Making an insurance claim: Four companies tell their stories
Case study one – The builder’s tale
Trevor Finlay is a builder based in south London who works as a sole trader – all he needs to do business is his skill, his mobile phone and his van full of tools. Business has been slow for Trevor over the past year and, although he recognises the value of insurance cover, he needs to be very careful that he gets exactly the right cover.
“Cashflow is tight right now, so I need to know I haven’t paid for any unnecessary insurance cover,” explains Trevor, “I know I need to make sure I’m safe at work, but I really wasn’t sure what cover I needed.”
The building trade has specific risks and, as well as the standard cover, Lloyds TSB advised Trevor to investigate Public Liability insurance, which will cover him for any accidental injury he might cause to others or physical damage to their property.
This cover also protects Trevor against any consequential damage – say sparks fly from his drill bit and it causes a fire in a customer’s home.
Finally, because Trevor uses his van for both business and personal use, Lloyds TSB also persuaded him to take a close look at his motor insurance cover. He found that he needed to extend his existing motor policy to Class One to cover the vehicle for all uses.
Case study two – The florist’s tale
Fiona Whitham works as a florist from her small shop in High Wycombe. Business is booming but, because she only recently started up the business, she was a bit unsure about insurance and had been confused by all the jargon.
“I really couldn’t make head nor tail out of all the paperwork, I just wasn’t sure what cover I needed,” she explained. To help her clarify her insurance needs Fiona called the Lloyds TSB Insurance advise line who were able to help her chose exactly what cover she required.
Fiona employs one part-time member of staff to help her with deliveries. And, even though this isn’t a full-time job, Fiona still has to invest in Employers’ Liability cover. This is vitally important as it covers Fiona for the cost of any compensation she might have to pay out if the employee is injured, or they suffers an illness caused by work.
And because the delivery person was using Fiona’s van to distribute the flowers she also had to extend her motor insurance to Class Two cover, this allows drivers other than yourself to use your car for business.
Fiona was also recommended that she bought Goods In Transit cover. This policy would cover Fiona’s beautiful bouquets against damage, loss or theft while they’re being delivered.
Case study three – The B&B owner’s tale
Running a busy bed and breakfast in Whitby is a full-time job for Ernest Fletcher and his wife Irene. The couple recently retired and bought the thriving business from its previous owner just a few months ago. In an attempt to keep insurance premiums down Ernest decided to shop around for a new insurance provider, armed with a list of his requirements.
Top of the list was Employee Liability cover, closely followed by Public Liability. The Fletchers will be employing a raft of permanent and temporary staff to help out with the cleaning and cooking in the B&B and they all have to be covered for the cost of any compensation the couple might have to pay out if they’re injured at work.
Public Liability insurance will cover the Fletchers against any claims made against their business for personal injury or for damage done to property. For example, a guest could trip over a loose piece of carpet and fall down the stairs. This insurance will cover the Fletchers for any legal costs associated with defending claims made against the business.
Ernest was also eager to invest in Business Interruption cover. In a B&B a fire or flood could have a catastrophic effect on business, Ernest wants to protect the B&B against any resulting loss of income or profit.
Case study four – The landlord’s tale
Martin Naylor runs the Royal Oak pub in Derbyshire and he’s had to make a few claims on his business insurance in the past as a result of a spate of burglaries in the area. He’s currently in the process of auditing his insurance to make sure he has the cover his business needs.
In an attempt to cut down his premiums Martin has undergone a complete Health & Safety audit in the pub, as he explains: “I really wanted to keep costs down and I figured if I could prove I’d made real practical changes as a result of a Health & Safety audit that this would impress the insurance company. I worked with the staff in the pub to come up with a new policy, which is well understood and implemented by my five-strong team.”
These changes helped keep premiums down, but Martin also felt he needed a couple of specialist policies to ensure the pub was properly covered. For example, he decided that he needed to add Deterioration of Stock cover to his policy. The pub offers meals and stores the food in a large refrigerator, this cover protects Martin against any loss of perishable goods due to the freezer breaking down for example.
Also, Loss of License insurance came as standard with his policy. This provides Martin with cover should, due to causes beyond his control, he loses his license to sell alcohol.
Martin also decided that Business Money cover was worth investing in as this covers the loss of cash or cheques either from the premises or in transit – in the licensing trade this can be a regular occurrence. Finally Martin decided to add Theft by Employees cover to the shopping list, as he employs many casual staff and has been hit by in-house pilfering before.
Case study five – The Marketing man’s tale
Michael Hislop and Amanda Carr run their successful Glasgow-based marketing and PR firm as a partnership. The duo set up the business a couple of years ago but they’re still in the process of finalising insurance cover for the company.
Lloyds TSB staff advised the pair that, as well as the basic set of insurance services, they should look at taking out Partnership Protection. “We’d never really thought insurance would cover us for any partnership problems, but now we know about this cover we’ll definitely be investing in it,” explains Michael.
Partnership Protection can be a valuable addition to your insurance policies; if either Michael or Amanda dies or suffers a critical illness it means that the other partner isn’t left financially vulnerable.
Because Michael and Amanda had taken a business loan to help them cover the initial costs of setting up the business the pair also decided to invest in Creditor Insurance; this protects a lender if you can’t meet your loan or overdraft due to accident, sickness or death.
The business also relies heavily on its IT infrastructure and so it was vital that the insurance covered computer breakdowns. The pair also decided to add Portable Equipment cover to the shopping list. Both partners spend much of their time on the road travelling to client’s offices and this insurance covers items such as mobile phones and laptops against theft and accidental damage both on and off business premises.
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