2020 saw a huge spike in office moves. Workplace upgrades, downsizing and switching to remote working were all on the cards, with the coronavirus giving us plenty to think about when it came to the physical office space. But the move itself requires careful consideration too: it’s important to be sure you’ve got the right insurance in place for any new developments.
If you’re thinking of heading on to pastures new, whether to give your business a creative boost or just to dust away last year’s cobwebs, we recommend telling your insurer or broker first. Giving them a minimum of two weeks’ notice means that they can update your details and keep you protected if you ever need to claim further down the line.
Simply changing your address won’t usually cost you anything, but alterations to your values insured or changes in risk could incur an additional cost. To make sure you’re prepared, here are our top five insurance considerations to make when you’re moving offices:
Take a look at the values of the property you’ll have once you’ve moved, and compare that with what you have insured.
If you’re downsizing, you might clear out those old filing cabinets, dispose of equipment, and reduce your sums insured. On the other hand, you might purchase additional office items, perhaps fitting out your sleek, new boardroom with the latest kit.
All office insurance policies will have some form of security condition. Some just ask for a basic-level lock, whereas others may require a certain signalled alarm to be installed.
You need to check that the security of the new premises complies with the current terms on your policy. If it doesn’t, you need to raise this with your insurer to see if they’ll alter their requirements or if you need additional protection in your workspace.
Many businesses are moving into communal workspaces. If you’re one of them, and your shared area will be accessible to others, you need to point this out to your insurers. The risk of theft is higher when there are multiple, often temporary, occupants in a single space as it’s harder to be sure whether an individual should really be there.
Remember that some insurers will require computer equipment to be locked down when unattended in spaces like these, so we recommend giving co-working employees locking devices for their office gear (these normally only cost around £10).
If your move to a smaller office isn’t intended to be permanent, you may want to keep the property you’ve collected over the years – whether that’s additional desks or the team’s trusted ping-pong table.
This normally means putting things into storage. When that happens, let your insurer know. Although there is normally some automatic cover in place through a Temporary Removal Extension, it’s usually restricted in terms of the time (how long the cover lasts) and value (limit on how much property is covered), so speak with your insurer to find out if you need to update your policy.
Working from home has never been more common. In this difficult climate, thousands of employees across the country have gone remote – something that is likely to continue as people reap the benefits of flexible working.
It’s important to check with your insurer that your equipment is covered at all premises, whether you’re at the office or at home. Some policies automatically allow for an amount of kit at home, whereas others will need to be altered. It might mean insuring equipment on a portable basis, especially if staff will be working from multiple locations both now and in the future.
While there are many other things to consider, these points should help spark those crucial conversations to have before you make the big move. Checking your policies now could save you time and money in the long term, so make sure you get all your insurance ducks in a row. Contact your broker or insurer to find out if you’re properly covered.
Author: Gemma Kay
Uncategorized - February 3, 2021
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