Monday, August 16, 2010

Office insurance - choosing the right sums insured for your portable equipment cover

Most business insurance companies will have a range of different policies aimed at different types of trades. The reason being that they understand that there are slightly different risks associated with different types of activities. The basic cover that is provided under most policies is very similar.

If you can imagine that the skeleton of a body is the basic cover, then the flesh on the bones is the slightly differing types of cover. The skeleton cover is usually cover for business buildings, assets, stock, computers and liability covers. Whether you are a salon, pub, shop or manufacturer, whilst there is not a legal requirement for all of these covers, you will need them. As a result they are included in commercial policies.

When you look for an office insurance quote, the covers we have mentioned will be included. Stock is the only one that is not always required as most offices do not necessarily include stock. But, if for example you are in it contractor operating from an office premises then there are likely to be times when you have stock and equipment delivered to you, which you will then install into a third party location.

One of the additional covers you will need for your office is portable equipment. When you look for a quote, or discuss your renewal, one of the things your broker will always ask you for is the value of your business contents. This is not the cost price that you paid, but the actual replacement cost in 2010. If you have been trading fro a few years, think back to when you first bought your PC's and/'or flat screen monitors. A standard PC was usually nearer to £1,000 and a good sized flat screen would set you back about half that. Nowadays though you can walk into most supermarkets and pick up a PC (with huge memory and RAM) and a minimum 19 inch monitor for less than £500.

So, you need to work out the value of your contents, to ensure that you are not paying too much. On the other hand though, it is the portable equipment (laptops, netbooks, PDA's and smartphones) that tend to hold their value more. This is usually because they are replaced quicker and with basic supply and demand economics, people will pay for these items because they are usually cutting edge technology.

Your office contents may be over insured and your portable equipment, may be under insured. If you have contract mobile phones, then you will find that unless you take out the mobile companies own (sometimes restrictive) cover, then you have to pay the replacement cost of any phones that are lost, stolen or damaged. A basic Iphone may only cost you £20 a month, but to replace it is nearer to £500.

There are two things you need to do, first of all get a proper inventory of every item that your business owns that you plug into the mains power either to run or to charge up. Once you have done this, you then need to put next to each item the cost you paid and how much you would pay out to replace the item. Forget the recession, as we have said before if there is demand for a product then the price to replace can be artificially high.

Then speak to your business insurance broker (because this is the only way you should buy your cover) and get them to thoroughly review all of your sums insured.


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