Explosion in Exeter highlights the need for companies to be vigilant, says broker

A man is in police custody after a makeshift bomb exploded at a shopping centre in Exeter at lunchtime on Thursday 23 May, according to reports.

John Bell, head of claims at Aon, commented on the implications of the explosion.

'While not causing major damage, the explosion in Exeter highlights the need for companies to be vigilant. A lunchtime attack in a family restaurant in Exeter is not the usual target we would expect.'

'Even though the damage appears to be minimal and, fortunately, injuries slight, the incident will have tested the efficacy of evacuation procedures and business continuity plans for those located in the vicinity.'

'With the ongoing investigation restricting access to affected nearby businesses, this is when cover for denial of access and loss of attraction will be activated. Not all businesses will have terrorism cover and may have to rely on traditional explosion cover if there is any damage or loss of revenue. Savvy traders will have denial of access cover, not reliant on any damage, but even this may have time limits of first 72 hours, for example, before cover kicks in.'

'Ultimately there could also be loss of attraction and damage to reputation. Cover for the latter is not usually available, so not all losses will be recouped.'

'Incidents such as this highlight the unexpected nature of risk and the need to ensure that you have received the best advice for your insurance policy to cover all possibilities.'

Aon said, if you have been affected by the explosion:

Check your insurance cover for property damage or the knock-on effects, such as loss of revenue, that could impact your business;

Keep detailed records of any costs you incur and losses that your business may suffer;

Seek technical advice on how to claim. Your broker should be offering assistance, with claims specialists available if more in depth negotiations are required.