First things first. The quality of your management will affect the premium you pay. You will be expected to do basic things like having fire extinguishers maintained, but any extra safety features such as a burglar alarm will help you to negotiate a better deal.

With insurance, a higher price does not necessarily imply a better quality. There are a number of package policies that have been developed specifically to suit your industry which, by bringing a lot of buyers together, offer both lower rates and specialist cover against the risks peculiar to the textile care sector. Such policies should cover accidentally damage to a customer’s goods and should not ask the customer to claim from their own insurance policy. You could also look for cover for linen hire-stock when it is on the customer’s premises and also accidental interruption of gas, water or electricity.

Dealing with specialists also means the person on the end of the telephone will have a clear idea of what you are talking about when you call to discuss a problem with a calender or Hoffman press. Your insurer should also have competitive facilities for other related needs, like boiler inspections.

Whether a specialist or not, you should certainly seek independent advice from a Registered Insurance Broker. The help you get in structuring the cover and the benefit of professional representation in the event of a claim will be invaluable, and you have the added protection of a regulated Code of Conduct.

Also, the quality of the insurer is important. This is harder to judge, but generally choose a large, well-known company with a long-term commitment to trading with the textile care industry.

Vitally, you must take care in setting the appropriate level of cover. In particular, make sure the “business interruption” item is adequate, as this is what will pay the bills while you recover after a disaster. Under-insuring is a false economy as a saving of a few pounds now could cost thousands of pounds or even your business later on. If you need to restrict your budget, it is far better to be sure of the cover for catastrophes, but to reduce the premium by accepting a higher excess. This advice was supplied by Charles F Foulkes of Spa Brokers.