The past few years have presented significant challenges to business owners in the UK. If you own a company, you’ll have faced:


  • Uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 pandemic
  • The “great resignation” and the risk of losing your team members to other companies
  • Rampant inflation and rising costs, putting pressure on your bottom line.


You no doubt had to work hard to successfully steer your ship through these choppy waters.

These events were almost entirely unpredictable, and you would have done well to prepare directly for them. But, if you could have protected yourself in some way, you likely would have done.

That’s why it’s important to consider the most common events that can affect businesses, so you can take steps to adequately shield your enterprise from them.

Read on to discover three of these concerning events that could befall your business, and what you could consider doing to protect your company from the effects these incidents could have.

1. Terminal illness or death of a business owner

Many businesses begin life with their founder, or founders, running the show and being responsible for everything that happens. That’s why the illness or death of a business owner, whether that’s you or one of your co-owners, can be so debilitating for a company.

Without your business owners to share the load, your company could suffer as you attempt to complete their workload as well as yours, damaging your relationship with customers and reducing the business’s income.

This could have wider ramifications, such as affecting your ability to pay your suppliers and repay business debt.

Meanwhile, if you were to become terminally ill or die, it could put your family in an incredibly difficult position. They’ll have to grapple with losing you, while also potentially being left with the administrative burden of managing your company.

What you can do about it

To protect your company against these potential outcomes, you (and your fellow business owners, if applicable) may want to consider taking out relevant life cover. While this may not directly protect the business, the payout that your loved ones receive could help them to manage financially as they lose that stream of income you usually provide.

Meanwhile, to protect the company, you could consider business loan protection. This can help to cover the costs of business debt, whether that be a loan, commercial mortgage, or other forms of borrowing in the company, in the event that you or one of your fellow business partners were to pass away or become terminally ill.

2. A shareholder passes away

In a similar vein to a business owner passing away, the death of a shareholder could also present a significant obstacle. This could be you or one of your co-owners, or it could also be someone who’s not directly involved in the day-to-day running of the business.

Either way, a shareholder’s death could cause serious disruption and uncertainty to your company. That’s because their stake in the company would typically go to their beneficiaries as part of their estate.

If you’re the shareholder who passes away, it could put your loved ones in a difficult administrative position as they contend with having to manage your stake in the business. Even if they’re willing to sell their stake back, this wouldn’t solve the issue if the company can’t afford to buy them out.

Meanwhile, if another shareholder dies while you’re running the business, the deceased’s beneficiaries may end up in a similar position.

Furthermore, it also potentially puts you in the position of losing control of some of the business if those beneficiaries decide they want to take on the role of shareholders and start making key decisions.

Even if you manage to resolve the situation amicably, it could still take time and effort to do so, drawing you away from serving your customers.

What you can do about it

To guard yourself from these eventualities, you could consider having shareholder protection in place. This cover provides money to buy company shares back from a shareholder if they are terminally ill, or their beneficiaries if the shareholder has died.

This ensures that shareholders’ families are protected, as they’ll receive full value for the shares at what will be a difficult time, while also allowing you and any business partners to retain control of the company.

3. One of your key members of staff becomes ill or dies

Although you own the business, you are not the only person that matters to your daily operations.

Indeed, you may have many key members of staff. They might be important managers who oversee particular teams, or individuals with specific skills and knowledge that make them integral to providing your product or service to your customers.

As a result, if one of these key individuals were to become terminally ill or die, it could be a significant strain on your company.

Not only will you need to find a suitable replacement in time, but you’ll have to cover the shortfall of what they can do – and if their work is particularly specialised, this might be easier said than done.

What you can do about it

In this instance, key person insurance can be helpful. You name specific key individuals in your business to be listed on the policy, and you’ll then receive a lump sum if one of those individuals were to become critically ill or die.

While this insurance can’t entirely make up for losing a valued member of your team, a payout can provide some useful ballast to help you stay on an even keel. You can use this money for whatever you need, from hiring a new member of staff, training an existing one, or simply to cover a potential loss of profit from losing a key person and their skills.

We can help you protect your business

These are just a handful of examples of events that could negatively affect your business, and there are many more scenarios that could spell trouble for you and your company.

That’s where working with a financial planner can help. At Cordiner Wealth, we can provide you with a bespoke suite of protection to ensure that your business is covered, no matter what happens in the future.

Even if you’re fortunate and never experience one of these events, you’ll have the peace of mind that your business is protected from the worst happening.

If you’d like to talk to us about finding the right protection for you and your company, please email or call 0113 262 1242 today.

Please note

This article is for general information only and does not constitute advice. The information is aimed at retail clients only.

Note that life insurance plans typically have no cash in value at any time and cover will cease at the end of the term. If premiums stop, then cover will lapse.

Cover is subject to terms and conditions and may have exclusions. Definitions of illnesses vary from product provider and will be explained within the policy documentation.