Start-ups are changing the face of the economy in the UAE. With technological advancements and evolving customer demand, a whole new generation of products, services and brands are being born. From eCommerce to Tech, Financial Services to Retail, ambitious start-ups are challenging the established players in their respective markets.

Whilst there are plenty of opportunities, starting your own business comes with its own risks, and things may not always go as planned. Having invested so much time and money in your new business venture, could you afford to lose what you’ve built up before you’ve even started to see a return? Having the right insurance cover can give you some peace of mind and the confidence to take decisions and move forward in your start-up journey.

Here are some reasons why insurance needs to be at the start of your start-up!

Keeps Your Business Up & Running

Business insurance should be at the top of your ‘to do’ list: ensuring you’re protected against unforeseen risks and events, while minimising your exposure to any nasty surprises like fines, in the process.

Gives Your Business Credibility

Your business insurance does more than protect your business. Having the right policies shows your customers and contractors that you take managing risk seriously. It also helps communicate to everyone that you’ll provide the right protection, in case the worst happens.

Guards Human Resource

If you’re building and managing a team, it’s vital that you protect your employees from various types of risks: the main requirements being Employers’ Liability (Workmens’ Compensation) Insurance.

Helps Attract & Retain Employees

Having the correct insurance in place gives employees a sense of security; while offering benefits such as health insurance, helps to incentivise your employees to build a career with you as their employer.

Helps Win Over Investors

Having insurance gives you credibility by showing your investors that you’re committed to protecting your business and their investment in it.

If You’re Offering Advice

If you’re offering a professional service or advice: even online: then you could be liable if a client proves you have been negligent in the provision of that advice or service and they’ve lost out financially as a result. Professional Indemnity Insurance (PI) can offer you a defence in such cases and takes care of any legal or compensation bills if the claim is upheld.

If You Have an Office & Infrastructure

If you have business premises, a good Commercial Property policy is a must. Offering cover for your Buildings (if applicable), Contents & Equipment, such policies provide insurance against a range of insured perils (Specified Perils) or “All Risks” (a range of perils including accidental damage). Note: All-risk policies cover events except for those expressly excluded. Peril-specific policies list particular perils such as fire, flood, lightning, explosion, etc

You Have Got Data

It might be the big brands that hit the headlines, but SMEs are just as much of a target for hackers. Cyber liability insurance offers protections against hidden risks such as malware, ransomware and data protection breaches.

It’s Legally Mandatory

There are some risks that you have to insure against to make sure you’re within the law. These include essential medical insurance for your employees (eg. DHA cover if in Dubai and equivalent in other Emirates); Workmens’ Compensation (including Employers’ Liability) offering protection against injury, disease or death caused by employment duties; and motor insurance for your vehicles (minimum cover requirement here being Third Party Liability).

You’ve Got a Great Idea or Product!

Having done your research and designed your concept or product, protect your creativity and potential market share with an Intellectual Property policy. Designed to protect you against any attack on your brand, poaching of ideas or infringements of copyright/design/patent against you, this is really worth considering.

Research of over 100 start-ups found that unforeseen events and lack of cash or insufficient liquid reserves to cover those events were the second highest reason for failure. Don’t become a start-up statistic: be a start-up success and protect your business today!

About Author

Rachel Al Mughairi

About Author

With over 34 years in the international insurance industry in a variety of senior management roles, and as holder of the Diploma in Insurance from the Chartered Insurance Institute, Rachel surely knows her insurance! With experience in London, continental Europe and the Middle East, Rachel is here to share her knowledge and help you understand more about insurance products in this easy-to-understand series of videos and blogs.