Why your business needs Terms and Conditions

Glasses lenses resting on a book Here at the hive, our clients do like to grill us about general risk management and good business practice.

And why not? Although we’re not legal advisers, we can at least point you in the right direction.

Every now and then though, we like to turn the tables and get our clients thinking about that sort of thing for themselves (after a gentle nudge in the right direction).

Take this fairly typical conversation about Terms and Conditions for example:

InsuranceBee: OK, Small Consultancy Owner – what do you think are the best ways to protect your business?

Client: Good question. Since you’re a business insurance broker, I’m guessing you want me to say professional liability insurance?

InsuranceBee: Well, naturally! Anything else?

Client: Erm, having a smart lawyer and a wily accountant would probably help. Maybe even a small business adviser too…

InsuranceBee: You’re getting warmer. Have you thought about written Terms and Conditions?

Client: No, not really. Any reason why I should?

InsuranceBee: Yes. They demonstrate your credibility and show that you’re serious about your business (and how you do business).

Client: OK InsuranceBee, I’m intrigued. What else?

InsuranceBee: Well, they form the basis of the contract between you and your client. They lay out the terms upon which you’re doing business and protect your interests in the event of a dispute. And that’s really important.

Client: It certainly is. I can see how they’d be useful but aren’t they a bit heavy-handed for my business? We’re pretty small…

InsuranceBee: Not necessarily. Ts & Cs don’t have to be twenty pages long and drowning in legal terms. If you’re sending a quote or a job spec to a client, a one-page attachment outlining what’s expected from both parties can often suffice.

Every business needs some protection. Small needn’t mean vulnerable after all…

Client: Good point. I think I’ll look into it. How do I get started?

InsuranceBee: Although you know your business and your clients better than anyone else, it’s best not to try and write your own Ts & Cs. We recommend getting in touch with a legal professional – ideally a lawyer who’s a specialist in your area of business.

Give them a good idea about what you do and how you work. It shouldn’t take too much time to draw up Ts & Cs that match your procedures.

Client: Brilliant. I will. Thanks for the tip InsuranceBee, you’re the best.

 

InsuranceBee: Steady. People will think this isn’t a real conversation.

Client: Yep. Sorry. Oh, one more thing: will having Ts & Cs make any difference to my insurance?

InsuranceBee: There’s no specific discount available, no. But, crucially, it does show insurers that you’re thinking about your risks and you take your business seriously. You’re a professional professional in other words.

That counts for a lot and it could mean a rate reduction over time.

Client: Fair enough, I’ll bear that in mind. Thanks again InsuranceBee.

InsuranceBee: No problem.

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