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Asbestos_insuranceIf you are a consultant, surveyor or contractor working in the asbestos removal industry, you will need a range of insurance to protect your business from the risks involved with handling the material.

If you have been working in the industry for some time, you will be aware of your insurance requirements and of the different policies available to you.

You have probably found that with some policies you must declare the number of contracts you expect to carry out in a year.  On an adjustable policy, this could lead to additional insurance costs at the end of the year if you go over the specified number or value.

CLA (Risk Solutions) contract works insurance
Our specialist asbestos contractors’ insurance is available as a non-declaration fixed policy. You can work on any number of jobs throughout the year and not declare them on your policy, so you know exactly what your insurance premium will be without any surprise costs at the year-end.

Furthermore, if your current insurer is asking you for an additional premium to cover your previous 12 month’s contracts/work, we may be able to cover some of these costs within your new policy when you transfer to us.

We can provide all the other insurance cover you are likely to need such as:
  • Employers liability insurance
  • Public liability insurance
  • Fleet vehicles
  • Legal expenses
Our broking team can source the most suitable and cost-effective insurance products for your business, so you will have all the advice and support you need under one roof to give you the best protection.

The hidden dangers of asbestos
It is a well-known fact that exposure to asbestos is harmful to health. Even low exposure can risk lung damage resulting in cancer or asbestosis, sometimes up to 10 to 20 years later.

Due to the nature of the product, the fibres are only released when the material is disturbed. Asbestos was a popular building product in homes, schools, factories and other premises built before the year 2000. Therefore, contractors working in the building industry are particularly vulnerable when working on properties found to have asbestos used in their construction.

The fibres are invisible to the human eye and, if released into the air, are breathed into the lungs causing long-term damage.

A specialist contractor, licensed or un-licensed (depending on the work involved), can deal with the problems of removing, cleaning up and disposing of asbestos safely.

Asbestos removal contractors, inspectors and analysts offer a professional service to businesses, local authorities and householders to assess and deal with the material when it is discovered. You can find out more on the Asbestos Removal Contractors Association website.
22nd August 2018

Construction insurance

Construction_Insurance_PolicyThe construction industry covers a broad spectrum of building projects and a wide variety of trades and tradesmen employed or contracted to work on them.

If you are involved in the construction sector, it is vital that your insurance cover gives you the protection you need, when you need it. The various types of insurance needed can be confusing, especially if you are hiring subcontractors on your project.

This is a list of some of the construction insurance cover available:
  • Professional indemnity
  • Public liability
  • Product liability
  • Employer liability
  • Contractors all risk
  • Structural warranty, latent defects, bond insurance and guarantees
  • Plant, machinery and tools
  • Business insurance for construction
  • Business interruption insurance
  • Legal expenses
These policies provide cover for companies, professionals and tradesmen involved in the construction sector such as architects, property developers, house builders and building products manufacturers.

Depending on your involvement and exposure to risk you can access all the cover you need; however, you may need help from expert advisers to ensure you are adequately covered for your particular business and project.

This is where construction insurance brokers can help. They can find the most suitable cover from a wide range of policies available from construction insurance companies, selecting the right one at the best price. For example, a tradesman working in the construction sector will need contractors all risk insurance, public liability insurance and plant, machinery and tools insurance. You may also want to consider personal accident insurance and possibly tailored insurance if your work involves specialist tasks or certain locations that are normally excluded from standard policies such as nuclear power stations. Employers’ Liability insurance is a legal requirement of any business employing staff, temporary workers or subcontractors.

Subcontractors
If you hire subcontractors, they fall into two categories; labour only subcontractors and bona fide subcontractors.

Labour only subcontractors
They will work under your supervision and you will be responsible for paying them and providing the tools they need for the job. These contractors will be covered under your Employers’ liability insurance.

Bona fide subcontractors
They will work under their own terms and hours to get a specified job done and will provide their own tools and be responsible for taking out their own Employers’ liability insurance.

If you are unsure of your legal responsibilities and which type of construction insurance cover you need, talk to one of our advisers on 0121 321 4600.
Construction_insuranceConstruction projects are prone to disputes due to their complexity and levels of uncertainty not usually found in many other contractual agreements.

Weather, labour, technical problems and defects can all play their part in taking your project into potential construction disputes with your clients.

Your construction insurance will cover you for a range of risks for the duration of the project such as:
  • professional indemnity,
  • public liability,
  • product liability,
  • latent defects, bond insurance and guarantees.
However, there may be elements within the construction contract that will need close attention to ensure your construction insurance remains valid.

Contractual notice requirements
A good example of this is contractual notice requirements. Construction contracts often include a “time bar”. Claims need to be made within the specified time and if you are disputing a claim, you will have to act within a certain period.

When entering into a contract, you need to be aware of these time frames and from a construction insurance perspective, check that any particularly stringent or onerous time bar clauses are allowed within your insurance policy.

Do you know what “The Protocol” means?
Claims at pre-action stage, before formal proceedings are issued, can use “The Protocol” to determine the conduct of construction claims. The intention is to resolve disputes early without the need for court proceedings.

A recent revamp in 2016 streamlined the process and though it is no longer compulsory, the submissions are less comprehensive meaning there are fewer steps to be followed before court proceedings are issued. As a result, you will need to engage early in the process and respond quickly to any claims made against you.

If you do find yourself involved in a claim, act quickly and notify your construction insurance company as soon as possible.

CLA provide support for all our clients involved in the construction industry:
  • Architects
  • Surveyors
  • Property developers
  • House builders
  • Civil engineers
  • Building trades
  • Building products manufacturers
Call 0121 321 4600 and speak to one of our Account Managers for more information.

 
 
 
 
If you or your business is found to be in material breach of health and safety law, you will have to pay for the time it takes the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) to identify the breach and help you put things right. This includes investigating and taking enforcement action and is called ‘Fee For Intervention’ (FFI).

HSE_Intervention_FeeIf it transpires that you have not broken the law, then you won’t pay anything. Dutyholders who comply with the law, or where there is no material breach, will not be charged FFI for any work that HSE does with them.

FFI applies to dutyholders where the HSE is the enforcing authority. This will include:
employers
  • self-employed who put others at risk
  • public and limited companies
  • general, limited and limited liability partnerships
  • Crown and public bodies
What the law says
The Health and Safety and Nuclear (Fees) Regulations 2016, link to external website say that a fee is payable to HSE if:
  • a person is contravening or has contravened health and safety laws; and
  • an inspector is of the opinion that the person is or has done so, and notifies the person in writing of that opinion.
What is a material breach?
A material breach is something which an inspector considers serious enough that they need to formally write to the business requiring action to be taken to deal with the material breach. If the inspector gives you a notification of contravention (NoC) after their visit, you’ll have to pay a fee.
The NoC must include:
  • the law that the inspector considers has been broken
  • the reason(s) for their opinion
  • notification that a fee is payable to HSE
Where an inspector simply gives you advice, either verbal or written, you won’t have to pay anything for this advice.

How much it costs
It currently costs £129 an hour. The fee will include the costs covering the time of the entire original visit. The total amount recovered will be based on the amount of time it takes HSE to identify the breach and help you put things right (including associated office work), multiplied by the hourly rate.
Your fee may include the inspector’s time:
  • at your business or workplace
  • preparing reports
  • getting specialist advice
  • talking to you after the visit
  • talking to your workers
The fee can vary depending on:
  • how long the original visit was
  • the time the inspector spent helping you put things right
  • the time it took the inspector to investigate your case
  • any time we spend on taking action against you
Find out more
The Guidance on the application of Fee for Intervention (FFI) document (also available in Welsh) sets out the general principles and approach of the scheme. It includes examples of material breaches but does not cover every scenario where FFI might apply.

Inspectors will apply this guidance and their enforcement decisions will be based on the principles of HSE’s enforcement decision-making frameworks – the Enforcement Management Model (EMM) and the Enforcement Policy Statement (EPS).

The Guidance on the application of Fee for Intervention (FFI) document (also available in Welsh) sets out the general principles and approach of the scheme. It includes examples of material breaches but does not cover every scenario where FFI might apply.

Some Management Liability or Directors and Officers insurance products provide cover to protect against FFI.

If you would like to discuss your own Management Liability Insurance or D&O policy then please contact us on 0121 321 4600 or send an email to info@clarisksolutions.co.uk
Despite feeling the strain from the uncertainty caused by Brexit, the UK construction industry is continuing to grow. However, with the impact of Brexit, we could see a speed towards offsite construction and robotics. We look at how this is this going to affect the insurance requirements of companies in this sector.

With uncertainty arising as a result of Brexit and a shortage of skilled workers in the construction industry, firms have begun to innovate, turning towards technological advances such as offsite construction and the use of drones onsite. CLA are well aware that with ever-changing and developing technology in this sector, the associated risks will also evolve alongside these advances. As construction industry insurance specialists, we are well placed to advise our clients on the implications this new technology will have on their insurance requirements.

Setting aside these new evolving risks, the construction industry continues to operate within high-risk environments. The risks are myriad: working onsite, working at height, working in different environments each day, working under different supervision and direction and injury can be easy to come about. In 2016 3% of workers sustained a work-related injury which contributed to 2.2 million days off that year (Health and Safety Executive report).

Furthermore, those in the industry are often working on third-party sites and in premises where they are exposed to third-parties and their property. Employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement and most businesses will be aware of this, but they might not fully understand their potential exposure from injuring a third party or damaging their property when working on a private dwelling house or a shop. This is particularly common for smaller businesses.

The other area of risk, highlighted in our previous article, is the fact that your insurance will not cover the cost of an HSE investigation or subsequent fine. www.clarisksolutions.co.uk/2017/12/05/hauliers-and-construction-companies-ignore-health-and-safety-risks-at-their-peril

It’s a niche and complex area. You need specialist underwriters and specialist risk managers that are up to date with the industry and understand the pace and speed of change.

Drone_over_building_siteRobotics
Machine rather than man will be constructing the buildings of tomorrow, with robots taking on the manual tasks, driverless bulldozers and diggers supporting them and drones flying overhead to monitor progress and carry out site inspections.

It may sound a bit sci-fi but these forms of technology are already being used on many building sites. For instance, in its Global Construction Survey 2016, 42% of respondents said they used drones to monitor construction status.

Whilst the commercial benefits of drones are clear, there are still concerns around mid-air collisions or loss of control, plus the potential for refusal of third party claims involving drones operated by, or on behalf of an insured business. *

Adoption of these technologies in the construction sector has a number of advantages. As well as helping to address the skills shortage by removing the risk of human error, it will also reduce the number of worksite accidents.

Source: KPMG, Global Construction Survey 2016, Building a technology advantage 1

* CLA can provide drone insurance as part of our Aviation and Aerospace product suite.

We can also provide the following support for the construction industry to help keep you fully covered during this period of growth:
  • One-call access to expert advice: Delivered by specialist construction risk control surveyors and our provider’s in-house inspection engineers team.
  • Flexibility: Our experts in London, Manchester or Birmingham can offer 24 separate covers under one module policy.
  • Specialist construction claims service: Expert engineering, property and casualty claims teams and expert construction loss adjusters will oversee construction claims.
  • Legal services: Offering more ways to manage costs through legal risk and compliance solutions, with a specific focus on HSE legislation.