Reduce risk. This has, for many years, been the mantra for everyone involved in the hospitality industry. And in these uncertain times it should be adhered to more than ever in order to prevent your business suffering serious harm.
It is absolutely essential that businesses should be thoroughly aware of the risks associated with their activities - risks to which customers, guests and staff may be exposed.
Companies all have a responsibility to make sure their premises are as safe as possible. 'Taking all reasonable care' is a very subjective statement but it is essential that you have covered as many of the aspects required by your insurers as possible.
Devil in the detail
The devil is in the detail with insurance policies and insurers may deny adequate commitment from their client upon investigation of a claim.
Conversely, if you have covered all bases - and can prove it - you should be in a position of strength to negotiate a better deal from your insurers. After all, you are reducing the likelihood of claims being made.
Incidentally, when discussing your insurance renewal it might be worth requesting a rate reduction in light of the smoking ban, which has been in place for some time now. After all, this has seriously reduced the threat of fire in many establishments and historically was one of the highest risk areas of all.
Remember too, that when deciding upon an insurance policy, make sure that there are no exclusions (or make certain you are comfortable with them). Then, if the situation should arise when you need to make a claim, you can be confident that everything is in place.
Checking the exclusions before buying your insurance is vital, as these clauses can cause problems should the worst-case scenario arise and you have to defend a claim made against you or your business.
Renewing your policy
About to renew your policy? Well, one of the best pieces of 'insurance' you could take out prior to renewal would be to have an expert from a law firm survey your risk assessments and the precautions you have in place. This way you'll get sound advice, peace of mind and potentially save yourself significant money and heartache.
Your business should have the following:
• a good risk assessment
• a sound fire risk assessment and fire safety procedures
• a Health and Safety policy with training in place
• accident reporting procedures
• staff members qualified and trained in first aid
• an unimpeachable standard of food hygiene and safety.
A specialist lawyer can help you with all of the above and each of these elements should be referred to during your insurance negotiations as they may enable you to get a reduction in the cost of your premium.