In the coming weeks, many of us will be donning our best threads and getting ready to enjoy the seasonal festivities as we party with our colleagues and friends.
This is a welcome time for most licensed trade operators, who will be gearing up for busier than normal trading.
From my experience, the subject of insurance and additional risks to the business will be way down the list of priorities for Operators, which is understandable. But, there are a few matters worth considering at this time of year.
Stockholdings: Most insurance policies will allow for a seasonal increase in stock, typically 25 per cent, although some stretch to 50 per cent. If this is not likely to be enough, these figures can be easily increased.
Cash Carryings: With more cash going through the tills there are additional exposures to be wary of. Cash on the premises is likely to be higher, as will cash being taken to the bank. Most policies will have agreed limits, which may be inadequate for both on-site and transit risks. Unlike stock insurance there is not normally a seasonal increase offered for cash. Most insurers will provide additional cover at an additional premium.
Liability Risks: While the licensed trade is always at risk of clients being injured at their premises, the rising footfall at this time of year can increase the potential for accidents. There will always be genuine accidents and subsequent injury claims that insurers will happily deal with, however it’s also widely accepted that many claims are of a fraudulent nature. Operators can take a number of steps to assist themselves and their insurers.
Examples may include: Maintenance of an accident book in a prescribed form detailing exact time of event, location within the premises, name of injured person, injury sustained and a description of event which led to the accident.
There should also be a section detailing the names of the staff attending, any witnesses and actions taken by staff members.
Where CCTV is installed keep recordings of all accidents/incidents. This has proved valuable in a number of cases and helped insurers to successfully defend fraudulent claims.
Claims can arise from slips on wet floors so the use of cones to cordon off areas where spillages/glass breakage has taken place is a good idea. For busier venues, extra floor staff could collect glasses and inspect floor areas for breakages and spillages
Finally, if you are likely to be undertaking activities that are outwith your normal business, it’s a good idea to check with your broker/insurer that your coverage is not likely to be prejudiced.