In these “unprecedented” times our focus is clearly on the protection of ourselves and our employees and customers. The government have taken unprecedented steps to try to protect businesses from the financial hardship that this situation will inevitably inflict, but businesses have to also consider the physical protection of their assets.
We have already commented on the increased exposure to cyber risks as a result of staff working from home. We also need to be aware of the increased exposure of physical damage to our premises and our property when left unoccupied.
Most insurance policies consider a property to be classed as “Unoccupied” if they are left continuously unoccupied for a specified amount of time. It is important to check with your provider to see what their position is with regards to unoccupancy as some insurers are taking the pragmatic approach under the current circumstances to extend this cover period before imposing any restrictions or rate increases.
That said, there are practical steps that businesses would be well advised to take in order to protect their Business Assets.
- Where practical and safe, to regularly inspect premises internally and externally and to maintain an inspection log
- To not run any processes that do not have adequate supervision
- Whilst keeping premises heating switched on, to power down all other critical services, unless to support protection or detection systems
- To clear all waste and combustible materials, internally and externally, and to consider waste build-up and controls if waste collection services may be affected
- All fire protection, detection and security systems should remain active and monitored remotely if possible.
- Assess adequacy of existing security controls based on the likely periods of unoccupancy, especially in high – crime areas
- Secure and seal all letter boxes and opening and consider redirection of mail
- Consider the enhanced risk of accumulation of vehicles, plant and equipment on site, proximity to buildings and perimeter security measures.
- Perimeter Security, fences and lighting should be in good condition and operational
- All physical security and locking devices should be working and in place
- Review and update your Business Continuity Plan – and take a copy home with you!!
Call Sentio for all your insurance and risk management needs.