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The importance of insuring company assets

When you leave your house, you lock your front door to protect your personal belongings inside. But, are you protecting your company’s assets in the same way?

Insuring company equipment and protecting company assets is an important part of ensuring the longevity and success of your business.

Company assets cover anything that your company owns that is of value, including cash, stocks, bonds, any raw materials, land, buildings, computers, furniture; and intangible assets such as patents, copyrights and intellectual property.

Insuring company equipment

You can insure company assets of any size or worth, from mobile phones to laptops to heavy duty construction machinery.

If any of your company equipment or property is damaged or destroyed, you must not only factor in the cost of replacing the items, but also the business income you will lose as a result of the equipment not being available.

  • Read the small print to make sure that you are covered for everything you need to be and that the policy covers all eventualities such as theft, fire, floods, etc
  • Ensure you update your insurance policy when you buy more company equipment to guarantee all new purchases are covered
  • Remember, premises insurance only covers the building, not the contents
  • Make sure you choose insurance that covers the replacement cost of the equipment rather than the actual cash value. It may be slightly more expensive, but will ensure that you can claim for the cost of your company assets in the event of destruction
  • You can ask your insurance company for a business equipment insurance consultation to make sure you are covered for every possible scenario
  • In most cases, contents will be insured against theft providing there has been forcible entry (or exit) to the building. If your company building is damaged as a result of the theft (or attempted theft), this will usually be covered also
  • You may need a separate policy to insure against theft by an employee
  • With the right business insurance, you can relax in the knowledge that your company assets are safe, allowing you to get on with the important business

Protecting company assets

  • Company assets include things that cannot be seen, or that only exist on paper or hard drives. Intangible company assets such as these can be more difficult to insure and much more difficult to recover if lost or damaged. However, there are policies you can put in place to protect your assets.
  • When looking at insurance policies, add up the cost of recovering computer data and all other electronic information on top of the cost of replacing/repairing your computer hardware
  • Apply for patents, copyrights and trademarks on all intellectual property. These legal documents will detail your ownership and protect you legally. You can apply to the relevant governmental departments for all patents and trademarks
  • Password protect your company computers and safes, and lock your filing cabinets. These measures can restrict access to confidential or proprietary information
  • Back up all important and relevant data. Digital documents should ideally be backed up on a server that is in a different location to the one your company uses
  • Employment agreements should stipulate that all employees have a right to keep company information confidential, and that any original material developed in the course of an employee's time at the company remains the property of the business