For a lot of home owners, the thought of losing their property is probably one of the worst things imaginable. Your property is your financial security and a safe place for you and your family. Luckily for you, your insurance provider is there is pick up the costs and keep you safe if anything should happen.
For some people, the impact of losing a property can be much worse- what if the property that burnt down was your business?
The thought of losing your income, the fear of rebuilding, and finding another job. It bears not thinking about for most, but if you own a business, you should be considering your options.
Whether you own a sweet shop or an accounting company- there are ways to lessen the impact and protect yourself if something like this should happen.
Just because you don’t have a base to work from, don’t presume the worst. You should really consider how you would run your business without a base.
Not keeping your business flowing may not only affect you. You must also think about your customer service, staff and possible partners.
Do any of your customers rely on deliveries? You could plan to redirect your deliveries to your home or alternative address and try to turn over a profit by delivering to those customers still.
Could your staff work from home? If you run an online business, your staff may be willing to continue business from home and continue generating revenue.
Understandably, choosing a location isn’t always easy if you have already established a local name or been running for a while. For those who may be willing to relocate or thinking of setting up a business, your location is very important.
You can lessen the chance of natural disasters by investing in an area with minimal risk to natural disasters such as floods and severe weather.
The UK Environment Agency have compiled a PDF of potential risks in certain areas and how to recognise them. Read that here- https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/61342/natural-hazards-infrastructure.pdf
Some of these risks include Coastal Flooding, Animal Disease, Inland flooding and even risks of cyber and public attacks.
Another risk to consider should be the age and state of the property. Some buildings may use dated sewage and drainage systems which can increase the risk of damage to the property.
Not only that, but some of these risks can effect the cost of your commercial insurance.
Have a read of our article 'Why your property might be considered a higher risk' for some clear explanations as to some signs you need to be wary of.
What are your options?-
An important option to remember is whether or not you will need to reinstate or rebuild your property.
As insurance brokers we see a confusion between these two quite often.
This is where it is very important that you have in fact got the correct insurance in place. We also see a lot of issues with underinsurance because people can concentrate more on saving money instead of protecting their assets. You can read our article on the effects of underinsurance here.
In not being properly insured, you risk not being able to cover the property repairs or getting paid enough to buy a new, efficient property for your business.
When you get Commercial Property insurance with UKinsuranceNET, our advisors talk you through the process and ensure that you fully understand what you are covered for.
Communication is Key-
The best thing that you can do for your insurer, is keep them in the loop. They need to know as soon as you know so that your property insurance is up to date.
Also, it may be a good idea to keep your customers up to date. If you own a high street groceries, your customers will probably be made aware if the business gets burnt down.
They may turn to Sainsbury’s to buy their groceries for the time being- so you should keep them in the loop. Put up a sign that explains a date you will be back in business, an alternative location or just regularly try and put it in the local newspaper so that loyal customers don’t forget about you.
Do the same for your staff. If they can’t work from home, you should plan a weekly email to them and let them know exactly what’s happening so that they know where they stand in regards to finding a new job.
This can keep the time of business interruption to a minimum.
The best thing that you can do to protect yourself is start planning now, before anything bad happens.
Create an official business plan that lays out all of your options and will help you keep your head above water if something terrible did happen to your business.
You can include-
- Emergency Plan
Have a staff member assigned to contacting emergency services.
Plan how you will contact relevant staff members to the emergency.
Build relationships with local tradesmen who may be needed at short notice to help out.
Inform your insurer of the situation.
If something like a fire or flood has occurred, you should try and contact your neighbours (if they aren’t already aware) so that they can also prepare for any damage that may have effected their property.
Contact staff members and their family so that they can get home safely and are being looked after if the incident happened while they were at work.
Inform all staff that were not present of the current situation.
Create an incident assessment so that all risks have been considered so that your business maintains it reputation and safety standards.
You may need to have an emergency backup system for all of your work files.
Could you contact another building to set up your business in an event of a fire? You should plan in advance to have temporary premises.
Business Interruption Insurance- UKinsuranceNET can cover your annual profit with Business Interruption Insurance. By estimating how long it would take for you to rebuild or repair your business, you can protect yourself for up to three years.
Please consider all options that may be applicable toy our type of business or speak to a financial advisor to prepare for all outcomes.
Our Knowledge Base is full of information that you can use to protect all kinds of property.
If you're worried about being flooded, or need advice if you have already had a flood, take a look at our article- The Aftermath: How to come back from a flood.