Fire or possibly Flood In The Hold !
Storage of Stock and Flammable items
Storage of Stock is something which is often overlooked when reading through policy documentation. Whilst your total stock sum insured may be adequate to cover the total stock held at premises at any one time, the way it is stored may not be right.
Most Insurers will apply a stock storage condition to a policy which will stipulate how the items must be stored. This is called a ‘stillage warranty’ and will stipulate the height from the ground the stock must be kept. Generally speaking insurers impose a height storage requirement of 7.5 to 15cm above the ground however this will differ depending on insurer so check your policy.
In respect of certain types of stock there may be additional requirements stipulating the apparatus upon which it should be stored or an increased height if the stock is of a more delicate nature.
Ultimately the condition is applied to protect the stock in the event of a burst pipe or flood but it also helps to limit the claims exposure under the policy and help keep premiums lower.
A stock storage condition may be applied to stock stored in basements or at ground level. Remember however that should you store stock in a basement or below ground level insurers must be notified as they may apply different conditions to the policy for this.
Storage of Flammable Items
Now most Commercial Combined policies will have a Flammables Condition applied which stipulates how flammable items must be stored. Depending on the Flammables your business deals with and will hold at the premises will depend on the condition and storage requirements.
A typical condition may read “It is a condition of the policy that in respect of Damage caused by fire or explosion under this insurance that all flammable solvents are kept in closed tins and are stored in a fire resisting compartment/cupboard. Failure to comply with the above condition may result in a claim for fire or explosion not being paid or payments reduced.”
Different policies will have different requirements and may also restrict the amount of liquid stored in one individual container or the overall amount permitted at the premises at any one time. The container is normally required to be metal although when decanting to smaller containers, especially for sign companies using solvent whilst working at benches, these can often be plastic bottles. If in doubt as to the suitability of a container or storage cupboard, refer this to insurers for their advices and pre approval.
Remember, once you have finished work at the end of the day all solvents including the small containers out on the benches should be stored safely in the metal cupboard / cabinet.