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Small Businesses Warned Not To Scrimp On Insurance Polices

Small Businesses Warned Not To Scrimp On Insurance Polices

A report in Money Week suggests that some small companies stopped paying at least one type of insurance during the pandemic in an attempt to reduce their overheads. While in some ways this is understandable, as the lockdown left many businesses fighting for survival, the article warns that cancelling insurance policies is false economy.

It is illegal in some cases for a business to operate without certain types of insurance, and if it is discovered to be doing so, the business owner could face steep fines or other penalties. For example, it is a legal requirement for businesses who employ even just one member of staff to have employers’ liability insurance.

If the business uses a vehicle, it is also required by law to have motor insurance, with a minimum of third-party cover providing £1m of insurance for property damage and an unlimited amount for personal injury.

While it is not always a legal requirement to have public liability insurance, business owners are taking a huge gamble if the company interacts with people who are not employees.

For example, if customers or clients visit the business premises for any reason, and as a result sustain an injury, illness, or damage to their property, they are entitled to claim for compensation. Public liability insurance is designed to help cover any damages awarded to the claimant, and help with legal costs to the business owner.

The pandemic has also highlighted the need for business interruption insurance, which is designed to pay out if the business is unable to trade due to temporary closure of the premises. This could be because of a fire or flood, but small businesses recently successfully challenged for Covid-19 claims in the courts.

While all businesses are free to assess the risk in certain areas of insurance, it can prove a lot more costly in the long run to opt out of certain types of cover.

Looking to compare public liability insurance? Visit our website today.

Cumbrian Firms Warned About Under-Insurance

Cumbrian Firms Warned About Under-Insurance

Many firms in the county of Cumbria are at risk of being under-insured, a local broker has warned.

Ryan Roberts of RAW Insurance told Cumbria Crack that business property insurance is one of the areas where firms are taking out less cover than they need for the true value of their buildings and other assets.

He gave the example of a firm that insured its buildings for £500,000 when their true value was £1 million, which would mean they would be classed as under-insured.

“In this case, a fire at the premises with a repair cost of £100,000 would be settled by insurers at £50,000, leaving the policyholder seriously out of pocket,” Mr Roberts explained.

He added that firms should make sure that have their premises independently valued before they get insurance and emphasised the sum that matters is how much it would cost to rebuild the premises, not the present market value or how much it was originally bought for.

Similarly, the cost of replacing contents should also be the key metric, while for firms that have invested in machinery or equipment there needs to be a regular appraisal, as the old policy may have covered fewer items or less expensive equipment.

Mr Roberts said the cost of living should also be taken into account, observing: “While most policies are index-linked, factors such as an increase in the cost of building materials could directly impact on rebuilding costs.”

Of course, it won’t just be businesses in Cumbria that have to face these questions. Indeed, this is a widespread problem across the country. Premier Line estimates 40 per cent of firms are under-insured.

With many firms having struggled through the pandemic, it would be a tragedy now to be able to get back to something like normal trading only to be undermined by a problem they cannot receive sufficient payment to resolve. That is why you should take care never to be under-insured.

3 Ways To Profit From Your Empty Office Space

3 Ways To Profit From Your Empty Office Space

The pandemic has changed lives all around the world, and business closures have left hundreds of commercial buildings empty, from offices to shops.

With the announced closure of clothing retailer Gap meaning another shuttered storefront on the high street, landlords may be wondering what can be done with empty properties. We have a look at three ideas to help landlords make a profit from empty commercial spaces.

 

1. Private events

Post-pandemic, many people will be looking for clean spaces to meet up and organise private events, from book clubs, private parties, or exhibitions, your vacant office space could be the key to helping people get back together safely.

 

2. Professional training

Some companies may adopt a permanent remote work policy, and do away with the need for full-time office space. However, they may need a place to host meetings or staff training. Your commercial space could become a meeting room for hire.

 

3. Pop-ups

A pop-up is a short-term retail store, such as a holiday craft shop, summertime brewery, food market, or clothing retailer. They typically last a few days or weeks, which is beneficial if you don’t want to commit to a long-term rental contract. Pop-ups can be excellent ways for businesses to increase brand awareness and revenue.

Whatever you decide to do with your vacant premises, always consider any risks involved, and contact your insurer to find out what coverage you need, such as commercial or public liability insurance. Why not contact us for a quote today?

Are You Open To Lets With Pets?

Are You Open To Lets With Pets?

A campaign from the Dog’s Trust, ‘Lets With Pets’ has been informing landlords and letting agencies that exclude tenants with pets from their properties that they are missing out on a significant share of the rental market, with nearly half of UK households currently owning a pet.

Unlike this peculiar story of an unusual pet in Edinburgh, most pets are cats and dogs, and if one of your tenants asks permission to keep a pet on the property, do you know what your reaction will be?

It may initially seem like a risk to allow animals in your property, but permitting tenants to keep a pet can set you apart from other landlords, improve your relationship with your tenants, and even allow you to add a premium to the rental value you can achieve.

With almost half of all households in the UK owning a pet, by excluding pet-owning tenants, you could be missing out on a massive part of the rental market. Allowing pets can increase the demand for your property, and attract responsible tenants looking for a long-term let.

Once a tenant finds a tenancy that allows them to bring their furry friend, they are far more likely to stay.

While it is no longer possible to charge a ‘pet deposit’, most pet owners would be willing to increase their rent by a small amount to account for additional wear and tear, meaning more profit for you.

For the vast majority of pet owners, their four-legged friend is a much-loved member of the family, and they take ownership very seriously. Pets require commitment, a regular income, and a responsible nature – all desirable traits in a tenant.

You may need to check with your insurance provider to see if your policy includes accidental pet damage, as it is likely that it will not be included as standard.

If you’re looking for landlords insurance, get in touch today.

Top Tips For Lowering Your Premiums

Top Tips For Lowering Your Premiums

Ensuring your home is adequately insured is vital, and in some cases is either legally required or is a condition for successfully applying for a mortgage.

However, not all insurances are equal and there are many ways in which you can stop overpaying for your buildings, contents and combined policies.

 

Shop Around

One mistake many people make when setting up their insurance is taking the buildings insurance policy their mortgage provider offers them. Sometimes this is done for convenience but in other cases, it’s under the misguided belief that you have to take their policy.

Take advantage of home insurance comparison websites and compare different deals to see if there is a cheaper insurance policy that covers everything you need.

Avoid auto-renewing policies wherever possible, and be willing to shop around near the deadline to renew to get the best deal. Comparing deals and threatening to move away is the best way to keep getting the best deal.

 

Go Combined

Oddly, whilst shopping around will often get you the best deal for either buildings or contents policies, in many cases an insurance provider will provide a cheaper combined policy.

According to data from Money Supermarket, a combined policy can save over £30 a year.

 

Pay Annually

Making an up-front, annual premiums payment can save you money compared with monthly premium policies, so if you can pay a lump sum try to do so.

 

Pay For What You Need

It can be very easy to stack on different insurance add-ons “just in case”, such as for home emergencies, legal expenses and accidental damage. These can significantly increase the price of premiums for situations that are rare for most people.

 

No Claims Discounts And Higher Excesses

If you can afford to and do not expect to make claims, consider increasing your excess (the amount you pay before the policy kicks in) and start to build up a no-claims discount by paying the cost of minor repairs and little accidents yourself.

 

Make sure you are comfortable doing this financially; if you do not feel comfortable paying a higher excess or paying for repairs then it is fine to claim on your insurance or accept a lower excess.

Landlords Invited To Talks With Government

Landlords Invited To Talks With Government

Bodies representing landlords have been invited to high-level talks with government ministers about the future of the private rental sector (PRS).

The government has proposed a ‘Renter’s Reform Bill’ that would see an end to Section 21 repossessions – so called ‘no fault’ evictions. It is now planning a white paper on the sector and National Residential Landlords Association (NRLA) chief executive Ben Beadle is among those invited to talks to discuss what the legislation might entail.

Property investors looking for a landlord insurance quote may be very interested in the outcome, as such cover can include protection against a loss of rental income from tenants who fail to pay or cause other costs to be incurred.

Discussing the meetings ahead, Mr Beadle commented that the changes the government has previously signalled represented “some of the biggest changes to the private rented sector in 30 years”.

He added: “It is therefore vital the Government ensures reforms are fair and workable for both landlords and tenants and we will be working with Ministers to make sure that is the case.”

Mr Beadle noted that one of the original proposals mooted two years ago was a strengthening of the right of landlords to evict tenants when they have a legitimate reason to do so, something he wants to see retained in any new legislation. He also called for a “tenant-landlord conciliation service” to resolve disputes.

The issue of evictions has come back on the agenda this month after the Covid-related ban on them was lifted in England.

While many tenants have been unable to pay rent due to the financial impact of the pandemic, landlords have also been unable to evict those who have failed to pay without good reason.

The NRLA has joined a number of other bodies in calling for government financial help to help both landlords and renters who have been struggling financially because of the pandemic and the consequent inability to pay the rent.

Do I Need Public Liability Insurance As A Freelancer?

Do I Need Public Liability Insurance As A Freelancer?

If you’re a freelancer, and you work with the public, with third parties’ property, or have visits from third parties at their place of work, then you should have public liability insurance. Should a member of the public get injured or has property damaged as a result of a freelancer’s work, public liability insurance covers the cost of compensation claims and associated legal costs.

The last year has changed the work lives of many people, and some, faced with the prospect of returning to the office after a year or more of working from home, are thinking of quitting their jobs to start working freelance, so we wanted to have look at what insurance you need if you’re taking your first steps into self-employment.

Unless you work in the horse riding business, there is no legal obligation to attain public liability insurance, so it is up to the individual to decide and weigh up the risks of something happening versus the cost of a policy.

Public liability insurance is typically sold in £1 million, £2 million, and £5 million cover limits, but if you’re a small-scale freelancer who does not interact much with the general public, it is unlikely you would need the highest level of cover. Cover typically starts at around £50 to £80 a year for most freelance industries, according to research from NimbleFins.

If freelancer wants to join a trade association or body, they may be required to have public liability insurance as part of the terms of membership, and it could be that certain clients will only work with freelancers if they have a policy in place.

However, it may not be required for all freelancers. If your work is home-based, you do not work directly with clients, or the only contact is through sit-down meetings, the risk of damaging property is probably negligible, and the cost of a policy outweighs the risk.

Insurance is important for a freelancer as there is less financial protection for an individual running their business this way. Unlike a limited company, a freelancer is responsible for all costs.

What is appropriate will differ for every freelancer, but it is strongly advised to look at the insurance needed for a business working in your field and weigh up the risks and cost.

 

If you’re looking for public liability insurance, talk to us today.

Contents Insurance For Renters

Contents Insurance For Renters

Looking for Contents Insurance For Renters?

 

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When you sign a lease on a property, it’s essential that you sort out contents insurance for renters before you move into your new home, as this will give you all the cover you need for the possessions you have in the house.

You don’t need to worry about buildings insurance as this is your landlord’s responsibility but, although your landlord will have a contents insurance policy, this will only cover the items within the house that they themselves own and provide for you, such as carpets and furniture.

 

What are the Benefits of Contents Insurance For Renters?

The level of cover you secure as a tenant is up to you in terms of the extras you feel you need, but typically speaking this kind of policy will cover you for damage as a result of fires, vandalism, theft, riots, escape of water, subsidence, storms and explosions. Always check to see if you’re covered for accidental damage, as this isn’t always included as standard.

When deciding upon the amount of cover you think you’ll need, think about how much it will likely cost to replace items.

 

Find the Best Contents Insurance For You

It’s important to be as accurate as you can where this is concerned, as if you underestimate then you’ll find that you can’t make a claim if something happens. Common items insured by those renting a property include computer equipment, jewellery, bicycles and watches.

You can take steps to reduce the cost of your insurance by investing in home security measures to reduce the risk of theft, which will see insurers lowering your premiums, as well as paying annually and choosing a higher excess.

 

Get the Right Contents Insurance for Your Rental Circumstance

Here at Just Quote Me, we can help you compare all types of insurance policies so you can find the right kind of cover for you at the best price, using our state-of-the-art comparison engine.

 

Contact us to find out more about Contents Insurance For Renters:

Go online and Get a Quote or call us on 0800 084 2325

Why Working At Height Insurance Matters

Why Working At Height Insurance Matters

Working at height is often a very necessary task, but it inevitably comes with dangers. Whether it is a crane operator, a window cleaner on a tall building, a roofer, or a tree surgeon in a cherry picker, there will be numerous occasions where working at height is necessary.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has much to say about this issue and for good reason: It is the most common cause of death and serious injury in UK workplaces. The HSE defines working at height as “work in any place where, if there were no precautions in place, a person could fall a distance liable to cause personal injury (for example a fall through a fragile roof).”

As an employer, it is important to know your legal responsibilities from the outset. These are primarily contained in the Work at Height Regulations 2005, which are more precise than the nonetheless important general provisions of the Health and Safety At Work Act 1974.

While work should not be done at height unless necessary, the fact that it so often does need to be means your firm can benefit from working at height insurance. This will cover you for work undertaken in situations where people are using slings, scaffolds, platform access and various other potentially hazardous settings.

This will give you indemnity against accidents, although it is very important to be aware that this does not absolve you of the serious legal responsibilities involved. The 2005 regulations set out the responsibilities employers have to carry out full risk assessments, provide the right equipment and ensure tasks are carried out by trained and competent people.

Failures can lead to tragic consequences for accident victims and also lead to prosecutions for firms, with both hefty penalties and significant reputational damage.

It is, therefore, crucial both to be properly insured and still follow the law very closely when you have staff working in these potentially dangerous situations.

Fleets Warned Over Catalytic Converter Thefts

Fleets Warned Over Catalytic Converter Thefts

According to the RAC and Ageas insurance, catalytic converter theft is on the rise, promoted by the pandemic, as many vehicles are left unused on driveways and company premises.

Owners of both privately owned vehicles and company fleets, such as this London tax firm, have all fallen victim to the theft of catalytic converters, with thieves wanting to strip away the precious metals they are made with.

Three-in-10 of all theft claims reported are now related to catalytic converters. Before the lockdown catalytic converter theft only accounted for around one in five.

“Drivers are often oblivious of their vehicle’s catalytic converter being stolen,” said RAC spokesman Simon Williams.

“Our patrols are often called to attend cars that have suddenly become excessively noisy. On investigation, it’s very often the case that the car’s catalytic converter has been stolen.”

Part of a car’s exhaust system, catalytic converters contain a honeycomb coated with precious metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium which help to filter harmful gases from the vehicles’ exhaust systems.

However, when the global value of these metals increases, it usually leads to a spike in thefts. Prices of rhodium hit a record high earlier this year, up more than 200 per cent since March 2020.

The RAC is recommending drivers and fleets get in the habit of taking extra precautions to guard against this type of crime.

With, most offences taking place at night, the RAC says it makes sense to park a vehicle in a well-lit and residential location or a garage if available.

 

If you’re looking for fleet insurance quote online, then visit our website today.

What Is Meant By “Deliberate Acts” In Insurance Policies?

What Is Meant By “Deliberate Acts” In Insurance Policies?

The phrase “deliberate acts” is found in many policies, particularly in public liability insurance. However, it is often important to know exactly how this applies in practice.

As a recent Supreme Court case will attest, liability is a somewhat complex part of an insurance policy and the more that is understood about what liability is and what insurance policies cover, the better.

Liability, put as simply as possible, is the person or business who is held to be legally responsible for an event or action, and therefore must face the consequences of these actions.

The most basic examples of these are the responsibility if a product causes illness or injury (product liability), responsibility for the safety of employees (worker’s compensation and/or employment practices liability), and injuries that take place on/in a place of business (public liability).

The latter example is one of the broadest types of insurance and can vary wildly depending on the type of business, whether it is public-facing, serves alcohol and other factors.

Generally, exceptions to public liability insurance are covered by other insurance types, such as property damage and employee liability. However, one key clause that is almost always exempt from liability insurance is deliberate acts.

Deliberate acts is a phrase that appears to be simple; any act intentionally undertaken by a business that they become liable for is not covered. However, it is not always that simple.

There are cases where a person or business’s inaction makes them liable, such as continuing work when it could put a bystander in danger, but this also has to be willful and deliberate.

Recklessness was not enough to constitute a deliberate act, even if this would have been the case for criminal ordinary liability.

What Type Of Insurance Does A Restaurant Need?

What Type Of Insurance Does A Restaurant Need?

Running a restaurant can be a very rewarding occupation, both financially and personally. As all UK pubs, restaurants, and other indoor food vendors prepare to reopen shortly, the owners of these types of business will no doubt be checking up on their insurance policies. Here is a quick guide to insurance requirements for commercial food premises.

 

Commercial property

If the restaurant owns the premises, then it should be covered for risks such as flood, fire, and damage from theft with commercial buildings insurance. Fires are a particular hazard for restaurant kitchens, as there may be several high-temperature appliances on the go at once, in a busy space where staff are working at close quarters.

 

Contents and stock cover

This applies to restaurants who rent or own the premises. Contents insurance provides financial protection against accidental damage, loss, or theft of equipment which is essential to operate the business. Examples include furniture, tills, ovens, and general kitchen appliances.

Stock content covers ingredients and prepared food from loss, theft, or damage, but be sure to read the small print as there may be exceptions.

 

Public liability insurance

This is essential to protect any business that deals with members of the public. It covers claims of accidental damage or injury to visitors, if the business owner is found liable. For example, if a customer trips over a loose floor tile, they may claim compensation for injuries caused.

 

Product liability insurance

This is absolutely essential for restaurants. It covers cases of food poisoning and allergic reactions in customers who have become ill after consuming food, and pursue a claim of bodily injury against the business.

 

Employers’ liability insurance

This is required by law for all workers, including casual and temporary staff. It will protect the business from a compensation claim from an employee who has been injured at work, for example.

 

If you are looking for takeaway business insurance, please contact us today!