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Five ways to ensure you're insured for growth

Growth is a great sign for the industry and the wider economy. Small and medium-sized construction firms need to ensure they are well prepared for taking on more orders, stock and staff.

There will be a growing need for construction firms to adapt their insurance cover and procedures to accommodate increased activity, new assets and enhanced responsibilities.

We have outlined five top tips to consider as the order book begins to expand.

Plan ahead

By preparing for risk, you can protect your business and reduce insurance premiums.

Every time your firm goes through a period of change, such as taking on a new member of staff, buying new machinery or moving premises, it’s wise to consider how this will affect your insurance needs and what precautionary measures may be most prudent.

Then, have an informed discussion with your broker about the best solution.

Consider developing a business continuity plan that includes important information and back-up options in the event that a key supplier or member of staff is no longer available - keep this updated and in a safe place. It is far better to be well prepared than to regret this oversight when it is too late.

Check your assets

Make sure any new equipment, machinery and vehicles are properly maintained and safe to use, with all documentation kept securely as part of an asset register.

Increase security

One of the biggest ongoing threats is plant theft; taking effective action is paramount.

Register your equipment with a six-digit code under the Construction Equipment Security And Registration (CESAR) scheme and police are more likely to be able to trace it.

Owners should also consider stepping up security measures when the total value of assets increases, e.g. reinforcing storage doors and locks, and installing floodlights and CCTV. You can also speak to your local council about any health and safety or security concerns in the local area.

Manage your people

An increase in staff automatically increases your Employer’s Liability, so this must be updated via your broker.

Also, having more people on site increases the risk of accidents, so it is important for your team to understand these dangers and how to avoid them. Ensure you have robust health and safety procedures in place that everyone is aware of and following.

Manage uncertainty

It is important for construction firms to be aware of and plan for project over-run, so the business is not adversely affected.

Tara Kneafsey is SME director at commercial insurers RSA

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