September 27, 2017

BizCover – Your Cafe’s ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ Card

Why Business Interruption Insurance is Your Cafe’s ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ Card

Australia may be the lucky country, but sometimes luck just runs out for some unfortunate business owners.

Exposure to extreme weather events, fires, theft and breakdown of essential machinery is very much real and is something that all cafes have in common. These unforeseen events have the potential to cripple your cafe and effectively ‘lock up’ operations, particularly if you don’t have a solid back-up plan.

When a catastrophe does occur it is often the interference to trading capabilities, and not the event itself, that has the real potential to bring a cafe to its knees. Business interruption insurance is designed to provide compensation for the financial impact of these events, and place your business back in the same financial position it was before the chaos. It provides both peace of mind and a much needed financial ‘get out of jail free’ card when you need it most.

So what exactly does it cover you for? This will vary on your policy and its inclusions, some of which are optional. If your business was forced to temporarily close down, however, a typical business interruption policy might cover:

  • Turnover – If trading operations are limited by the event, the turnover that your business would have earned will be paid out as part of your claim. This would enable the business to maintain wage payments, rent, loan repayment s etc.
  • Relocation – If what most policies call an ‘Additional Increase Cost of Working’ is included, Business Interruption insurance may take care of both the moving costs and rent if a new property is required.
  • Limited Transit – Refers to damage to contents (including stock) while they are in transit in any vehicle owned or operated by you anywhere in Australia away from your location.
  • Restoration of Records – This will cover the clerical and professional costs involved in re-writing necessary business ‘records and documents following loss or damage from an insured event.

Business interruption insurance policies are specific, however, and don’t cover every expense you’ll incur during the recovery period. Some of the important things that usually aren’t covered are:

  • Undocumented income – Make sure revenue is documented, preferably offsite, so that you can accurately establish your loss.
  • Losses beyond the indemnity period – The indemnity period is a period which you select when you purchase the policy. It is important to choose the correct indemnity period – they typically range from 12 months to 36 months.
  • Non-covered damages and voluntary closures – Be aware of the type of events that are not covered in your policy. Flood, for example, is not included in most policies. Neither are voluntary interruptions, such as annual holidays.

The inclusions and exclusions above are typical, but not definite, and the onus really is on the insured party to know what their policy covers. Reading the fine print in your policy is ‘best practice’ management, and a big part of being a responsible business owner.

Business Interruption insurance should be a vital element in your wider disaster recovery plan – a plan that should include both a broader insurance package and (crucially!) a clear guideline for how your business would react and recover after a disaster event.

Even a seemingly low scale event such as a blackout could cost a substantial amount in lost revenue, as one cafe owner discovered in October of 2016. Storm activity and strong winds left them without power for a period of time which affected their ability to trade. Food spoilage and damage to their coffee machine further inhibited their ability to re-commence trading once the power was restored. Fortunately, their Business Interruption policy kicked in and they were able to recoup several thousand dollars in lost revenue from the two days that they were out of action.

If something does happen and your cafe is affected, you’ll need to ask yourself two very important questions. Do I have Business Interruption insurance? And, are both the property and the cause of the event included in the coverage?

If the answer to both is ‘yes’, your business is already on its way to recovery. Just contact your provider, and let your ‘Get Out Of Jail Free’ card do its job.

To get instant multiple quotes from leading insurers visit BizCover or call 1300 849 072

BizCover™ Pty Ltd (ABN 68 127 707 975; AR 338440) is a corporate authorised representative of Mega Capital Pty Ltd (ABN 37 098 080 418; AFSL 238549).  This is general advice only.








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