Whilst this peril is in most instances covered under the Material Damage policy, some mention needs to be made of the nature of the cover offered.
It is important to remember that the correct definition is "Theft following forcible and violent entry or exit from the premises".
This means that if a customer steals any goods from you whilst he is lawfully on your premises then cover will not apply. An example of this would be if someone stole money from your cash register during opening hours when you were looking elsewhere. There must be some evidence, however slight, of damage caused to gain access to your premises.
Another area to be considered is that of security. As you know it is now customary for Insurers to request and even in some circumstances insist upon certain security measures to be taken.
In the main these are common sense precautions, and many will already have taken without prompting. However the question of security alarms needs to be mentioned.
Thankfully, in general your industry does not pose a major theft risk for insurers. However, there are some instances however where an alarm system could be insisted upon, perhaps where there has already been a series of claims, where there are high value items at risk, or maybe where the premises are in a high theft risk area.
If an Insurer insists upon a system they will usually require an alarm company that conforms to the National Approval Council for Security Systems. The principal reasons for this choice of company is that:
- they have conformed to a certain standard for which they are continually inspected
- They are an established firm of at least two years standing.
- There are at least two engineers
This does not mean that other systems are not competent, but it does ensure that certain standards are achieved. Sometimes if a single operator, for example, changes his occupation, a customer might find it difficult to have the system maintained to the insurers satisfaction.
In conclusion, if you have already fitted a non approved alarm, this is a sensible precaution. If you have fitted a NACOSS system then this is an even better feature.
However if you are considering fitting an alarm in the near future it would be a good idea to approach Park Insurance who are well placed to give advice upon the best way to proceed being mindful of insurers requirements.