Insurance - What Do I Need to Know?

By SME Insurance

Posted 23/02/16

Many business owners may consider insurance to be a minefield and can often be put off by the numerous factors they need to be aware of to ensure their business is adequately covered. We are often asked questions such as “what insurance cover do I need?”, “how much cover do I need?”, and “are there any exclusions or specific requirements on my policy?”. There are also lots of other important questions to consider when searching for the correct insurance policy and also when you come to renew it.

The points below present some of the factors to consider:

  • Fish and chip insurance policies usually require all ductwork systems and grease traps to be professionally cleaned – on an annual basis as a minimum – by a third party and the Fire Safety certificate to be displayed clearly in order for your insurance policy to be valid.
  • Fire claims and compensation costs can be significant, so insurers tend to pay particular attention to this aspect of the policy. Failure to comply with legal requirements and protect the building’s occupants could result in a prosecution for you, and may affect the validity of your insurance cover.
  • Business interruption is a key area to consider. What would you do if you have a fire or are affected by the storms? How would you manage if your business was out of action for a period of time? Business interruption can usually be included in the policy package, so make sure you confirm your needs when purchasing your policy.
  • Public liability insurance is not a legal requirement, but it will make any claims brought against you by your customers, easier to manage. All it may take is a customer to slip on the floor that you’ve freshly mopped and you could find yourself with a claim against you.
  • Seasonal trade increases – if you trade in a busy holiday resort you will know you need to increase your stocks at certain times of the year, and many insurance policies will take this into consideration – but you must check with your broker and make sure it’s covered in your particular policy.
  • The average increase is usually 25% above your normal stock, which is often more than adequate, but may you need it to be higher than this – again check with your broker.
  • Changes to your shop – if you change your premises to include a sit-down area, or any other changes, then ensure your notify your broker as this may affect your cover.
  • Documentation – do keep all your certificates, maintenance agreements, and policy documents in a safe place as it will make the process of making a claim so much easier for you.

When it comes to taking out an insurance policy the key is to always check and question what you do not understand, don’t be afraid to ask. Failure to comply with a condition that is stipulated in your policy could result in a claim not being paid.

 

Posted 23/02/16

Author: SME Insurance

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Fullers Bakery has used SMEi for the last 3 years for both business premises and motor insurance. The changeover from our previous insurers was seamless and efficient with queries and special requirements all handled very professionally. We have just entered our third year of cover with CBAIS and based on the previous two years, we look forward to a continued healthy working relationship well into the future.

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