Offices can run into problems, just like any other workplace. It’s as simple as that and also the main reason why it’s important to take office insurance seriously.
Here are a few top tips on the subject.
Don’t ignore the risks!
Instinctively, we all understand why a factory’s shop floor can be a dangerous environment. Similarly, we can also readily grasp how say a jeweller’s shop might be at high risk of burglary.
By contrast though, offices can seem to be tame environments where not much that’s “bad” can happen. Sadly, that’s wrong.
Fires, accidents, burglary – they can all happen in office environments too. So, consider appropriate office insurance cover.
Look for breadth of cover
Your office is exposed to a number of risks but all too often people assume this is just burglary. In fact, the risks you face are likely to be much wider than just the theft of your office equipment etc.
It might be sensible to consider policies providing:
- burglary cover – yes, nothing in the above is meant to suggest that it’s unimportant! Remember that you may regard things such as PCs and printers as ordinary today but they’re valuable and are a prime target for thieves;
- accidental damage – it won’t cost you less to replace a PC that’s been accidentally dropped and destroyed than it would if it had been stolen;
- personal property protection – just in case items belonging to one of your employees or a visitor are stolen or accidentally destroyed while on your property;
- data loss (e.g. after a fire) and related recovery costs;
- portable equipment cover – for situations where your employees are using equipment away from your office location (e.g. laptops);
- business interruption – for times when you’re unable to carry on your business following an insured peril problem. An illustration here might be where you’re unable to work from your normal premises while they’re being repaired following a flood.
Remember your building liabilities
Many businesses operate out of rented or leased offices.
Don’t assume though that such a position means you’re free from buildings risk exposure.
For example, if you’ve modified or enhanced your premises by owner-approved work such as installing kitchens and rest rooms, they typically won’t be covered by the owner’s own buildings insurance. Another example might arise where your activities have led to a serious structural problem, such as following a fire originating in your offices.
It’s therefore important to consider whether you should include office buildings cover in your standard office insurance.
Unfortunately, accidents can and do happen virtually anywhere.
If you have members of the public, tradespeople or any sort of visitor in your offices, they might readily sue you if they suffer injury following an accident they attribute to your premises. Slips, trips and falls, they can all happen and courts have been known to make huge awards in such cases.
Conform to all national and local laws relating to workplace safety
Insurance policies of almost any kind typically contain conditions relating to you being in conformity with all prevailing laws and regulations.
Workplace safety can become slightly “slack” in some office environments to an extent that would be unacceptable on a shop floor. So, make sure that all cable runs, access passageways, spaces between desks and all related matters, are as laid down and required by things such as health and safety at work legislation.
Remember that if your workplace does not conform to fire and safety regulations, not only might you be heavily fined but it might also put any future claims you make at risk.