Top Tips for Service Station, Commercial Property Owners and Lease Holders

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As a property owner or lease holder of a service station in Australia, you’d understand just how challenging it is to manage your business on a day-to-day basis. As well as running a commercially viable petrol station, you need to have smart insurance strategies in place to deal with, for example, damage, theft and environmental factors. We understand that service station insurance may not be at the forefront of your priorities, so here are some crucial tips to help you become more productive and vigilant when it comes to protecting your business.  

Did you know:

TIP 1 - The top 3 claims for service stations owners are:

  1. Impact Damage
    This is especially relevant to service station bowsers and can range from cosmetic surface damage to the more serious kind, which can put not only your staff but also your customers at risk. Are you confident your insurance policy covers you for impact damage? If not, talk to an insurer today.
  2. Fuel Contamination
    As a property owner or lease holder, it’s vital to regularly conduct dip testing to reduce your exposure to fuel contamination. Unfortunately, if there is one report of bad fuel, there will likely be more to follow, and this can impact your insurance claims.
  3. Theft & Burglary
    In service stations, cigarettes and money are often top of the list of theft and burglary claims. Obviously, you can reduce your risk of money being stolen by only having a small amount in your registers, and with cigarettes, it’s critical to lock away any excess cartons; if they’re lying around, exposed, or not locked in a cabinet, they may not be covered by your insurance policy.

TIP 2 - Money is covered separately under your policy

Unfortunately, some service station property owners or lease holders experience a burglary where money is stolen. However, it’s important to keep in mind that money cover is a separate section on your policy and is not covered under the burglary section. We don’t want you to discover this the hard way, so chat to your insurer or insurance broker today to make sure you have appropriate cover for theft of money. 

TIP 3 - Your fire extinguishers need to be checked every 6 months

No one wants to experience a fire in their service station, but it’s crucial to protect yourself by having fire extinguishers in excellent working order. If you don’t check your fire extinguishers every six months and you have a fire, your insurance claim may be void under the fire section.

TIP 4 - Glass can be covered both externally and internally

When insuring your service station, it’s important to cover glass, and you can elect to cover both internal and external glass. Keep in mind there is usually an $8,000 limit to cover your signage.     

TIP 5 - You can insure against environmental claims

Recent figures contained in a NSW Auditor-General report reveal 770 service stations and 176 other petroleum sites were actually or potentially contaminated. Many of these sites reported leaking fuel from underground tanks. This can have serious implications for your business, so if you don’t yet have environmental insurance, have you considered it?   

TIP 6 - It’s important to lodge claims as soon as they occur

It’s important to not only lodge claims with your insurer or insurance broker as soon as they occur, but to disclose all relevant information. The quicker the claim is lodged, the quicker the insurer can work to pay your claim. Also, it’s vital you check both your policy and policy schedule to make sure you are covered correctly. If you’re not sure on any aspect of your policy, speak to your insurance broker to obtain clarification.

TIP 7 - You need to stay on top of your insurance sums

While it can be a mundane task, it’s crucial to get into the habit of assessing your insurance sums annually to ensure you still have the right cover in place. If you experience an event and you require insurance, only to discover your policy doesn’t cover you, the ramifications for your business could be serious.

TIP 8 - An insurance broker will help you protect yourself

An insurance broker can not only help you find the best deal, but also ensure you are adequately covered, guide you in choosing the most appropriate insurance products and always assist with your claim. At Sudale Insurance Brokers, we already assist hundreds of service station commercial property owners and lease holders across the country protect their business through smart service station insurance strategies. Our team is always here to talk through your questions, so please contact us today on 0400 391 130 or  email [email protected]

Tip 9 - Lease Agreements

It's important to provide your lease agreement so we can talk you through the insurance requirements.