Unoccupied Business Premises
The Government have now implemented new restrictions designed to combat the second wave of coronavirus, with people being asked to work from home, where possible. Therefore with premises continuing to remain unoccupied, it is important to remember that there is still a substantial risk to your business and you should ensure all necessary precautions are taken to protect it.
There are several third parties that may seek to gain access to your premises;
• Vandals / Arsonists – This can be children or teenagers looking for thrills or others looking to do the specific business harm. It could even involve disgruntled employees or customers.
• Squatters / Homeless – This could be as simple as a homeless person looking for temporary shelter through to others looking to use the premises for illegal purposes such as fly-tipping.
• Thieves – Unoccupied premises could still have items of value stored within it, or the fabric of the property, such as copper pipework. The cost of replacing these items can be high, but consideration should be given to the additional damage which could be caused.
While continuing to work from home, policyholders should make themselves fully aware of the additional security obligations that they are bound by within their policy wordings. These obligations usually include;
• Premises are being secured by protective locking devices.
• Any alarm systems are fully operational.
• All electricity, gas and water services should be turned off at the mains. Where existing intruder alarms, fire alarms or automatic sprinklers systems are installed they should continue in full operation.
• Regular recorded visitation of the premises and carrying out any work necessary to maintain the security of the premises.
• Removal of all waste materials from the interior and exterior of the premises.
Businesses should also seek clarity on any restriction of coverage as a result of property being unoccupied. If your business is open but you are not reoccupying some of your commercial premises it is important that you discuss this subject with your designated James Hallam Account Executive. This discussion should clarify your policy terms and conditions on any imposed restrictions to your coverage. We can advise you of the specific requirements in order that your insurance coverage adjusts to your needs.