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Business Interruption Insurance – what is it?

First and foremost, it could make a huge difference to both your business and your personal health and wellbeing if you have a claim.

The aim of the cover is to return the business to the same trading position as it was in prior to the loss.  Therefore, if not arranged properly it can have some very personal consequences for both your family and your employees – mortgages, holidays and school fees to name but a few.

In our experience, it is not the assets insurance or lack of cover that ruins a business after a major loss, it is the lack or inadequacy of their business interruption cover!

The business interruption insurance will pay out until the business has recovered, or for the period you have chosen to insure for (known as the indemnity period), whichever is the shorter.

Most companies tend to be insured for 12 months, however this is almost never long enough, as even the most straightforward property takes 3-4 months before rebuilding starts, because so much is outside of your control.

When calculating your indemnity period the following three stages should be considered;


Investigations – if the police, fire services or HSE are involved it could be months before you are allowed access to the site

Planning – the planning process can take a considerable amount of time

Location – if the area has changed in use you may be unable to obtain planning to rebuild on the same basis

Neighbours – if a neighbour’s property is also damaged this can cause delays in reinstating your own

Landlord – your landlord may not have adequate cover to rebuild or may have different plans for the site going forward

Site Access/Clearance – pollution, asbestos, chemicals can all cause delays

Rebuild Premises   

Location – difficulty with access can increase rebuild times

Listed Building/Conservation Area – this could make the build more complex due to delays in sourcing materials, specialist contractors/craftsmen

Fitting out approvals – internals may need approval by trade bodies etc

Locating Products/Materials – delays in sourcing materials – for example following the recession there was a brick shortage in 2016 which caused serious backlogs for the building trades

Rebuild Business    

Machinery – machinery may have long lead times for replacement and installation

Suppliers – often stock is purchased with long lead in times

Customers – customers may be lost and not return once the business has reopened.

Contracts – long term contracts may be broken and not available for tender for several years.

Doubling your indemnity period does not double your premium and may save your business. Please have a think about how this could affect you and feel free to contact your Account Manager or a member of the team to review your existing cover.

Doncaster office: 01302 341 344

Sheffield office: 0114 243 9914

By Jo Elliott ACII – Account Executive & Chartered Insurance Broker



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