Ensure your business has a cracking Christmas – and avoid a New Year hangover
Most businesses close for at least a few days over Christmas and many more shut down completely between Christmas and New Year, so it’s important to make sure that your unoccupied premises are safe and secure. Here are a few things to consider when preparing your business for the festive season:
Beat the burglars
Theft and burglaries are on the rise and pose a real threat to all types of business. Hine Chartered Insurance Brokers has seen a significant rise in theft claims over the last 12 months – up more than 20% on the preceding year. Help to protect your assets with:
- A minimum of key operated window locks on accessible windows, sky lights and a five lever mortice door lock on your main entrance and exit doors.
- Other physical deterrents such as external shutters or internal collapsible grilles.
- Intruder alarms with or without police response, to help deter thieves.
You should always refer to your own insurance policy to see if there are particular security requirements you must adhere to. If you don’t, you may find yourself uninsured against theft and malicious damage claims.
Locking up for Christmas
Before locking up for Christmas, take a good look inside and outside your premises. Check the following:
- All electrical items including Christmas lights and decorations are unplugged to reduce the risk of electrical fires. If there is an appliance you want to leave on overnight, make sure your insurer is aware and they have accepted this, just in case.
- The water supply is turned off – burst pipes can be your worst nightmare, especially if they have been left for days or even weeks over the festive season.
- Your gutters have been cleared – ingress of dirty rainwater can cause widespread damage to both stock and contents as well as your shop front. On top of the physical damage, dirty rainwater can also leave an unpleasant odour that can prove difficult to get rid of.
Check the details of your insurance policy
- As Christmas is a busy period for many businesses, you may be carrying larger-than-normal volumes of stock. If that is the case, make sure you have an adequate stock sum insured or at least check your policy for details of seasonal increase cover. You may qualify for an automatic increase of between 10% and 60%, but double-check as this may only apply at specific times throughout the year.
- If you are one of the lucky ones that close for weeks rather than days, it’s important to check the unoccupancy condition within your policy. This condition usually restricts the cover provided by the policy and imposes strict requirements on things such as your mains services. This can apply after 21 days in some cases, so check your own policy for details.
Festive office opening times
Please note that Hine Chartered Insurance Brokers’ office will be closed between Christmas and New Year. Our festive opening times are as follows:
Close at 5pm on Monday 23rd December – Re-open at 9am on Thursday 2nd January.
From all the team at Hine, we wish you a happy and claim-free Christmas.