Please click on the question to find out the answer.

What is a mutual?

A mutual is a company but it is very different from a company owned by shareholders. It doesn’t have shareholders, so it doesn’t pay dividends to shareholders; instead, any surpluses are used for the benefit of our Members. A mutual like The Retail Mutual is owned by its Members and exists purely for their benefit. When you take out cover, you become a Member of The Retail Mutual and you can have a say on important matters such as who sits on your Board of Directors. You can come to the Mutual’s AGMs and meet the Directors and other Members.

What is a discretionary mutual?

The Retail Mutual is a discretionary mutual, not an insurance company. This means our Board of Directors has discretion on whether or not to agree a claim and, if it is agreed, how much to pay, but Members can expect that valid claims will be paid. If you disagree with the decision on your claim, you have the right to ask the Board to review it. In some instances, the Board may use its discretion to agree a claim which falls outside the terms of the cover wording.

How does The Retail Mutual work?

While you are a Member you pay a contribution to the Mutual.  That money is used to support other Members whose claims are agreed, and in the same way their contributions may help you in your time of need.  However, unlike a company with shareholders, any money we have left after paying claims and running the business will never go to shareholders who expect to see a profit.  That money is used for the benefit of our Members.

What do you mean by contribution?

A ‘contribution’ is the amount you pay for the cover we give you while you are a Member of The Retail Mutual. Members’ contributions are used to pay agreed claims, the cost of the insurance we take out to protect our Members and the Mutual, and the costs of the day-to-day running of the Mutual.

What is the difference between a mutual company and other companies?

The main difference between a mutual company and other companies is who owns the company. Most companies are owned by shareholders; a mutual like The Retail Mutual is owned by its Members. As a Mutual, we are not accountable to shareholders, only to our Members – our customers.

If we have more money than we need to pay agreed claims and the costs of running the Mutual, that money is used for the benefit of our Members.

What is the difference between an insurance company and a discretionary mutual?

The difference between an insurance company and a discretionary mutual is that the cover offered by a discretionary mutual is not a contract of insurance. This means our Board of Directors has discretion on whether or not to agree a claim and, if it is agreed, how much to pay, but Members can expect that valid claims will be paid. If you disagree with the decision on your claim, you have the right to ask the Board to review it. In some instances, the Board may use its discretion to agree a claim which falls outside the terms of the cover wording.

What if there are a lot of claims?

The Mutual protects its Members and itself by taking out its own insurance to cover larger claims payments and an unexpected volume of claims payments in any one year.

What type of insurance must I have for my shop or business?

Legally, the only insurance you must have is Employers’ Liability Insurance if you have any full-time or part-time employees, casual workers, temporary staff or apprentices who are not close family members.

Members of The Retail Mutual who have our business cover can include Employers’ Liability Insurance. The insurance is provided by our supporting insurer.

What types of cover do you offer for businesses?

We offer six main types of cover for businesses:

  • Public Liability – cover for liability to a member of the public if they are injured or become ill, or their property is damaged, because of something to do with your business
  • Employers’ Liability –  cover for liability to your employees if they are injured or become ill because of something that happens while they are working for you
  • Stock – cover for damage to or theft of your stock at your premises
  • Contents – cover for your business contents at your premises
  • Business Interruption – cover for loss of gross profit and increased working costs if your business cannot trade because of certain events
  • Buildings – cover for buildings you own or are responsible for at your business premises, including damage and theft

What other types of cover do you offer for businesses?

We offer various other covers for businesses.

  • Products Liability
  • Goods in Transit
  • Tenant Improvements
  • Frozen Food
  • Money
  • Personal Accident
  • Dishonesty of Directors, Partners and Employees
  • Lost Drinks Licence
  • Personal Accident
  • Property Owners’ Liability
  • Lost Rent

For further information about our cover, please see our business cover wording.

What types of business do you cover?

We specialise in providing cover for businesses on and off the high street such as retailers and food and drink businesses. We offer cover for over 100 different types of businesses, including:

  • Newsagents
  • Restaurants
  • Clothes shops
  • Butchers
  • Bakers
  • Hair salons
  • and so many more

To get a quote or to find out more about our business cover, please check the website or call us on 0333 2121 280 to talk to our UK-based team.

How much is business cover?

This depends on a lot of different factors. Here is some of the information we need when we give you a quote:

  • What sort of your cover you require
  • How much cover you require
  • Your trade type
  • How long you have been trading for
  • Location
  • Type of building your business is in (how it is constructed, type of roof etc.)
  • Turnover and wage roll for your current business
  • If you have made any claims in the past

To find out the price for your business cover, start your quote online or call us on 0333 2121 280.

What other covers can The Retail Mutual provide?

We also offer Home cover and Residential Landlord cover for anyone who is associated with, or works in, the retail sector. Even if you are now retired from a retail business you still could be eligible for cover from the Mutual for a residential property.

What other products you can arrange?

The Retail Mutual has teamed up with Westfield Health who offer our Members:

  • Health Cash Plan
  • Private Health Insurance (Access Surgery Health Cover)

Can I pay monthly?

Yes, you can pay monthly and we do not charge you interest.

How do I make a claim?

It is easy to make a claim with The Retail Mutual.

You can:

  • make a claim online
  • call us on 0333 2121 008 Monday to Thursday 9am to 5.30pm and Fridays 9am to 5pm

For emergency assistance outside these hours and on bank holidays, call 01424 850 333.

What do I do if I disagree with a claim decision?

Every Member of The Retail Mutual has the right to appeal the decision on their claim. The appeal is reviewed by the Board’s Claims Committee. The Claims Committee is made up exclusively of representatives from our Membership, thereby ensuring that your best interests are always fairly considered by like-minded people from the retail community. The Committee reviews all relevant information when asked to consider an appeal and it may use its discretion to overturn a previous claim decision.

If you wish to appeal you must do so in writing, explaining why you believe your claim should be dealt with differently. Please include all supporting documents and, if possible, include your claim number.

You can make an appeal:

  • by post to:

The Claims Committee

The Retail Mutual

First Floor, Douglas House

Quarry Hill Road

Tonbridge

Kent TN9 2RH

  • or by email to claims@theretailmutual.com

The Claims Committee will review your appeal and supporting documents along with the Mutual’s claim file. The Committee may ask for additional information from you to help them investigate the matter and reach a decision.

When your appeal has been reviewed, we will write to you to tell you the Claims Committee’s decision.

I no longer need my cover, can I cancel it?

Yes, you can cancel your cover at any time.

If you are a new Member, or if you renew your cover with us, and you cancel up to 21 days from the date you received your cover documents or 21 days after your cover starts, whichever is later, we will give you a full refund if you haven’t made a claim we agree to pay and if nothing has happened which could lead to a claim.

However, if a successful claim has been made, or if something has happened which could lead to a claim, we may not agree to a full refund.

You can cancel at any other time. You will only pay for the time you were on cover, unless you made a successful claim during that time or something has happened which might lead to a claim.

If you pay your contribution by monthly instalments and wish to cancel your cover then we can provide you will a pro-rata refund. However, if you have made a claim or are aware of an incident that could lead to a claim then you will be required to pay the remainder of the contribution fee for the year before your cover is cancelled.

You can confirm your cancellation using the contact details below. To help us continue to offer our Members the highest levels of service, please let us know your reason for cancelling.

  • Call us on 0333 2121 006
  • Email us at info@theretailmutual.com
  • Write to:

The Retail Mutual

First Floor

No.1 Guildhall Square

Portsmouth PO1 2GJ