Bookkeeping Services
Tax Checklist
2022 - Tax Checklist
To assist in completing your tax return, we have a checklist that will help you with what you need to provide us. Find out more
Virtual Tour
- Virtual Tour
Take a tour and explore our office Find out more

Weighing up the Cost of Risk

Insuring your business

Running your own business can be rewarding, but there is also risk involved when you put your own money and reputation on the line.  What would you do if your shop was destroyed by fire, a client sued over advice you gave, or your business was disrupted for months in the aftermath of a freak storm?

The financial loss to small business from an unforseen event can be devastating, which is why it pays to manage risk and protect your livelihood.  Yet a surprising 19 per cent of Australian small to medium enterprises (SMEs) have no insurance, according to a recent QBE Business Risk Report.²

The main reason given for having no insurance, or inadequate insurance cover, is cost.  But when your livelihood is a stake, can you afford not to be covered?

What are the risks?
There's no one-size-fits-all insurance solution for small businesses.  Before you purchase cover, you need to think about the potential risks you face and this will depend on the nature of your business.

For a restaurant, food poisoning is one potential hazard.  The theft of tools or injury to a passer-by could prove costly for a builder, while a claim of professional negligence could do financial and reputational damage to an IT consultant.  If that consultant works from home and a client trips and breaks a leg on the stairs, they could face a large claim for damages.

Most of the risks faced by small business fall into three broad categories: assets, income and liability.

Types of insurance

Asset protection
Common types of asset protection cover you for theft, loss or damage to buildings, contents, plant and equipment, motor vehicles and stock.  You can also cover the loss or damage of goods in transit by rail, road, air and sea.

While most businesses have some level of asset protection, risks to income are often overlooked.

Income protection
Say you run a café and it is destroyed by fire, you will lost profit on goods you have purchased for sale.  Or if you are a solicitor and your office is damaged by flood, you won't lost stock but you do stand to lost revenue from the loss of business until you repair the damage or find alternative premises.

Business interruption insurance covers you for loss of income and increased expenses if your premises or fixed assets are damaged.  While online businesses may need to consider insuring against loss of income due to computer breakdown or cybercrime.

Liability insurance covers risks to you, your employees or members of the public you deal with.  Public liability insurance covers you for death or injury to third parties arising from your negligence and may be compulsory for some businesses.  Product liability covers you for damage, injury or death to another person, services or repairs you are selling.  And if you are in the business of giving advice, professional indemnity protects you from legal action if someone suffers a loss after following your advice or receiving your service.

What will it cost?
There's a lot to think about when you are starting a business or reviewing your operations, so it's not surprising that a complex decision like insurance often ends up in the too-hard and too expensive basket.

The amount you pay for insurance will vary according to the nature of your business, the risks it's exposed to and the policy's inclusions and exclusions.

Most businesses opt for a business package that bundles different types of insurance together.  This allows you to tailor your cover and is generally less expensive than buying policies separately.  Business packages can be purchased direct from insurance companies without advice, or you can use an insurance broker who may be able to negotiate a better deal. 

Give us a call if you would like us to help you asses which risks your business is exposed to and how much cover you may need.

² 'Biggest threats to Australian SMEs revealed', Insurance Business Australia, 12 April 2018, https://www/

Back to Articles & Guides

Sign Newsletter
What our clients say...
  • “It would be fair to say that we have thrown a large variety of challenges at Maclean Partners since we partnered with them in 2017. Our direct contacts in Paul, Cherie and Tina have accepted each of our challenges with a high level of dedication and commitment. They have listened intently to understand our briefs and from there we have worked closely as a team to achieve the best outcome for our business, our staff and our clients. Maclean Partners are a welcoming and client focused organisation with a high calibre and dedicated group of accountants and support staff – and best of all, we really enjoy working with them.” - Read more
    - Luke St. George, St. George Project Services
  • "Maclean Partners are very knowledgeable accountants who are always attentive and keen to learn more about how to improve our business. John and his team offer sound advice about tax and general accounting, as well as helping structure and manage the financial aspects of the business to our advantage". - Read more
    - Tony Pascoe, NQ Foot and Ankle
  • "We've worked so hard over the past 10 years to get the business to where it is and sometimes you can't see the forest from the trees. Thanks to the Maclean Partners and the 90 Day Business Challenge, I found each module so helpful and the self-paced online aspect combined with the face to face coaching and workshops worked really well for us. - Read more
    - Nelly Evans,Powdercoat Select
  • "Nelly (my wife) told me she had signed up for some business training and I told her it was a waste of time and money. I wasn't interested in doing it at all because both our businesses are firing on all cylinders, but to show her support, I went along to the first workshop and I was impressed. Nelly and I have been doing a lot of talking, but we realised that we never had the right mindset to take action. - Read more
    - Glenn Evans, The Fencing Factory
Logo Logo Logo Logo Logo Logo