Small business owners are being urged to consider reviewing their insurance after increased crime rocked NZ retailers in recent months.
With shoplifting crimes (robberies, burglaries, and theft) reaching record highs and over 500 ram raids recorded last year, brick-and-mortar shops are increasingly in the firing line to costly attacks.
As losses due to shoplifting and retail crime total over $1 billion per year, SME insurance expert Sean Craigen from BizCover says it may be time for small retailers to check their business insurance to ensure they are covered.
“From the expense of replacing your contents, fixtures, and equipment to the cost of your business being interrupted, there are many risks small businesses face that can be protected by business insurance,” says Craigen.
“The terrible feeling of your store being broken into could be a lot worse if you don’t have enough insurance to cover the damages.”
What types of risks can be covered?
While every business is different, there are many common risks that become exposed when running a business from a physical shopfront.
Generally, these risks fall into two categories: material damage loss to your physical assets and financial loss due to your business being interrupted.
One of the most valuable physical assets for many small businesses is the building they operate from. Aside from the damage a break-in – and especially a ram raid – can inflict, buildings are also exposed to the elements.
Luckily, Building insurance is designed to cover a building if it is damaged because of a fire, storm, malicious activity or another defined event listed in an insurance policy.
“This could include protection for things like fixed signs and lettering, tanks, and poles as well as walls, gates, fences, and landscaping,” says Craigen.
While your building can be covered, so can the items you put in there too.
Property (Contents) insurance covers physical loss or damage to your insured contents because of an insured event (such as fire, storm, flood, and theft).
While this form of cover can protect your fixtures and fittings, equipment, stock, and furniture, it can also include cover for glass, money, and even the cost to alter or replace any locks or keys.
In some instances, these policies are able to cover loss or damage to goods while in transit in your own vehicle, whilst in New Zealand.
“Importantly, Property (Contents) insurance also accounts for seasonal stock increases, bolstering your cover by 20% during the holiday period.”
Another outcome of a major theft event or ram raid that is often overlooked by small business owners is the effect it can have on a business’ operations.
“What if your business had to close for a few days? What if the interruption lasted weeks or even months? Could you keep your business afloat while things get put back to normal?” says Craigen.
Business Interruption insurance provides cover for the loss of income and increased costs of operating your business caused by a specified insured event (such as property damage or fire).
It is also designed to assist your business to recover from an insured event by paying ongoing expenses (such as wages, utilities, or rent).
“Business Interruption insurance is a form of protection that is there to help your business get back on track if it were interrupted due to an insurable event, providing peace of mind when you need it the most,” says Craigen.
Many risks covered under one policy
Perhaps the best thing about getting covered from all these risks is that it can be done under one Business Insurance package.
A Business Insurance package is made up of many different insurance products that can be tailored to the individual needs of a business.
“While this could include the costs associated with business interruption and cover the risks to your building and contents, you can also add other sections that cover your portable equipment and even protect you from cyber risks,” says Craigen.
The importance of security
All of this is not to say that small businesses should rely only on their insurance policy. There are many things business owners can do to prevent the risk of crime occurring in their business.
The recent rise in retail-related crime has fostered a strong response by authorities.
New Zealand Police have released its Retail Crime Prevention Hub as well as a host of support services to assist retailers before, during, and after an attack.
This was funded by the Government’s multi-million-dollar package announced in November, which also included a fog cannon subsidy scheme and additional funding to boost local crime prevention.
Retail NZ has also published resources about retail crime prevention in response to the growing issue within its sector.
But extra security and education are only half the solution.
“Owners put too much into their small businesses to leave their stock and contents at the mercy of criminals, which is why security measures aimed at preventing burglary and theft are so important,” says Craigen.
“Bur prevention is only half the story, as insurance is the real key to ensuring your business doesn’t suffer financially when a theft event occurs.”
Protecting your small business
Given the recent rise in crime and the risk businesses face because of it, why not start by comparing Business Insurance policies with BizCover? The simple-to-use, online platform makes it easy to find and buy small business insurance from selected leading New Zealand insurers.
Jump online or call up today to receive multiple quotes and get instant cover in minutes.
This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. © 2023 BizCover Pty Limited, BizCover Limited is owned by BizCover Pty Ltd.
SME insurance expert Sean Craigen from BizCover