What covers are available under a shop insurance policy
The main business insurance companies in the UK usually provide package insurance policies. A package policy contains the covers usually required by a specific trade. This is very similar to a car insurance policy. Within a car policy, the main covers are third party liability, accidental damage and windscreen. These are put together, or packaged, into one single policy. Business insurance is very similar. A shop insurance policy can include buildings, contents, stock, liabilities, business interruption and money.
What is theft
One of the main covers is for theft. Before we look at the cover under a policy, we’ll consider what theft actually means. Theft is defined within the Theft Act 1968. The full act runs to the 37 pages. Section one contains the basic definition of theft.
“A person is guilty of theft if he dishonestly appropriates property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it”
The act continues in much more detail, including further clarification of words and definitions. Theft can involve threats of violence to another, which is robbery. There are also difference between theft where there is evidence of a break in. A shoplifter, who steals during business hours, still commits theft. However there is no physical break in to the shop premises.
The level of theft insurance under a shop policy
Shop insurances policies don’t usually include all types of theft. This is similar to most business insurance policies. Theft cover is only provided where there is evidence of a physical break in to, or exit from a premises. Shoplifting, for example, is not included under a shop insurance policy. It is considered to be a risk borne by the business. Insurers could, potentially, be open to significant levels of claims. If a shop owner did not take due care of their stock, shoplifting could occur on a regular basis. Insurers are not prepared to insure this risk. If there is a threat of, or actual, physical violence, this is included within theft cover.
Insurers expect business to take reasonable steps to prevent shoplifting.
How is theft cover different under a shop insurance policy?
All policies contain definitions of the cover provided. A typical shop insurance policy theft definition is briefly summarised here:-
Theft, or any attempt, involving entry to or exit from the premises, by forcible and violent means.
Theft or attempted theft
The first part confirms that actual theft, where something is stolen, is included. It also extends to say that attempted theft, is include. If a thief tries to break in, and is disturbed and flees, this is attempted theft. The chances are they cause damage in attempting to break in. It is not unusual for this to cost more than the theft. Whether they damage buildings, doors, cupboards or display cases, damage to these is included.
Theft involving entry or exit
The middle part refers to entry to or exit from the insured building. Most thieves of course break in to premises. There are examples though of thieves hiding inside a building during business hours. Then, when the business is closed, they commit theft and break out.
Forcible and violent theft
The last part refers to forcible and violent means. This does not mean violence to a person. It refers to violence causing property damage. If this was changed to forcible only, this would affect how premises are secured. Let’s consider a window without a lock that is pushed shut. If a thief pulls this open, they are applying force. The reason for the violence wording, is to ensure the window is actually closed, with a lock or catch. To open this window now would involve force and violence, to break the lock.
You may be considering a shop insurance policy, for a new business or an existing renewal. If this is the case, please let Jelf Clark Thomson have the opportunity to provide a quote. You can phone the quote team on 03300 55 3444. Alternatively, fill out our quote enquiry team and we’ll get back to you.