When you think about it, your business is your primary, perhaps only, source of income. If something were to happen, such as a fire, burglary, flooding or the death or disability of a key employee, your business would suffer financially. Your own personal livelihood, the security of your home, and the well-being of your family – and the families of your employees – would all be put at risk. It’s enough to keep any business owner awake at night.
Fortunately, if you have adequate business insurance, you can rest easy. Insurance means the uncertainties that hang over your company are significantly reduced. The financial burden is placed on the insurance company, not you, meaning you can focus your full attention on running your business. Despite this, many businesses, particularly SMEs, have little or inadequate insurance – very often because they’re unsure of where to start. This is why we’ve compiled a business property insurance checklist to help you ensure your company and employees are fully covered.
The type and amount of insurance coverage your company needs depend on the size and nature of your business, as well on how much risk you’re willing to assume. But there are a few key areas you should cover, regardless of what it is you do:
Business property insurance covers damage or loss to the contents of your building, Basically, it covers everything inside your offices, including fixtures, computers, equipment and machinery, and furniture. It’s important to remember that these items must be insured for their estimated replacement value including VAT, not their current market value. It is heart-breaking, and potentially financially devastating, to realise after the fact that your insurance is insufficient to cover your losses. It’s helpful, when working out how much insurance you need, to write down a list of each and every item the business owns, and place an approximate value next to each item.
If you own your office or have a warehouse or other building, it’s essential to have a properly structured policy so that you’re covered in case the building is damaged, lost or rendered unusable by fire, flood or structural fault. Once again, insurance must cover the amount it would cost to repair or rebuild (VAT included), not their purchase price or current market value.
It’s all very well making sure your building and contents are insured in the event of a devastating fire or flood, but what happens to your business while you wait for your insurance assessment and payout, and then for the repairs to take place? You could lose several months’ worth of business – and clients who move elsewhere in the interim might not come back. Business interruption insurance gives you the funds to help re-establish your business in a temporary location so that your customers aren’t inconvenienced, and you don’t lose vital income.
If you own a business selling fresh produce of any description, the loss of refrigerated items due to a prolonged power outage or equipment failure could be crippling. Deterioration of stock insurance protects you against this.
When compiling a business property insurance checklist, it’s important not to overlook the smaller incidences that could still end up leaving you out of pocket. These could include:
If you own a B&B or guest house, or any other type of business offering accommodation, you could be held liable if any of your guests’ personal property is stolen or damaged while on your premises. If this property isn’t covered by their own insurance, they could file a claim against you. Property of Guests cover is specifically designed to protect you in this type of case.
Most accommodation businesses require a partial or total deposit against the cost of the accommodation and may take copies of customers’ credit cards to safeguard themselves against guests leaving without paying. You can also take out bilking cover, for any amount you feel will comfortably cover you, to protect yourself against unscrupulous guests.
At CC&A Insurance Brokers, we offer comprehensive business property insurance to make sure all your needs are properly covered. Our expert staff can advise you on the types of insurance that best suit your business, so chat to us today.