Hello all – we’re pleased to be writing our first piece on the IMIS blog.
As Insurance Brokers with over 20 years experience in the Film and Media industry we’ll be providing some insight into some key topics over the coming months.
To start with, as we move into Autumn I thought it would be worthwhile to provide some reminders of certain things you should review and keep in mind from an Insurance perspective;
1. Understand your figures
Your insurance policy may contain elements that require an estimate of your wage roll, turnover or hiring fees for the coming year. Again, these figures should represent your estimate for the COMING YEAR, as last year may have been a different story. Reviewing these periodically will help you ensure that you have sufficient cover in place at all times.
2. Do an Inventory
Whether you are a Limited Company with a fixed asset register, or a sole trader or partnership, keeping track of what kit and other assets you have, what you have disposed of, and what you are likely to purchase in the coming months is important. For insurance purposes, you should not allow for depreciation as most policies provide cover on a “New for Old” basis, meaning that the value of your assets that you provide to the insurer should be the value to replace everything you have, as new, at today’s prices. If you have some items that you do not wish to insure, you should specifically mention these to your insurer, otherwise their value could be counted in the event of a loss, leaving you under-insured.
3. Consider where you are likely to use your equipment
Whilst we at Performance automatically cover your equipment on a Worldwide basis, some policies stipulate that you can only use your equipment in certain territories (usually at your Premises only, UK-wide, in the EU, or Worldwide) and travelling outside of these territories can leave you uninsured. If you are likely to go abroad, ensure that you have cover for your kit on the right basis – you can split your kit between territories and don’t need to have everything covered at the same location (e.g. you can have £10k at Premises, £50k in UK and £20k in EU). Just make sure that the sum insured you have in each is sufficient to cover the jobs you have, and that you amend these if an unexpected opportunity comes your way. Remember to also count any accessories for your kit, as these can add up.
4. Think about any changes to your business
As a Policyholder, you have a duty to disclose any Material Facts to underwriters. Material Facts are usually defined as “Any fact that may influence a prudent underwriter in the acceptance of or rating of your policy”. Over the last year, has anything occurred that you may need to tell your insurers about? Is anything going to happen in the foreseeable future that may? Examples of Material Facts could be convictions, changes to the security or construction of your premises, insolvency, other policies being cancelled or restricted in some way, changes to your business activities, etc, etc. The golden rule here is that if you are in any doubt as to whether a fact is Material or not, you should disclose it. If there is a possibility that something may occur in the future, discuss this with your insurer advisor in advance, so there are no surprises down the line.
5. Review your Contracts and Terms of Business
Always a good idea is to review your own terms of business and those of anyone you do business with, just to make sure that they are still robust enough to offer you the protection they should, and that nothing has changed over time that may invalidate any of the terms.
6. Review your working practices (Risk Assessments, Disaster Recovery Plan, Health and Safety Policy, etc)
If you have recently reviewed your policies and practices, it is a good idea to let your insurer know, as some may give discounts for having these in place. It is also imperative that if your insurer has previously asked for a copy of, for example, your Health and Safety Policy and this has changed, that you provide them with an up-to-date version.
7. Check your supporting documentation and organise your papers
You may also have certification that requires review or renewal and it is a good idea to get hold of the most recent copies of these and retain them on file. In addition, if you have any valuations or purchase receipts that need updating, copying or finding, then there’s never a time like the present to get these together, as you may be required to provide these in the event of a claim under your policy. Most business records need to be kept for a certain period – seven years is usually long enough (most are six, but if the paperwork straddles two accounting years, then seven is safer) but your accountant will advise you on this. From an insurance-perspective, this same period is fine, although it is good practice to keep hold of your Employers Liability Certificate for as long as possible. The most convenient way to do this is to scan the papers into a PDF, as there is no need to hold on to the original. Just ensure that the PDF is backed-up somewhere.
However you review your business at the end of the year, organisation and taking time to do this is the key, as well as seeking advice from your insurance advisor, accountant, and any other business support services you may use.
Also, IMIS members are able to receive an exclusive discount with us on all your media and kit insurance needs. Find out how to take advantage of the discount in the Member’s Section of the website.