Every business owner, whether small or large, new or old, has a number of choices on where to spend their hard earned income.

2009 is proving to be a very testing time for all types of business. Businesses are therefore having to be very careful with all types of spending. Whilst it may not be the biggest cost for a business, compared to staffing and premises, business insurance can be a cost where savings can be made if you are careful enough.

The first thing you should consider is what insurance do you actually require. The majority of UK business insurers will have bespoke packaged shop and retailers insurance policies. These policies are designed to include the covers normally required by shop owners with other additional covers available if required.

The only legal requirement is to have employers liability insurance, if you are employing anyone, whether they receive a salary or not, you must have this insurance cover. As well as employers liability you should also consider public liability, products liability, fixed glass, business interruption, money, stock and contents cover. All of these will be included in a shop insurance package.

The extra covers you can buy, which are not normally included within a retailers insurance package would be for buildings, legal expenses, personal accident and professional indemnity.

There may be a temptation for a shop owner to look online for their shop insurance. The main problem with these types of quotes is that you do not get the opportunity to speak to anyone about what cover you really should have. Speaking to an independent broker will not only help you get the best cover but the broker will look around to get a variety of commercial insurance quotes. You do not have to have a face to face visit with your insurance broker. You can provide all of the required information over the phone. A ten minute phone call is all that is required and your insurance broker will then go away and search for the best business insurance deal.

The second thing to consider is how much you are prepared to pay for your shop insurance. Typically, for a small shop in a rural area insurers premiums start at £250 per annum. If your insurance broker is large enough they will have good relationships with insurers and will be able to provide you with the option of paying in interest free instalments. With small business insurance, which most shop insurance policies are, some brokers will charge high instalment charges. If you are charged more than 6 or 7% to pay in instalments, do not pay it as you will be able to get a better deal elsewhere.

As part of the payment you should also check what the costs are for making changes to your policies. Some online brokers may charge a fixed fee for every change, no matter how small this may be.

It doesn't matter if you are looking for a new policy for your new venture or whether you are just unhappy with the level of your existing renewal. You can look around and find an alternative. It may take up some of your time but savings are there to be had, if you look in the right place.

Lastly, everyone who owns or works in a shop knows that service is the key to getting customers. You should get a feel for how good the insurance broker is through the way they speak to you on the phone and how quick the service is. If the price is OK but the service is slow, just think how the broker will help you in the event of a claim, which is when you want quick service. If you are not happy, just continue to look elsewhere.

At the end of the day your shop insurance policy should protect your business which you have spent money and time building up. An independent business insurance broker is your best option for getting the correct cover at the correct price.