The values to take into account depend on the property to be insured :
These can be insured at reconstruction value (materials, labour, architect’s fees), either minus wear and tear or as new (i.e. without deduction for wear and tear when this does not exceed 25% of the new value, depending on the policy). It is also wise to cover incidental costs and losses.
Furnishings and equipment
In general, a business that has fairly new equipment can opt to cover its replacement value, including any transport and installation costs. Some insurance policies, however, can also provide cover for the value of used items (replacement value minus wear and tear).
• Raw materials, packaging and supplies: purchase price, including transport and handling costs.
• Other goods (finished or partially finished items): purchase price of the raw materials and products used, plus the manufacturing costs incurred, plus a share of the general manufacturing related costs.
• Goods sold but not yet delivered: sale price minus the costs saved for non-delivery.
Declaring changes during the life of the policy
New buildings or equipment, increased inventory and more generally, anything that might alter the risks and value of the goods stated the insurance policy was taken out must be declared.
The fire, explosion and lightning strike guarantee covers damage caused directly to the insured property by these events and by the related rescue operations.
Fire is defined as « combustion with flames, outside a normal firebox », and explosion as « a sudden and violent action of pressure or depression of gas or vapour ».
They can be damaged by a short circuit (power surge, lightning, etc.), internal fire or internal explosion. The optional Accident to Electrical or Electronic Equipment warranty covers such damage.
The company director is obliged to take measures to ensure safety in his company.
The prevention measures must be adapted to the characteristics of the company: location of the premises, nature of the building materials, use of dangerous materials, volume of stocks, etc. Thanks to its knowledge of the risks and its experience of claims, Suisscourtage, accompanied if necessary by a company inspector, can guide the company in its prevention approach: fire extinguishers, fire detection, automatic extinguishing systems (e.g. sprinklers, etc.). They must be designed, installed and maintained in accordance with rules recognised by the insurers.
These measures not only limit the risk of fire or explosion, but also reduce the cost of insurance.
If stocks fluctuate a lot during the year, it’s possible to opt for a flexible insurance formula that can be adapted to the fluctuations. There are specific types of insurance, such as reviewable or current account insurance. These two formulas require a contractual guarantee ceiling to be fixed, which corresponds to the maximum foreseeable level of stocks for the year. A provisional contribution is calculated on this basis and adjusted at the end of the year.
Insurance policies covering property damage automatically include cover against storms, hurricanes and cyclones.
This guarantee can be extended to cover damage caused by the weight of snow on roofs and by hail.
Company property is covered for natural disasters if it is covered for fire damage or other property damage.
Fire cover is compulsorily extended to cover damage resulting from acts of terrorism and attacks on the insured property. Direct material damage, including contamination damage and consequential immaterial damage, is covered within the limits (insured capital, deductible) of the fire cover provided for by the contract. Damage due to foreign war or civil war is not covered.
Unlike the bombing guarantee, it is not compulsory. However, many policies offer the possibility of covering damage resulting from a riot or civil commotion.
Generally, damage due to vandalism is only covered if it occurs inside the premises.
Broader cover exists for vandalism outside the premises (graffiti…).
The risk of theft can be limited or even avoided by taking effective prevention or protection measures. The provisions for this are described in the contract, as well as the circumstances of cover: theft by burglary, use of false keys, smuggling, etc.
This guarantee covers damage caused by the action of water, in the circumstances set out in the contract, most often :
• leakage or rupture of a pipe or duct;
• overflows from sanitary facilities, water effect devices (boiler, septic tank…);
• clogged or broken gutters;
• seepage caused by rain, snow or hail through roofs, terraces, skylights and sometimes facades.
Depending on the insurance policy, it may also cover other damage such as frost damage and leaks from liquid fuel pipes, for example.
However, the water damage guarantee does not cover lack of maintenance or repair work.
In addition to the above guarantees, supplementary guarantees may cover the reimbursement of the following costs and losses
• demolition, clearing and dumping costs, costs incurred as a result of protective measures imposed by administrative decision;
• the cost of bringing the property into compliance with the regulations;
• travel and relocation costs, including the cost of storage and relocation, temporary relocation rent… ;
• reimbursement of the contribution to the damage insurance in the case of construction work;
• fees for decorators, design offices, technical control and engineering;
• loss of use, i.e. the rental value of the premises not used because of the loss (guarantee of the annual value of the premises occupied);
• loss of rent: the amount of rent of which the insured may, as owner, be legally deprived;
• reimbursement of the fees paid by the insured to the expert he has chosen;
• indirect losses: the compensation due for the loss is increased by a percentage of it (e.g. 5-10%).
Documentations of companies, whether computer (files, programs, etc.) or other (archives, models, drawings, technical documents) can be damaged in the event of a disaster.
Simple prevention measures can reduce insurance costs :
• lock the originals in fireproof cabinets or safes approved by the insurers;
• copy them to media in another building;
• use an IT service provider who backs up the data in a data center.
They can be covered by a specific contract or by adding an additional guarantee. It is thus possible to cover :
• IT goods (computer and office equipment and fixed service equipment dedicated to these goods);
• restoration of computer data following damage (fire, sabotage, etc.) to computer assets: re-entry and processing costs, costs of reconstituting information, costs of reconstituting programs and software, etc;
• financial losses and costs following malicious acts or human errors causing damage to computer assets and/or the destruction or alteration of the information system and/or data: costs of searching for the incident and decontamination, unavailability of the insured’s website, re-listing of the site, costs of bank monitoring, costs of notifying the authorities of incidents, unavailability of systems, etc;
• civil liability arising from the use or operation of information and communication technologies, and in particular from an incident affecting personal or confidential data;
• the consequences of an accident or illness of one or more persons in the company, who are essential in the field of information and communication technology.
This guarantee covers the accidental, sudden and unforeseen breakage and destruction of all equipment and machinery used on the business premises. However, it does not take into account wear and tear, maintenance defects and damage that are covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.