AS the cost of living crisis continues to push businesses and households to the brink in Northern Ireland, there are concerns that the worst may still be to come.
This month hospitality chiefs reported that around three businesses are closing each week in Northern Ireland as the cost of keeping the doors open spirals out of control.
Businesses are pointing to their costs increasing right across the board, making it very difficult to continue trading. Many say their long-term plans are being torn up and they are instead concentrating on survival for the next number of months.
One of the biggest challenges for businesses presently are the surging energy costs. The Utility Regulator has said Northern Ireland must brace itself for high prices for the next three years.
After the uncertainty of the pandemic, businesses have been left with a very challenging landscape which will require careful planning if they are to successfully chart a course to survival.
One strategy is to ensure all of your insurance policies are tailor-made to meet the exacting demands of your business.
The best brokers will help you analyse your business needs which in uncertain times can be the safety net you need. The level of cover you had just 12 months ago may not be adequate in 2022.
In changing times, it is important you keep abreast of any changing insurance requirements.
In addition to business insurance a specialism worth considering in the current climate, especially as a number of businesses are failing is credit insurance.
Credit insurance protects the policyholder in the event of a buyer becoming insolvent or defaulting on payment which in turn protects your cash flow.
No-one is suggesting a buyer enters into an agreement in bad faith, but during times when cashflow can be crucial to survival, having a policy in place as a back-up could be the support you need to chart your own course to survival, should a partner go out of business.
A credit insurance policy gives you access to good quality information helping you make informed decisions when granting credit facilities to customers. It facilitates growth with security and allows you to deal confidently with new clients and extend credit lines to existing ones.
Meanwhile, nearly every corner shop, salon, florist, dental surgery or office-based business will need employer’s liability as it is required by law if you have any staff.
A good shop and office insurance policy can include public and products liability, employer’s liability, accidental damage, theft of money, fire, flood, storm and accidental damage to your buildings, contents, stock and business equipment, shop frontage, glass & signage, goods in transit, business interruption and legal expenses
A broker’s job is to help you assess any additional elements of cover you may need, so you have a tailored package that safeguards you against a wide range of risks to your business.
The best brokers take the time to understand the risks and challenges associated with your specific business and advise you accordingly.
Conor Murphy is commercial account executive at AbbeyAutoline.