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  • Writer's pictureJosh Cuttance

Safeguarding Your Business with Key Person and Shareholder Life Insurance

couple meeting with insurance provider

In the life of a business owner, preparing for unforeseen circumstances is as crucial as strategising for success. For those steering the ship of a business, especially in small enterprises, two types of insurance covers – Shareholder Life Cover and Key Person Insurance – can be vital in ensuring the continuity and stability of your business.

Assessing Your Business Structure: Key Person Insurance or Shareholder Life Cover?

Before delving into specifics, it's essential to recognise that the relevance of these insurance policies largely hinges on your business structure. If you're running the business solo or you're the key person upon whose expertise and leadership the business heavily relies, Key Person Insurance is your go-to cover. It ensures that your business can keep running even if you're unable to contribute due to critical illness or other incapacitating conditions.

On the other hand, if you're in a partnership or have fellow shareholders, it's prudent to consider Shareholder Life Cover. This cover is designed to provide a safety net in the event a shareholder passes away or can no longer participate in the business.

The Role of Key Person Insurance: Protecting the Business's Heartbeat

Key Person Insurance serves as a financial buffer, allowing your business to absorb the impact of losing a key figure. Whether it's covering the costs of hiring temporary replacements or offsetting a potential dip in revenue, this insurance ensures that your business remains on stable footing.

Key Person Insurance in Action:

Key Person Insurance aims to protect your business from the financial impacts of losing a key individual due to illness, injury, or death.


This insurance typically provides either a monthly benefit or a lump sum. It's tailored to cover various costs like hiring and training a replacement, mitigating contract penalties, and compensating for potential loss of profits. The essence of this cover is to maintain business continuity during the period it takes to effectively replace the key person.

Total and Permanent Disablement Cover

Essentially, within a business context, this is akin to a life insurance policy. If someone is disabled and can't work again, their life cover goes to zero. This means if a key person in the business can't work, it's like they passed away for the business. So, it makes sense for them to be bought out. The insurance helps with buying them out, like life cover would.

Sometimes, the type of job affects the disablement cover. If someone can't do their own job but can do another job, they might still get paid. This is called "own occupation" cover. But people with risky jobs might only get "any occupation" cover, which means they won't get paid if they can still do any job.

The Importance of Shareholder Life Cover

In businesses with multiple stakeholders, the abrupt departure of a shareholder can introduce uncertainty and potential disruption. Shareholder Life Cover provides a structured approach to handling such situations. It ensures that the shares of the departed stakeholder are fairly valued and transferred smoothly, safeguarding both the business's continuity and the financial interests of the shareholder's family.

Shareholder Protection Insurance Explained:

Shareholder Protection Insurance activates when a shareholder unexpectedly exits the business, for instance, due to serious illness, injury, or death. This cover is essential for businesses with multiple stakeholders.


The insurance provides a lump sum to the remaining shareholders, enabling them to buy the shares of the departing shareholder. This mechanism not only provides the departed shareholder’s family or estate with capital but also ensures that the remaining shareholders maintain control over the business.

Succession Planning: 

Shareholder Protection is more than just a financial safety net; it's a critical component of your business's succession planning. It guarantees that your hard work in building the business translates into security for both the business and the shareholders' families in the event of an untimely exit.

Setting Up the Right Cover: A Tailored Approach

Establishing the appropriate cover requires a thorough assessment of your business and shareholders' needs. The process involves evaluating factors such as the value of shares, the key roles within the business, and the potential financial impact of losing a shareholder or key person. Honest and accurate disclosure of health and lifestyle information is crucial for determining the premiums and the effectiveness of the cover.

Navigating the Options: Expert Guidance

As your financial adviser, my role is to navigate you through these options. Whether it's understanding the nuances of each cover, calculating the required insurance amount, or choosing the most suitable policy, my aim is to provide clarity and confidence in your decisions.

In conclusion, whether you're considering Key Person Insurance as a sole proprietor or key individual, or Shareholder Life Cover for a business with multiple owners, these insurance policies are not just about risk mitigation; they are about ensuring the resilience and continuity of your business.

If you're considering these covers or looking to reassess your current arrangements, I'm here to help. Let’s secure the future of your business together.

Contact me to discuss your business insurance requirements.


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