Words of Wisdom

By SME Insurance

Posted 24/04/15

Some common questions and points to consider when looking at your insurance policy for your fish and chip shop:

1) Fish and chip insurance policies usually require 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 needs to be displayed clearly in order for your insurance policy to be valid.  Fire claims and compensation costs can be significant, so insurers are generally placing higher stipulations on this aspect of the policy. Failure to comply with these requirements and protect the building occupants could result in a prosecution for you.

2) Business interruption is the next 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, covering loss of income during periods when you cannot carry out business as usual due to an unexpected insured loss, may be included in the policy package but as it may not be, make sure you discuss what you need when purchasing your policy.

3) Public liability insurance. Although it isn’t a legal requirement, it may help make potential claims brought against you by your customers easier to manage. It may only take a customer to slip on your freshly mopped floor and you could find yourself with a claim against you.

4) Changes to your shop. If you make any alterations, for example to include a sit-down area, then ensure you notify your insurer as this may affect your cover. Have you created an outside seating area in anticipation of a summer? If so, your local authority may require an increase in your public liability amount, or at the least to have sight of your cover so it’s worth checking.

5) Seasonal trade increases. This is particularly relevant for certain areas, for example if you trade in a busy holiday resort, you may need to increase your stock during bank holidays and summer periods for instance. Whilst most business insurance policies typically take seasonal stock increases into consideration, you must check with your insurance provider and make sure it’s noted in your specific endorsements or terms and conditions.  The average increase is usually 25% above your normal stock, which is often more than adequate, but if you need it to be higher than this – again check with your insurance provider.

6) Documentation. Do keep all your certificates, maintenance agreements, and policy documents in a safe place that is accessible, as it may make the process of making a claim easier for you.

7) Ask questions. 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, as failure to do so could result in an invalid policy or cover not being as you had expected. In any case, your insurance provider is likely to have heard most questions before now.

SME Insurance Services is more than happy to answer your insurance related questions. When you contact us, rest assured we will make you aware of the important points and considerations discussed in this article.

Please call us, or email us using NewBusiness@smeinsurance.com.

Posted 24/04/15

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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