I started my business coach company as a franchisee of ActionCOACH in 2008. At the time, I had just finished a ten-year career which had been split between Sussex and Guernsey Police Forces in various specialist roles. The latest role had been as a training and development officer, and this had involved creating, delivering and refining training courses for new and existing police officers as well as designing recruitment tests and delivering them.
I chose the ActionCOACH franchise as I had enjoyed serving my community as a police officer, but after suffering a severe knee injury I was not physically able to do so ongoing in the roles which excited me. I did however still want to contribute and help my community to be better. When I learnt about the role of a business coach and how it would bring more enjoyment, opportunity and success to business owners whilst simultaneously improving customer experience, creating job opportunities and ultimately enhancing the economy, I simply had to be part of that.
An introduction to insurance
When I first started out as a business coach I was actually very unclear on what the different insurances I would require might be. When I researched it online, I found that I also did not understand the terminology, the restrictions and exemptions within the initial documents I found as examples. This caused me some anxiety and it also made me uncertain of the types and levels of cover which I may need. Fortunately, when I contacted an insurer directly I was rewarded with some clearer and more helpful advice. The adviser spoke to me at length via phone, asked me several relevant questions and some which I did not get the context of initially, but upon explanation showed a really useful ‘cover all bases’ approach.
When our insurance package was put together I was confident that it was going to meet my needs, and it was clearly put together with some guidance notes so that I could more easily interpret the legal jargon which was required. Our company provides advisory services to business owners, and, while our agreements with clients have limitation clauses against loss or actions taken based upon our advice, it was still good to know that our advisory capacity was backed by relevant cover.
Cover for employers to know about
As an employer, I also needed to have cover for public liability as well as employer liability, and both became important when I had an employee suffer a fall on some loose carpeting on a stairway. This was a scary incident for me as a business owner and when the inevitable claim arrived from the employee it was very reassuring to know that we had cover in place and should be secure. The claim was processed and a modest payout was made, all supported by our insurer professionally and efficiently guiding us on how and when to respond, record and communicate. Overall, while it was an unpleasant experience, it was one which could have been a whole lot worse and a lot more stressful had we not had the required cover or the appropriate support.
I would say it is a specialist area, and the advisers in insurance companies have been trained in how to identify risk and guide on what is required. It is not a ‘colour by numbers’ issue and the value of good advice, detailed review of cover options and the recommendations provided are all important. The world of insurance is changing with the move towards more and more comparison sites and online advice, but from my perspective getting decent, considered and involved guidance is essential. Whatever you are insuring, you need to be confident and the cheapest is rarely the best or most appropriate… as with other areas of life, you tend to get what you pay for and the risk protection and support is worth the extra.
Tim Rylatt is founder of Performance Business Coaching.