Every year, we Brits eat our way through an impressive 382 million fish and chip shop meals; the industry generates an estimated £1.2bn.1 It’s safe to say, fish and chips are one of the nation’s favourite dishes – there’s even an “Oscars” of the fish and chip shop world – the National Fish & Chip Awards!
Owning a fish and chip shop can be rewarding and hard work, and doesn’t come without its challenges and risks. It’s essential to adopt the correct health and safety procedures to minimise these risks and have the right insurance in place to protect your business. But fish and chip insurance policies include specific conditions, so it’s important to understand these requirements. Failure to comply may affect the validity of your insurance cover, whilst avoiding legal requirements could result in a prosecution for you.
Assessing Your Chip Shop’s Risk
As well as maintaining health and safety standards, once a year, take time to make sure your fire regulation risk assessments are up-to-date, your equipment is in tip-top working order, and your staff are following best practices.
Equipment – regular service and maintenance programmes must be carried out by qualified engineers. Fish and chip insurance policies usually require ductwork systems and grease traps to be professionally cleaned annually as a minimum – by a third party. Make sure your Fire Safety Certificate is displayed clearly; this is often a condition of insurance.
Housekeeping – consider putting together a simple employee handbook or posters that outline rules and responsibilities.
General Safety Checks
As well as assessing risks, there are important precautions to be taken to avoid accidents and potentially life-threatening burns. Inspecting your frying ranges to ensure they are safe is essential to protect your staff – and potentially your livelihood. So make sure you understand and follow best practice inspection guidance and, if in doubt, seek professional advice from a qualified inspector.
Protecting Your Fish And Chip Shop
Even with the most robust health and safety procedures in place, accidents and events happen that are outside your control. The consequences of which can be devastating for your business. Understanding which type of insurance to have in place to protect against the risks you face, knowing how much cover is needed, and when to make changes to your policy can be pretty confusing. Here are some important considerations to bear in mind:
What would you do if there was a fire in your shop? How would you manage if your business was unexpectedly closed for some time? Business interruption cover can usually be included in the policy package, so make sure you confirm your needs when arranging your insurance.
Public Liability Insurance
Although it’s not a legal requirement to have this insurance, it will protect you if a customer claims against you. A visitor to your shop slipping on the floor that you’ve freshly mopped could result in you facing compensation costs and significant legal defence fees.
Seasonal Trade Increases
Suppose you trade in a busy holiday resort. In that case, you will know you need to increase your stocks at certain times of the year. Many insurance policies will consider this, but you must check with your broker and ensure it’s covered in your policy.
The average increase is usually 25% above your regular stock. This 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 – perhaps to include a seated eating area, for example – notify your broker as this may affect your cover.
Keep all your certificates, maintenance agreements, and policy documents in a safe place. This will make the process of making a claim so much easier for you.
When taking out an insurance policy, the key is always to check and question what you do not understand, don’t be afraid to ask. Failure to comply with the conditions stipulated in your policy could result in a claim not being paid.
We’re here to help you find the right specialist fish and chip shop insurance and arrange the level of cover to protect your business.