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Business_Interruption_InsuranceYour commercial insurance policy will cover you for the replacement of buildings and contents if your business suffers a major disaster.

However, following an insured event such as a fire, flood, theft, vandalism or IT outage, business interruption insurance would cover the loss of income during the period of closure while you get up and running again.

A business interruption insurance policy will cover you for a range of costs:
  • Loss of rental income
  • Additional staff costs
  • Temporary relocation
  • Security for buildings
  • Loss of customer loyalty and subsequent reduction in sales
Owners often overlook business interruption insurance because they think they are covered by their buildings and contents insurance.

If you were unable to trade after a major incident and your customers had to look elsewhere while you got your business back on track, could you survive for what might be a period of up to 12 months? Even a few months would be enough to destroy some businesses and some previously loyal customers may never return when you open the doors again.

Business interruption insurance
As well as the cover outlined above, business interruption insurance can include damage to a neighbouring building that may affect the running of your business and result in a period of closure and loss of income.

It can also cover the loss of income if one of your suppliers suffers a major loss that affects the supply of products to your business.

Specific risks policies can also be written. One of the growing risks to business continuity these days is cybercrime.

If you have cyber risk insurance, you can include business interruption insurance along with your cyber insurance to support the business while the breach is identified and repaired.

Assessing your risks
Every business has different requirements and the level of risk and insurance cover required will vary. A manufacturing business with premises, machinery and stock will probably need longer to recover from a major incident than an office that could relocate within a few days. However, cyber risk may be greater for an office-based technology business.

This is where an insurance broker can offer their expert advice to find the most suitable cover for your business.

Call CLA (Risk Solutions) Ltd on 0121 321 4600 to discuss your business insurance.
Running an enterprise of any kind involves an element of risk.

Risk_Management_represented_by_car_console_dialTypical risks include:
  • Health and safety.
  • Environmental risks associated with business operations or external weather or economic conditions.
  • Financial risks.
  • Regulatory risks.
  • Security including buildings and cyber risk.
  • Fire, flood and other business interruption risks.
Your insurance policy can cover these risks.

The key is to identify the risks associated with your business, assess the likelihood of the risk occurring and estimate how much the incident will cost your business. Then decide if the risk can be limited and how much of the risk you need to cover for your business to survive an incident.

Risk management
Establishing a risk management plan and undertaking a review of the risks in all areas of your business will help you to identify and prioritise risks and put in place a process to mitigate them.

This will demonstrate that you have a system in place to minimise the impact of an insured loss and will provide your insurers with valuable information they can use when calculating your premium. It may also help to speed up your claim after an incident, for example: One of your employees is making a claim following an accident. You suspect that you were not negligent and the claim is fraudulent.

When investigating your claim, insurers will have to decide:
  • Whether the claim meets the policy terms and conditions.
  • Can a robust defence be provided by way of documentary evidence or systems?
  • Is it worth defending? Defence costs can sometimes outweigh damages awarded.
An effective risk management plan and proper procedures can often prevent an accident or fraudulent claim. This is always preferable and more cost effective than defending the claim.

Risk management support
Insurance brokers are in an ideal position to offer support and advice on best practice and claim statistics to help you to formulate a risk management plan, for example:

Key causes of accidents/claims (Insurance company data)
  • Slips and trips 27%.
  • Manual handling 20%.
  • Struck by/contact with object 17%.
By working with your insurance broker, you can discover how to mitigate some of your business risks to ensure you are minimising incidents and maintaining adequate insurance cover if you need to make a claim.

Call CLA (Risk Solutions) Ltd on 0121 321 4600 to discuss your risk management requirements.
Insuring commercial property can be complex.
Commercial buildings come in all shapes, sizes and material construction. They generally need specialised heating, lighting and ventilation systems and the flexibility to cater for a variety of businesses or tenants.

Commercial_Property_InsuranceInsurers will assess multiple factors when they are calculating premium costs. A commercial landlord or property owner will need to provide details such as:
  • Location and any risks such as flooding
  • Type of construction and materials
  • Fixtures and fittings
  • Security
  • Type of industry using the building
Underinsurance
One of the regular mistakes made when insuring commercial property is assessing the full rebuilding cost. When calculating the sum insured for building and contents, it can be easy to undervalue the full rebuilding and replacement costs. This will leave you with a shortfall if you need to claim for a total rebuild if the property is destroyed.

Often, commercial property insurers will work on a pro rata “condition of average clause”; for example, if you are claiming for a partial loss of 100k out of your insured value of buildings and contents of 200K and you are underinsured by 50% (the full rebuild value is 400K), you will only receive an amount minus the percentage you are underinsured (50% of 100K = 50K). This could have serious financial consequences when you come to make a claim.

Property owner’s liability
Commercial property owners will need property owner’s liability insurance to protect against claims from a third party due to an accident resulting in injury or damage to their property.
The amount of cover will be determined by the type of business and the risks involved.

Business interruption and loss of rent
Following the total loss of a commercial building through fire, flood or another event, it may take some time to rebuild or repair the property. During this time, you will be losing rental income and you may have to find alternative premises for your tenant.

The amount of insurance cover will depend on your type of property and how long rebuilding work is expected to take. Calculations will include time taken for clearance, planning permissions, rebuilding and replacement of fixtures and fittings. This will determine the indemnity period (12, 24 or 36 months).

Legal cover
This is usually offered as an add-on to your commercial property policy and covers your legal costs if you are involved in disputes for non-payment of rent, data protection or employment etc.

Insurance broker
An insurance broker will be able to help you assess your individual requirements and provide an accurate valuation to ensure your building is adequately covered.
Many business owners are not aware of business interruption (BI) insurance or understand the benefits it provides. It is therefore easily missed when insuring your business against risks. If you use an insurance broker, they will usually assess whether this additional cover is needed for your business and offer it as an addition to your buildings and contents policy. However, if you use one of the online comparison websites, it would be natural to think your buildings and contents insurance would cover most eventualities.

Business interruption insurance is not necessary for all businesses but is crucial for some; for example, if you have equipment and machinery that is difficult to replace or carry a lot of stock that will take time to re-manufacture, this type of insurance cover could mean the difference between business survival and failure.

How does business interruption insurance work?
Cover is available as an add on to your buildings and contents insurance. If an insured risk affects the running of your business, or causes extensive damage to the buildings, machinery, equipment or stock, resulting in your business having to shut down for a period, the insurance will cover the financial losses, for example:
  • Loss of revenue due to closure.
  • Increased costs of working such as temporary relocation or equipment hire.
  • Additional employee costs for overtime or hiring temporary employees.
  • Temporary storage costs and removal fees.
  • Safety and security at temporary accommodation.
  • Loss of income from rent.
  • Long term effect of loss of sales and customers.
If your business is not in a position to recover quickly from a major incident, then business interruption insurance fills the gap.

For example:
Business_Interuption_Insurance_2A fire engulfs a large section of your premises and damages equipment and stock. Your buildings and contents insurance will cover the repairs and replacement of equipment and stock, but this may take months to complete.

Flooding or water damage repairs can take months to make the building habitable again and unless you can easily relocate and hire machinery and equipment, your business could fail during the time it takes to start trading again.

Each business must assess their own level of risk and whether a major incident would be manageable without the financial support that business interruption insurance provides.

This is where an insurance broker can help. Talk to CLA (Risk Solutions), your local insurance broker in Sutton Coldfield to get a quote for how much it would cost to add business interruption to your buildings and contents insurance. Call 0121 321 4600

 
 
UK citizens are being bombarded with nuisance calls by unscrupulous companies chasing no win no fee claims for injury from motoring accidents, holiday illnesses or injury at work.

Their arguments are sometimes so convincing that usually law-abiding citizens are tempted into making an insurance claim for an injury or illness that was less serious or never sustained. Let’s not fool ourselves; to make such a claim is fraud and the courts are starting to clamp down on this behaviour.

Insurance_fraudA recent case involved a couple who claimed to have sustained serious injuries when their Volkswagen Bora collided with a bus run by transport company Abellio.

Following subsequent CCTV footage of the crash, it was found that the bus was not travelling at more than 5mph and a medical expert argued that the crash could not have caused the injuries they were claiming for.

The bus company took the couple to the high court for lying about their injuries and the result was a fine of £6,000 court costs and prison sentences for the couple.

The government is also concerned about the increase in claims, particularly the soft tissue injury (whiplash) claims. Under the new laws introduced in 2017, measures have been implemented that will reduce the number of claims and limit financial compensation. This will help reduce the insurance premiums for all motorists.

Insurance fraud
Fraudulent claims for insured loss fall into many categories; these are some of the most common:

1.Motor insurance fraud
Deliberate harsh breaking to induce an accident, often carried out by organised criminals to obtain vehicle damage and personal injury compensation. Sometimes multiple non-existent passengers are claimed to have been injured.

2.Application fraud
Not providing all the facts about claims history or penalty points when filling in an insurance form to obtain a reduction in premium.

3.Commercial liability fraud
Every business in the UK must have Employee Liability Insurance unless they are a sole trader. Fraud can be committed by the insured company and third parties. Claiming for a fictitious injury or exaggerating an injury or loss are the most common.

Reducing insurance fraud
The insurance industry invests £200 million each year to identify fraud*.

Insurance fraud is a serious crime which can have a major impact on perpetrators such as difficulty obtaining future insurance, increased premiums, damage to employment prospects and possible criminal conviction.

Insurers are committed to combating insurance fraud to keep insurance premiums down for honest policyholders.

If you are not sure what to fill in on your insurance form or what you can legitimately claim for after an incident, talk to your insurance broker who will always be able to provide you with the right advice.

*source https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/topics-and-issues/fraud/