30/06/11

The electronics and tools in your office are at the heart of your business; without them, it is likely that your business simply would not be able to function. Add to this the cost of equipment and the rapid rate at which technology upgrades, and it is plain to see the importance of a good business insurance policy.

Advances in technology have changed, and will continue to change, the way businesses operate. New additions will add value to your property and, in doing so, they run the risk of outdating your contents insurance policy. Should these tools become broken, damaged or stolen, adequate cover will allow the daily running of your business to carry on unheeded. However, should your policy be insufficient, you may find that your insurer is unable to provide the full financial worth of your contents. Here, we take a look at how new technology can affect companies, and the importance of business contents insurance.

According to Forrester and Gartner, technology spending for this year is likely to grow between 5 and 7% , suggesting that many companies are now looking to catch up on lost ground made during the recession. Not only is spending increasing, but it is also suggested that positive opinion on the benefits of new technology has risen too. Forrest and Gartner studied IT leaders in Europe and North America and found companies that used the latest productivity software reported increased ease of use in managing the cost of software implementation, remote access, security and integration with applications .

One of the biggest technological developments in the past year is the iPad, and according to Leslie Fiering, a senior analyst at Gartner, iPads have gained significant popularity among executives across a range of business sectors. She suggests that this new development has caused IT departments to revaluate what devices staff will use and how . Fiering asked a group of people employed in a range of business industries whether they had been requested to use an iPad by a manager, and found that between half and a third of those polled had experienced this. Although tablets such as the iPad are unlikely to replace notebooks or smartphones, many executives recognise their use for staff on the go, perhaps for a final review of a presentation whilst on the train, or to check emails.

As this kind of equipment is generally designed for out of office use, if you are considering adding it to your office hardware, it is essential that your insurance policy provides cover for contents whilst they are off company property.

And it’s not just shiny new gadgets that you should consider. If you are concerned about rising premiums, it might be worth checking to see what old equipment you have in the office. BT Business Direct estimate that there is over £2.7 billion of unused IT equipment lying around UK offices . With companies often attributing a considerable sum of their budget to technology, as well as frequent upgrades, the above average spend and below average lifespan of various hardware means that individual businesses could be laying to waste thousands of pounds. A regular inventory check is recommended to ensure that your policy covers all equipment on your company property.

During this time of economic recovery, many companies may now be taking the time to find new ways to invest that could help give them an edge over competitors and help to increase productivity. For many, this need for a competitive edge is the drive behind injecting so much cash into new technology.

If you are in such a position, each time you make a significant technological upgrade or purchase for your business, discuss this with your insurer to help ensure that your investments are financially protected.

With so many company expenses, technological or otherwise, it can often be difficult to determine how your finances should be divided and whether items should be classed as a necessity or luxury. And, when there are so many great gadgets on the market, business contents insurance may not seem to be a priority. That is, of course, until you need to make a claim, but by then it is too late. By taking the time to consider your policy, it is easy to see the benefits of having adequate cover in place for your business.

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