Business insurance – is yours up to speed?

When it comes to business insurance, it is important to ensure your policy keeps pace with how your operations change over time. Your business description should capture all business property and activities and, although it may be one of the most boring aspects of your insurance policy, who you are and what you do needs to be stated correctly.

To discuss the importance of getting your business insurance policy right, Charlotte Perkins from The Wilson Organisation took to the main stage at OW19. As Group Managing Director, Charlotte is responsible for the operations at Wilsons and manages the insurance side of the business, overseeing several key client accounts. With many years’ experience in the insurance industry Charlotte ensures clients receive expert professional insurance advice combined with the highest level of customer service and a constant awareness of changes in industry and market conditions:

“Reading through the Ts & Cs of an insurance policy is not an enjoyable thing – trust me, I do it all the time!

Policy Conditions are often the least interesting clauses in the document and are often skipped over when reading the policy document – that’s if you read it! However, they have considerable power and lawyers acting on behalf of insurers are skilled in understanding and applying the conditions rigorously.

For example, we have a new client who are importers and wholesalers of everything from dog beds to garden sheds. The turnover is approx. £35m and they had introduced a new line of e-bikes. When we reviewed their policy, we realised they had not been made aware of a lithium battery condition on their policy and were storing the bikes within the main warehouse. Insurers had stipulated:

  1. The storage of lithium batteries inside the Buildings is strictly prohibited except for the storage of orders being dispatched.
  2. Lithium batteries stored outside the Buildings must be kept in lockable, metal shipping containers away from the Buildings.

This means that had the batteries caused a fire, their entire site would have been uninsured.

It was obvious to us that the client wasn’t complying but not only that, they couldn’t really comply either as bikes couldn’t be stored outside as it had a negative impact on their picking times and processes, so we took the time to negotiate with insurers and the client can now store the e-bikes in their main stockholding – so everything is fully insured.

A regular review of your business insurance helps you keep your insurances up to speed as your business grows. We have clients that are developing rapidly, taking on new lines, buying new premises, taking on new operations and contracts. For example, we regularly hold meeting with David Hallam and the OrderWise team as they are always innovating within the business, so keeping up to speed with their development is essential.

The biggest emerging insurance risk is cyber. A physical break-in is now old hat – burglars are old school, whereas virtual break-ins are increasing daily. Here are the stats:

  • Over 90% of cybersecurity professionals believe their companies are vulnerable to attack
  • A third of all businesses reported a cyber security breaches or attack in the last 12 months – for medium and large businesses this was over 60%
  • The average costs of an attack in 2019 are £9,000 for medium firms and £22,000 for large firms
  • Only 11% of businesses have cyber insurance

We’ve been providing every client with a quotation for cyber insurance for the last 3 years and the take-up is now much greater. It’s affordable, it’s flexible in terms of cover and we think it’s an absolute necessity.

With the pace of change speeding up, the future isn’t that far away. Just make sure your business keeps up to speed with its insurance.”

For a full recap on OW19: Focus on the Future, read our dedicated blog.

For more on The Wilson Organisation, visit their website.

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