Shops and Offices

Wednesday, April 30. 2014
When you’re fully focused on running a business it’s hardly surprising that insurance matters don’t always figure as high in the pecking order of priorities as boosting sales figures, motivating employees and hitting revenue targets. However, if you operate from a shop or office, ensuring that you have thorough, tailor-made protection for your retail base is equally essential.

At Haden Welbeck we would always recommend taking out cover against what we in the insurance industry call ‘perils.’ Under the terms of most standard policies these ‘perils’ would normally include: fire, lightning, explosion and earthquake; impact by aircraft or other aerial devices, which means anything from falling trees and branches to TV aerials; storm, tempest and flood; escape of water; riot, civil commotion and malicious damage; theft or attempted theft; and any other accidental damage. The cost of taking out insurance against these perils is calculated on factors such as postcode, the nature of your trade, the type of building, claims history, length of time trading and what security is in place.

So, what can be included within a shop and office policy? Naturally, there are many different options. First and foremost, if you own the premises you must obviously look to insure both the building itself and the other most valuable business asset – your stock – against all the ‘perils’. And if you don’t own the property, it might be worth taking out Tenants’ Improvements cover. This means that you are insured if you have added to the shell of the building by putting up partitioning, shelves or display units – these are known as ‘tenants’ improvements’.

When it comes to business liability, if you have any employees you must, of course, have statutory Employers’ Liability cover. We would always advise adding Public Liability cover to protect you in the event of someone having an accident in the shop or office and subsequently taking legal action. Also, and particularly relevant to shop insurance, we also recommend Product Liability cover, which safeguards you against any damage caused by a product you have sold (this applies both in and away from the shop). Usually, in such instances, there would be recourse to the manufacturer but, on occasion, compensation could be down to the shop owner. And finally, do consider Business Interruption cover which will protect you against loss of revenue if, for example, your premises is affected by fire or flood and you can’t trade in the usual way.

A whole host of other cover extensions are available, such as: protecting the shop front (that includes the glass and signage); business money; personal accident; goods-in-transit; commercial and legal expenses; and the breakdown of machinery such as freezers and computer equipment.

As always, it is well worth consulting an experienced broker who will be able to help you pinpoint the core shop and office policy and necessary extensions that best meet your business requirements at the most competitive premium.