Commercial Business Insurance

If you are in business you will need insurance; without it your livelihood is at risk. An unexpected loss could cause financial hardship and destroy years of hard work. By law, some types of insurance are compulsory.


Click here for an instant quote

Property

Buildings and contents can be insured against fire, lightning, explosion of gas and boilers used for domestic purposes without the addition of "special perils" such as explosion, riot, malicious damage, storm, flood, impact by aircraft, road and rail vehicles, escape of water from tanks or pipes and sprinkler leakage.

"All risks" insurance gives wider cover including any accidental damage or loss not specifically excluded. However "all risks" will not cover wear and tear, electrical or mechanical breakdown and gradual deterioration which will be specifically stated in the policy document.

How much for?

Buildings - the business premises should be insured for their full rebuilding cost (including professional fees and the cost of site clearance) and not just for their market value. You may need expert advice to calculate the rebuilding cost, which often differs significantly from market value.

Contents - your stock should be insured for its cost price without any addition for profit. Provision can be made for seasonal stock fluctuations. Plant and business equipment can be insured on either a "replacement as new" or an "indemnity" basis. If indemnity is chosen, wear and tear will be taken into account when settling any claims.

Engineering

Engineering insurance provides cover against electrical or mechanical breakdown for most machinery, including computers. By law, many items of plant such as boilers, lifts and lifting machinery must be inspected regularly by a qualified person. Insurers can arrange to provide this service.

Theft

Contents are usually covered against theft providing there has been forcible and violent entry to or exit from the premises. Damage to the building resulting from theft or attempted theft will also normally be covered. Theft by employees is usually not covered - cover against employee dishonesty can be arranged by a fidelity guarantee policy - see OTHER RISKS.

Money

Money insurance is on an "all risks" basis and covers cash, cheques, postage stamps and certain other negotiable documents.

Different limits will apply to money on the premises in and out of business hours, in safes, at the homes of directors or employees and in transit. There may be requirements in the policy relating to safe keys and the method of transit.

Personal assault cover may be included, which will provide compensation for you or your employees following injury during theft or attempted theft of money.

Goods in transit

Goods in transit insurance covers goods against loss or damage while in your vehicle or when sent by carrier. The sum insured may be a limit for each vehicle or any one consignment.

Business interruption

Even minor damage to your property could seriously disrupt your business leading to loss of income and extra expenses.

Business interruption insurance will compensate for the short-fall in gross profit together with paying any increased working costs and extra accountants' fees incurred.

When arranging this insurance you will need to estimate the maximum time needed to get your business working normally following the most serious damage. The insurers will ask for an estimate of your anticipated gross profit. If an auditor later certifies an actual figure materially lower than this estimate, a return of premium is normally given.