Everyone understands the importance of being insured, but if your property doesn’t meet the minimum security requirements, or you fail to follow the guidelines, you could find that you’re not covered.
Every insurer will have their own minimum standards about the types of locks that they accept and anything which falls short may well be excluded from the policy.
Here’s a look at some of the typical types of standards set by insurers and the penalties for non-compliance.
Types of locks
There are a number of different sorts of lock on the market; here’s an overview of some which are approved:
Cylinder rim locks
A cylinder lock connects the keyhole on the outside of the door to the lock mounted on the inside via a cylinder. To be compliant, cylinder rim locks should meet British Standard BS3621. If they don’t meet this standard they would need to be used in conjunction with extra security. On doors made from timber they can be supplemented by a mortice lock which does comply with BS3621.
A mortice lock is a much more complex arrangement as it’s actually embedded into the door. A five lever mortice lock would be compliant with BS3621.
Multi-point locking system
Often used on uPVC doors, a multipoint locking system is operated by a key and on just one turn, the locks operate simultaneously. A minimum of three locks are required for a multi-point locking system.
Minimum security requirements
If you work from a commercial property, there’s a very good chance that your property will already meet the minimum security requirements because they are exactly what they say: minimum.
Many businesses have more than the minimum requirement, and if that’s the case, you will be covered by your insurance. However, if your security falls short of the minimum you will need to make an upgrade, and fast.
The exact requirements for each insurance policy may vary so you will need to check your policy. However most will require the final exit door to meet or exceed BS3621 and to be a multi-point locking system, a mortice lock or a cylinder rim lock.
BS3621 is the industry standard which was put together by lock makers, the police, the government, architects and local authorities. If a lock conforms to this standard you should see the kitemark on it.
As well as the final exit door, your insurer will expect your windows to be secured shut; this can be achieved with a key locking system.
What to do if you fall short
If your security system doesn’t meet the industry standard you will need to arrange an upgrade as soon as possible.
It can be tempting just to leave the locks as they are but if the worst happens and you need to make a claim from your insurer, you could well be in for a nasty shock. If you haven’t kept the windows secured as outlined, or don’t meet the minimum security arrangements, it is likely that your claim will be refused.
This means that you will have to cover all your losses yourself and won’t receive a penny.
A visit from a locksmith can install the right locks in a trice and will work out much cheaper in the long run. The better your security, the cheaper your insurance is likely to be, so it’s in your interests to up your protection.
Having the right locks on your doors and windows is essential to ensure that your business is in compliance with your insurance policy. Without this, your insurance cover may well be not payable in the event of a claim. And with a visit from a locksmith company so easy to arrange, there’s really no excuse not to!