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Insurance for new PA hire company


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Hi everyone. So I'm in the process of starting a PA hire company, and am looking at the different types of insurance that have been recommended I should consider. I'm not sure if I need ALL of these, so am looking for advice as to which types of cover I should be looking at as a necessity, and which are more of a 'nice to have'.


The types suggested to me so far are...


· Professional indemnity insurance


· Public liability insurance


· Van insurance


· Contract dispute insurance


· Income protection and critical illness cover policies


· Equipment insurance


· Van contents insurance.



For those you think are must-haves, can you suggest a limit that I should be insured up to? (£1m, £5m, £10m seem to be common levels I've heard of)


Thank you.

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You have to have Vehicle Insurance and Public Liability Insurance to trade legally. PLI of £5M is the most common I've seen but some clients - airlines for example - may require higher before you can work for them . Look at their T&C. If you have staff, or are supplying crew, even self employed freelancers you need Employers Liability Insurance and you should keep a record of their PLI policy number as part of you H&S plan. If you use crewing companies to supply local crew you should keep their H&S policy on record.


The other types of insurance are not compulsary and depend on your view of risk, whether they will ever pay out given their terms and conditions and whether you can afford them.


Things like income protection, illness and van contents insurance can be very difficult to claim for so you should read the policies very carefully and realise that you will get a hard sell. You can end up insuring against absolutely everything and the combined premiums won't allow you to make any profit. You need to sit down with pen and paper and work out your business plan. If you only supply quality clients and know what you are doing you will need things like contract dispute insurance so rarely that it will be better to walk away with an unpaid loss a few times over a career rather than pay out a premium for 35+ years.


You need to sit down with quotes for non legally essential insurance and work out what impact they will have on your business model, then only you can decide your attitude to risk and what is best for you.

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so am looking for advice as to which types of cover I should be looking at as a necessity, and which are more of a 'nice to have'.


Are you trading as a sole trader or as a limited company as this affects your personnal liability.


Also, are you employing others as you have omitted Employers Liability Insurance.


Most insurance is nice to have when it pays out, the lack of some can leave you out of pocket, or in court. I never insured my toolkit or PC's when I was contracting, I also never lost them, so I "saved" money, if I had lost them I would have been out several £1,000's, it was a risk and I won, mainly by keeping them close by me and never leaving on site.


If you search on the forum there is a story of a member whose company had to claim for total loss of equipment ,you need to decide what level and type of "equipment insurance" you want.


Remember if you have committed to provide equipment to someone, even if you have terms and conditions that absolve you of any responsibility if you are denied the use of your equipment for any reason and cannot supply your kit, you will need to provide a substitue set of equipment if you want to keep the business, and a replacement at short notice may not come cheap.


You need to have a business plan that takes all the risks and costs into account, else you are going to have an expensive hobby.

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Some great advice here. Thanks for the quick replies! I'm to be trading as a Limited company, so how does this affect the types of insurance I should require?


Reading on another thread, I see there are a few recommended PLI companies that could assist me here. (Robertson-Taylor, Doodsons, Oval Insurance & Precision Broking ) I've tried ringing around a few other places and they've not been able to provide me with a quote for cover - and weren't very forthcoming with the reasons why - just saying that the requirements fall outside the remit of the company they underwrite for... not very helpful!

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We are a niche market. A lot of underwriters don't understand the risks enough to write a sensible quote. For example if you tell your motor insurance company that you work in rock and roll they will tell you that you drive Adele home each night in your car and quote a massive premium accordingly. To get what you want at a sensible premium try the tried and tested first and then give the others a chance but you do need to read the T&C of the others very carefully.
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If you are after an insurance company that is easy to deal with, I would suggest Allan Chapman and James. I have had insurance with them for a little while now and although I have luckily not needed to make a claim, all my dealings with them have been easy and straight-forward. They offered us a very competitive quote when compared to other quotes. They have always been happy to answer questions and help out however they can, so give them a try if you are stuck.
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I'd agree with peoples comments. We've made it onto some list somewhere, that has meant I've had two calls in the last 24hrs trying to better my current deal for our 'Business Insurance'.


Every time a broadline insurer rings they tell me that they definitely can save me money. Which I tell them they won't so we may as well finish it there, but they are adamant they can. I explain that I'll effectively empty the warehouse to any punter with the right ID and a credit card, and that that could well be over £250k's worth of kit, and they go quiet. Tell them I currently have £10m PLI, and that we work up to 20m in the air and the phone usually goes silent...


So ring the usual suspects you've already mentioned. My vote goes to Doodsons. They know what and how the industry works, and because of that they can usually also get other policies for a good rate - we have our motor policy through Doodsons too.

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