Am I Covered? Theft Insurance vs Building & Contents

Retail theft cover

Theft is an all-too-common part of doing business for many small business owners. Australia’s National Retail Association puts the cost of retail crime (including robbery) in the billions1. Victorian tradies lost over $22.5 million each year in stolen tools and materials in 20232. Of course, these are just two examples—theft impacts businesses in all industries.

Theft can hinder your business activities. Replacing stolen items can be expensive. And if you cannot come up with the quick cash needed to replace essential equipment, you may be unable to work until it’s purchased.

That’s where Theft insurance could help your business succeed. Let’s dive into this type of cover and how it compares to the Building and Contents policies you may already have.

What is Theft Cover?

Theft insurance* covers you against loss of contents and stock as well as damage to your business premises, as a result of theft or attempted theft involving forcible or violent entry from your business premises. Usually, policies only cover items securely stored before the robbery. Insurers may ask for evidence of a break-in, like a broken lock or smashed window.

Theft insurance is an optional cover available through a Business Insurance Pack.

Do Building and Contents policies cover theft?

You may have Building or Contents cover (or both) as part of your Business Insurance Pack. If so, you might wonder if Theft insurance is also necessary. Surely, these insurances include cover for thefts, right?

No. Building and Contents insurance policies typically do not include theft cover.

Building insurance* covers the loss and damage to buildings you own, as a result of an insured event (such as fire, storm, wind). These policies only cover the buildings where you operate. It does not cover the items stored inside.

Contents insurance* covers the loss of or damage to items such as business equipment, stock, plant and machinery, records and furniture belonging to you at the insured location.

Here’s where many business owners get tripped up. It’s easy to think that Contents insurance covers thefts. However, the definition of “loss” many insurers use does not include stolen items. They generally mean items “lost” in a fire or other insured event.

Consider this real-life Contents cover example:

After thieves broke into a laundromat to steal money from a coin machine, the business owner made a claim under their Business Insurance Pack. The insurer replaced the damaged machine under the owner’s Contents cover. However, the business did not have Theft cover. The insurer did not replace the stolen money from the machine as a result.

The business owner’s insurance only covered part of the loss in this case. Their Contents policy covered $4,300 to replace the damaged coin machine. But the money stolen from it was gone.

Theft insurance in action

So, what does a Theft claim look like? Here’s an example:

Two thieves broke into a restaurant and stole eight iPads and the cash drawer. The owner notified the police and lodged a claim under their Business Insurance Pack, which included Theft cover.

The restaurant owner provided their insurer with information to back up their claim. They sent original purchase receipts for the stolen items, photos of the damage, CCTV of the incident, and quotes for replacing the items. This helped speed up their claim, and the insurer paid $2,997.26 to replace the iPads and cash drawer.

Without Theft cover, the restaurant would have been left holding the cheque for the stolen items. Instead, they could buy replacements without taking money from other parts of their business.

Protect your business with Theft Cover

Theft insurance could be a valuable addition to your Business Insurance Pack. It could help you bounce back if sticky fingers walk away with your business items.

Ready to add Theft cover to your insurance package? Compare quotes and get instant cover in minutes with BizCover! No complicated paperwork, no dramas.

1. National Retail Association, Retail Crime, accessed 1 March 2024
2. Crime Statistics Agency, Recorded Offences, December 2023
*This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.
†The provision of the claims examples are for illustrative purposes only and should not be seen as an indication as to how any potential claim will be assessed or accepted. Coverage for claims on the policy will be determined by the insurer, not BizCover.
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