Is your business or home close enough to be affected by problems next door? Have you assumed that you will be covered by your neighbours insurance? If you do, you may get a nasty shock, as insurance works best when you cover yourself. Especially if your neighbour assumed nothing would happen to them and decided not to cover themselves. Businesses in central London had to evacuate their premises recently for exactly that reason.

You can arrange for your insurance to pay for income you lose or alternative premises yet only if you have asked for that type of cover before the problem begins. Don’t rely on the features of the policy that was sold to you. There are lots of terms, conditions and exclusions that can trip you up if you’re not aware of them.

In order to arrange this cover your adviser would have helped you calculate how much cover you need to hire alternative premises and equipment, worked out how long you want you might need temporary premises and totalled the cost of relocating everything essential to the new address. This is also true if you work from home, speaking of which – here’s an unrelated yet handy risk assessment for those that do.

So what can you do today to ensure you’re covered? Call your adviser and ask “how much cover have I got if my premises are out of action, when does the cover kick in and how long does it last?” If the answers seem wishy washy, request a reply by email.

Top Tip

You probably don’t have the time to develop a business continuity document — even though it could be as small as one A4 page. So keep a list of equipment that is critical to your business off site so you don’t have to rely on your memory. Remember what happened on “snow day” and focus on what didn’t work in your business that day. They’re probably your weak points.

See our top tips page for simple ways to help yourself today.