We live in a blame culture, and if you run a business, you need to do all you can to prevent a customer or client from suing. On the world wide web, there really is nowhere to hide, meaning you need to be careful with everything you post. If you own a shop, you also need to keep the environment safe so customers cannot hurt themselves and make a claim. Here are some top tips for preventing any costly claims to your business.
Insure Your Business
Claims can be detrimental to your business and can not only harm your reputation but could be the ultimate breakdown of your business, especially if you are just starting up and don’t have the funding to pay out a considerable claim. Any business, no matter the size, can benefit from general liability insurance. The Hartford offers businesses in all industries the chance to protect themselves against everything from theft to breaking copyright infringement laws. In business, everybody makes mistakes, and you shouldn’t let your mistake hold your business back.
Having general liability insurance can keep you safe, knowing if the worst were to happen, you are covered and will get the necessary help you need. The cost of this insurance will depend on many factors, including the location of your business (if you live in an area where natural disasters often occur, you are likely to pay more to be protected) and what industry you work in. Some industries are at a higher risk of claims than others, but this can be discussed with the company. If you want to see how much general liability insurance costs, you can get an instant quote. The cost of insurance compared to the cost of claims is well worth the added expense to your business.
Protect your business by thinking carefully about anything you post on the internet – once it is out there, it is never entirely erased. If you own a shop or office, follow health and safety guidance, and protect your essential files from being lost or stolen. Insure your business to protect your company should anything go wrong.
Another way your business may be at risk of paying out is through a breach of technology or loss of data. Mostly all companies now work and store data on computers, with paper information being a thing of the past. While this can make it easier to store and access information easily, this does come with a whole new world of problems. Knowing what could happen and how to protect your information will keep your business data safe. Only trusted employees should have access to personal data, and every employee needs a unique login ID, so you can track who is accessing what if a data breach does occur.
Your computer systems need the most up-to-date antivirus software, and you should be using a cloud back-up service in the case of a natural disaster or breakdown. Can you still work if your computer decides to malfunction? If the answer is no, a cloud back-up service is critical to access important information wherever you are.
Think Before You Post
While you may have started as a small business, if you have gained traction in recent months, you need to be aware that customers can see what you had posted from when you first started. You have seen enough times in the news how trolls and fans have scoured the internet to find old posts by celebrities, which has gotten them in a whole load of trouble. You need to be careful from the get-go, and if you believe there may be anything linked to your account, you need to go right back to the beginning and ensure nothing is incriminating related to your company.
This also means keeping your personal life and business life separate. Train your employees, and be sure that they understand what can happen if they post anything offensive or unrelated to your business. Reputational harm can cost your business upwards of $50,000 in court, so avoid criticizing competitors or the public and never post anything you don’t have the permissions for.
Follow Health and Safety Guidelines
Another common claim made by customers is trips, slips, and falls. Ensuring you follow health and safety guidelines, and having your health and safety manual in place for your business, complete with risk assessments, will limit your chance of being sued. If you are sued, and you have been found to be complying with the law, and the fall cannot be proven to be your fault, you won’t have to payout.
Ensure you have adequate lighting and CCTV devices installed at your business location, so if a customer does make a claim, you have video evidence of what happened. Unfortunately, some customers will try to make a false claim. The more evidence you can provide that you comply with the law, the less chance you have of being made to payout.