Baxters News

Policies have restrictions when a property is left unattended beyond a certain period.

Are your Business premises still closed?

January 2021

Business insurance policies include restrictions within their wordings relating to cover afforded if a property is left unattended beyond a certain period.

Insurers have recognised that many business premises have been closed due to government directives and previously have extended the definition of the unoccupied period to afford policyholders protection. 

Insurers continue to want to support businesses who have had to shut their premises again during this third lockdown period, but we need to ensure that you are taking all necessary precautions to protect your business to ensure you remain fully covered. 

Unfortunately insurers don’t operate a ‘one size fits all’ approach to cover and steps you need to take to ensure both your unoccupied property is protected and that your policy cover will still operate in the event of a claim. We therefore recommend you ask your usual Baxters contact to guide you on what your own insurers require of you.

Whilst, as mentioned, each insurer will have their own requirements, we have provided below some basics which most insurers will expect of you whilst your business premises is left unoccupied;

  • Carry out internal and external inspections of your buildings at least once a week (and maintain a log that you have done so)
  • Immediately repair, or arranging to repair, any issues detected
  • During winter months unoccupied properties are more susceptible to damage from escape of water from burst pipes (due to water freezing within pipes) – are you able to drain the system, or if not you’ll need to maintain heating at a level to avoid the risk of water freezing in pipes
  • Remove any waste from the premises, either inside or outside the buildings
  • Checking to make sure all external doors are locked and ensure all windows are secured and, if applicable, other security measures remain operative (intruder alarm, CCTV)

Again, the above is not necessarily an exhaustive list and your own insurers may require additional measures. It therefore is important for you to understand what is required of you and your business.

Please contact us to ensure your policy continues to provide the protection required.