Running your own business can have lots of challenges as there are so many things that need to be done. Keeping your customers happy is an obvious priority, then there’s the finances, regulation changes such as Health & Safety, HR matters and much, much, more. However, not keeping your insurer up to date with changes to your business could lead to serious implications.
So to stay covered, Jackie Hyde – Director of Stanmore Insurance Brokers – tells you a few things your insurance advisors need to know.
1. Your accountant has recommended you change your company structure.
If you’ve changed from a ‘Trading as’ to a ‘Limited’ company or due to an acquisition you’ve now added a group company to your structure? You must inform your insurer. Changes to the board, such as new directors need to be highlighted too.
2. Who owns your premises?
Have you bought a property you’ve previously been renting or have you sold your building but continue to be a tenant? You have moved the ownership of the building into a SIPP or your own name? Either way, inform your insurer because new interests may need to be noted. If they are not, then you could have a serious issue in the event of a loss.
3. You’ve made an investment
Have you upgraded your computer system or bought a new piece of machinery? These need adding to your policy. Leased items like photocopiers can be insured too. Don’t forget to inform the lease companies who will automatically insure equipment until they have confirmation from the insurers that they are protected. If you’re not careful you could pay double.
4. The business is expanding
Planning an extension? Make sure you fully understand all Health & Safety regulations and in particular Construction Design Management rules and regulations. It is vital you seek expert advice before you start work. Then speak with your advisors to ensure that you have the correct insurance is in place. This varies depending on how the project will be managed.
5. There’s been an incident
If something has happened that could lead to a claim, make sure you let your insurer or advisor know, they can help you to gather evidence to help defend any claims, especially while the incident is fresh in everyone’s minds.
6. You’ve upgraded your security
Have you invested in a new alarm, added window bars, installed shutters or upgraded your security in any way, pass on the news to your insurer. This is particularly important if it is as a consequence of an incident as it demonstrates the quality of your management in reducing the risks of reoccurrence of a similar incident. You may also need to increase your cover to protect the additional items you have purchased.
And last but not least…
7. You’ve sold the business
It might seem obvious, but we’ve known of businesses being sold and the seller forgetting to tell their insurer. So if you’re no longer the owner, let your insurance advisor know. Certain insurance cover such as Directors & Officers Liability or Professional Indemnity will need to be extended to protect you against past losses.