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Security and Alarms are Evolving. The insurance impact.
At Clarke Williams we always take time to discuss the changing environment and how this may affect our client’s needs. It’s no secret that lockdown has resulted in a change of circumstances for a significant number of businesses in the UK. These changes affect the risk profile of a business and as such there are a few insurance implications for this.
The first and most obvious change is that with more and more remote working, employees are taking company property (Laptops and Printers) and client data home with them. This can present an additional unforeseen Cyber and Data exposure as well as the potential for theft and physical damage of assets no longer at the office or work premises. The good news is that many insurers adapted their wording during the pandemic to accommodate property that was temporarily removed. If you are unsure check with your insurance broker for confirmation.
The way we use office space has also changed. With offices becoming visited less frequently and more businesses opting for shared working spaces, it also becomes very easy to allow someone into the building who shouldn’t be there. We have heard of brazen thefts where people have even held open doors for the thieves to exit carrying office equipment.
UK’s transition to the fibre network
However one of the more significant changes to business security that is occurring is the change TO the UK’s telecommunications infrastructure. As of late 2021, BT Openreach have been rolling out fibre networks to more and more regional parts of the UK. Although this brings the benefit of more reliable and faster connections, the standard copper telephone lines are then either being disconnected or phased out in favour of this faster technology.
The issue that this brings, is that a lot of older alarm systems rely on the copper phone lines to communicate with the central monitoring systems and will require upgrading to retain that support in the near future.
Changes to the alarm response categories
Alarm response categories have also changed designations. The time to report a broken connection increases to 25 hours for a Grade 1 Dual Path or Grade 2 Single Path system which is a significant amount of time for thieves to act whilst at a property.
The new standards are listed in the table below, but for an in depth explanation, feel free to contact us to discuss your specific circumstances. We work closely with alarm providers and have specialist staff trained in alarm systems who can offer opinions on an insurers likely requirements.
As a business’s assets increase it is likely that an insurer will require an alarm to be installed for cover to be provided, however these changes to response times will have a greater effect on an insurers underwriting considerations and alarm requirements when providing quotations.
This can often be a complex talking point as an insured may not perceive the potential loss from a theft to be more than the cost of installing an alarm system and monitoring it.
It is important to note however that although a business premise may not hold a significant amount of high value stock or theft attractive items such as a computers, an insurer will take into consideration the total value of stock and other assets when applying an alarm condition to an insurance policy.
Although items may not be theft attractive, thieves unfortunately have a tendency to also start fires in an attempt to erase any evidence which can cause significant losses in the replacement of assets and rebuilding of a premise, but also the significant interruption to a business over a period of time whilst an insured is getting back on their feet.
Whether you are wondering if a class 1 home installed alarm is enough to protect your valuables, or you run a multi-million pound enterprise and require smoke cloaks and top level bespoke security, Clarke Williams can give you expert insurance advice, or get you a direct line to a specialist to make sure you are properly protected, allowing you to focus your attention on running your business rather than filling out claim forms and dealing with the aftermath of an incident.
Risk management is so much more than just having an alarm system, having the right insurance advice, reviewing your health and safety and method statements regularly is part of an all-round strategy to protect your trading plan. We offer risk management reviews to all of our commercial clients so why not see why our clients regularly comment on the extra lengths we go to, to protect their business.
For a free review of your insurance arrangements, including whether your security system may be affected and whether it’s prudent to get a professional security review please call or email us.