Business Insurance
Frequent Questions

Damages & Claims

Should I include VAT when calculating the sum insured or submitting a claim?
If you can reclaim VAT, the sums insured and claims should exclude the VAT amount, since you can reclaim it from the VAT department. If, on the other hand, you can’t reclaim VAT, the sums insured and claim settlements should include the tax element involved.
What is an excess and why do I have to pay it in the case of a claim?
The excess is a monetary amount agreed upon prior to start of insurance cover which will be deducted from the final amount of your claim.

The excess is applied in order to reduce the administration costs involved with handling small claims thus helping keep insurance premium costs affordable to the advantage of the customer.
What should I do if I am not satisfied with the service I am given?
With the best will in the world, concerns about some aspects of our service can occasionally arise. In such circumstances our staff have wide authority to settle problems and will do everything they can to help. This should be your first point of contact. If you are still not satisfied, please refer to the complaints procedure. These documents guide you through our commitment to deal with your concerns promptly and fairly.

Insurance Cover

What can I insure my property against?
Once the decision has been made as to what assets need to be insured and their sum insured has been established, you need to decide what risk(s) those assets are to be insured against. We offer the following options:
  • Fire and the full range of perils;
  • Fire and full range of perils plus accidental damage;
  • All risks
  • What are ‘perils’?
    In insurance, when we talk about cover for ‘perils’ or ‘special perils’, we mean insurance for damages by:
  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Explosion
  • Aircraft and other aerial devices and/or articles dropped from them,
  • Rioting, Strikers or Locked-Out Workers
  • Malicious Persons
  • Earthquake and Volcanic Eruption including Fire, Flood or overflow of the sea
  • Storm or Tempest
  • Floods
  • Impact by vehicles or animals
  • Very often, when people refer to ‘Acts of God’, they are referring to the perils which are covered under most policies. See your policy wording for full details.
    If I opt for ‘all risks’ cover does this mean that I’m covered for everything?
    No. All insurance policies, including the ones that are called “All Risks”, are subject to exclusions and/or exceptions. Exclusions are risks that:
  • the insurer does not wish to insure at all;
  • are generally insured under more specific policies, e.g. money is typically insured under a money policy and computers under an electronic equipment policy;
  • the insurer may be prepared to insure following further investigation and at an additional premium.
  • I’m considering Employers’ Liability insurance. Does it only cover full-time employees?
    The main intent of the Employers’ Liability cover is to insure the employer against the legal liability they have to their full-time employees and in certain cases also extends to cover temporary or part-time employees, students and trainees on any work experience programme agreement all of whom are under a contract (written or otherwise) of service or apprenticeship with the employer. Only staff who have been registered with the relevant authorities are covered by Employers’ Liability insurance.
    What is the purpose of a proposal form?
    The proposal form is an application form which is the initial step in the process of negotiation between a client and an insurer. What is important to know is that the proposal forms the basis of the contract between the two parties.

    The main function of a commercial proposal form is to record the information that is necessary for the insurer to assess the nature of the risk being proposed and includes questions related to general particulars of the client or business and other questions which are specific to the insurance policies being requested.
    What is a warranty? Is it important to abide by it?
    A warranty is a term of major importance to your insurance. A warranty is a condition that a certain state of affairs will, or will not, continue, or that something shall, or shall not be done, throughout the duration of the insurance. The insured is responsible for the implementation of these warranties and/or conditions.

    Any non-compliance with warranties or conditions may result in claims not being paid.
    What is Average?
    In insurance terminology ‘average' has a specific meaning. Average means that if, at the time of the loss, the sum insured on the policy is less than the actual value of the property insured, the insured will be responsible for the difference and bear a rateable share of the loss, e.g. if the rebuilding value of the premises insured is €100,000 and the sum insured reads €50,000, should a loss of €10,000 occur, the insured will be entitled to €5,000 (less any policy excess).

    We therefore remind you to insure your property on the correct and current values and to review these values periodically, usually only once a year. However, if there are significant changes in your property (for instances renovations, or increased stock amounts), we recommend that you contact us so that we can update your policy with immediate effect, so that you always keep the true value of your property insured.
    When insuring stock, what do I need to cater for exactly?
    When insuring stock, you should usually include: raw materials, work in progress, finished goods ready for sale belonging to you and/or held by you on behalf of others (such as clients and/or suppliers) or any goods for which you’re responsible.

    Furthermore, the sum insured will be based on the replacement cost of the stock excluding any element of profit which would be included in the retail price of the goods.
    On what sum insured do I need to insure my property?
    Having decided on the assets that need to be insured, you must now decide on the sum insured to be allocated to those assets. In respect of buildings, tenant’s improvements, fixed glass, machinery, plant and all other contents, and computers the following two main methods exist:

  • Traditionally, property insurance policies have been arranged on an ‘indemnity basis’, meaning that sums insured were based on the second-hand value of the property. This figure is usually arrived at by deciding on the cost of reinstating the property in modern materials and reducing that amount for wear and tear depending on age and usage of the property.

  • Alternatively, ‘reinstatement basis’ can be used wherein the sum insured should be that needed to put the property back to what it was prior to the damage, but without making it better or more extensive than before. An allowance must be made for likely inflationary increases during the rebuilding period, local authority requirements, professional fees and removal of debris costs.
  • What Health and Safety obligations do I hold towards my employees and/or third parties (such as clients and/or customers) visiting my premises?
    You need to acquaint yourself with the current Health and Safety legislation which deal with matters, amongst others, such as risk assessments, fire alarm installation, fire drills and evacuation, fire exits and signage, firefighting equipment and training, personal protective equipment, use of guards on machinery, first aid kits and first aid training. A good source of information (including legislation) is the Maltese Occupational Health & Safety Authority website http://ohsa.org.mt/home/legal/ohsauthorityactxxviiof2000.aspx.
    I have been asked to install fire extinguishers but I’m confused as to the type to use and how many to buy. How can I get help?
    Many asset protection insurance policies require the insured to install fire extinguishing appliances. This is not only an insurance requirement but also good practice. Apart from selling such appliances a number of local fire safety and security companies provide assistance as to the type and quantities to be purchased according to your business’s safety requirements. Basic preliminary information can easily be found online before you speak to a security company, but don’t base your fire safety on an unreliable source and do make sure you ensure a professional sets up any safety system you require.

    Hello I am Alexia Azzopardi, one of Atlas’ Customer Support Operators.
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