Warehouse insurance: All you need to know

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    Chris Godfrey

    Page written by Chris Godfrey. Last reviewed on May 26, 2024. Next review due April 6, 2025.

    Warehouses can be some of the most dangerous places to work. High shelving systems, moving forklifts and loaders, heavy goods vehicles going in and out, and a common round-the-clock work schedule all enhance the chance of injuries or property damage and raise the risk of expensive compensation claims. Fortunately, warehouse insurance can provide comprehensive cover to eliminate these risks, allowing warehouse operators to concentrate on their business and stop worrying about what could go wrong. Read on to find out more.

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      Why is warehousing insurance important?

      Falls from heights, trips, broken bones and crushed limbs are common accidents in warehouses, as are damages to property, risk of fire or flood, loss of refrigerated stock, and theft by employees and visitors. 

      All of these incidents have the potential to generate five or six figure compensation claims – the kind of costs that could put many warehouse businesses in trouble and making warehouse insurance essential. In short, operating a warehouse without cover, even if its only for your own stock and not paying customers, is like walking a tightrope without a net. Everything’s fine until it isn’t, then the impact can be sudden and enormous.

      What does warehouse insurance cover?

      Warehouse insurance is specialist business insurance that can cover personal injuries, accidental and malicious property damage, fire, flood, total loss, theft of stored goods and more:

      Property damage insurance

      Property damage insurance covers the cost of repairing damage to the structure of your building (or rebuilding it from scratch). The policy will also usually cover damage to insured contents, fixtures and fittings, and any damage to underground pipes and cables that you’re responsible for. (Such as the mains water pipe).

      Loss of licence insurance

      Warehouse operators who run a customs bonded warehouse – that is, a secure space which stores goods imported from outside of the UK before they reach their final destination – must have a licence from HMRC to do so. If the licence is withdrawn, it could materially impact the business and the value of the property. Loss of licence insurance covers bonded warehouse operators in the event of forfeiture, suspension, or withdrawal of their premises licence – paying out to replace any loss of gross income, costs incurred while trying to maintain their gross income, and any depreciation in the value of the premises if they can’t get their licence renewed or reinstated.

      Money and assault insurance

      Money and assault insurance covers you in the event of theft and/or assault to you or an employee. The policy typically protects your property while it is in transit by road, rail, or freight anywhere in Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, and the Republic of Ireland. This includes sea or air transit between these territories. The policy also covers you and your staff for any personal injury they may have suffered during the theft, paying for medical costs, loss of income, legal expenses and ongoing therapy. 

      Employee theft insurance

      Employee theft insurance covers you in case an employee steals from your business. This includes money or property theft arising from employee fraud or dishonesty, auditor fees incurred while substantiating the amount of loss, and costs for rewriting or amending computer software programs or security codes to prevent recurrent theft.

      Employers’ liability insurance

      Under the Employers Liability Act of 1969, Employers’ liability insurance (EL) is a legal requirement for most UK employers. EL protects you and your employees, (including those who no longer work for you), should they be injured or become unwell as a result of working for your business. EL typically covers the associated legal and compensation costs, and other damages of such events, but it can also cover accidental injury or damage caused by an employee to a third party, like your customers. 

      Public liability insurance

      Public liability insurance protects you if someone is injured, or their property is damaged because of the services that you or your business provides. This type of cover, also known as PL or liability insurance, is designed to protect you against third party claims for injuries or property damage from a customer or client, passer-by, or a visitor to your warehouse – whether you’re at fault or not.

      Product liability insurance

      Product liability insurance (PLI) – also known as ‘product insurance’ – is designed to protect companies, partnerships, sole traders and the self-employed from financial loss in the event that someone is harmed, or property is damaged due to the products that they supply. 

      Important tip for warehouse operators: Product liability insurance isn’t only for manufacturers. In the event of an accident, your business could be held liable even if you only stored, distributed or repaired the product.

      Commercial legal expenses insurance

      Commercial legal expenses insurance covers you in the event that you’re faced with legal costs in connection with your warehouse. The policy will typically pay for legal costs involving issues of property damage, nuisance, or trespass – specifically, the associated legal claims and compensation payouts – and any tax and compliance disputes and investigations you may need help with.

      Cyber liability insurance

      Cyber liability insurance covers you in the event of a data leak or cyber-attack that could damage your business and reputation. The policy typically protects you from claims against you for data breach, virus transmission, loss of reputation, or breach of intellectual property rights. You may also purchase cover to pay for data-breach expenses, computer system damage costs, lost income, and cyber-crime committed against you, such as telephone hacking or data and money theft.

      Is there a minimum level of cover I have to purchase?

      No. Warehouse insurance can be tailored to your facility requirements, so you only pay for what you need and nothing more. If you’re not sure, simply ask Swoop to recommend the policy that best suits your operation.

      How Swoop can help

      All business involves risk, but that doesn’t mean your warehouse has to suffer the consequences if things go wrong. Don’t let an accident, mistake, or omission turn your business upside down. Contact Swoop today to compare top-quality warehouse insurance policies and to discuss all your business insurance needs. 

      Written by

      Chris Godfrey

      Chris is a freelance copywriter and content creator. He has been active in the marketing, advertising, and publishing industries for more than twenty-five years. Writing for Barclays Bank, Metro Bank, Wells Fargo, ABN Amro, Quidco, Legal and General, Inshur Zego, AIG, Met Life, State Farm, Direct Line, insurers and pension funds, his words have appeared online and in print to inform, entertain and explain the complex world of consumer and business finance and insurance.

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