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Four reasons to insure your business during the pandemic

POSTED BY Thursday, 20 August 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on people and businesses in the UAE, with many SME’s and start-up’s having been forced to temporarily close their doors and wait for the chance to recover once the restrictions ease.

Naturally, the need to manage costs with little or no money coming in leads to questions about insurance. On the face of it they are perfectly reasonable questions, like “My business is closed, why do I need insurance?” and “Is insurance a financial burden that I could do without?”.

But the truth is, at a time when we should expect the unexpected, maintaining your business insurance cover is as important as it ever was. Here are four reasons to maintain a business insurance safety net during the pandemic:

1. Make sure you have a business to reopen

Your business premises might be temporarily closed, but that does not mean your premises, stock, and equipment are protected against potentially devastating incidents like fire, flood, escape of water, accidental damage, and theft.

2. Workmen’s compensation insurance is still a legal requirement

If you employ people even on a part-time basis you are still legally required, in accordance with the UAE labour law and licensing and registration authorities across the UAE, to compensate your employees for any occupational injuries and diseases they suffered. Such risks are covered by Workmen’s Compensation insurance. It’s worth remembering that this cover helps with things like legal defence costs and compensation if an employee is injured or falls ill at work. Could you afford to cover these costs yourself if something were to go wrong?

You are also obligated to provide all employees with health insurance that meets the respective Dubai Health Authority (DHA) and Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH) regulations.

3. You won’t be covered for liability claims if you don’t have cover in place

Public liability or Third Party liability insurance is an essential cover to have in place in order to protect your business from potential high compensation claims. It covers compensation costs and legal fees associated with a claim for damaged possessions, bodily injury or death to a member of the public, whether they’re a customer, supplier, contractor or simply a passer-by. Whether you’re open for business now or may soon be reopening, you should consider whether you could afford these claims costs if you don’t have the appropriate public liability cover in place?

Professional indemnity is a liability insurance and is there to protect you if a client, customer or member of the public makes a claim against your business for an error or omission in your professional advice or services, even historical claims. But remember, to remain protected, you must have cover in place at the time of the claim, regardless of when the incident it relates to happened – otherwise you could be exposed to potentially ruinous legal fees and compensation.

4. Cost needn’t be the barrier you might think it is

There are ways to cut or spread the cost of insurance. Working with an insurance broker such as Marsh can help you to find a policy – and a price – that serves you best. Marsh works with free zone authorities, business formation consultants and direct commercial clients and we have tailored insurance programmes designed for start-up’s and SME’s.