Over time, we are seeing record high numbers of infections and deaths as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. The worsening outbreak is taking a devastating toll on countless individuals and the communities they live in.
Lockdown and circuit breaker measures have not only created social isolation problems but also affected the livelihoods of numerous businesses. As people stay home, it becomes increasingly difficult for businesses to operate as usual as traffic drops. Restaurants, bars, retail outlets and entertainment venues are all being ordered to close physical outlets. We are also noticing an increase in diversified product and service offerings online where small, family-owned or independent businesses are appealing to the public to continue supporting them.
The compounded effects of the pandemic are causing ripple effects on the health and sustainability of many businesses – especially small medium enterprises. In good times and bad, business insurance plays a significant role in protecting the financial losses, legal liabilities and employee-related risks.
Expat Insurance is the leading insurance broker and solutions provider for globally-mobile expatriates. Not only do we offer employee related medical insurance, we also offer business protection plans for both SMEs and corporations.
Find out more about our services here.
How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting businesses?
With a pandemic of epic proportions such as this one, business owners are faced with complex and new challenges. Not only do they need to navigate financial and operational problems, they are also tasked with ensuring their employees are protected, be it through medical insurance plans or offering support as they transition to remote work in the time being. Business protection becomes a priority for these CEOs – be it through insurance or stabilising revenues and managing operational changes.
In just over 5 months, we can see the far-reaching impacts on the economy – outlined by sharp declines in sales, foot traffic and queries for businesses. With the exception of supermarkets – where panic buying had boosted sales – departmental retailers saw a decline of 36.3 per cent. Despite takeaway made available, food and beverage services were still hard hit. The rise in unemployment numbers is another indication.
Challenges brought on by the coronavirus pandemic can be unprecedented in scale and complexity. Now that governments and institutions are offering support packages for small businesses, you may wonder – how exactly does business insurance help in times like these?
Business Insurance: What are they? How do they help?
The purpose of business insurance is to primarily protect your business. Business insurance plans, of course, vary in terms of the purpose, coverage and dependants or entities covered within them. From safeguarding financial assets to employee medical insurance packages, insurance for SMEs and corporations often encompass a range of needs.
Business insurance is an integral part of any business plan – set-up, sustenance and adaptation phase. When it comes to insurance needs for SMEs, business owners need to recognise the impact of sudden losses. Businesses, big or small, all face risk of losses but the scale and level of risk undertaken by small businesses can be far more damaging if they are not accounted for in planning.
What are some of the Covid-2019 Business Support measures?
There are a couple of business support measures that have already been put into place to help businesses survive falling growth forecasts, increasing uncertainty and changes in demand.
Tackling the 3 C’s business owners have in mind – cash flow, credit and cost – the Resilience Budget will be implementing several initiatives to support businesses to cover and contain any burgeoning costs brought on by the drastic shortfall in business.
For instance, the Enhanced Jobs Support Scheme will be targeting the needs of aviation, tourism and travel industries, for these sectors are harder hit than others. Likewise, the Property Tax Rebate will enable rental waivers and freezing of government fees and charges for a year.
Other measures include a $350 million aviation support package to provide rental relief for cargo agents, airlines and ground handlers. The arts sector will also receive financial support in the form of a $55 million package – primarily focusing on upskilling, digitisation and job security.
Compulsory Business Insurance
Taking risks in business can pay off, but if there is one thing Covid-2019 has taught us it is the importance of protection. Business insurance is much more than a mere regulatory requirement.
Regardless of whether Covid-2019 is an insured event, there are several business protection plans for SMEs that can prove to be helpful to secure in the case of any disruption or risks your business may face. Small business insurance plans mainly revolve around three categories: property and legal liability issues, employee-related topics and the business itself.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
If your business falls under the category of consulting or offering professional services to clients, professional indemnity is one part of essential business protection insurance. Professional Indemnity kicks in when the management of client expectations leads to negligence or misrepresentation.
Work Injury Insurance
Work-related injuries may be uncommon, but not completely non-existent. Work injury compensation is a crucial component of business insurance – it protects the business from any legal claims arising due to the injuries sustained by employees during the course of employment.
Business Insurance for Cyber Risks
One aspect that many businesses take for granted is the realness of cyber threats and risks present online. In an technologically advanced economy like ours, cyber risks continue to evolve and pose a problem for businesses large and small.
Business insurance can prove to be very useful in times of crisis – helping you avoid any major issues that can crop up as a result of impending cyber attacks.
Employee Health Insurance
It goes without saying that your employees remain a priority – even during the most volatile of times. Protecting your employees by incorporating medical insurance into business protection plans – for both SME and corporation-level companies – can be effective in improving loyalty, motivation and productivity levels.
It also reflects well on company values and goals, ultimately showing itself in work quality as employees trust and work harder for the companies that care for them.
Finding The Right Business Protection Plans For Your SME
The current pandemic is an eye-opener to businesses – it highlights the fragility and unpredictability of economic circumstances in our current climate. An accurate manifestation of the VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and unpredictable) environment – the coronavirus outbreak reinforces the importance of safeguarding businesses (SMEs and corporations alike) from unprecedented risks. Regardless of whether Covid-19 is an insured event, there is no better time to revisit and refine business insurance plans. It is not too late to invest in SME insurance packages for added assurance.
Not only businesses, but individuals themselves are experiencing feelings of exasperation and fear as the future looks uncertain.
To understand how we can help you with small business insurance plans, contact our team today to discuss.