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    Having found your offices premises and purchased the “tools of your trade”, you’ll want to make sure that everything is suitably covered.

    Contents and Equipment insurance can offer cover against a range of perils such as fire and water damage, as well as accidental damage and theft if the policy is extended to an “All Risks” basis.

    Items that can be covered include:

    • Fixtures and fittings (for example, shelves and racking in a retail outlet or supermarket and fixed stations/counters and mirrors in a beauty salon)
    • Computers and electronic equipment including point of sale systems
    • Office equipment such as photocopiers
    • Furniture (desks, chairs, reception furniture etc)
    • Specified documents (records, registers, printed stationery stocks etc: check with the Insurer as to what exactly they will cover under this item)

    Portable equipment used in connection with your business can also be covered including:

    • Laptops
    • Mobile phones
    • Cameras
    • Tablets

    However, given the portable nature of these items specific terms and conditions may apply to their coverage, such as increased excess, security conditions, insurance value limits or territorial limits (such as coverage only within a set area or country) so you should ensure you check the cover being offered to ensure that it is suitable and adequate.

    Hints and Tips when buying this insurance

    • Keep the receipts and invoices for the items that you purchase as these will help you not only to calculate the total insured value of your items but will also act as proof of purchase evidence in the unfortunate event of a claim
    • Record details of the security arrangements at your premises and seek information from your landlord (for leased premises) such as specifications for alarm systems, CCTV or physical guards (security patrols). These may help in negotiations with your Insurer as many will only offer Theft cover if they are satisfied with your risk protection. It may also help to secure any possible discounts available.
    • Understand what fire protections are at your premises. Fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, construction of storage areas. Fire is one of the main risks Insurers face and can be crippling to a small business: especially a start-up. Insurers may look for certain minimum standards so understanding your protection can help in securing the best deal for you as well as ensuring your business is safe.
    • Consider how you can help minimise risk. Make sure you lock away valuable items at night or even store them away from the premises. Electronics are not only attractive theft risks but can also cause electrical fire if left on standby or unattended.
    • Ask your insurance advisor about different excesses for different items or perils. Agreeing to take a higher excess on portable electronics or on Theft risk might secure a lower premium so is worth considering.