Let’s be a little up-front about it, no one wants to think about the subject of liabilities insurance from HSBC, or from one of the other famed multinational banking institutions well known throughout Egypt. While vital for the well-being – indeed survival – of any business long-term, insurance is not usually high on the budding entrepreneurial agenda for a very simple reason. Insurance implies risk, which means having to contemplate the unthinkable. Welcome to the ‘what if…’ school of thought.
The good news is the whole nefarious subject can be treated rather painlessly nowadays thanks to HSBC Egypt and the excellent business banking services on offer. They’ll guide you effortlessly through the whole insurance process, suggesting the important areas of your particular business you need to think long and hard about protecting. And the more you consider the potential difficulties and pitfalls faced by a modern business – any business, and not necessarily one based in Egypt either – the more you’ll feel thankful for the expert advice available.
Insurance can usually be divided into several broad areas. The most obvious one is assets, everything from the bricks and mortar to the equipment needed to run the business. Then there’s the protection of any goods produced, especially if they have to be transported over long distances. Finally, you need to think about what would happen if you were to die suddenly. Would the business be strong enough to survive? Yes, admittedly, not the sort of possibility anyone wants to think about. However, as the owner, you certainly need to do so because the livelihoods of employees may very well be at stake.
It’s too expensive!
Yes, insurance can be. But you have to ask yourself can you afford not to be adequately insured? Imagine after investing time, effort, money, not to mention blood, sweat and a tear or two, the unexpected actually happens. Not the time to be wishing you’d paid just a little bit more. In business, like in many other walks of life, you get what you pay for. Simple.
Insuring the assets
Assets cover a multitude of sins, from the bricks and mortar mentioned earlier to the paper clips and computers necessary to run the business. You certainly need to protect assets against the potentially catastrophic effects of fire, flood and earthquake, no matter how remote you perceive such threats to be. But there are other events to guard against, from burglary and attempted break-ins to vandalism and other social evils perpetrated in the world today. However, accidents happen, too, which sometimes might involve the vehicles used in your business. Third party liability cover is also necessary if employees, sent to the homes of customers, for example, end up causing accidental damage to property or possessions.
Warehouse to warehouse
It’s all very well insuring the office and factory, but any goods produced also need to be protected, particularly during transit from warehouse to warehouse. If the journey also involves travel across seas and international borders, piracy and other forms of theft could very well be a major concern, especially if the goods are of high-value. Of course, banks such as HSBC have decades of experience in dealing with all aspects of international trade. So make full use of their expertise and knowledge.
Thinking the unthinkable
No one lives forever, even if we sometimes think we do. God forbid, if you suddenly passed away tomorrow, how would that impact your business? Would it be able to carry on trading? Would it grind to a halt? Serious questions indeed. Uncomfortable questions, but insuring against such a possibility is a must. For it would mean the policy beneficiaries – perhaps your immediate family – receiving enough of a lump sum to carry on trading. Employees would still have jobs. Liabilities would still be met. Or, if a decision is taken to close the business down, beneficiaries would be able to settle any debts and other liabilities in an orderly and reasonable manner.