16 Nov 2018
How to prepare your business for the holidays

How to prepare your business for the holidays

Heading off to a holiday destination for a much-needed break is one of the highlights of the year for many business owners.

But holidays, especially over breaks such as Christmas, New Year or Easter also create opportunity for weather-related water damage, theft or vandalism when premises are left unattended.

However, there are measures business owners can take to protect businesses and business premises. Many of these start with careful planning, says Nicole Cox, QBE National Manager, Property Claims.



How to guard against theft and vandalism

“There’ll always be an increase in instances of theft during holiday periods when people are away from their business and close them down,” Cox says.

“Instead of winding down, some businesses, like retailers, ramp up over holiday periods and take on more stock and staff. Theft can become a larger issue because of these factors too."

Take some time to evaluate your security measures as this can make a material difference to protecting your business premises and stock from theft, Cox says.

“Make sure you leave the outside of your premises neat and tidy, lock up anything valuable, get rid of waste material and generally make the premises look regularly used.”

Lighting can be an important issue both outside and inside premises, so Cox suggests considering installing timers or motion sensitive lights outside.

Thieves are often opportunistic in what they target. In homes it tends to be jewellery or anything easy to move and dispose of. In business premises, cash is often targeted as well as stock, so don’t keep surplus cash around and think about how you’re storing increased levels of stock.

Preparing your business for the holiday season

How to guard against severe weather and water damage

Holiday season brings with it the onset of severe weather conditions. At their worst these can become cyclones in some areas, but bad storms, high winds and hail can also be devastating, especially if your premises are empty for a couple of days over the holiday period, says Sam Morgan, QBE Property Claims Manager.

“By far our largest holiday period claims are all around water damage. That might be water entering premises through the roof due to storms, flash flooding or because of hail damage putting holes into everything,” he says.

Water inside a property may not, on its own, be significant, although it can be, Morgan says.

“But if your business premises are empty because of the holidays then you might not respond to water inside your property as quickly as you usually would, and this may lead to bigger problems that can do even more damage.”

Also, if you’re holding more stock than usual you may need to make extra disaster preparedness arrangements or rethink these arrangements entirely. 

Regular maintenance and following up reports of specific maintenance issues is best practice, especially in the lead up to the holiday season.

Check your insurance cover

Always check your insurance cover reflects the volume and value of your stock over holiday periods, says Morgan.

This time of year should be a trigger to consider your Business Interruption cover too. How would your business survive if an event made it impossible to trade, he asks. “Rather than planning for normal business as usual, you need to think about what you need for this period. Do you have increased stock and turnover? What’s your business continuity plan should the worst happen?”

Find out more about QBE's Business Insurance Packages for your business.

Top five business claims over the holiday period*

Storm 32%**

Theft or burglary 23%

Accidental loss or damage 19%

Fusion, breakdown or power surge 16%

Escape of Liquid or water damage 11%

* Based on the most common claims during December 2016 and January 2017

** Percentage of top five claims


Read more about business insurance


This advice is general in nature and has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs and may not be right for you. You must decide whether or not it is appropriate, in light of your own circumstances, to act on this advice. To decide if QBE’s products are right for you, please ensure you obtain and consider the Policy Wording or Product Disclosure Statements and Target Market Determinations, available online at QBE.com/au. Insurance issued and underwritten by QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited (ABN 78 003 191 035, AFSL 239545).

Business insurance explained

Understanding reinsurance in Australia

30 Apr 2024

For brokers and business owners, understanding reinsurance is important when it comes to choosing which insurer to place your business with.

Read article

Tool insurance – how to cover your tools of trade

08 Nov 2023

You’ve got your public liability insurance. Next up is tools of trade insurance. Here’s a summary of tool insurance for carpenters, electricians and more.

Read article

The danger of asbestos in commercial buildings

26 Oct 2023

Until the late 1980s, asbestos was a popular building material, but now we know the dangers it poses. What should you know about asbestos?

Read article
Read all business insurance articles

Interested in QBE business insurance?