What’s Your Plan If It All Goes Wrong?
28th January 2016
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Life’s great and things are easy when it’s all going well. In theory anyway, but what would happen if the unthinkable happened?

The unthinkable could come in the form of an accident, causing personal injury or damage to vital plant, machinery or a vehicle, or it may be fire or flood preventing you carrying out your business from your normal place of work. We all hope that none of these things will ever happen, but what if it did?

Over the Christmas holidays, friends of ours were flooded out of their home. Dirty river water destroyed the contents of their entire ground floor and with it their ability to earn a living, you see they were a husband and wife Childminding team, working from home. The ground floor of their home resembled a nursery, including play rooms, sleep room, food preparation and office space, everything they needed to run their business.

Yes they were insured but where were the insurance documents kept, did they have all the correct cover, was all the sensitive documentation relating to children safe and secure, were their accounts up to date and easily recoverable, did they know what monies they were owed by parents and who they owed?

Computers were destroyed, paperwork that wasn’t washed away was soaked and stuck together. Other people were helping clear the debris and with it, at times, vital documentation which was unrecognisable to their untrained eye. It was a mess!

Things like this happen when it’s least expected and as a business owner you need to be ready for the unexpected. Some businesses and organisations are great at it, having a fully comprehensive disaster plan covering all manner of scenarios from what happens if a member of staff doesn’t turn in to work to the action needed to carry on if fire destroyed their whole building.

Our friends were lucky that one huge concern was fully covered, they had all the right insurances in place, which means that ultimately they should not be financially crippled, although short term cash flow will undoubtedly be very difficult and a huge insurance excess for buildings and contents had been applied because they had declared that their home was within 400 meters of a river.

There were others in their street who didn’t have the relevant ‘flood cover’ because maybe through oversite or deliberately they hadn’t ticked the correct box to declare their proximity to the river, something which would undoubtedly have reduced their premium but when the unthinkable happened, left them without cover!

There are so many angles to this story, our friends are required to move out of their home and business premises for a minimum of six months while restoration work is carried out, so finding a suitable replacement rental property where they can live, continue business and also where the landlord will accept their family pet dog was not easy and something they hadn’t planned for.

This all made me think hard about my business, do I have an adequate ‘Disaster Plan’ which I could refer to and would swing into action should the unthinkable happen? Are my insurances adequate and do they cover any reasonable eventuality (and some which may be unthinkable!). Is all my data backed up or stored in the cloud, so I could pick it up from anywhere and continue should my office and computers be destroyed?  Would my insurance provide for loss of earnings or replacement vehicles if required? Is my data secure from a ‘Data Protection’ point of view?

These are all things a good insurance company can help you with, take the time to meet with one such as Bradshaw Bennett and check out the cover you currently have. Don’t cut corners to save pence on the premium and definitely don’t lie to reduce your premium.

Insurance is only any good if it pays out when you need it to!

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