Advice: Top 10 Insurance DOs & DON’Ts
from Music Insurance Brokers Ltd.
Message from MIB
Music Insurance Brokers understand the eventualities that can lead to considerable, sometimes irreversible, damage to your business and reputation. We have written this article to help Music Venue proprietors prevent and mitigate insurance losses. This will not only help you operate a safer workplace, but help you get a better deal with your insurance.
1. DO Maintain an employee handbook with all business policies and procedures. Ensure all staff are trained on essential elements such as fire safety, manual handling, personal protective equipment, slip & trip hazard and general risk management. By enforcing comprehensive training within your business, you are not only preventing an injury to one of your punters, but also avoiding Employer’s Liability claims from your staff.
2. DO Get clued up on fire extinguishing appliances and protections. There is risk of fire within any commercial business premises, especially those involving kitchens. Make sure you are aware of the different types of fire extinguishers, blankets, hose reels and fixed fire protections such as sprinklers, fire alarms and cooking range fire suppression systems.
3. DO Implement procedures to deal with crowd management and ticketing procedures to avoid overcapacity.
4. DO Have adequate first aid in place. Ensure you keep a log of all accidents in the workplace involving either staff or general members of the public. This could help you in the event of a claim.
5. DO Carry out regular electrics and annual PAT testing to prevent unnecessary and, generally, large fire claims. Such claims usually lead to temporary or permanent business closure.
6. DO Install and maintain a strict cleaning regime and extraction/ducting system if dealing with deep fat fryers and cooking ranges.
7. DO Consider the installation of an alarm, preferably with two methods of signaling and installed via an NSI-approved company. This will prevent thieves from simply cutting the phone line to disable the alarm. We would suggest the use of a monitored central station or police monitored response.
8. DO Make sure as much equipment as possible is under a warranty or insured for breakdown cover. For example, if your PA broke, this could lead to a loss of income or additional charge to temporarily replace or repair it.
9. DO Maintain and have annual inspections of fridges and freezers to prevent deterioration of stock and food.
10. DO Apply strict guidelines to any artist or engineer on the premises for the use and storage of cables.
1. DON’T Fail to comply with the conditions of your Licence, especially when starting a new business. Whether this is the late night, alcohol or noise conditions, do not put your business in jeopardy of having your licence revoked. Ensure all staff are aware of each part of your licence and that they are trading within these guidelines.
2. DON’T Use untrustworthy or unlicensed security companies. Your security company should be SIA registered before working on your premises. If you use your own security, you must notify your insurance broker or insurer as this increases your liability to the public.
3. DON’T Forget to ensure there is a clear alcohol and zero drug policy on your website and entry, where possible.
4. DON’T Store any waste or combustible materials (wooden pallets, boxes) within 5m of the premises. The leading cause of fire in the UK is arson- do not put yourself at risk.
5. DON’T Store cooking or cleaning solvents anywhere but within a fire proof cupboard or at least a significant distance from any electrics or other combustibles. Any gas bottles should be stored outside of the premises in an external cage.
6. DON’T Ignore obvious physical security improvements such as locks, safes and external building protection. Improvements made to buildings such as grilles, CCTV and updated locking systems will only improve your ability to obtain reasonable insurance terms.
7. DON’T Overlook any use of combustible elements of construction when renovating or building from scratch. Composite panels are a big no-no to insurers depending on the material used. Some composite panels release poisonous gases when burnt, others can be highly flammable. Check with your building contractors and inform your Broker/Insurer immediately if you are concerned.
8. DON’T Ignore signs of wear and tear or leaks at your premises. Ensure your business premises is maintained and managed to a high level. Keeping an eye on exposed pipes in the winter to prevent bursts, identify and report subsidence or sinkage. Early identification and action will prevent larger losses or damage.
9. DON’T Neglect the right to hold your artists or contractors responsible for providing their own insurance. Check these documents before they enter the premises. They are accountable for any injury or damage they cause.
10. DON’T Leave your premises without setting your alarm or securing all entrances, exits and windows. This might sound like common sense but small mistakes such as these could invalidate your insurance leading to a claim being refused.
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