I am one of these newer generation workforce employees or bosses! With the enhanced internet connectivity we find many more entrepreneurs doing their own thing and working from behind their laptops, tablets and smartphones!
This is found especially amongst the somewhat younger generation and those who have carved a business career doing consulting services!
What are some of the main characteristics of the mobile worker?
– Overheads are lowered by not buying a business property and having tens of people working for you.
– You rent a working space and often share working space with other businesses.
– You meet in coffee shops or travel to the business premises of your clients.
– You are more focused on technology and rather pay a bit extra to ensure internet connectivity!
What are the major business risks?
This is no environment for the worker who needs an 8am -5pm job with all the extra employee benefits. It is true as some have said you leave your 8hour job to become your own boss so you can work 12 hours a day!
It is most important for the business owner or mobile employee to ensure the safety of business assets and intellectual capital that remains on the move all the time! As the mobile worker might not have the security net of group life and disability cover he should be more focused on ensuring that loved ones are cared for when he is there no more. His vehicle becomes one of his primary assets to ensure and he needs to know everything about car insurance and contents cover.
As the mobile worker is on the internet much of the time, he will use this medium to do research on the best insurance products available and is also more likely to make a purchasing decision on the internet.
Last week I travelled to Johannesburg for meetings from Wednesday to Friday. For most of the meetings all I needed was to take the iPad along to the boardroom. On Friday morning however I took my laptop into the boardroom at Imperial in Bedfordview and for some unexplainable reason left without the laptop. [yes – there are no pills for stupidity!]
The afternoon, returning to Bloemfontein, the receptionist at Imperial gave me a call and alerted me to having left behind my laptop. I am fortunate that it was well cared for and that it could be returned safely wrapped in bubble wrap etc via courier on Monday!
This however was a very clear warning – and I asked myself the following questions:
– What if my laptop got stolen or smashed in a car crash?
– What would I be losing and how long would it take to replace not only the movable asset /laptop, but also to return to full capacity with my work?
– When last have I made back-up of data and emails on the computer?
– How can I better protect and insure from potential losses if there is a business interruption?
I have browsed through the websites of some of the direct insurers and found insurance cover that could go a long way to ensuring that my business does not suffer all the devastating consequences from mishaps:
Car Insurance Cover: You simply cannot go without having comprehensive insurance if you are a mobile worker! Emergency roadside assistance would be another nice add-on!
Death and Disability Cover: If you have loved ones depending on you it is irresponsible to go without death and disability cover. You might also have colleagues and workers and will need to ensure that the necessary key person insurance is in place. Also talk to an expert on buy-sell agreements etc.
Personal Accident Insurance: If you are on the road often it might be important to consider insurance aimed at covering this specific hazard. Personal Accident Insurance allows you to cover your business partners or employees in case of accidental death or disability, directly caused by an accident. [The death or disability has to occur within 12 months of this injury.]
Remember to also mention items that are normally taken with you (e.g. laptops), etc that will fall under the OUT-of-the-Office section. What about business interruption cover (financial losses that you suffer because you’re unable to do business as usual) and maybe also money cover or stock-in-transit cover?
Business Contents Insurance: It is important to insure not only those items that may remain at a shared office space, but also those items that are normally taken with you (e.g. laptops). At OUTsurance this will fall under the OUT-of-the-Office section. You could also apply for stand-alone cover for your electronic equipment (i.e. licensed software, scanners, printers, audio or visual equipment, or electronic industrial equipment) – you don’t need to take out contents insurance first.
Business Interruption Cover: This is described as follows by OUTsurance: “We’ll cover financial losses you suffer due to the interruption of your business. The business interruption must be as a result of a loss following a valid claim on your building, contents, electronic equipment or stock.
You can cover financial loss relating to monthly fixed expenses payable; monthly operating profit because of a reduction in turnover; or any additional working expenses incurred.
You can apply for optional comprehensive subsidence cover where you’ll receive cover in case of any downward movement of land caused by natural shifts, human activity, volume changes in clay-based soil caused by changes in moisture levels, as well as normal settlement, shrinkage or expansion of soil supporting the structure.
At OUTsurance, you can add optional theft cover to your existing business interruption cover. This means that if you submit a valid theft claim on your existing buildings, contents, stock or electronic equipment cover, you will also be able to claim for additional financial losses caused by the interruption of your business.”
There are many things we cannot prevent. As we go through challenging financial times there are business risks out of our control. We can however protect ourselves from many other risks and loss threatening our business by considering a variety of insurance products available! Take the time and avoid emergency measures when it is too late!