Loss of Money From Theft
As far as pub insurance is concerned, one element of cover that you must review, without fail, is the cash or money cover. Whilst most businesses are now effectively trading as “cashless” pubs, bars and other licensed trade premises throughout the land continue to receive more money from cash, than cheques and credit or debit cards.
What this means is that, potentially, you could end up with significant amounts of cash on the premises. Any decent sized pub can quite easily receive and need to secure upwards of £5,000 cash on a busy Friday or Saturday night, let alone by the end of a Bank Holiday weekend such as Easter when the banks are closed for four consecutive days.
You have the option of going to a bank night safe but this is usually something you would prefer to do in daylight hours. If you are then too busy the next day or you have a Bank Holiday you may not have the option or be able to find time to visit the bank. So, you may just bank the cash you have and then add even more to it from the Saturday, Sunday or Monday.
This raises three issues as far as your money cover is concerned. Firstly, you need to make sure that you have a suitably high limit for cash in your safe overnight. The hours of darkness are when the most break-ins occur and the safe and your gaming machines the primary targets of thieves. The amount of premium you pay will depend on the age, make and model of your safe. You may be advised to upgrade your safe to one that meets insurers’ standards.
Secondly, make sure that you have enough to cover cash on premises, during business hours, but not held in a safe (i.e in your tills or change float behind the bar). Whilst robberies can occur at any time in my experience most robberies usually occur at the start of the day when cleaners arrive or nearer to the end of the night when you are clearing up and the majority of your customers have left.
Thirdly, makes sure that you have a decent limit for cash being taken to the bank and whilst in a bank night safe. The bank will accept no responsibility whilst in a bank night safe as they do not know how much is in each bag. You need to arrange this cover yourself and there will be strict conditions for the movement of cash from your premises to your bank, including limits of how much can be transported at any one time and how many people must accompany the cash to the bank.
No matter what level of cover you have ensure that there is a provision for exceptional trading times such as Christmas, Easter, Bank Holidays, World Cup etc of, say, 50% without you having to inform your insurers.
Your insurer will want to know about the physical security of your premises, including burglar alarms, CCTV, door and window locks; for more information on these items please read my other guides.
Personal Accident and Assault
You have covered your staff, your customers, your landlord, your property so now it’s time to consider yourself. Pubs are, by and large, safe environments to work in, however alcohol and its consumption can create problems that overturn this in an instance. As the primary “mover and shaker” in your business ensure that you carry enough personal injury and assault cover to ensure that your business can continue in your absence. This type of cover can be incorporated into your pub insurance policy or can be purchased as separate cover (sometimes known as Key Man Insurance).
In the event of a major incident at your public house such as a catastrophic fire or severe flooding that results in all or part of your business having to close then you will want to have a means of paying your bills and yourself during the period of business interruption. Typically this is based on your gross profit, i.e. the amount of money your business makes from sales (less the direct or stock costs) before you start paying any other bills. Cover can be extended for specific periods of time, if you are on a three year tenancy you might wish to cover the entire period; most insurers will take the view that three years is the limit as this would be a sufficient time to reinstate the premises to enable you to resume trading. Your accountant should be able to confirm for insurers the level of gross profit, or if you are entering into a new tenancy then the previous tenant should be able to assist you with this figure.