Preparation

Taking action to prevent five of the most common small business claims is likely to be time well spent as a busy year lies ahead. Today we will explore these five small business claims and how to prevent the risks associated with them.

Identifying and tackling common issues offers easy opportunities to limit risks and being able to show a pro-active track record will come in handy when purchasing and renewing insurance.

At the top of the claims lodged by SMEs is Theft and burglary. This highlights the importance of installing good security systems – and ensuring they are correctly set up and used by everyone in the business. Lighting that limits the chance for intruders to sneak into properties unseen provides a deterrent, while strong locks on windows and doors also eliminates easy opportunities for thieves.

Storm damage is the second source of claims for businesses, which face varying levels of risks according to their locations in cities and towns across the country.

Where applicable, trimming overhanging trees and clearing drains and gutters can reduce risks from falling branches and debris, while the threat from gale-force winds can also be limited by keeping an eye on weather forecasts and securing outdoor furniture and equipment ahead of storms. Businesses should prepare for the possibility of extended power outages and consider how that may affect the operations and steps they can take. It’s an area where our business interruption cover really comes into play.

Accidental or malicious property damage represents the third most common source of claims, according to a recent review of business pack claims data. As with burglary and theft, it’s important to secure the premises and make sure there are no easy temptations for vandals and that the risk of unexpected damage is reduced.

Machinery and equipment breakdown is the fourth most common type of claim and can have a significant impact on expenses and profits. A schedule for regular checks and maintenance will help keep equipment running smoothly; any minor problems should be attended to while worn parts should be replaced before larger issues emerge.

Employees should be trained so equipment and machinery are used as intended, without operating at over-capacity or in unfavourable environmental conditions. Moreover, machinery that is vital to a business should be stored in ways that minimise the chance of problems.

Rounding out the top five claims areas for small business, Liability risks are often overlooked by SMEs, but this type of claim can be complex and difficult.

Keeping walkways and floors dry and clear of tripping hazards can reduce the risks, while adequate lighting, particularly on stairs, helps prevent accidents. Access should be restricted
to areas where hazardous equipment may be operating, while clear systems can ensure clients’ property is handled with care.

Many of the risks listed above can be averted, and considering steps to prevent common problems pays dividends. It is an effective part of a wider risk-management approach that you can discuss with us. As your insurance adviser, it’s our job to do everything we can to keep you and your business safe.

 

Call us on 1300 MY ADROIT to find out more.

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