggested that there are five main types of insurance that small businesses could at least consider for relevance to their circumstances, and provided me with some real-world examples of when these may be used.
1. Public Liability Insurance
Imagine you are an artist ‘working on a large external mural and you spill your paints or allow for the wind to blow paint onto third party property’. This type of insurance provides cover for the insured and their employees for potential liability if their products or services cause property damage to third parties due to negligence.
2. Professional Indemnity Insurance
This one is for those providing advice or a service. Let’s say you are a freelance copywriter and you authored a piece about… insurance (hi!). If you were using technical language that you weren’t familiar with and made a mistake that led to a reader making misguided financial decisions to their detriment, you could be found liable for the error by your client. This is where professional indemnity insurance would protect you.
3. Business Insurance
Business insurance usually comes as a package. This is the one that can provide cover for portable possessions, such as laptops, mobile phones and equipment. Beyond this, it’s designed to ‘protect you for material damage losses from unexpected events such as fire, storm, theft, and accidental damage’. Common coverage options include Buildings, Contents, Portable Equipment and Business Interruption.
4. Business Interruption
You find your business has been broken into and ransacked, or Gail upstairs left her bath running and suddenly there’s water dripping through your ceiling. If your business is temporarily shut down, business interruption insurance can provide cover for loss of income, increased expenses of running your business as a result of interruption, and getting your physical assets back in order.
5. Cyber Liability
Data thefts, network hacks, viruses, ransomware intrusions, those things that haunt my mother’s dreams and feature in every 90’s spy movie. This one is for those who are reliant on data and trading online. In the event of an attack, Cyber Liability insurance can cover the help of experts to get your systems back to biz as quickly as possible.
Do your homework
Claire’s main piece of advice is something we are all familiar with, “doing your homework and shopping around is the best way to ensure you get the right cover for your business - and at the right price.”
It is also important to understand that coverage is always dependent on the particular policy wording. This will include conditions and exclusions. While it may not be the most exciting task in the world, it is important that you read and understand the policy documents for any insurance you are considering.
Making it easier
Knowing what the different types of insurance mean is one thing, but getting quotes and finding the right price can be overwhelming at best. That’s where BizCover has your back. Their platform and comparison service has simplified the process of covering your bases and helps small businesses across Australasia compare, select and buy policies, in a matter of minutes. They’re a friendly bunch who are happy to answer any questions and have a blog filled with handy hints.
Make a wish
As a way of giving back to the small business community, BizCover runs a BizGiver program. Small business owners can submit a wish for a tangible item or service, up to the value of $2000, that will benefit their business. BizGiver will then grant one of these wishes every second season.
Hannah McCreery - Two Sides
If you’re a small business owner or a creative freelancer, have a think about the risks you face through your work. What are your potential costs? Do you need insurance? Or if you already have it, is it the best deal?
Do your due diligence. Get instant quotes with BizCover.