With crime rates in most western countries climbing, it makes good sense to take out theft insurance to protect your business from loss.
As you would expect theft insurance for your business is much the same as theft insurance for your house. And like domestic theft insurance the actual amount you will pay in premiums will be determined by your risk profile.
This is influenced by such factors as:
- Your history – have you been robbed before, do you have a record of burglaries?
- Location – do you live in a high risk location?
- Business type – is it particularly prone to theft?
A proper theft policy will cover your possessions for up to a certain amount, either as stated by you, or categorised by the insurance company. There are two main types of cover:
- Old-for-New – Items are replaced at their current market value
- Indemnity Cover – The insurance company will taken into account general depreciation
Be careful to check which type of cover the insurance company is proposing. Obviously the former is the better option, but it can cost you more.
Many theft insurance policies have particular clauses – excluding certain items and including certain conditions. There may be requirements regarding security measures for example. Consider these carefully as they can be expensive. On the other hand if you have already installed such measures do not be shy about mentioning them.
Before you start shopping around for a policy, work out how much your possessions are worth. This is vital to ensure that you do not buy too much or too little cover.
If you are getting an Old-for-New policy, make sure to value your contents at their replacement value, not at their actual value. New equipment may cost more than you expect.
When choosing a policy, examine any limitations and upper limit pay-outs before purchasing the insurance. It's also worth checking whether computer equipment, bicycles and special valuables have to be insured separately, and whether you are covered for accidental damage.
Once you've chosen a policy, check it frequently and update it if necessary. Also, check your excess limitation, especially for money, valuables and single articles, and try to negotiate a discount on the strength of any of these.
Always read the small print and documentation. If you don't, you are leaving yourself open to the insurer's opt-out clauses.