In light of the current uncertainty caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we understand that there will inevitably be an impact on your insurance needs. As a professional within the funeral industry, you may have had to make some short-term adjustments to your business in order to cope with the growing demand for your services.
These adjustments could be in the form of additional business premises, increasing the number of vehicles you have access to, or something else. Regardless of the extra capacity needed, it’s important to have the right cover in place so that your insurance protection isn’t compromised.
Drawing on our expertise evolved over decades of protecting funeral directors, we have highlighted below the essential cover that your business will require if you have had to expand your offering since the start of the pandemic.
Business Premises Insurance
Should the expansion of your business mean that you need additional premises, then it's essential that you notify your insurance broker without delay to ensure full protection.
Insurance against property damage can cover the buildings and contents at your business premises against events such as fire, break-in, storm and accidental damage, amongst other things. Contents cover should include any additional stock you might hold such as coffins, and other specialist equipment that you need as part of your business. It is also important to remember that personal effects of the deceased that are left in your care will need to be insured against loss or damage.
When insuring your property take care to ensure the value is correct, or you may find that any claim is reduced proportionately if you have unwittingly under-insured. Some policies, such as the specialist business premises policy for funeral directors provided by SEIB, has protection built in against accidental under-insurance. Buying an off-the-shelf funeral insurance package is unlikely to provide you with this form of cover, so be sure to check the finer details on your policy wording.
Employers’ Liability Insurance
Running a business during the pandemic has been challenging for everyone, and the funeral industry in particular has faced its own unique difficulties. Many funeral business proprietors have had to make the decision to increase their capacity in order to meet the growing need for their services. If you have had to invest in an additional temporary employee then you must ensure that they are covered by your employers’ liability insurance. This cover is designed to pay compensation costs and legal fees if an employee or ex-employee sues for illness or injury caused whilst working for your business.
A minor incident such as a member of staff tripping over a trailing cable could lead to a compensation claim being made against you, and if you were found to have breached your duty of care towards an employee or been negligent, a court could order you to pay compensation for injury, costs and other damages. The compensation amount and any legal fees would be paid by the employers’ liability insurance.
Employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement, if you have employees, you must ensure you are covered. Without it, you could face fines of up to £2,500 for every single day that you do not have cover in place.
Again, be sure to let your insurance broker know about any significant growth in staff numbers, as insurers tend to measure their exposure under your policy based on the number of employees and annual wage roll.
We have seen many funeral businesses hiring additional vehicles to cope with the increased demand for their services.
If you’re hiring temporary vehicles or buying additional ones, you’ll need specialist funeral directors’ motor insurance to protect your fleet should something go wrong. SEIB offer a bespoke motor policy that has been specifically designed to meet the needs of funeral directing firms and are able to extend cover to include temporary hire vehicles as required.
What other cover do I need?
As much as you look after your vehicles, sometimes a breakdown is unavoidable, and there is never a good time to have one. With obvious and easily recognisable funeral vehicles, reputation can be at risk as well as the issue of arriving late for a service.
SEIB can offer motor breakdown cover that provides a specialist service that is sensitive to the nature of the work you carry out and always goes that extra mile to get the job done. The cover offers transport for up to eight passengers following a breakdown, ensuring that if the worst was to happen during a funeral procession, no one is left stranded. Please note that we offer discounted rates to NAFD members for motor breakdown insurance.
SEIB’s experience with the funeral directing industry goes back over 40 years, and we have recently been described by a client as a “funeral director’s best friend”. The funeral directing community has made a huge effort to meet the challenge of the pandemic. We want you to know that our team are here to help and to find out about safeguarding your business premises and vehicles or protecting your business from the cost of a cyber-attack, please contact us by calling 0345 450 0648 or writing to firstname.lastname@example.org