In safe hands. Business protection for sole traders

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1 In safe hands Business protection for sole traders

2 How secure is your financial future? As a sole trader the success of your business depends on you your skills, your judgement, your drive. In turn you and your family probably rely on your business for your financial security the money you make pays for life s essentials and its luxuries. That s why you ve almost certainly insured your business against physical threats such as fire and flood, and legal problems such as a claim for damages by a member of the public. But what about the risks that you face personally? Without you there is no business, and without your business, the financial foundations of your family s lifestyle may no longer be there. If you die or suffer an illness that leaves you unable to run your business, your family could face serious financial problems. So doesn t it make sense to treat it like any other business risk and put plans in place to help to protect yourself and the people you care about? This guide has been based on our understanding of current legislation and looks at the ways you can help make your and your family s financial future more secure. 2

3 What happens to your business if you die? The need Although in some cases businesses do survive the death of a sole trader, if you die your business will probably cease to exist. And with your income gone, how will your family continue to pay the mortgage and other bills? You might think your business could be sold, but this could be difficult without you there to run it. Even if the business could be sold, who would buy it? And for how much? Are these problems you want your dependants to inherit? While these aren t pleasant things to think about, it s important to make plans to help to protect the people you care about. A possible solution Life assurance pays out a cash sum on the death of the person whose life it covers. So by taking out a life assurance plan you can help your family to be more financially secure if the worst happens. The amount and type of cover you ll need will depend on your individual circumstances. If you have a mortgage then you ll almost certainly want it paid off in the event of your death and, as a sole trader, you may have business loans that you want repaid too. You might need life cover to last for a fixed period or for your whole lifetime. The amount of cover might be highest at the start, but fall off when your children cease to be dependent. To make sure you have the right cover and that it s arranged in the right way for the benefit of the right people we recommend speaking to an adviser. They will help you to work out what s best for you, taking into account your individual circumstances. 3

4 What happens to your business if you become seriously ill? The need Would your business survive if you were diagnosed with one of the critical illnesses covered by a critical illness plan such as cancer, a heart attack or a stroke? But for how long? It still takes time to recover, and that s time your business will have to either cope without you or go on hold. Possible solution Critical illness cover pays out a cash sum if you are diagnosed with one of the critical illnesses covered by the critical illness plan these will include cancer, heart attack and stroke. Zurich does not cover all types of cancer, heart attacks or strokes. Please refer to the terms and conditions for full details. By taking out a critical illness plan you are more likely to have the money and time you need to recuperate without the pressure of having to rush back to work to keep your business running. By taking out a critical illness plan you could help your family to be more financially secure if you became critically ill. Your adviser will be able to tell you how you can combine critical illness cover and life assurance in one plan, which may save you money. 4

5 What happens if you re unable to work because of illness or injury? The need As a sole trader, no work probably means no income, and depending on how long your absence lasts, this could cause financial problems for you and your family. How will you meet any mortgage or loan repayments, and be able to continue your standard of living while you re ill? A possible solution Income protection insurance pays you a regular income if you have an illness or an accident that prevents you from working. The maximum amount of income you can replace through insurance is broadly the after-tax earnings you have lost less an adjustment for State benefits you can claim. This usually translates into a maximum of, say 50% to 65% of your before-tax earnings. The tax position will depend on your particular circumstances, although you should be aware the tax position may change in the future. It is possible to reduce the payments you make to a plan by opting for a longer period before the first payment is made to you. This is called a deferred period. The longer the deferred period you choose, the lower your payment will be. Deferred periods typically last from one month to one year. Your adviser will be able to help you decide how much cover you need, what deferred period suits you best and how you can combine income protection insurance, critical illness cover and life assurance in one plan, which could save you money. Please bear in mind you may be charged for any advice. 5

6 Why Zurich Assurance Ltd? Making things simple While protecting your financial future is important, we understand you also have a business to run. So, we make it easy to take out the plan you need: In many cases we ll give you free cover while we re assessing your application. If we need additional information from you, we ll tell you about everything we need at the same time. If we need you to undergo a medical examination, we ll arrange it with your own doctor where possible, but if appropriate, it may also be possible to carry this out at your home or workplace using a mobile doctor. We ll keep in touch with you throughout the life of your plan and will send you an update each year so you always have the full picture. There when you need us We make claiming on your plan as simple and hassle-free as possible by paying valid claims promptly with the minimum of fuss. In 2014, we paid out a total of million in protection insurance benefits. We paid 116 million in death claims, 63.1 million in critical illness claims and 11.8 million in illness or disability claims. Meeting your protection needs We offer a range of protection plans to help you safeguard the financial future of your business, its employees and your family. We believe it s important to review the level of protection you have as your circumstances change. So our protection plans have special event benefits that allow you to increase your cover without providing further evidence of your health. You can find full details of this in your terms and conditions. Meeting your business protection needs To find out how our range of business protection plans can mean more peace of mind for you and your family, please speak to your adviser. They will be able to give you advice on the solutions you need and put together a financial protection package that will help make the financial future for you, your family and your business more secure. Award winning If your adviser needs to contact us about your business protection needs you can be sure that we will provide excellent service and support as, from , Zurich was awarded Best Business Protection Provider and in 2014 Zurich were highly commended from Business Moneyfacts. 6

7 Important information This information is intended for customers working with their adviser, who will help them understand the information. If you are reading this without the help of an adviser, we recommend you take financial advice to help you decide on your appropriate protection approach. Please bear in mind you may be charged for any advice received. Who Zurich are Zurich is a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. With over 55,000 employees, we provide a wide range of general insurance and life insurance products and services. We serve individuals, small businesses, and mid-sized and large companies, including multinational corporations, in more than 170 countries. 7

8 DP (02/15) RRD Zurich Assurance Ltd Registered in England and Wales under company number Registered Office: The Grange, Bishops Cleeve, Cheltenham, GL52 8XX. Telephone no We may record or monitor calls to improve our service.

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