Impact of rising crime wave on business insurance

Recently, retailers have been facing a major spike in crime in both damage and property. It has been causing major issues, with many retailers dreading that 1am phone call only to be told they’ve been hit.

We asked Brett Down, the Regional Branch Director for the Bay of Plenty at Crombie Lockwood Insurance Brokers, to share some recommendations and tips about what hospitality venues and retailers should do in preparation for a potential break-in, and what to do if the unspeakable happens.

Ram raids, smash and grabs and shoplifting with violence or threat of violence are becoming a more common occurrence across our cities, as brazen criminals increasingly strike in daylight hours. This worrying trend means businesses and retailers need to consider the impact of such events on their insurance cover.  

Crombie Lockwood Regional Branch Director Bay of Plenty Brett Down recommends all business owners should take time to review their material damage insurance policies to ensure they have the appropriate cover and understand any excesses and exclusions that apply.

“It’s important to check your policy covers you for both burglary and theft. Most policies should provide burglary protection although there may be exclusions or restrictions on the scope of the cover.”

Brett says business owners should also make themselves familiar with any applicable policy warranties, particularly for burglar alarms.

“Warranties are a promise by the policy holder to do or not to do something, for example how stock should be secured. If you are in breach of a warranty, your insurance policy may not fully cover you for damage or losses.

Brett advises business owners to immediately advise the police if they experience a break-in, damage or a loss and protect remaining stock or assets without delay, which may involve arranging an emergency glass provider or short-term security guard.

Are you covered for a break-in?

“It’s also important to let your insurance broker or provider know about the incident. Keep any relevant video footage and do a stock take to identify items that have been taken. Your broker or insurer will then be able to guide you through the claims process,” says Brett.      

For more information please contact Brett Down on 027 457 7598

Established in Napier in 1978, Crombie Lockwood has grown into one of the largest insurance broking companies in New Zealand. The company arranges business, personal and life and health insurance on behalf of around 100,000 clients, placing insurance premiums of over $1.1 billion each year.


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