An introduction to insuring your commercial unit

In the UK, the Association of British Insurers (the ABI), is an industry body that represents more than 200 UK insurers. Its website is a useful starting place to better understand the insurance sector and what types of insurance are available – some of which you are legally required to have in place.

A few useful resources from the ABI to get you started are:

Many of Mileway’s customers find that by working closely with an insurance broker, they are able to buy the most appropriate insurance policies for their businesses, which usually include:

  • Property insurance: Which protects your business’s fixtures, fittings, contents, stock, and more against “all risks”, which includes things like fires and floods.
  • Business interruption insurance: Which is linked to the property insurance above, and protects your business’s profits and extra expenses in the case of a property claim.
  • Public and employers’ liability insurance: Which protects against accidents or injuries where you or your business are held responsible.
  • Marine insurance: Which protects stock in transit, and not just at sea.
  • Motor vehicle insurance: Which protects your vehicles and drivers.
  • Employee benefits insurance: Which provides medical, life, and critical illness protection.

Who insures what in a commercial property?

When you lease a space with Mileway, we’ll agree a lease with you and that lease will detail exactly who is responsible for insuring which risks.

Every lease is different, but typically, Mileway insures the building itself and you as the tenant are responsible for insuring the contents. This means that you will insure all of your equipment and stock.

You’ll also need to have a public liability policy and, if you have employees, an employers’ liability policy to protect against claims from people who may hold your business liable for injury or damage.

To illustrate this with an example: Warehouses can get pretty cold in winter, and if a pipe freezes and bursts, water damage might affect the building and damage your equipment or stock. After you get in touch with Mileway, we would contact our insurers to start the claims process, and get the building shell dried out and repaired.

But our claim wouldn’t cover your equipment and stock – or any disruption to your business. So you would need to contact your insurer separately, and lodge your own claim to cover the damage.

The key is to be prepared. And then after a claim, work together with us and your insurer to quickly get your business back on track.

What else are you responsible for?

While you normally won’t be directly insuring your building itself, the insurance policy will usually include a number of things that you need to stay on top of as part of the policy’s requirements.

These are common throughout the industry and include:

  • Using hot work permits: Before any work begins that involve sparks, heat, or open flames.
  • Maintaining fire protection: Where there is fire protection in place (e.g. sprinkler systems), properly testing it and telling the insurers if you plan to make changes or to isolate the protection for more than 48 hours.
  • Good housekeeping: So that fire exits are always clear and any combustible materials are kept well away from building walls.
  • Organising appropriate security arrangements: To reduce the risk of theft or damage.
  • Maintaining frost protection: To stop pipes being exposed to freezing temperatures that might lead to damage.
  • Managing contractors: So that anyone new working on-site has appropriate insurances in place, and understands your safety requirements.
  • Updating risk profiles: To make sure that Mileway and our insurers are aware of any significant changes that could increase the risk from an insurance perspective.

Making sure that all of these controls are in place also makes it much less likely that you’ll face an incident that could interrupt or damage your business.

Mileway has a range of different properties across the UK, so whatever you’re looking for and wherever you need to be, we’re sure to have the right options.

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