It is widely acknowledged that companies insure their valuable assets – from property and equipment to product inventories. Still, many overlook a critical element that can gravely affect their business’s continuity and success – the so-called ‘key person’. What is a ‘key person’, you may ask? Simply put, it’s an individual whose expertise, experience, leadership, or skills are deemed crucial to the business’s operations or profitability. Therefore, the idea of ‘key person cover’ emerges, serving as a lifeline for companies against the financial losses associated with losing such an invaluable person. But herein lies the bone of contention; too often, business owners view key person cover as an expense rather than an investment.
Key person cover is an insurance policy a business can avail to safeguard against potential financial harm should a ‘key person’ become unable to work due to illness, injury or death. Typically, the policy amount reimburses the loss of profits, covers the cost of hiring or training replacements, compensates for lost business opportunities, or pays off loans the key person was responsible for.
Now, one may argue that the cost of premiums discourages businesses, particularly small or medium-sized enterprises, from investing in key person cover. However, this viewpoint is often shortsighted, failing to consider the financial hit a business can take should they lose a vital team member.
Think of it, if you lose your property, you’ve undoubtedly lost a substantial asset; however, the property or machinery can be replaced, rebuilt, or repaired. But can you replace a person’s unique skills, experience, or customer relationships they’ve nurtured over years? The answer, unfortunately, is no. That’s where key person cover steps in as a vital business strategy, not as a cost but a vital investment towards risk management.
Understanding the value key person cover provides, we can start appreciating its importance. Any business firm, no matter how big or small, depends on key individuals for its growth and survival. Hence, losing a key person may cause severe disruption to business operations, resulting in loss of sales, reduced production, delinquencies in loan repayment, and more. All of these could lead the business toward bankruptcy.
To illustrate further, let us take a real-world example. In 2015, following the death of Nintendo’s President, Satoru Iwata, the company’s shares fell by almost 18% overnight. This instant devaluation was due to fears about the company’s future leadership and strategy, underscoring the crucial role a key person plays in maintaining investor confidence and overall business stability.
Moreover, if the key person was a guarantor for business loans, their death or disability might lead creditors to demand immediate repayment, putting strain on the firm’s cash flow. Therefore, key person coverage not just protects the business’s profitability, but also its financial key person cover stability.
Looking at these potential consequences, it’s evident why this form of coverage shouldn’t be seen as a mere expense. Instead, it’s an investment helping businesses mitigate potential financial risks, ensure business continuity, protect against losses, and maintain stability during unexpected, unfortunate events. It’s an essential piece of the puzzle when shaping a business’s future financial security.
Purchasing key person cover should be considered an investment toward ensuring the smooth continuity of the business. Sure, the initial cost may seem overwhelming for some, particularly for smaller businesses. But remember, this cover plays a pivotal role in securing your business’s future. Therefore, it becomes crucial for businesses to consider key person cover as a necessary provision rather than a burdensome cost.
In conclusion, the real question for businesses shouldn’t be whether they can afford key person cover but whether they can afford to forego it. Hence, it cannot be overstated enough; key person cover is not a cost, but an investment. An investment that ensures the business remains financially secure and operative even in the face of adversity. Therefore, embracing key person cover is embracing a culture of risk management and long-term business sustainability.