Gift Focus readers put their insurance queries, concerns and questions to leading brokers TH March
What is meant by the 'minimum security' condition within my insurance policy?
Most, if not all insurers that provide cover for business premises impose a minimum level of security within their policy wordings. The condition will require certain types of lock to be fitted to the final entry/exit doors and windows, and in certain cases, a specific type of alarm with a number of features among other security requirements. A copy of the particular insurer's 'minimum security' standard can be requested when a quotation is provided. It's very important you comply with the condition. If you don't, any claim you make may not be met.
Will it affect my insurance cover if I trust a staff member with keys to my premises?
Any such changes can potentially affect your cover so always inform your insurance company. Common sense dictates that you would only ever give keys to a trusted member of staff. However, anyone (including you) can lose keys. If that does ever happen, it's important that you have a plan of action in place: Don't simply rely on a coded key return service. If you do lose the keys to your premises, even if you have spare sets of keys, change the locks or get new cylinders or levers - immediately! Criminals may not use stolen keys straight away and may even return them to you having made a copy. Most insurance policies will have cover for loss of keys, subject to any policy excess.
What is meant by the 'indemnity period' mentioned on my business interruption insurance?
The 'indemnity period' on your business interruption insurance refers to the period during which your turnover is affected as a result of insured damage. It's very important that your indemnity period is not underestimated. This is because finding alternative premises, or demolition, planning and rebuilding as a result of any major damage may take much longer than expected. Even when you are back in business and trading, it may take longer to recover your turnover than you think, so make sure you're fully protected and your indemnity period provides you with a long enough breathing space to get back on track.
When dispatching goods, what should I be aware of and what should be included in my insurance policy?
The extent of insurance can include all shipments of goods within the UK, whether by your own or hired vehicles, haulage contractors or 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. However, 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.
What is meant by the term 'target stock'?
Quite simply, it means any stock that is attractive to a thief. To insure that you have adequate insurance cover in place it is essential that you declare any 'target stock' you may hold. Target stock can include, but is not limited to jewellery, watches, precious metals, CDs, and electrical goods including computers, furs, clothing, cigarettes and alcohol. Not all insurers have the same stock type as 'target', so if in any doubt at all, be certain to ask your insurer or broker. If you don't disclose your target stock to your insurer and you then need to make a claim, it may not be met.
Further information: TH March is a chartered firm of insurance brokers. Established in 1887, the company has offices in London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow and Sevenoaks, as well as its National Administration Centre in Yelverton near Plymouth.
To find out more T: +44 (0)1822 855 555 E: firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit the website www.thmarch.co.uk