Q: I plan to exhibit at Jewellery & Watch Birmingham 2015. Do I need to inform my insurance company?
Yes, it's always a good idea to inform your insurance company, as there can be insurance implications and various problems that might occur arising from misunderstandings over the level of cover provided under standard insurance policies. For exhibitors, there's the risk associated with attendance at the trade fair itself and you need to make sure you have the following covered:
Stock and trade stands, fixtures and fittings. Does your policy extend to cover attendance at trade exhibitions? If so, is the extension sufficient to cover the values at risk? Commercial policies are traditionally subject to an under insurance condition which means that if you insure for 50% of the value taken to the exhibition any claim you make will be reduced by 50%.
Public liability. Notify your insurers that you plan to attend trade exhibitions, as there may be exclusions within your policy.
Exhibition event organisers can demand a minimum level of cover of £5 million. While this can be purchased separately it's often cheaper to increase the limit under the annual cover rather than take out small extensions to cover the individual exhibitions attended.
Loss of profits. Does your policy provide cover for loss of profits arising from problems at the event? Most policies won't and do require specific extension. This cover isn't widely available but some insurers will give cover. For example a fire on your stand causing damage to property, which leads to a loss of profit arising from the event, can be insured. Again - you'll of course need to have told your insurers that you're attending events.
Q: When dispatching goods sold at my show stand or from my premises, what should I be aware of and what needs to be included in my insurance policy?
The extent of your insurance can include all shipments of goods within the UK whether by your own or hired vehicles; haulage contractors; and post and delivery services. It's important to be aware that many carriers restrict their liability for loss or damage to the goods they carry. This could potentially leave you seriously out of pocket in the event of a claim. Although, arranging your own insurance protection can solve this problem. Overseas shipments (imports and exports) can also be insured from place of origin to destination. Insurance is usually offered by freight forwarders and monetary limits may apply in all or part depending on methods of transport - often there are more than one, i.e. road, air and sea.
Q: What's Business Interruption Cover and should I have it?
Imagine you've been flooded! Clearly your business insurance policy will cover flood damage to premises and stock. If you also have business interruption cover, which I believe to be vital, additional costs such as hiring temporary premises will be met. This means you'll be able to continue trading during the subsequent repair and clean-up period enabling you to maintain both cash flow and customers.
Business Interruption Insurance will also replace the gross profit for your business for the period that the business is interrupted by an insured risk (such as a flood.) This covers the recovery of customers phase. Business Interruption cover will cushion you from the blow and may even be the vital factor that saves your business. Many who don't have such cover will go out of business within 12 months of a major incident.
Many people who've been flooded want to know if their premiums will automatically go up. The answer to this isn't simple. However, if your business is located in an area that isn't normally at risk and you've simply fallen foul of unusual weather conditions, you may experience only a temporary increase in premiums. Each case is highly individual and this is where a good broker will be your most valuable asset because we'll be acting on your behalf, fighting your corner to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your business.