Women in boardroom talking about getting business insurance

A Simple Guide to Insurance for Small Businesses

Running a small business is no easy feat; there are many parts you have to keep moving and balanced. There’s a lot to manage in marketing, customer service, and sales, and some things will always be beyond your control, such as accidental damage.

This is where business insurance comes into play. Knowing you have insurance for unexpected events is crucial for managing your small business effectively. A safeguard to give you the peace of mind you need, to focus your energy on running your business.

This article will cover what business insurance is, some of the most important types of business insurance, and when and why your business may need it. 

Business insurance: what is it?

South Africa has hundreds of thousands of small business owners, with more joining the honourable ranks each year. And every small business owner, whether you are in the Food and beverage industry, Real Estate, or Administration, will need cover from sudden accidents or losses.  

What these vastly different small businesses have in common is the fact that there is a very real risk of accidents happening and a claim occurring. Protecting your business from financial loss due to unforeseen circumstances is something you’ll need from the very beginning. 

Business insurance is the protector and fail-safe for unforeseen circumstances and accidents. It provides liability cover and employer liability cover, designed and measured to protect your company, assets, and employees and prevent debilitating losses and costs. 

Whether facing compensation claims or property damage, there is a policy for every small business. Get your quote online now for free, and find out which policy will fit your business like a tailored glove. 

Your business is unique, so it’s important to understand the different types of business insurance available.  

Why does your business need insurance? 

Many small businesses and sole traders are not even aware of the many risks they already face without the safety net of being insured. 

Risks and unexpected incidents are always possible, and the importance of having a secure insurance plan is vital if you wish to see your business grow over the years. 

One unbudgeted claim can disrupt the running of your business enough to close your doors and be the end of your budding business. A worry no one wants to face, and an issue that is easily solved.  

When you may need insurance for your business 

Starting the process of finding the right type of insurance for your business may seem daunting and overwhelming, but with a little time, you’ll be well on your way to mapping out a plan that is perfect for your small business. 

A few examples of when your business may need insurance: 

  • Accidental injury to persons and or property when working with clients, to cover third-party claims if you damage their property or injure anyone. Most often covered by Public Liability insurance
  • Protection of your tools and equipment when working at a client’s premises or a worksite, from damage or theft or other losses. Most often covered under Portable Possessions insurance
  • For contract work, there may be certain insurance requirements you need to fulfil in order to undertake the work. 
  • In the event you are faced with a claim, business insurance will allow you peace of mind when faced with that financial burden. 
  • When your business assets include vehicles, Motor Insurance is a high priority. From cars, vans, trucks, and bakkies, to vehicle accessories, protecting your vehicles and fleets are essential to prevent future debilitating costs. You are also protected from third-party damage if you or your driver is considered responsible. 
  • As part of many rental agreements, you may need to have certain insurance types, such as Glass Cover or Public Liability insurance. 
  • Insurance For Professional Services may also be a requirement when joining certain professional memberships. 

Contact us to find out how you can cover your small business and protect it from the unknown elements.

Different types of business insurance 

Here, we’ll break down a few of the most common types of business insurance and explain what each provides.  

It’s always best to keep in mind that each business is unique and will need to focus on different policies to manage the potential risks it will face. 

A growing business will also need to reevaluate its policies depending on its growing needs and requirements. There are many different covers and insurance types, and each business will need different types to ensure everything is safeguarded. 

Public Liability insurance 

Public Liability insurance is designed to protect you and your business in the event an employee, customer, or civilian, is injured or damages their property due to your negligence in business activities. 

This type of cover is one of the most common and important types of insurance, especially if your business deals with third parties, suppliers, and members of the public. 


Contents Insurance is a type of business insurance that provides coverage for the items inside your building. This includes office content, plants and machinery, stock and materials in trade, and miscellaneous items. 


Buildings Insurance is a form of business insurance that covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding your premises in the event of fires, storms, explosions, lightning damage, etc. This is especially important for those who work from their premises or rent them out. 

Portable Possessions insurance  

Portable Possessions, also known as Business All Risks, is a type of business insurance that will provide cover for the loss or damage of your tools or work items. Such items could include equipment, tools, laptops, and mobile phones. More unique items are also seen, such as art, gate motors, marquees, and musical instruments. 

Business Interruption

Business Interruption Insurance provides protection from a loss of income and increased costs, that are the result of an insured event (such as a fire, property damage, etc.) 

Business Interruption is designed to assist your business in recovering from the loss of such an event and helps you by paying for ongoing expenses, such as wages or rent. 

“Will my business survive closing the doors for a few weeks?” If the answer to that question is a no, then your small business will need to be insured.  

Use our calculator to estimate how much Business Interruption cover you will need if you have to shut down for the next 12 months. You can also read more on what is usually and not usually included in the Business Interruption insurance, and what is optional. 

Professional Indemnity insurance 

Professional Indemnity insurance is designed to protect you from claims against you and your business, as a result of negligent acts or omissions in providing your professional services or advice. 

This policy will also assist with the legal costs to respond and manage such claims. 

Examples of Professional Indemnity insurance claims: 

  • Providing the wrong treatment or diagnosis 
  • Wrong advice provided 
  • Misinterpretation/Miscalculation/Overestimation 

To become a big business tomorrow, you need to invest in your small business today. 

Keeping a small business running is hard work and demands your full attention. When you know your business is secured and insured, you have one less thing to keep you up at night. 

You can get free quotes today, from the comfort of your home, tailored for your occupational details. We take the hassle, and you take the peace of mind. 

Remember, to become a big business tomorrow, you need to invest in your small business today. 

This is general information only and does not take into account your financial situation, needs, or specific objectives. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions, and exclusions contained in the policy wording.