Severe weather can have a big impact on businesses, leading to lost earnings and damaged property, equipment and stock.
Very few businesses are immune to the risk of flood damage – especially during the worst of the UK’s winter weather. Even if your premises are not in an exposed location, you could still be impacted by things such as roof damage or leaks, or power and communication cuts.
So, it’s a good idea to insure yourself against the risk of being hit by a storm. Here’s our step-by-step guide to getting covered.
Do you own the premises your business operates from? If so, then you should consider taking out a buildings insurance policy. If you have a mortgage on the property, you may already have done this, as most lenders insist on it before they offer a loan.
This will mean you’re covered against storm damage to the building in which your business operates, including any permanent fixtures.
If you rent your premises, this is your landlord’s responsibility.
If your business is in a high flood risk area, you may need to consider additional flood insurance. Read more in our guide to protecting your business against flooding.
If storm damage leads to water finding its way into your premises, your stock and equipment will be at risk.
If you have installed any fittings, such as a shop counter, they will also need insuring.
A business contents insurance policy should cover you against the cost of the replacements or repairs, and your insurance company may also be able to put you in touch with specialist suppliers that will be able to help you get back to business as quickly as possible.
It's amazing how the value of a large number of items can add up, and you might be surprised by the financial worth of the things you take for granted on your business premises.
It's vital to take a thorough inventory when you apply for contents cover so you're sure the insurance will cover the cost of replacement should the worst happen.
Damage to property isn't the only way a storm can prove costly to your business – it can also cause loss of income for a period while any damage is repaired.
It's important to be aware that this is not likely to be covered in your commercial property insurance which will usually be limited to buildings and contents insurance.
For many business, the loss of a few days' income could cause major financial issues , so it's worth investigating covering yourself against the risk with business interruption insurance.
Protecting against storm damage is only a small part of making sure your business is covered. Companies can have significantly different needs from each other, and calculating the level of commercial insurance required can be a complex task – so be sure to speak to a Swinton Business advisor with experience working with businesses.
1. You don't need business insurance because you work from home
In fact, most home insurance policies don't actually cover damage to commercial equipment, even if it happens when inside your home . So, if you have an expensive computer or any other equipment or stock in your home which are owned by your business, it's likely they won't be covered in the event of storm damage.
2. An insurer will turn down your claim if it deems it an 'act of god'
There is no such thing as an 'act of god' in insurance terms . The policy details will carefully outline exactly what events and circumstances you are and aren't covered for.
3. If your insurance claim is accepted, you won't have anything to pay
Your insurer will only pay out to the amount agreed in your policy documents – any losses above this won't be covered, so it's essential to value your business' property accurately. Under insurance can result in claims payments being reduced.
Also, most insurance products will have an excess attached. In the event of a claim – you will be required to pay this amount yourself. Make sure you know how much you'd be required to pay if you needed to make a claim.
Find out more about our business insurance policies
Published: 8th February 2017