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Deserted high street during lockdown

Five reasons to insure your high street business during lockdown

With the UK in effective lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19, many high street businesses have been forced to temporarily close their doors and wait for the chance to recover once the restrictions ease.

Naturally, the need to manage costs with little or no money coming in leads to questions about insurance. On the face of it they are perfectly reasonable questions, like “My business is closed, why do I need insurance?” and “Is insurance a financial burden that I could do without?”.

But the truth is, at a time when we should expect the unexpected, maintaining your business insurance cover is as important as it ever was. Here are five reasons to maintain a business insurance safety net during lockdown:

1. Make sure you have a business to reopen

Your business premises might be temporarily closed, but that does not mean your premises, stock, and equipment are protected against potentially devastating incidents like fire, flood, escape of water, accidental damage, and theft. In fact, there is some evidence to suggest that crime against high street business premises is on the rise during lockdown.1&2 The question is, if you lost your premises, your stock, and equipment you rely on, would you be able to recover without insurance to help with the cost?

2. Employers liability insurance is still a legal requirement

If you employ people even on a part-time basis you are still legally required to have employers' liability insurance in place, even if they are not currently working every day – in fact, you could face fines of up to £2,500 per day that you don’t have cover in place.3 It’s worth remembering that this cover helps with things like legal defence costs and compensation if an employee is injured or falls ill at work. Could you afford to cover these costs yourself if something were to go wrong?

3. You won’t be covered for liability claims if you don’t have cover in place

Many businesses consider public liability insurance as an essential cover to have to protect from potential high compensation claims. It covers compensation costs and legal fees associated with a claim for damaged possessions, bodily injury or death to a member of the public, whether they’re a customer, supplier, contractor or simply a passer-by. Whether you’re open for business now or may soon be reopening, you should consider whether you could afford these claims costs if you don’t have the appropriate public liability cover in place?

Professional indemnity is a liability insurance and is there to protect you if a client, customer or member of the public makes a claim against your business for an error or omission in your professional advice or services, even historical claims. But remember, to remain protected, you must have cover in place at the time of the claim, regardless of when the incident it relates to happened – otherwise you could be exposed to potentially ruinous legal fees and compensation.

4. For some trade bodies or franchises, insurance cover is a condition of membership

If your business is a member of a trade body or franchise, it’s likely to be an invaluable source of support and information. But remember that some will only allow you to remain a member if you have valid business insurance in place. Maintaining insurance cover may also ensure you still get access to all that vital support.

5. Cost needn’t be the barrier you might think it is

There are ways to cut or spread the cost of insurance. Working with an insurance broker such as Marsh Commercial can help you to find a policy – and a price – that serves you best.

Give us a try: Find the right cover at the right price

Marsh Commercial are proud to support the nation’s high street businesses, with easy access to the right business insurance at the right price. We’ll help you work out exactly what retail insurance or shop insurance you need, then take on the task of searching our selection of the UK’s leading and specialist insurers for affordable cover.

Be prepared, be covered

It’s important to stay covered during the Coronavirus pandemic, and know what cover you may need when you fully reopen for business. We can help.

1. express.co.uk/coronavirus-uk-crime-burglaries-shops-pubs-uk-lockdown-police
2. vice.com/shoplifters-pickpockets-stealing-coronavirus-crime
. gov.uk/employers-liability-insurance

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