I started the business in 2010. Before that, I was already working in recruitment. I had experience in a recruitment agency, and in a HR team, so as a client. By having experience on both sides of the fence, I knew I understood what clients want, better than most other recruiters. I thought there was a gap for a recruitment company, focussed only on corporate governance, that could offer a better level of service than others. Knowing there was a gap, and that I had the right level of experience to meet it, meant I was confident in setting the company up.
Getting insurance in 2010 was not a problem. Luckily I had enough experience to know what sort of cover I needed. I knew I needed professional indemnity to cover my work and that of any contractors I would employ. Employers’ liability insurance is a must when you have staff and public liability is also standard for most companies. The difficulties were deciding on the other types of cover that are out there. Key man insurance and terrorism cover can be really useful for London-based businesses but you have to work out what options you have. Also working out what you need to do to stay compliant is important. For instance, any non-standard contracts have to go to my insurer so you need to be aware of the detail.
Insurance in simple terms
I never have had to make a claim although I have come close. A cup of coffee was spilled on a plug socket and we had an electrician tell us that they needed to do major works and we would not be allowed in the building for about three weeks. Luckily, he had over-reacted and we were back in the next day. However, I was able to speak to my insurer which told me exactly what I could claim for and how I could get alternative offices. It was presented in simple terms, not insurance speak and there wasn’t any game playing over what I could and couldn’t claim for.
Apart from risks that are standard to any business, in recruitment we also have to insure any contract staff and their work. This is totally out of our control, so insurance is important. These contractors also have their own insurance but we need to make sure that the amounts all line up with our liability to the client. And it is important that we keep on top of the contractors’ insurance, to make sure their cover doesn’t lapse and that the chain is complete.
Peace of mind
My insurance is done all in one go, at the same time of year, so it is easy to renew and arrange. Knowing that I have cover for certain situations, such as me being unable to work, really give me peace of mind.
Make sure you have what you need to meet your client’s needs. Some clients insist on bigger limits than others, so don’t get caught out with that. As long as you are meeting the needs of your clients and legal obligations, you can then think about the extra policies you might need. Cyber security cover is becoming more important and could save you a lot of money and headache if the worst does happen. It also isn’t that expensive. Consider your travel insurance needs too. It can be a lot more expensive and time consuming arranging cover for each trip, instead of just taking out an annual policy.
Karla Jobling is founder of job site BeecherMadden.