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Business Continuity Planning


Whatever your business trade or size it’s important to plan for the unexpected e.g. extreme weather, terrorist attacks, fire, disease.

The team at Bira Insurance have provided a handy guide to business continuity planning to keep your business running during periods of interruption.

Analyse your business risks

Business continuity plans must start with the business considering the following:

  • How likely is it to happen and what would be the worst-case scenario?
  • What effect could that level of business interruption have on my business?
  • What are your processes and procedures and business critical activities? Whatever the cause of the business interruption you must concentrate on the tasks and activities that are crucial to keep your business trading e.g.: key staff, key processes, suppliers for replacement stock, delivery/distribution, alternative suppliers and premises? What if we lost our internet connection for a week?
  • What if our documents were destroyed in a flood or fire?
  • What if staff were unable to physically come to the office for a month?

Then decide whether the risk can be removed, reduced or accepted with a work around.

Developing a disaster recovery plan

Once you have considered the risks that need to be addressed, plan the procedures needed to initiate your business resilience strategy. Work out how long it should take for ‘normal business’ to resume. Write down a timetabled plan, so you will know precisely what to do and when.

  • What resources would you need to recover and maintain your business’s activity?
  • Who is going to be responsible for implementing this strategy?
  • Do you have a contact list for staff, key suppliers, customers, utilities, security services, maintenance contractors, service engineers, Insurance, bankers, landlord
  • Who needs to be contacted and by whom? This applies to both internal (employees) and external stakeholders (customers or partners). This may mean reviewing your online communications platforms. If you have social media profiles or a website, consider if your customers need you for advice or to discuss an issue, Are they able to get your contact details easily online?
  • Are your customer service inbox and answerphones checked regularly?
  • Is your website fully functional – working on mobile devices as well as desktops / laptops?
  • Is your online shop stocked and up to date?
  • Do you have asset registers?

Test your business continuity plan

This is key, as an untested plan may not work. At this stage, it’s important that all internal stakeholders understand their role in the plan. Your plan must be updated regularly to account for changes.

Understand your insurance policy

Standard business interruption policies are unlikely to cover all possibilities. It’s important to understand your policy cover.

Are sums insured up to date? Representing replacement values as new (cost price for stock).? Is your Business Interruption Loss of income figure accurate? How long will it take to recover business fully to their trading position immediately  before loss? 12/18 or 24 months or longer?

Bira Insurance are on hand to explain the Business interruption cover currently provided, whether or not you are insured with Bira. Simply send Bira Insurance the Policy document and schedule.  Bira Insurance has helped members understand if their insurance covers COVID 19 loss of income.


Find out more about Bira Insurance

Looking after business, taking care of people.

If you have any questions, please call Towergate on 0330 123 5939 and talk to the Bira Insurance team.


This is a marketing article provided by Bira Insurance.
British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) are an Introducer Appointed Representative of Towergate Underwriting Group Limited. Bira Insurance is a trading name of Towergate Underwriting Group Ltd who are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registered Address: 1 Minster Court, Mincing Lane, London, EC3R AA, United Kingdom. Registered in England with company number 4043759. www.towergate.com/fair-processing-notice

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