Time to re-evaluate your business insurance as lockdown continues

Key changes to many business operations in Northern Ireland will have an impact on insurance cover
Key changes to many business operations in Northern Ireland will have an impact on insurance cover

AS businesses across pivot and adapt to the significant changes brought about by Covid-19 and the widespread lockdown, it's an optimum time to review your key insurance needs.

From pubs and hotels to retail outlets, manufacturing, construction and small commercial businesses, the coronavirus outbreak has caused major disruption across every single sector of the economy.

Key changes to your business operations will likely impact your insurance and now is a good time to assess your immediate requirements as well as for what’s ahead.

The closure of premises, closure of construction sites, taking vehicles off-road and remote working are areas to consider discussing with your business insurance provider. This will ensure you are fully covered, and changes reflected in your relevant policies.

Seek expert advice on areas including cyber security, as reliance on technology for business continuity has come to the fore in recent weeks.

Alongside technology, remote working might also impact your business contents insurance for example, so it is best to make your insurance provider aware of any key changes concerning where and how critical business infrastructure is being used or stored during the lockdown.

For those companies that rely on commercial vehicles, it is also a good time to re-evaluate car, van or fleet storage and security for vehicles that are off-road.

While many retail delivery businesses continue to serve hard hit communities across Northern Ireland, those in the tourism and hospitality industry have been forced to scale back significantly.

Aside from ensuring you are sufficiently covered and have that your business insurance remains valid, there are undoubtedly some savings that could be made at renewal time and this might enhance your bottom line at a time when many are fighting for survival and when cash flow is particularly challenging.

It is also a good time to consider adding to your policies to protect your business during the anticipated downturn and recovery period.

Take a thorough look at each and every area of your business insurance; from public and products liability, employer’s liability to damage to your buildings, contents, stock and business equipment, all will likely have been impacted in no small way by Covid-19 epidemic.

If your business premises are likely to be closed for an additional period, consider whether you need to consider shop frontage, glass and signage policy. As lockdown continues to pressure the supply chain and delivery, it would be wise for those companies who are part of this to think about goods in transit insurance.

For those businesses approaching renewal of their insurance, take extra care is recommended when checking the small print at this time.

For peace of mind, ensure you work with an expert business insurance provider who will take the time to walk you through all aspects of your business as well as any legislation or sectoral changes happening in your industry.

There's a lot for businesses to feel nervous about at the moment. So now more than ever it’s important to work with someone who understands the unique risks your business faces and can help you take your business forward now and in the future.

:: Donna Vaughan is commercial account manager at Autoline Insurance Group (