Shop insurance – declaring the correct information
What is a shop insurance quote?
Before we look at what we need to declare, we should consider what a shop insurance quote is. In the UK, there are very few legal obligations on businesses to arrange insurance. The two main ones are employers liability and third party motor.
A sensible and prudent business owner will look to arrange wider covers. Many insurers provide ready-made shop insurance package policies. These include the usual covers a shop would normally require. Additional covers include stock, money, business interruption and public liability.
Getting the right product
To get the best price, for the right cover, a shop owner will want to compare a few products. A shop insurance quote is an insurer’s price, for a set level of cover. Each insurer that can provide cover, will have their own pricing structure. It is unlikely two insurers will quote the same premium. The cover levels may be similar, but the premiums will usually differ.
Finding a shop insurance quote
A business insurance policy is something that no-one really want to use. When they do, they’ll want it to work, with the minimum of fuss. It’s accepted that there are exclusions, conditions, warranties and excesses within policies. Taking all of these into account though, we want a policy we can rely on. When getting a quote, you’ll want to get some professional advice about the product you’re buying. This is why you should always consider using an independent business insurance broker. Their role is to assess your insurance needs and provide the most suitable quote.
There are sites that offer to compare business insurance. There are other sites that offer single product quotes. This means they do not undertake a review of a range of insurers. If you use one of these sites, you may not get any advice. You’ll also not get a range of quotes, if needed.
For example, you may have a household goods shop, that sells sandwiches. A broker can help advise you on the most suitable product. They’ll provide a quote that notes all of your business activities. If you try an online site, you may be restricted in the business categories you choose. Household goods shops do not normally sell sandwiches. It is not always easy to pick multiple business descriptions.
Declaring the correct information at quote stage
Once you have a shop insurance quote, you can accept this and it becomes a policy. This policy is based on the information in your quote and you need to make sure it is correct. It is a common misconception that all insurers rely on the ‘small print’ to exclude claims. This is not true. To stop this, there are two things you do need to do. Firstly, you should declare all material facts that may affect your insurance. Secondly, your policy should be with a reputable brand name insurer. Most insurance brokers will be able to point to a insurers who will try and rely on small print and delays in paying claims. These are not the insurers you want to support you when a claim occurs.
When getting your quote, you will be asked a number of questions by your broker. This is part of the fact find process. If there is any confusion about the information requested, discuss this with your broker. They’ll advise and guide you what the insurers are looking for. Don’t guess the information or makes assumptions.
Declaring the construction material used
One example would be the building construction. A good construction type for insurers, is brick walls and a tiled roof. If you have a small area of flat roof, maybe felt on timber, make sure your broker knows this. Most insurers will accept this, but may ask for it to be checked by a roofer every few years. If you do not declare this and there is a loss because of the roof, it may delay claims settlement.
Declaring details about the physical security
There are also benefits to declaring information as well. Your business may have an intruder alarm and metal shutters. This may be more than insurers need and you might be able to negotiate a discount.