The Business Insurance Bureau

GREAT BIG UGLY DISASTERS often come from small acts of omission that could have been easily avoided.

We’re all sleeping with an enemy called ‘complacency’ which eventually takes down your business. Much worse, is that great big ugly insurance disputes come from policy conditions that demand you are not complacent about small acts of routine compliance.

Your future and business‘s survival depends on not allowing your complacency to
become a great big ugly insurance disaster. So, here’s some common policy conditions you really need to pay attention to and comply with. They’re not exhaustive nor complete, but if you do these things, you are a long way towards protecting your future from either a physical or insurance disaster.

UNOCCUPANCY

In respect of buildings or parts thereof which are unoccupied:-

DO make the buildings secure against illegal entry.

DO inspect the buildings in accordance with your insurer’s terms (e.g. weekly) and immediately repair any damage.

DO switch off all services at the mains and drain where applicable.

DO remove all combustible debris and waste from the premises.

DO board/seal all windows and letter flaps.

 

SMOKING

DON’T allow smoking on your premises.

DO display prominent signs to this effect.

If smoking is allowed in specifically designated external areas:-

DO provide appropriate receptacles for waste materials and keep these a safe distance from the buildings.

 

PREMISES INSPECTION

In respect of premises or parts thereof to which the public has access:-

DO carry out a thorough examination of the buildings for smouldering matches, tobacco or other material at the close of each business day.

 

WASTE

DO store all oily / greasy waste and used cleaning cloths in accordance with your insurer’s terms (e.g. in metal receptacles). 

DO remove all combustible trade waste and refuse from the buildings in accordance with your insurer’s terms (e.g. daily, weekly).

 

KITCHENS

DO inspect and clean your kitchen, including grease traps, at regular intervals in accordance with your insurer’s terms (e.g. weekly).

DO keep appropriate fire extinguishing appliances in the kitchen area.

DO store, and remove from your premises, waste and batter scraps before disposal in accordance with your insurer’s terms (e.g. in metal receptacles with metal lids).

In respect of fixed frying and cooking equipment:-

DO arrange for a service and ‘deep clean’ of the range, motor, fan, and the ventilation extraction ducting by a competent service engineer in accordance with your insurers terms (e.g. quarterly, every six months or annually).

DON’T leave the range unattended when draining or filtering oil from the frying range whilst power by gas or electricity is on.

In respect of portable frying and cooking equipment:-

DON’T leave such equipment unattended by the operator when being used for the heating of oil or during cooking.

 

FIRE PROOF DOORS

DO keep all fire-proof doors and shutters closed except during working hours.

DO keep all fire-proof doors in efficient working order.

DON’T obstruct Fire Exit Doors.

 

PORTABLE HEATERS

DON’T use or store paraffin, gas or LPG heaters or containers on your premises unless specifically agreed by your insurer prior to such use or storage.

 

FIXED ELECTRICAL INSTALLATIONS

DO arrange an inspection of all electrical circuits by qualified electrical engineers in accordance with your insurer’s terms (e.g. every three years, every five years) and immediately remedy any defects found.

DO retain the electrical inspection certificate as evidence.

 

PORTABLE ELECTRICAL APPLIANCES

DO maintain and arrange a periodic inspection / test of all portable electrical appliances in accordance with your insurer’s terms (e.g. annually by an approved contractor) and immediately remedy any defects found.

 

FIRE EXTINGUISHING APPLIANCES

DO maintain all fire extinguishing appliances in efficient working order.

 

AUTOMATIC SPRINKLER SYSTEMS

DO maintain and test the installation in accordance with your insurer’s terms and immediately repair any defects.

DO notify your insurer immediately if the installation is rendered inoperative.

 

FLAMMABLES

DO carry out all work involving use of flammables in accordance with your insurer’s terms.

DO store flammables in accordance with your insurer’s terms.

 

LAUNDRETTE & DRY CLEANING

DO use a “cool down system” (if available) for at least seven minutes at the end of each cycle.

DON’T leave dryers running unattended.

DON’T leave clothing in a dryer when the shop is empty.

DO air items taken out of the dryer on a non-combustible surface until completely cooled.

DO make sure that all dry clothing is under constant supervision for at least an hour after it has been removed from the dryer.

 

FORK LIFT TRUCKS

DON’T store combustible materials within a certain distance of the recharging area in accordance with your insurer’s terms (e.g. 2 metres).

 

STORAGE IN THE OPEN

DON’T store combustible materials within a certain distance of the buildings in
accordance with your insurer’s terms (e.g. 2 metres).

 

HOT WORK PERMIT

DO ensure that a hot work permit (in the form set out in Loss Prevention
Recommendation RC7 published by the Fire Protection Association) is completed jointly by the person responsible for carrying out the work and your safety officer or nominated person.

DO ensure compliance with the precautions and systems of work shown on the designated hot work permit.

 

FLAT ROOF

DO carry out a periodic inspection of your flat roof in accordance with your insurer’s terms (e.g. annually) and make good any remedial maintenance required.

 

VALLEY GUTTERS 

DO inspect and clear valley gutters in accordance with your insurer’s terms (e.g. every six months).

 

COMPOSITE PANELS

DO comply with your insurer’s terms regarding fire protections, inspections, use or storage of heat sources or combustible stock or waste, work involving the application of heat.

 

STILLAGE

DO store all stock on racks, pallets or stillages in accordance with your insurer’s terms (e.g. at least 10cm above floor level).

 

SECURITY PROTECTIONS

DO make sure that, whenever your premises are closed for business or left
unattended, all security devices provided to protect the premises are properly fitted and put into full operation.

DO notify your insurer if such protections are withdrawn or varied to the detriment of the interests of your insurer.

 

INTRUDER ALARM

DO make sure that your intruder alarm system is installed and maintained inaccordance with your insurer’s terms.

DO put the intruder alarm system into full and effective operation whenever your premises is closed for business and/or unoccupied.

DO notify your insurer if you have been officially notified by the police or intruder alarm company that they no longer answer calls from your alarm system.

DO notify your insurer when the maintenance contract with the alarm company is for any reason cancelled or suspended.

 

SUBSIDENCE 

DO notify your insurer immediately of any demolition, groundworks, excavation or construction being carried out on any adjoining site.

 

FROZEN FOOD (DETERIORATON OF STOCK)

DON’T enter into a maintenance contract in respect of any refrigeration units which do not have hermetically sealed motors and compressors upon expiry of any guarantee period.

 

MONEY

DO keep a complete record of the money and nonnegotiable documents.

DO deposit such records in a secure place other than in the safes and strongrooms containing the money and nonnegotiable documents.

DO keep the safes and strongrooms locked outside business hours and make sure that the keys of the safes and strongrooms are not left on the premises (unless the premises are resided in by you in which case they shall be deposited in a secure place not in the vicinity of the safe).

 

MONEY (ATTENDANCE WHILST IN TRANSIT)

DO transport and accompany money in accordance with your insurer’s terms,
for example:

One person accompanies up to£2500
Two people accompany up to£5,000
Three people accompany up to£7,500
Above £10,000 a security company conduct the transit.

 

GOODS IN TRANSIT 

DON’T leave goods in unattended vehicles unless you comply with your insurer’s terms regarding security protections.

DO maintain in good order all vehicles, trailers, containers and protective devices.

DON’T vary or withdraw security protections without written consent by your insurer.

 

BOOK DEBTS 

DO keep all books of account (or other business books or records in which customers’ accounts are shown) in fire resisting safes or fire resisting cabinets when not in use.

 

LOSS OF LICENCE

DO notify your insurer of any change in circumstances which may affect the
application or renewal of any licence.