Can I bring our premiums down?
I’m in the process of renewing my company’s business premises insurance. However, the premiums offered by our existing insurer have skyrocketed, despite the fact we’ve not had to make a claim in the past two years and, according to statistics, crime in our area (Glasgow) has dropped by 37%. We’ve a good alarm and locking systems on some of the internal doors, but are there any other steps I can take to help bring the cost down?
A. Keith Stibbards of Ace Insurance writes:
Insurers have been experiencing record losses recently, and this has led to premiums rising in almost all areas.
When offering a quotation, insurers take a number of factors into consideration, such as claims experience over the past five years, theft experience for the postcode area and the potential for flood. Other factors will include the construction of the premises, the types of premises operating in the neighbourhood and the potential for a fire to spread.
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to try and reduce your risk exposure, and potentially your premium.
Fire extinguishing apparatus should be readily available in sufficient quantity. Sprinklers are expensive to install, but are likely to have a dramatic effect on the premium. The installation of automatic fire alarms could also be considered, as well as extending burglar alarm systems to the perimeter of your premises.
A business continuity plan maintained and updated regularly will help minimise interruption to your business. Most fire damage occurs within the first 24 hours, so the period immediately following is critical. It’s also important any contingency plan should include key staff members to contact.
Perhaps the key to managing your risk exposure, is to choose an insurer who will work with you. It’s fair to say some insurers are particularly keen to offer advice and guidance on risk management measures you can take.