The Business Insurance Bureau

Do's & Don'ts: General

A helpful list of do's and don'ts for your business.

All commercial insurance policies have conditions which make the cover provided conditional upon some behavioural input from you, the policyholder.


These conditions have names like ‘Warranties’ or ‘Conditions Precedent to Liability’ or sometimes simply ‘Policy Conditions’.

In simple terms, these boil down to a list of “Do’s and Don’ts” and we have outlined some of the more common ones below.

This is, of course, a working synopsis, and you could refer to your own policy documentation for a complete interpretation.

Duty of Disclosure

DO inform your insurer of any inaccuracies, and disclose all material facts whether or not the subject of a specific question, as failure to do so may invalidate your contract of insurance or result in a claim being rejected


DO notify your insurer if there is any material alteration to your circumstances

Premium Payment

DO ensure your premium is paid in full within the specified timescale
DON’T default on your direct debit/monthly repayments

Survey and Forms

DO complete all survey requirements, proposal forms and periodic declaration forms within the specified timescales

Reasonable Precautions

DO maintain your premises and all equipment
DO take all reasonable precautions for the safety of your property insured and to prevent loss, destruction, damage, accident or injury
DO comply with all statutory requirements and regulations
DO keep books with a complete record of purchases and sales
DO take all precautions to minimise the cost of claims or legal proceedings


DO notify your insurer if any part of your premises becomes unoccupied or tenanted, or when any unoccupied part becomes reoccupied


DO notify your insurers if scaffolding is being erected around buildings you own or occupy. Insurers vary the terms of policy coverage during the period scaffolding is erected. It is best to know and understand the terms in advance.

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They’ll all be taking statements, looking for bits of paper, asking questions, but not about your premium. Our obsession with ‘the premium’, how cheap it can be, obscures our ability to ‘get real’ about the business insurance market.

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