Tick off those ugly frogs from your insurance to-do list

It’s been a strange and uncertain couple of months. Jackie Hyde, director of dot2dot speaks about getting through your insurance to-do list to save the headache.

As days get longer, I don’t know about you but I feel like I have a little more time in the day and I am trying to use this time to tackle some of the older items on my insurance to-do list.

In our office, we call these tasks ‘ugly frogs’. They are the jobs you know you need to do but just don’t have the inclination to do them. Mark Twain once said, “if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that is probably the worst thing that can happen to you all day.”

I’m guessing at least one of your ugly frogs is a need to update or review key paperwork and not to add more frogs to your insurance to-do list, but here are the four frogs I think you need to take a look at.

Are all your rebuild figures correct?

If you are responsible for insuring the building, it is important that the sum insured reflects an adequate rebuild cost including demolition, clearance of the site, professional fees and VAT (many nurseries forget to add VAT to the rebuild figure, so it’s worth pulling yours out to check).
Please also be aware often business valuation reports are focused on market value and although they usually include a reinstatement cost, these are often not sufficiently detailed for insurance purposes and therefore cannot be relied upon. We, therefore, recommend that you have your properties valued by a chartered professional.

Check your leases

If you lease some of your properties it is worth re-acquainting yourself with the details of your lease. Who is responsible for insuring the building, you or your landlord? Do you know the details of these leases? Have you told your insurer about your responsibilities, don’t forget if you make any structural changes to rented buildings, you need to make sure your insurers know about these for your Tenants Improvement cover.

Have you updated your business structure document?

If you’ve been on the acquisition trail, you may have added some new settings. Has this affected your company structure and if it has, did you inform your insurance advisor. If you haven’t then there would be some serious repercussions if you try to make a claim. Don’t forget your Directors & Officers Liability insurance needs changing too.

Business Continuity Plan

During your spring clean, you may have come across a dusty folder titled ‘Business Continuity Plan’. If you have such a document, then it needs to be updated with changes to your organisation, and any new business threats should be reviewed at the very least annually.
The risks your business may face are changing all the time and unfortunately, Covid19 has made all companies realise how important a Business Continuity Plan can be.
Double-check your continuity plan covers the following:

  • What might threaten your business? Think about potential cyber-attacks, terrorism and the everyday risks of fire and flood. Also, consider more simple risk such as not having any water or the telephone being disconnected.
  • What is important for your businesses’ survival? Do you need to have a communications plans ready so that you can contact parents as soon as you know there is a problem?
  • What will you need to recover? Do you have access to your nurseries computer network remotely?
  • What is most at risk in your business?
  • What can you do to reduce risk? Try and think outside the box and considering solutions to keep your business going.
  • What information do you need to hand in an emergency? You’ll need a list of key phones numbers and a quick way to contact staff and parents.
  • People in any organisation are critical and are often forgotten on these types of plans. What would you do if someone couldn’t return to work? Can someone else do their job? Will, there be a financial impact on the business and if there is can you arrange insurance to minimise this risk.

The UK Government has created this document to help you with your business continuity planning. You can read more here.

I understand these are not the most fun jobs, but by checking these ugly frogs off your insurance to-do list now, you might save yourself a headache later.