When an insurer agrees to accept a risk they will apply security requirements on shop insurance policies but what are these requirements and what effect do they have on your insurance.
Clearly all businesses and the insurers that agree to provide cover for them have a vested in interest in making sure that the risks faced by the business are kept to a minimum and that the physical security at the premises is adequate to ensure that the risk of loss or damage by theft or material damage is kept to a minimum.
With a wide range of retailers and shops all with differing levels of stock and offering a greater or lesser degree of attractiveness to potential thieves the physical security requirements can be very different for different businesses. What is certain is that all shop insurance policies in the United Kingdom will carry a minimum security requirement within the policy wording and perhaps enhanced security requirements from an insurer.
What are the minimum security security requirements for shop insurance?
These conditions may differ slightly from insurer to insurer but they are fundamentally the same, fur our purposes we will look at the minimum requirements from Zurich a long established and reputable insurer in this market
Minimum Requirements for the Physical Security
of your Premises
Damage caused by theft or attempted theft is not insured unless devices for the security of the premises are installed in accordance with the following Security Requirements and all such devices are put into full and effective operation whenever the saleshop premises are closed for business or left unattended:
Security Requirements for the Premises
- All external doors of the buildings occupied by you together with internal doors which give access to any part of the buildings not occupied by you must be fitted and secured with one of the following:
- a mortice deadlock with a matching boxed striking plate or a rim lock, which in either case conforms to either BS3621: Thief Resistant Lock Assemblies, or BS3681: Thief Resistant Locks
- a five (or more) lever close shackle padlock and locking bar
- in the case of aluminium or UPVC framed doors, an integral cylinder operated swingbolt mortice lock
- an alternative form of lock or locking system of at least similar quality and strength to BS3621 or BS3681 which has been approved by us in writing.
- All outward opening external doors of the buildings occupied by you must be fitted and secured with hinge bolts.
- All accessible opening windows, fanlights and skylights including those accessible from decks, roofs, fire escapes or downpipes must be fitted and secured with key operated window locks. This requirement does not apply to windows protected by solid steel bars, grilles, steel shutters, expanded metal or weld-mesh.
- Any door or window designated a fire exit will require consultation with the Fire Authority or other competent body so that the interests of both safety and security can be met.
- The above measures comprise our minimum security requirements. Where additional protections are required by us, or where we agree to accept alternative security measures, we will specifically advise you in writing.
- This endorsement has a continuing effect and its terms and conditions should be kept in mind. If circumstances arise which render you unable to comply with any part of it, you should advise us immediately to see if we can help you obtain reinstatement of cover.
What if I do not comply with the minimum security requirements?
If you do not comply with the minimum security standards under the policy, your insurance will be inoperative for the period you do not comply unless you agree with the insurer that cover can remain in force during this time. An insurer may agree with this or impose additional terms on the policy such as an increased policy excess or a coinsurance clause in respect of certain types of claims. This will not happen unless you agree it first with the underwriter.
These are the minimum terms that apply to most shop insurance policies in the UK, often an insurer will request that additional securoty requirements are also in place to offer an increased level of physical protection or deterrent for the property.
Additional Security Requirements under Shop Insurance Policies?
These will depend on the property concerned and will often be triggered by a risk survey of the property by a risk control surveyor working on behalf of the company, a post claim survey, the general physical location of the business, the type of business you are engaged in and the sums insured at the property.
These additional requirements may range from purely physical protections, such as the installation of roller shutters, bars on windows, even some building work including the installation of ram bars or the like, but they may also include the installation and/or maintenance of an alarm system to a certain standard. The inclusion of an alarm requirement will generally also require that a certain level of police response to that alarm applies. more information may be found on the police response to intruder alarms page.
What if I cannot comply with additional security requirements?
Essentially the same position as the minimum security standards, your insurance will be inoperative for any time that you are not compliant. When the insurer agreed the terms with you, the policy will carry an endorsement, in the case of an intruder alarm a specific warranty to state that this is the basis the insurance was agreed upon. It forms part of the contract. It is also important to note that if your insurer would not normally make additional security requirements in respect of your shop, but you have declared the presence of an alarm then the policy will be subject to the level of security that you have advised and not the standard that would otherwise be required by the insurer.
How do I know what level of security my insurer requires?
This should be identified to you in any quotation that you receive for your shop insurance or in any discussions following the visit of a risk control survey to your property. If you are in any doubt as to the security requirements that apply to your insurance you should check your policy documents and seek professional advice from your broker.
We are long established firm of insurance brokers specialising in the arrangement of shop and retail insurance in the UK. You can apply on-line to obtain instant quotes for shop insurance or you can call us direct to discuss your requirements and any issues you may have regarding risk requirements or your shop insurance needs with one of our specialist broker team.