Like every other type of business, an optician must have certain insurances in place. There is only one type of insurance that you must have by law, but there are many others options that you ought to have an understanding of, in order to consider whether they are appropriate for your business.
Employers’ liability insurance is the only mandatory insurance that you must have if you employ staff. The minimum requirement is for £5million worth of cover, but you may want more than this. This cover is there to ensure that your employees are properly protected, but also to protect you against claims which could otherwise threaten the future of your business. The purpose of it is to cover you in the event of claims for personal injury or damages by any of your employees.
Public Liability Protection
The other main protection that most businesses need is called public, or third party, liability. This is to defend you against claims from anyone other than your own staff. This is meant to cover you for claims by customers or members of the public who feel that they have suffered as a result of your business operation.
Building insurance is essential for any business and you need to be sure that this is covered. Many businesses lease their premises and pay for building insurance through their lease because it is taken out by the landlord. If this is not the case, then you need to arrange your own. Building cover will only protect the fabric of the building, not any of the equipment, fixtures or fittings inside it. If you have a shop front you will want to ensure that this is covered. It may be part of your policy or may need to be added as an additional option.
Contents And Equipment
As an optician you will rely on various items of specialist equipment in order to provide your service, so it is important to ensure that this is all properly protected in case the worst should happen. Ensure that your cover also includes computers and tills and other electronic equipment that you rely on.
As well as making sure your equipment is included in any contents of equipment cover you have, you may wish to consider equipment breakdown protection too. What impact on your income would the failure of a vital piece of equipment have?
Other Forms Of Insurance For Opticians
Another area of cover commonly taken out by opticians and others is product liability. This is to guard against claims made in relation to a failure in the equipment you are supplying.
If you go into people’s homes or work away from your main premises, you should make sure that your liability insurance covers you for that work too.
You may wish to include stock cover in your policy, as most standard contents policies will not include this, and it can represent a substantial value.