Through trade and export, Malaysia’s economy is driven by small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from those who manufacture disposable gloves to those that produce bottled sauces. The World Bank recently reported that 97 percent of business establishments in Malaysia are SMEs and is responsible for nearly 36 percent of the country’s Gross domestic product (GDP), 65 percent of the country’s employment, and nearly 18 percent of Malaysia’s exports. Yet, in August this year, Bank Negara Malaysia revealed that in Malaysia, general insurance penetration level measured in terms of premiums as a share of GDP stood at only 1.68% as at end 2015. With Malaysia looking towards entrepreneurship to drive its economy, Rafliz Ridzuan, Chief Underwriting Officer of Allianz General Insurance Company (Malaysia) Berhad says it is important that the perception towards insurance being a luxury and not a necessity has to change. Here are three reasons why you as an SME owner, should have business insurance coverage: 1. To protect against Third Party Action or Employee Action Your activities could cause injury or property damage to your employees or general public. You may protect yourself against such claims with various Liability insurance, such as Public Liability, Product Liability, Employers Liability, Environmental Protection and Directors and Officers Liability. Therefore, your business, especially if it is manufacturing-related, can operate knowing that should the worst happen, public property could be repaired, possessions replaced and employees’ welfare taken care of. 2. To protect your business in case of fire, theft, damage, or other disasters. Essentially, a business insurance policy offers you coverage that ensures your business can bounce back from calamities such as fire, theft or natural disasters as quickly as possible. If you are a boutique hotel owner, the Allianz Hotel Shield Package Insurance is right up your alley. It’s a comprehensive insurance plan that covers risks against fire, loss of income due to business interruption, loss of money, burglary, glass breakage, employees’ infidelity, public accidents, personal accident and risks on your business assets. 3. To reduce your business risk. When you are a small to medium retailer, you worry about many things – uncertain market conditions, increase in costs and competitive activity, but one thing you need not worry is the misfortunes that can be protected with insurance. Allianz’s Smart Retail Shield Package Insurance is an insurance plan that covers risks against fire, burglary, loss of money, accidental glass breakage, public accidents and cost of claims arising from employee illness or injury. It also provides Emergency Relief Benefit which serves as an immediate cash in the event of a loss. So instead of worrying about what ifs, you can pour that energy into building your business. “SMEs face an ever-changing risk landscape in which supply chain disruption, damage or disasters is a huge concern. Simply wanting to protect what has been diligently built should be reason enough to start looking for products that will safeguard their businesses before the weather turns foul,” said Rafliz adding that in 2015, Allianz General is the largest general insurance company in Malaysia. “Allianz General is a trusted partner for SMEs and in simply providing the best for customers, our experienced agents will help you discern what is not only vital, but essential for the longevity of your business,” added Rafliz.