Are you selling on Facebook or Instagram Lives?
Are you selling products or services?
Let’s take products to start with; The insurance aspect really applies to what is being sold, so if it is a physical product that you are selling to the public and you are the manufacturer, retailer, supplier or distributer then you are responsible for any injuries the products may cause.
The person who sells the product does not have to be the manufacturer to be held liable for a defective product because they are part of the distribution chain. So if you sell a faulty toy that hurts a child you may be asked to pay compensation. Your products liability insurance would cover the cost of the legal fees and compensation costs.
The actual live sale itself is not likely to cause injury or damage to someone watching and buying – unless you offer such good deal they fall of their chair!
However, lots of insurers will offer public liability insurance and products liability insurance together in one policy and if you have customers or couriers coming to your home or premises to collect parcels then public liability insurance would provide cover if they trip over a step and sprain their ankle or fall over the dog.
Think about how you are insuring the stock you are selling, is this covered under a business policy? Do you need to insure your stock against damage and theft?
Stock insurance protects you if the items you sell are stolen, vandalised, or damaged by fire or flood - even if you run your business and keep your stock at home. There are insurance products available for online retailers which include physical loss or damage to your own property in case your stock may be lost or damaged – Hiscox offer an online retailers policy via Policy Bee for UK-based online retailers (although you may sell your goods worldwide) with a turnover of less than £500,000 per annum.
Business turnover - Also known as business interruption cover, protects your business income if you can't trade because your stock, contents, or buildings are damaged - for example, if your business laptop or computer is damaged or stolen.
Legal expenses insurance covers specific legal costs that you could face in the course of running your business. For example, legal expenses may arise from disputes with employees or suppliers, or taking legal action for damage to your business premises. For example: Legal fees cover for an employment dispute or compensation award, or cover for legal action for damage to your business premises. This cover also entitles you to 24/7 legal advice.
It is important to think about where you are selling the products? Will they be going outside the UK, and if so are they likely to be going to the USA or Canada? Insurers will want to know what % of your sales are going to which countries so they can price the cover as countries such as the US are seen as higher risk because they are more likely to sue each other, but this should not put you off.
Finally, it is worth thinking about how your goods are sent to the customer, goods in transit insurance covers the goods from the time they are lifted to when they are unloaded by you or hauliers. If you are using a delivery firm it is worth checking to see if they offer any extended liability cover which would cover your goods should anything go wrong.
If you are selling a service, a coaching program, membership where you are giving advice then professional indemnity insurance will cover compensation claims if you are sued by a client who feels you gave them poor advice or made a mistake that leads to your client suffering a financial loss. While you might not be giving this advice on the live sale it might be provided in the product that is sold to them.
If you provide a service such as dog walking or window cleaner then you might not be offering advice and so public liability insurance might be more appropriate.
Where your service includes hair or beauty services then you should look for an insurance policy that includes professional treatment cover as the last thing you want is to do is cause injury to a client as a result of a treatment. There are also specific insurance policies for holistic therapists as well available in the UK.
If you would like to book a 30-minute 1-2-1 call with me to discuss this in more detail, please pop over to catherinefrance.com to book.
If you need more information about insurance for small businesses download my guide 10 Types of Insurance Every Small Business Needs here - http://eepurl.com/gi4-hb
The information contained above is provided for information purposes only. The contents of this article are not intended to amount to advice, and you should not rely on any of the contents of this article. Professional advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from taking any action as a result of the contents of this article. Catherine France disclaims all liability and responsibility arising from any reliance placed on any of the contents of this article.