Retractable security grilles are an excellent way to add a layer of security to your business premises, and bring a number of other benefits too. Whilst there may be some modest reductions in your insurance premiums, you’ll typically see the biggest savings by virtue of not having to make a claim in the first place – avoiding paying any excesses and preventing the rising premiums that this inevitably brings.
Security grilles are a simple and effective way to reduce the risk of theft from your commercial premises. Not only that, but they can pay for themselves through reduced insurance premiums, unpaid excesses and eliminating minor claims it’s otherwise not worth making. The amounts will vary considerably depending on your circumstances, but can add up to a very worthwhile saving.
There is a range of security grilles on the market, but some of the most popular for commercial premises are the collapsible lattices that you will often see behind shop windows and doors when they are closed for the night. The advantages are that they provide a high degree of protection against casual theft, but it is easy to see merchandise through them and when not required they can be discreetly folded away.
These grilles will usually be tested by a third-party certifier such as the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB), who are the UK’s leading independent certification body. You can find out more at www.brecertification.co.uk. There are a number of grades of certification available, corresponding to different levels of attack – from opportunistic break-ins to sustained, deliberate and professional attempts using appropriate tools.
Before you buy new grilles for your premises, it’s worth doing some research into exactly what the insurance benefits will be. Whilst this should not form the sole basis for your purchase, it may turn out to be a significant factor. There is also a large amount of misinformation around concerning reduced premiums, so it’s worth not making any assumptions without good evidence.
Insurance: doing the maths
Depending on the size of the aperture to cover, a single security grille might cost as little as a few hundred pounds (for a small side window) to upwards of £2,000 (for very large front windows). As a rough guide a shop with a 2×2-metre front window might expect to pay around £1,000, including VAT, for a LPS (Loss Prevention Standard) 1175-1 certified security grille. This refers to a basic level of security designed to withstand entry by bodily force and simple tools. The LPS 1175 standard is recognised by the Association of British Insurers and the Association of Chief Police Officers, amongst many other organisations.
The typical savings you can make on your premiums are limited. With the right insurer and under the right circumstances, you might negotiate as much as a five percent discount. In most cases it is likely to be lower, and some insurers will not offer any reduction at all. Premiums will vary considerably depending on a number of factors including:
It is therefore impossible to give a reliable figure for how much money you could save and how long it will take to recoup the costs taking into consideration the premium alone.
Further financial benefits
However, reducing the calculation to current insurance premiums alone is not a reliable means of deciding whether installing security grilles is cost effective. For starters, your premiums are only one element of the insurance bill you face – and they only apply when you make a claim.
The reality is that a vast number of incidents are never reported at all. Minor vandalism and theft are seldom worth making a claim for, since the cost is less than the excess you will have to pay, not to mention the long-term cost of raised premiums.
Most theft is opportunistic. The majority of thieves take advantage of security weaknesses when they spot them, rather than targeting specific premises and attempting to gain access to them. Grilles are a signal that you take security seriously. Most thieves will therefore ignore your building and look for an easier target. This means no excesses and fewer minor repairs, as well as premiums that stay low. Additionally, you should be able to offset the cost of the grilles against the tax you pay, and you may be VAT-exempt. These amounts quickly add up to a sizeable fraction of the installation price.
Regardless of the tax and insurance benefits, it’s hard to put a price on peace of mind.
Making sure your business benefits
Generally speaking just about any organisation will benefit from installing grilles if they don’t already have visible security measures, since you should consider the impact of break-ins and vandalism as well as theft. Even if you don’t have expensive stock on display, most organisations will use computers, phones and other equipment that is expensive to replace.
You should ensure that any grilles you do install are tested to appropriate Loss Prevention Standards. You will also need to talk to your insurer first – or a range of insurers – to learn what their policies are around installation and reduced premiums. For example, some companies may want to inspect your premises and the security measures you have taken before finalising your premiums. They may require that the grilles are fitted by a certified company. Others will take a more laid-back approach. The bottom line is that different insurers specialise in different areas and some will make concessions that others do not – so don’t assume that the first answer you get is representative of them all.
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