Having totted up the cost of all this insurance, it is no wonder that some small companies prefer to take a gamble. But there are ways to cut the costs without taking a risk.Installing fire safety equipment may seem an obvious benefit. It is not. It is part of health and safety requirements and so deemed as standard. However, fitting a burglar “red call” alarm may cut the premiums. This will alert an outside alarm company who in turn call the police if the alarm sounds.
If you have one of these systems, the police will most likely want the names and contact details of two key holders. They will call you the moment the alarm is sounded and ask you to meet them at the premises – this allows them to get in without causing further damage and to discover instantly what is missing.
In-store cameras will help cut shoplifting and may also act as a deterrent to burglars. In the event of an incident, the film can be used for identification of the criminals and as proof that the goods were there.
Some insurers also offer discounts for those operating within towns with closed circuit television surveillance. It is always worth asking.
Unfortunately for the innocent business person, computer chips are worth more than their weight in gold. Sometimes there is a world shortage and prices rise. As the value rises so do the number of associated burglaries.
Plenty of people have stories of smashed computers left behind after the thieves extracted the chip. Who needs a big grey box when the valuable part is so small?
And unfortunately, police warn that thieves will often return in two weeks time, giving you just enough time to have a new computer installed. Securing the computer to a desk is easily done and a relatively cheap way of spoiling their fun.
Having a good "clean" record does not do any harm either. The fewer claims in the past, the more insurers will like taking the risk themselves.
Insurers generally do not check if you have the burglar alarm fitted when you take out a policy. But rest assured, they will be round to check if you make a claim.
Where to go for further help
The Association of British Insurers
The ABI offers small businesses a practical information sheet on how to get insured as well as some advice on what should be covered.
Tel: 020 7600 3333