If you run any kind of business which involves travelling to offer your products or services, chances are you have some property that goes along with it. It might be something as common as a laptop or mobile phone, or it could be more specific to your trade like your kit if you’re a professional make-up artist, or your tools if you’re a handyman.
So what would you do if something happened to your property? Would you be able to replace it yourself? Could you borrow equipment off a competitor? Or would you lose business to your competitor and run the risk of losing that client for good?
In your standard Business Pack there are many sections you can choose to insure such as Money, Theft, Fire & Perils - all of which are relevant for businesses which operate from a physical location. But for mobile businesses or start-ups where you may work from home, the section which you should consider is called General Property.
The General Property section of the business package is like the Specified Valuables section of your Home Insurance policy, some direct insurers even call it Portable Valuables cover to use the same terminology as their home insurance products. It allows you to insure certain items for accidental loss or damage anywhere in Australia and sometimes overseas depending on the policy coverage.
Just like your home insurance there are two ways you can do this. You can specify items individually with a set sum insured for each, or you can choose the blanket unspecified option giving a total sum insured for everything. It is sometimes easier to choose the unspecified option because you don’t have to muck around with adding and removing items as you buy & sell your equipment, but there are a couple of things to watch out for doing it the unspecified way:
- Sub-limits on unspecified items: if you have a $10,000 sum insured for Unspecified General Property and lose a $3,000 camera chances are you will only receive $2,000 less your policy excess depending on the sub-limit and the way claims are calculated.
- Exclusions for items such as mobile phones, jewellery and computer equipment. You won't be able to claim these items unless you specify them and pay the additional premium involved. They cost more to insure because you're more likely to lose/damage them... your insurance company isn't that silly.
The General Property section is one of the smallest in the Business Package in terms of how many clauses you have to read so take the time and have a look, if you’re unsure about anything then make sure you speak with an insurance professional – your trusted general insurance broker.
Another reason to chose General Property is the benefits you can receive when teaming it with Business Interruption insurance. This is the section which can not only cover your loss of revenue but also your loss of profits if you’re not able to trade, meaning if something happens to your equipment and you can’t do business anymore, your policy can kick in and cover your loss of profits until you’re up and running again – how neat is that??
General insurance is a financial product which should be treated with the same respect as any other, get yourself informed and then get yourself a broker for specialised advice for your personal circumstances.