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Risk Management

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The importance of maintaining your insurance during the COVID-19 crisis.

We are all in unprecedented times with the Corona Virus (Covid – 19) pandemic.

In these difficult times it is important that you maintain insurance cover on your assets whether it be personal or business. We understand that in many cases cash flow/income will be reduced whether this be immediately or in the coming months and during this time of financial crisis there may be options available to assist in payment of premium to lessen the financial burden and stress.

Whilst it is important to keep your assets insured you can tailor your insurance needs to suit your current situation, for example:

  • Reduction in projected annual turnover
  • Reduction in stock in trade
  • Changes in occupancy
  • Reductions in Business Interruption Gross Income/ Gross Profits sum insured

Buildings That Require Temporary Closure

Due to the coronavirus restrictions, many businesses had to temporarily close, and allow staff to help sustain operations via home working. We wanted to give you some general advice about how to protect your premises during any temporary closures. This guidance is from a risk management perspective.

Risk Control Measures

  • Waste: remove all external waste, pallets and empty skips ahead of closing
  • Waste bins: empty all waste bins and relocate to a secure area, ideally at least 10 metres from the building. If this is not possible and bins and skips are within 10m, these should have lockable lids
  • Fire Systems: ensure that any fire and/or sprinkler systems are fully operational
  • Fire Doors: carry out a check to ensure that internal fire doors are closed
  • Building Utilities: shutdown any non-essential electrical devices and building utilities. Isolate nonessential services, gas valves etc.
  • Inspections: where at all possible try to implement periodic inspections of the building (internally and externally). Please, ensure that you comply with existing government guidance regarding vulnerable people and lone worker risk assessments. Consider the provisioning for alternative skilled personnel, such as security guarding/patrolling companies
  • Physical Security: carry out a check to ensure physical security measures are in place e.g. fences are in good repair, windows are locked, shutters are in place, gates are locked
  • Intruder Alarm: make sure your intruder alarm is set and that the remote signalling is in place. Ensure sufficient numbers of keyholders are available to respond to an alarm activation
  • Maintenance: so far as is reasonably practical, there is an expectation that essential maintenance continues with any remedial measures completed. Premises that have Building Management Systems with remote alerts should continue to be responded to. If possible, ensure gutters and drains are clear of debris, ahead of winter setting in
  • Dangerous Goods: if you have any dangerous goods on your premises, ensure they are kept secure in their usual storage place, and review the inventory levels, documentation etc.

Duty of Disclosure

We also note that many property insurance policies have un-occupancy clauses i.e. 30

60 days (usually in the General Exclusions section at the rear of the Policy Wording).

Please speak to your Insurance Advisor in regards to any changes in your business or tenancies.

For more information on how Fitzpatrick & Co Insurance Brokers can assist with your Insurance needs please visit our website, www.fitzpatrick.com.au Or call Mick Le Grand on (03) 8544 1634.

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