Small business owners who have a short-term commercial insurance policy are often not aware that they may not be covered for the loss of income, under a standard commercial policy.
Although a standard short-term insurance policy can assist SMEs to replace, repair or reinstate various assets following a loss, it does not provide cover against the loss of income as a result of a business being non-operational or not being able to provide a service following a covered loss.
"Business Interruption cover is offered by insurers as optional cover to protect a business against the loss of income following an insured event. For this cover to come into effect following a loss, there needs to be a financial loss to the business as a result of the unforeseen incident caused by a peril that is insured in terms of the underlying commercial short-term insurance policy," Malesela Maupa, Head of Insurer Relationships at FNB Insurance Brokers.
For instance, should a fire occur at business premises, the short-term insurance policy would cover costs related to repairing the building and replacing equipment or any other insured assets destroyed during the fire. Thereafter, Business Interruption cover would come into effect to cover the business against loss of income for the period it can’t operate.
Business Interruption cover can be extended to also protect businesses against losses due to incidents or disasters that occur at the premises of a third party, such as a supplier or customer. However, not all risks that occur outside the premises will be covered, if not specified.