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Do a search on Google for telematics insurance and you will find most of the large insurers and price comparison sites also refer to it as black box insurance. These insurance policies are aimed at individual car drivers aiming to save money on their insurance premiums by having their driving monitored.

Telematics_insuranceCarry out some more research and you will find that telematics covers much more than that and includes a range of clever devices combined with vehicle and driver management to help company fleet operators manage their fleets more efficiently, safely and profitably.

Working with your insurance provider or insurance broker you can implement a strategy for your business that will keep your vehicles on the road, provide a better service to your clients and reduce your insurance claims and costs.

Telematics devices
A computer (black box) is installed in your fleet vehicles to monitor everything from vehicle location, speed, braking, engine idling and fuel consumption. Using this information allows fleet owners to build up a picture of driver behaviour. By monitoring all the information from the black box, improvements can be made to increase efficiency.

The device includes a GPS (global positioning system) that tracks your vehicle. This helps with route planning, vehicle availability and communication of arrival times. This is particularly useful if your vehicles must be at destinations at specific times. The construction sector is a typical example, where movement of materials is crucial to keep sites supplied. Disruptions can be monitored, breakdown assistance quickly dealt with and clients kept informed.

A complete record of the vehicle trip history is stored, helping fleet owners to manage maintenance and keep the vehicle working at maximum efficiency.

Developing better driving habits
Monitoring driver habits can be useful to identify areas of training needed to improve driver behaviour and safety.

Driver assessment and risk management can then be carried out providing feedback on how they are driving and carrying out their other duties compared to colleagues and industry best practice including any regulatory requirements.

Vehicle security
Telematics can be used to locate a vehicle if it is stolen or being used for unauthorised purposes outside normal working hours.

The device will also provide information if one of your vehicles is involved in a road accident and it can be integrated with CCTV cameras to provide footage of the incident and identify who was at fault.

Vehicle cameras
CCTV cameras provide additional information to fleet owners to support the information being provided by the telematics system.

Showing drivers footage of their driving from inside and outside the cab can be an effective training tool, helping to reduce accidents and improve driving efficiency.

The other benefit of having 360-degree coverage with cameras is the ability to record actions of other road users. Insurance claims can be dealt with quickly because it is easier to establish who is responsible, getting your vehicle back on the road faster. Fraudulent claims against your drivers can be robustly defended using the video footage, for example, if a driver is claiming whiplash injury after a collision with one of your vehicles and it subsequently comes to light that your vehicle was travelling at less than 5 mph.

Using telematics, haulage companies have found they can substantially reduce the number of accidents and claims across their fleet by monitoring and improving driver habits.

If you would like to discuss how our telematics cover which encompasses driver assessment, fleet management, mobile data, risk management and vehicle tracking can help your business fleet, please call 0121 321 4600.
Fork_lift_loading_haulage_truckHaulage companies and owners of HGV fleets understand the importance of risk management planning to improve health and safety for drivers, customers, other road users and their own financial security.

The time and effort taken to put in place proper procedures and training will provide long term benefits including:
  • Safer loading and unloading
  • Safer driving leading to a reduction in accidents and vehicle maintenance
  • Fewer prosecutions and related costs
  • Meet legal requirements
  • Lower insurance premiums
According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), almost all deaths arise from just four kinds of accident, most often during loading and unloading or maintenance of vehicles:
  • Being struck by a moving vehicle
  • Falling loads
  • Falls from vehicles
  • Collapsing or overturning vehicles
Information is taken from the HSE publication “Health and safety in road haulage”.

Over the past five years, accident reports sent to HSE and local authorities show that nearly 60 employees were killed and 5,000 were seriously injured in the haulage industry.

Employees in haulage companies, warehousing, wholesale and retail distribution are vulnerable to a variety of injuries such as simple slips, trips and falls to being struck by moving or falling objects.

HSE’s leaflet aims to help all employers in road haulage and distribution to improve their employees’ health and safety.

Although it draws on information from the haulage and distribution industry, almost everything here will apply to every operator of commercial vehicles.

Risk management
Insurers pick up the cost of accidents, damage to vehicles, legal liability and a range of other insured losses. By identifying areas of risk and implementing a framework to minimise or prevent the impact of an insured event, haulage companies can improve safety and increase profits.

Controlling risks with an emphasis on practical control and improvements to eliminate or reduce hazards are the recommendations that are put forward in the HSE’s publication.

Areas where improvements can be made include:
  • Employee training for drivers, maintenance and distribution staff
  • Telematics to help your drivers
  • Vehicle tracking, route planning and fuel management
  • Driver assessment
  • Safety devices such as cameras and autonomous emergency breaking
We can help you protect your contracting business. Simply call us on 0121 321 4600.
2017-06-18_11.42hrs_Le_Mans_IMG_5645As the Paris motor show celebrates its 120th year this month, there is no better platform to see everything that is new, innovative, sporty or luxurious in the automotive industry today and what is coming in the future.

I enjoy wandering around car shows, seeing the latest models and innovations. Whether you can afford them or not, it is the luxury end of the car market that attracts the most attention, especially the prestige luxury saloons or sports supercars.

Being a partner at an independent insurance broker, I find myself assessing the cost of insuring and owning these vehicles with an eye to minimising the high cost of insurance cover and protection from vandalism or theft on behalf of our clients.

Cut the cost of your prestige car insurance and keep your vehicle safe
There are a few simple things you can do to help reduce your car insurance, whether it is a prestige supercar or a family saloon:

Family fleet insurance
By insuring all the cars in your family under one policy you can reduce the premiums of all the vehicles in the fleet. Discounts can be up to 20% so your expensive prestige model should benefit more than the other cars in your fleet. Other benefits include a single renewal date and one set of forms for all.

Make and option packs can affect your premium
With luxury cars, it is sometimes the brand of the vehicle more than the value that can determine the insurance premium. Repair costs, availability of spare parts, location of authorised repairers and vehicle specification level can all affect your insurance premium.

Accident reducing technology
Check the specification of your new car before you buy and go for the “safety pack” that includes the latest technology such as autonomous emergency braking, rear traffic alert, lane keeping and electronic stability control, plus many more car safety features being installed in new vehicles.

On-board CCTV systems
Installing an all-round camera system can reduce insurance premiums by acting as a deterrent to theft, helping insurers to establish who is at fault in an incident, speeding up the claims process and providing vehicle tracking to recover the vehicle.

Defensive or Advanced driving skills course
Learn how to become a better driver by taking a specialist driving course that will give you the skills to become a safer driver.

Shop around to find the best deal
Discuss your next car purchase with your insurance broker who will be able to give you advice on what to think about to protect your car and can research the best insurance provider for the vehicle you are thinking of buying.

Other things that can help
Stay healthy, keep a clean driving record and, if possible, limit your annual mileage.

CLA (Risk Solutions) have a team of specialists who can advise you on the most effective ways to protect your next prestige car purchase to keep it protected and provide a competitive insurance quote.
Call 0121 321 4600 to talk to one of our team.
Autonomous_Emergency_Braking_AEDThe latest and possibly the most effective safety feature that is now being fitted in more and more new vehicles rolling off production lines is the autonomous emergency braking system (AEB).

The system works by using either radar or cameras, or a combination of both, to warn drivers if a potential collision is imminent and applies the brakes to prevent or minimise the impact.

Different technologies and options
As is usual with new technology, there are differences between the offerings of vehicle manufacturers and how these safety features are marketed and sold. Some are offering it as standard across their range of vehicles, others are including it as an optional extra. How the system works and the name of the system also differs between manufacturers.

Some use a radar system that will identify where an object is, its general shape and whether it is metal. Others use cameras, which are better at identifying the object (a pedestrian or cyclist for example) but are not very good at determining where they are. A combination of both provides the best solution.
The technology has moved on considerably since the first vehicles to be fitted with AEB came into production in 2008. At that time the system was used for slow speeds in city traffic between 2mph and 19mph to stop or reduce the effects of an impact. Now systems are smarter and apply a much greater braking force to work effectively at higher speeds.

What has not changed since AEB systems were introduced is the fact that injury and deaths are lower for vehicles fitted with AEB and some crashes can be avoided altogether.

The future of AEB
Soon, it will be realistic to expect all new vehicles to be fitted with AEB. The EU Commission has ruled that all new cars must be fitted with AEB together with other safety features from 2021. AEB is already mandatory on all new HGVs over 7.5 tonnes (since November 2015).

Thatcham Research have some interesting statistics on their website covering AEB, including accident reduction and insurance premiums.

Euro NCAP, the new car assessment programme, will not give a five-star safety rating to any car not fitted with AEB, making it even more likely that AEB will become compulsory in the future.
Can this reduce my insurance premium?

Owners of vehicles fitted with AEB can expect lower insurance premiums. Though the systems are more expensive to replace if you are involved in an accident, this is more than offset by the damage prevention the system provides by avoiding crashes.

If you are a vehicle fleet owner, the reduction per vehicle can result in substantial savings across your fleet of vehicles.

Regardless of possible cost savings, the reductions pale into insignificance against the possible injury or loss of life that can be prevented by AEB.
Fleet_insuranceThe insurance policy for your fleet of heavy goods vehicles is due for renewal and for a variety of reasons, not necessarily down to you, insurance claims have been significantly higher this year compared to last year. An increase in night time driving, more foreign road trips, driver absence/replacement or just plain bad luck have all contributed to more claims and a subsequent increase in your insurance premium or difficulty finding suitable fleet insurance.

Though all your claims have been covered by your fleet insurance policy, as a fleet manager or owner, there is a limit to what you can do in the way of planning for these events.

The increase in fleet insurance premiums following a particularly bad year could have a major impact on your future profitability.

The question is, how can you reduce the risk of some of these incidents from happening in the first place? You could stop night driving and overseas trips and only use drivers that are employed by you that have a good safety record. However, this may result in less work and limit your ability to meet your clients’ requirements.

Another way is to find out whether fleet insurance with telematics would work for your business.

1.Fleet insurance with telematics (“black box” insurance)
Telematics is the use of technology to assist drivers, fleet managers and owners to minimise the risk of incidents that could lead to an insurance claim.

Telematics offers a variety of options to keep your drivers safe and mitigate some of the risks by collecting information to help manage your fleet, manage risks, assess your drivers and track your vehicles.

This is not always popular with drivers because they do not directly gain the benefits of fuel reductions, lower insurance premiums and fewer insurance claims. However, with proper communication and incentives, installation of a black box to reduce your truck insurance premiums can benefit drivers and owners.

2.On-board CCTV cameras
Camera systems are another way of supporting drivers in the event of an accident or criminal damage to vehicles. They provide a visual deterrent and can aid the police and insurance providers to quickly assess what has happened and deal with any claims, keeping disruption to a minimum.

3.Vehicle emergency brake assist
New and innovative active brake assist or emergency brake assist systems are becoming more popular as truck manufacturers incorporate them into new vehicles. These can operate to increase braking force in an emergency or monitor the distance between the vehicle in front and apply the brakes automatically. Providing assistance to drivers will help reduce accidents and truck insurance claims.

Fleet insurance brokers
Specialist insurance brokers can advise you on what has worked for other businesses like yours and can provide a guide to achievable savings.

CLA (Risk Solutions) provide individual advice on what is best for your business and may be able to offer financial support to help with the installation of these devices depending on your individual circumstances.

Talk to one of our fleet insurance specialists for more information 0121 321 4600.
CCTV cameras are becoming more widely used by fleet operators as the systems improve and justification for use becomes more viable.

Criminal gangs running crash for cash scams and companies chasing no win no fee claims for motor injuries can cost businesses dearly in lost time, increased insurance premiums and injuries to employees. These incidents are on the increase and providing your driver is not to blame, installing CCTV cameras could save fleet operators thousands each year. Motor vehicle fleet operators (private and public-sector) are considered a good target for criminal gangs because they are required to have insurance cover for all their vehicles.

A recent case brought to court by transport company Abellio involved a couple who were claiming for serious injuries sustained in a crash with one of the company’s busses.

Subsequent CCTV footage found that the bus was only travelling at 5mph and the court ruled against the claimants. Abellio reclaimed all their costs in a high court action that saw the couple fined and given prison sentences.

An on-board CCTV system will also guard against theft or attempted theft and criminal damage by using the cameras as a visual deterrent and providing evidence for the police and insurance companies.

CCTV systems
There are a huge variety of systems on the market and the choice you make will depend on your priorities.

At a basic level, a single dashcam with an SD card to store the footage will be enough to record a front view; however, two cameras to cover the front and rear are a better option. Dual cameras are also available to cover interior and exterior of the vehicle, if needed.

The quality of camera and size of memory card are important factors. Most units provide continuous recording and will automatically overwrite old files as new footage is recorded so you don’t have to keep reformatting the memory card. A minimum size of 128GB of storage is recommended depending on the quality of the camera, how many cameras are installed and number of driving hours per day. However, there can be problems with on-board storage and memory cards such as tampering and losing or forgetting to install the memory card.

A better option is remote connectivity using 3G/4G live streaming. This option delivers high quality, real time viewing to a PC or mobile phone. Setting up a multi-camera system to give front, back and side views will provide the maximum protection.

Fleet_motor_insuranceMotor fleet insurance
Vehicle fleets include all types of vehicle from company cars and vans, HGVs, public transport and emergency services, waste disposal vehicles and taxis.

Fleet insurance policies are designed to cover all vehicles in the fleet under one policy. Cover includes the usual added benefits of courtesy cars, legal assistance and breakdown cover.

Fleet GAP insurance can be added to policies to cover any shortfall between the insurer’s market valuation and the vehicles replacement value; essential if your vehicles are leased.

Your insurance can cover any of your drivers to drive the insured vehicles in your fleet and you should include public liability insurance for any claims made against your drivers for negligence.

Fleet insurance is complex. To get the right cover and keep your insurance premiums to a minimum, you will need an experienced insurance broker such as CLA to guide you through the maze of options and policies available and find you the most cost-effective insurer. For example, if you have a CCTV system installed, some insurers may be able to offer a discount. We can offer advice on CCTV systems to help protect your drivers and vehicles, through one of our business partners.

Call 0121 321 4600 or go to the motor fleet insurance page on our website and use our “Fleet Calculator” to get an estimate for your fleet insurance.
UK citizens are being bombarded with nuisance calls by unscrupulous companies chasing no win no fee claims for injury from motoring accidents, holiday illnesses or injury at work.

Their arguments are sometimes so convincing that usually law-abiding citizens are tempted into making an insurance claim for an injury or illness that was less serious or never sustained. Let’s not fool ourselves; to make such a claim is fraud and the courts are starting to clamp down on this behaviour.

Insurance_fraudA recent case involved a couple who claimed to have sustained serious injuries when their Volkswagen Bora collided with a bus run by transport company Abellio.

Following subsequent CCTV footage of the crash, it was found that the bus was not travelling at more than 5mph and a medical expert argued that the crash could not have caused the injuries they were claiming for.

The bus company took the couple to the high court for lying about their injuries and the result was a fine of £6,000 court costs and prison sentences for the couple.

The government is also concerned about the increase in claims, particularly the soft tissue injury (whiplash) claims. Under the new laws introduced in 2017, measures have been implemented that will reduce the number of claims and limit financial compensation. This will help reduce the insurance premiums for all motorists.

Insurance fraud
Fraudulent claims for insured loss fall into many categories; these are some of the most common:

1.Motor insurance fraud
Deliberate harsh breaking to induce an accident, often carried out by organised criminals to obtain vehicle damage and personal injury compensation. Sometimes multiple non-existent passengers are claimed to have been injured.

2.Application fraud
Not providing all the facts about claims history or penalty points when filling in an insurance form to obtain a reduction in premium.

3.Commercial liability fraud
Every business in the UK must have Employee Liability Insurance unless they are a sole trader. Fraud can be committed by the insured company and third parties. Claiming for a fictitious injury or exaggerating an injury or loss are the most common.

Reducing insurance fraud
The insurance industry invests £200 million each year to identify fraud*.

Insurance fraud is a serious crime which can have a major impact on perpetrators such as difficulty obtaining future insurance, increased premiums, damage to employment prospects and possible criminal conviction.

Insurers are committed to combating insurance fraud to keep insurance premiums down for honest policyholders.

If you are not sure what to fill in on your insurance form or what you can legitimately claim for after an incident, talk to your insurance broker who will always be able to provide you with the right advice.

*source https://www.abi.org.uk/products-and-issues/topics-and-issues/fraud/
Prestige_car_insurance_for_supercarsThere are car owners and there are car enthusiasts. As one of the Directors at CLA (Risk Solutions), I fall into the latter category. When I’m not driving my own car, I am watching motorsport or visiting motor events around the country.   Our prestige motor insurance provides a personal service tailored to the needs of our high net worth clients.

As specialist car insurance brokers, we understand the requirements of our luxury car owners and the insurance policy cover you need for your treasured vehicle or vehicles.

Whether you have a high-performance supercar, luxury saloon or a timeless classic, we will be able to provide the level of insurance needed to protect your vehicle whether it is driven every day or in storage waiting for that sunny day to go for a spin.

These vehicles are very often bought as financial assets that increase in value over the years. It is important to have adequate insurance cover in place that reflects the current value and replacement costs of these valuable cars that can be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

CLA can arrange valuations to ensure you receive the full replaceable value of your car together with a range of other benefits that you will find invaluable and not available from your standard car insurance policy, for example:
  • Cover for high value prestige cars over £100,000
  • Insurance cover for all uses; commuting, business, personal and in storage
  • Drivers between the ages of 17 to 85 (subject to experience)
  • Modified or imported vehicles
  • Drivers with a history of accidents and convictions
  • Overseas trips cover
  • Similar value courtesy car provided
  • Any repairs carried out by a garage of your choice or an approved garage
  • Multiple vehicle insurance
  • Dedicated claims contact
Multiple car cover
You can add as many cars as you like to your prestige car insurance policy for yourself and include other members of your family. This will save you money compared to individual policies and simplify the management of your family’s fleet with a single policy renewal date.

To find out more about our high net worth client insurance policies and arrange a meeting to discuss your requirements, please call Adrian on 0121 321 4600.
Do you fund your fleet through vehicle financing?

The Finance & Leasing Association has recorded an increase in vehicle funding to record levels of more than 80% of businesses now funding vehicles on a form of leasing arrangement. The figures also show an increase in the number of used vehicles that are now leased as the automotive sector seeks to maintain market share.

When a total loss happens, it is worth considering the protection the Consumer Credit Act gives to a Limited Company.

Fleet_gap_insuranceBelow is a summary of whom the Consumer Credit Act protects:
  • Private individuals
  • Sole traders     
  • Partnerships of up to three partners

Who the Consumer Credit does not protect:
  • Limited companies
  • Local authorities
  • Charities
  • Partnerships of four or more partners
An early termination of a lease agreement following a total loss can result in lenders applying punitive terms, leaving you with a financial short fall. A liability which can be protected by arranging Fleet GAP insurance.

Fleet GAP is a simple annually renewable policy that in the event of a total loss pays the difference between the motor insurer's total loss settlement and the greater of the outstanding finance, the early termination charge or 25% of the motor insurer's settlement, whichever is the greater.

For example: Your vehicle is involved in an accident and is not viable for repair. The insurance will pay out £30,000. However, the amount owing to the leasing company is £35,000, leaving a shortfall of £5,000.

By taking out Fleet GAP insurance, the top up payment would be £7,500 (25% of £30,000). The calculation is based on either:

The difference between the insurer's total loss settlement and the amount owed on finance/lease
25% of the total loss settlement from the insurer.
Whichever is the greater calculation.

Available for cars, vans, trucks and agricultural vehicles, Fleet GAP is easy to arrange backed by A rated security. As a BIBA endorsed scheme it is a valuable protection for any business operating vehicles.
Adding on-board CCTV to your vehicle or vehicles (if you are a fleet owner) provides many benefits to you, your business and the welfare of your employees.

FastView360-Product-Box-Mock-Up.1dad498979dc5c347165473d677db323A CCTV system can:
  • Help to prevent theft and vandalism
  • Improve vehicle safety
  • Stop fraudulent insurance claims
  • Protect your fleet and employees
  • Help young or inexperienced drivers reduce insurance premiums
  • Save you money on costly insurance claims
Cost savings and return on investment
Improvements in technology and an increase in the use of cameras in vehicles is bringing down the cost of installing mobile CCTV systems in all types of vehicles. Whether you own one vehicle or a fleet of cars, vans, HGVs, coaches or plant machinery, installing a CCTV system will improve vehicle safety and security, which could save you thousands of pounds each year.

Insurance companies are also seeing the advantages gained by their customers using on-board CCTV to help reduce claims. If a claim is made, it is much easier to establish who was at fault and settle the claim faster, keeping their administration costs to a minimum and your premiums lower. Some insurers are already offering non fleet operators a 10% reduction in premiums to organisations using a CCTV monitoring system.

Fleet managers can view video footage instantly. This allows them to deal with incidents quickly to protect the business against fraudulent insurance claims. They can minimise disruption and costs by arranging vehicle recovery, replacement vehicles or repairs. Fastview 360 also provides the location and speed of the vehicle.

Fastview 360 superfast vehicle monitoring
CLA (Risk Solutions) has partnered with Fastview 360 to provide our clients with a CCTV system that will provide:

3G & 4G live streaming
Superfast connectivity delivers high quality, real-time remote viewing from your PC, tablet or phone.

Continuous HD recording
Clear, reliable HD recordings which are easy to review and locate incidents. No need to reformat SD cards or miss vital evidence.

GPS vehicle tracking
Built in GPS gives data about speed, direction, route and event location.
Combining exact location with the camera footage gives 100% evidence reliability.

360° view of your vehicle
HD Cameras can be installed to capture a 360° view, ensuring that every angle is covered in the event of an incident. The Hard Drive (either 1TB or 2TB as required) can accomodate up to 8 cameras if required.

Insurance benefits
The system delivers a proven reduction to loss ratio and aids mitigation of whiplash / personal injury claims. It provides concrete evidence about an incident which increases the speed of a claim settlement.

Driver focus and attention
Knowing that the system is installed improves driver focus which in turn results in fewer accidents. Drivers with smart phones can connect to cameras via wifi at no extra cost, so are able to view any night time disturbance outside the vehicle from the safety of the cab.

Products are available on a buy or lease basis. Only the highest quality camera systems are used which can be trusted to provide you with clear, reliable footage of any traffic incident minutes after it occurs.
The camera systems are easy to use and reviewing footage is simple and quick. Up to 2 months’ worth of vehicle data storage is available, so there are no additional costs for servers based at offices to store vast amounts of data that is not required.

Cameras are easy to fit and can be installed by your own workshop in around 3 hours, so you won’t have to take your vehicle/s off the road to suit outside contractors.

To find out more please contact one of our team on 0121 321 4600.
24th August 2017

Prestige cars seen in London

Prestige_car_insuranceThere are more billionaires in London than in any other city in the world. It is therefore not surprising that expensive supercars can be regularly seen on the capital’s streets.

London must be one of the most difficult cities to negotiate in any car, let alone a low slung super car trying to manoeuvre through narrow streets and road furniture. You are going to need specialist insurance to ensure you are fully covered for every eventuality.

You don’t have to be one of the world’s super-rich to own an expensive car these days, though anything over £100,000 is still going to place you in an exclusive section of the population. Prestige cars need prestige car insurance to ensure they are fully covered for a variety of insured risks.

Specialist car insurance will provide additional services over regular car insurance. For example:
  • Personal attention from expert claims handlers
  • Premium courtesy cars
  • Access to specialist repairers
Add high net worth insurance
Along with your luxury high value car or cars you will probably have an expensive home, outbuildings, jewellery and other possessions that need to be insured. It is often more cost effective to include all of these items under one insurance policy.

High net worth insurance will often include a multitude of other benefits such as travel insurance, holiday homes cover for property in the UK and abroad, antiques and collections, items stored outdoors and your children’s possessions whilst away at university.

Other benefits include a valuation service, security advice and access to approved repairers for cars, jewellery and antiques.

With so much to discuss and proper valuations to be arranged, you will need to talk to an expert who can find the most suitable cover for all your possessions.

Insurance brokers like CLA have a team of dedicated account managers to guide you through the maze of insured risks to ensure you are always protected.

Penalty-for-driving-with-mobile-phoneFrom 1 March 2017, drivers caught using their mobile phone whilst driving will receive a fine of £200 and 6 penalty points on their license.

Previously the penalty was £100 and 3 penalty points with the option of taking a remedial course instead of points on their license. The remedial course will no longer be an option.

This will mean that newly qualified drivers will have their driving licences revoked if they receive the 6 points within 2 years of passing their driving test. Drivers of goods vehicles and passenger carrying vehicles with more than 9 seats could face a fine of £2,500.

Hands-free devices such as Bluetooth earpieces or hands free kits are still legal.

Definition of hands-free
So long as you only have to press a button to receive or end a call you are allowed to use a hands-free device. Multiple presses are illegal.

Therefore, you can use your mobile phone whilst driving, if it is connected to a Bluetooth earpiece or hands-free kit, providing your mobile phone is cradled on the dashboard or windscreen.

However, if you are involved in an accident whilst on the phone, you could still be prosecuted if the police think you were not in proper control of the vehicle or driving without due care and attention.

Research shows that using a hands-free device whilst driving is just as dangerous as using a hand held phone because it is still a significant distraction from driving. Drivers using a mobile phone whilst driving are four times more likely to crash, injuring or killing themselves and other people*.

As an employer, you have a duty under health and safety laws to manage the risks faced by your employees on the road and you should provide them with clear guidelines on the use of mobile phones whilst driving.

You may want to get some professional advice on assessing the risks to your employees and drawing up guidelines that will keep you safe from prosecution. Visit our website home page to find out more from our “Health and Safety Assist” partners.

You may have heard about these changes in the news recently, following an announcement from The Ministry of Justice.

Ogden-Discount-TablesThe Ogden tables are used by courts to make it easier to calculate future losses in personal injury and fatal accident cases.

The tables provide a set of discount rates that make sure a severely injured person has the necessary financial security to provide for their care and loss of earnings. The discount rate is used to calculate the amount of compensation they receive to reflect the return they will earn when that money is invested.

It was announced recently, by the Lord Chancellor, that the Ogden discount rate will be reduced from 2.5% to -0.75% from 20 March 2017.

The change has been made to reflect the fall in indexed-linked gilts which are used in the calculation. However, the insurance industry believes that the system used to calculate the discount rate is flawed and does not take into account the current investment environment and the financial choices available for claimants.

The outcome of this reduction will mean that those suffering from serious injuries will receive significantly higher compensation payments than before.

The increase will affect claims costs for all types of for bodily injury in the following sectors:
  • Private and Commercial Motor
  • Motor Trade
  • Casualty (Employers Liability, Other Liability and Contractors Liability)
  • SMEs
Reducing this rate will cost the insurance industry millions of pounds and the news has already caused share prices fall. As a result, it is expected that customers will see an increase in their premiums in the future.
Motor-Fleet-InsuranceBusiness vehicle fleets come in all shapes and sizes and so do the sectors covered. These can include government agencies, public transport and emergency services as well as commercial fleets.

One thing all of these organisations have in common is the need to manage their fleets as effectively as possible to minimise costs and improve driver safety for their employees.

Let’s look at some ways of achieving these efficiencies:

1. New technology
Insurance premiums can be reduced by using telematics to monitor and improve driver behaviour. This can help to reduce accidents and lower fuel consumption. Cameras in cabs can reduce fraudulent insurance claims. They can also provide evidence in accident investigations, to help speed up the claims process.

2. Driver training
Some insurers will give discounts if your drivers have been through an approved driver training course. Even without this reduction, you may still benefit from fewer accidents and a better claims record.

3. Vehicle security
Tracking devices can help reduce theft and improve recovery rates. You may also be able to get a lower insurance premium because they have been installed.

Are your vehicles fully covered?
You are confident that you have the right fleet insurance in place to cover your fleet and drivers and you are minimising your costs by using some of the above methods. However, as more businesses turn to long term leasing to finance their fleet, there is potentially a shortfall in insurance cover if one of your vehicles is written off in an accident or is stolen and it is impossible to recover.

There could be a gap between your insurer’s market valuation and what it would cost you to replace the vehicle.

This is where GAP insurance can top up the difference so you are not left out of pocket. GAP insurance would pay your finance or leasing company any shortfall in the amount owing.

Having trouble finding fleet insurance?
There is now a new and innovative insurance policy specifically aimed at businesses struggling to find suitable fleet insurance; for example, new businesses that have not yet built up a claims record or poor credit ratings and would benefit from a flexible method of paying their premium without any finance charges or credit checks.

This policy guarantees an annual premium/rate per vehicle for the entire 12 month period of insurance to help with budgeting for your fleet. You will not need a finance agreement and there is no charge for finance on the premium (subject to a £1000 minimum monthly premium). You can cancel the policy pro rata at any time during the year, if required.

Professional advice
Fleet insurance can be an expensive cost for businesses. However, with careful planning and professional advice from an experienced insurance broker you will be able to ensure you are not paying more than you need to for your fleet cover.

7th February 2017

High net worth insurance

Insurance for private clients with unique requirements and higher value items to protect will benefit from high net worth insurance.

High value homes and contents, including specific items of jewellery, art collections and furniture, will be covered for their full replacement value and your insurance policy can be tailored to your exact requirements.

High net worth insurance can also cover all of your other possessions, including cars, yachts and motorboats.

Insurance for high value motor vehicles
Private clients are more likely to have cars valued at over £100,000, either on the road or in storage. Vehicles valued at these sort of figures need specialist insurance cover to provide adequate protection for cars, drivers and personal belongings.

Additional services may also be required such as a dedicated claims handler to discuss repair options, availability of premium courtesy cars and legal expenses cover.

Other features include insurance for personal number plates, unlimited European use, fully comprehensive cover when driving other cars and business use as standard.

Cover can also be extended to track days to provide accidental damage and liability insurance, if required.

Yacht-High-Net-Worth-InsuranceYacht and motorboat insurance
Flexible and enhanced insurance for a broad range of vessels can be provided for private clients and includes a wider scope of cover and higher limits.

To ensure the most effective insurance policy is available to meet the needs of the modern boating community, we can offer the following:
  • Underwriting decisions made on a boat-by-boat basis.
  • Awarding customers the ability to choose more comprehensive racing cover where they need it, on top of standard liability cover.
  • Protecting customers who use their tender or dinghy away from their main vessel.
  • Removing excess to pay where deemed not at fault and third party details are available.
  • Rescue and repatriation regardless of liability for the customer or their guests for up to £50,000.
CLA (Risk Solutions) can discuss your individual insurance requirements and provide accurate valuations to ensure you are fully covered, whatever your lifestyle.

At a glance
  • The use of telematics is now well established, with clear evidence that it can reduce fleet risk and generate cost savings
  • While private motorists and large fleets are increasingly exploring these benefits, the uptake of telematics remains limited in the wider commercial fleet market
  • We look at how to overcome perceived barriers to telematics use and begin realising its potential
Telematics-1Telematics has become a hot topic in fleet risk management over recent years, with insurers, individuals and businesses increasingly exploring its potential.

With telematics technologies now well established on our roads, and mounting evidence for their benefits, some are even urging the government to make their use mandatory for high-risk drivers.

However, while telematics continues to gain traction with private motorists and businesses with large fleet risks, such as hauliers, its uptake remains limited across the wider commercial fleet market.

We look at the reasons for this limited uptake, and consider how you can help customers overcome any perceived barriers and start benefiting from telematics technology.

Cost of technology
When telematics was first utilised by the risk management community, many solutions were prohibitively expensive for the majority of customers, often requiring costly retrofits or annual service contracts. This made it difficult to justify to the wider commercial fleet market.

However, with telematics now a widespread, mass-market technology, the range of solutions has grown exponentially alongside significant reductions in cost.

Private motorists and commercial risk managers now have access to a variety of simple, cost-effective solutions to meet their needs. For example, free smartphone apps can be installed on drivers’ personal devices, giving employers the ability to remotely monitor and analyse the data captured.
Cost is therefore no longer a barrier to customers exploring the potential benefits of telematics for their organisation.

Lack of driver incentive
One of the biggest barriers to commercial fleets generating benefits from telematics, is the different incentives provided for private motorists and fleet drivers.

A private motorist knows that their telematics device could ultimately save them money via fuel savings, a reduction in collision risk and lower motor insurance premiums.

But a fleet driver does not have the same direct monetary incentive. An improvement in their driving behaviour may benefit their employer, but it is unlikely to result in a direct benefit to them.
In commercial situations, telematics must therefore be accompanied by something else to fill that void and incentivise better driver behaviour. There are a variety of methods to achieve this, from regular meetings with drivers to discuss the data captured, to offering financial incentives that reward good behaviours.

The key, however, is to have an element of line manager control where telematics data is regularly monitored and acted upon to drive improvements in behaviour.

Too difficult to manage
The importance of line manager control is in itself a perceived barrier to telematics. Many organisations will consider the task overly complex or fear that it will require too many resources.

However, unlike older telematics solutions – which may have required risk managers to analyse raw data themselves and identify trends – the latest applications typically make it very easy to understand and act upon the information captured.

Most applications will now allow managers to set certain parameters and receive notifications if drivers stray beyond them – for example, a push notification if a driver exceeds a posted speed limit or corners too fast.

Some applications will now even help incentivise drivers via ‘gamification’ of the data – for example, through leader boards, where employees are rewarded for positive behaviours and penalised for negative ones.

How we can help
Fleets that use telematics effectively often experience year-on-year improvements in their collision and claims rates, as well as lower fuel consumption.

However, while most organisations appreciate the benefits that telematics could generate, the barriers to effective implementation and use are frequently perceived as being too great.

We are happy to offer assistance to help overcome any perceived barriers and enable more organisations to start benefiting from telematics solutions.

For more information on telematics and a range of other fleet risk management tools, please contact one of our Account Managers.
Insurance is often seen as a necessary evil by many, but when something goes wrong it can be worth its weight in gold. Prudent freight forwarders already appreciate the value of purchasing liability insurance for their business, fully aware of the financial implications that they could potentially face if they become liable for another party’s loss.

Having general liability insurance might not provide you with the absolute guarantee that you are protected for the specific requirements needed for marine freight. You may not realise this until you need to make a claim. So what can you do?

The team at CLA Risk Solutions have put together a few tips to ensure that your liability cover provides you with the correct protection, when you need it most:
  • Ensure that you purchase marine liability insurance because general non-marine liability insurance does not provide cover for international forwarders – remember to check the fine print.
  • Make sure that you have full liability protection to cover all your forwarding operations.
  • Check that your insurance covers you for Errors & Omissions and Legal Liability. As a freight operator you have a contractual liability for a loss regardless of who is responsible.
  • If you trade internationally ensure that you have adequate limits of liability; remember laws differ across the world.
  • Defending an action brought against you can be costly even if it’s not your fault; therefore make sure that your policy covers ‘Defence’.
  • Make sure that General Average and Salvage Charges are included as claims can fall back onto the forwarder.
  • Utilise your own ‘Conditions of Trade’ to limit your company’s liability in your day-to-day business where no standard limitations of liability are employed. Always make reference to them on your literature and website.
  • Never accept liability without first speaking to your insurer.
When it comes to reducing potential losses, we suggest you consider:
  • Freight_forwarders_insuranceNever agree to release containers or cargo without the production of the original Bill of Lading, no matter how well you know your customer.
  • Always keep the original Bills of Lading in a secure place and ideally separate some of them so that if there is a fire or flood you will not lose all of the originals.
  • Reduce the risk of a customer seeking compensation from you for loss or damage to their cargo, by encouraging them to purchase cargo insurance.
At CLA Risk Solutions we are on hand to offer advice and ensure that you obtain the most relevant cover.

If you already have Liability Insurance, we would be happy to provide you with a FREE review with no obligation to purchase, simply get in touch.
Over the last few years, tough new laws have been introduced to clamp down on dangerous and careless driving incidents. Penalties with large fines, driving bans and prison sentences can be the consequences for those that are caught breaking the law. If you are an employer who requires your employees to drive on business, it is your responsibility to ensure that they drive safely and legally. If you don’t, you could run the risk of a charge of corporate manslaughter if they are involved in a fatal collision.

Statistics from the Department for Transport show that in 2012 there were a total of 195,723 casualties in road accidents that included 1,754 who were killed. Improvements in vehicle technology and driver training are leading to Britain’s roads becoming safer, but there is still more to be done.

Car_crashAs a company, it is important to take steps to reduce the risks of such an incident. Company drivers are 40-50% more likely to have a collision than the average driver and between 500 and 1,000 people die annually in collisions involving vehicles being driven for work purposes. If one of your employees does cause an accident, it is not just the organisation’s reputation at risk. The incident may trigger an investigation by the Health & Safety Executive that could lead to a charge of corporate manslaughter.

Driving at work policy

To help safeguard employees and reduce the risk of a prosecution, it is essential that an employer includes the following in its Driving at Work Policy.
  • Driver safety – This Should include details of licence checks and any rules around reporting driving convictions or accidents at work.
  • Vehicle safety – This needs to outline any checks that are required and what an employee should do if he or she identifies a defect.
  • Journey planning – This should include rules around taking breaks to ensure that employees do not drive when tired. It also needs to highlight what an employee can do if they believe the amount of driving required will increase risks.
  • Mobile phones – As well as highlighting the fact that using a handheld phone while driving is illegal, it should also draw attention to the fact that drivers using a hands-free set can still be prosecuted if it affects their driving.
  • Electronic equipment – This needs to cover other potential distractions including satellite navigation systems, tablets, computers and radios.
  • Drink and drugs – This will cover the employer’s policy on drink, drugs and any prescription or over the counter medicines that may affect driving.
It is also important to include details on what an employee should do in the event of a collision.

Creating a safer driver culture where employees understand the risks will hopefully lead to them driving carefully, considerately and when they are fit to do so.

Recent advances include Daimler’s Inspiration Truck gaining clearance to drive on US roads; Google’s self-driving car project clocking up more than 1m miles; and, in the Netherlands, the first driverless  bus trials taking to the roads this January.

The UK’s also active in the intelligent mobility market with the government keen to ensure the country has a key role to play. Trials to test driverless cars on the streets are taking place in Bristol, Coventry, Milton Keynes and Greenwich and, at the beginning of February, the first £20m of the government’s £100m Intelligent Mobility Fund was allocated to eight new projects.

And this interest isn’t surprising. The government expects the market to be worth £900bn a year globally by 2025 so securing a slice of this now makes sound business sense.

Comp_86965805Autonomous vehicles certainly bring a number of significant benefits. As well as improvements in safety by removing the risks associated with human error, with vehicles able to travel closer together, it could also make traffic jams a thing of the past. These vehicles can be more efficient too as, without a driver, bad habits such as aggressive driving and excessive idling simply won’t happen.

There are also broader benefits such as improved mobility for older and disabled people, increased leisure time and greater efficiencies for businesses too.

It’s not all positive though. Handing over the steering wheel to technology will inevitably mean job losses and there could also be risks associated with hacking and cyber attacks.

The arrival of autonomous vehicles also has implications for insurance. First, there are several pluses. With drivers no longer behind the wheel, the risk of accidents should fall significantly. Similarly where an accident does happen the availability of data will make it much easier to determine what caused it, thereby reducing the risk of fraudulent claims.

There are also potential downsides. Although the risk of an accident is greatly reduced, the cost of replacing and repairing parts if a crash does occur could be high.

For instance Google’s self-driving car contains around US$150,000 of technology.

These vehicles also have the potential to change the face of motor insurance altogether. Under UK law, primary liability rests with the driver of the vehicle and, where an accident occurs as a result of technology failure, the driver and their insurer would seek damages from the manufacturer.

But, with an autonomous vehicle, as control lies with the technology, liability may have to make the same transition too. This could potentially see today’s claims handlers having to become product liability specialists.

There are also other areas that will need to be carefully examined before these vehicles become the norm on the UK’s roads. For example, through the Association of British Insurers’ Automated Driving Insurer Group, the insurance industry is looking at issues including how to cope with vehicles at different levels of automation; how data will be recorded and used to improve safety and clarify liability; and whether there needs to be any changes to existing road traffic laws.

Although there’s still much that needs to be determined, the benefits that autonomous vehicles will bring are too big to ignore. Ensuring the right legislation is in place to support these advances will be critical.

Goods-in-Transit-sLarge vehicles, due to their bulk and length, invariably have blind spots not covered by their mirrors.

The solution is to install cameras and in-cab CCTV to help drivers, giving them greater visibility of the road to the Near Side, Off Side and behind to help them avoid obstacles.

Installing this new technology will reduce the risk of collision, particularly with a cyclist or pedestrian which could lead to death or injury, because they have not been seen by the driver.

There is a growing argument for the installation of cameras and on-board CCTV to help reduce these accidents, supported by FORS and CLOC’s initiatives, not just to cyclists and pedestrians but also to other road users. They would also prove useful to the driver when manoeuvring or negotiating slip roads on dual carriageways and motorways.

By installing this equipment, fleet managers can help to protect their drivers and minimise the risk of accident and possible prosecution arising from being involved in an avoidable incident.  Investing in this form of technology will result in greater driver awareness of the driving environment mitigating the likely involvement in an accident with a direct positive effect upon future insurance costs which in turn supports the ability of an operator to remain competitive within their sector of the market.

In the event of an incident, cameras could also provide evidence that would reduce the time involved by insurance claims assessors when investigating an accident and settling a claim against your fleet insurance policy.

By simply being able to influence a reduction in the number of insurance claims and speeding up investigations into an accident, a haulier or vehicle operator would be able to reduce their future insurance premiums. This could easily justify the additional cost of fitting the equipment to their vehicles.

The cost on a vehicle finance agreement to add the cost of the CCTV equipment is minimal over  a given finance period however such costs can be recouped many times over if the selection and subsequent use of the systems are utilised. We would strongly recommend when considering the future specification of vehicles to be acquired that a CCTV system be included within your deliberations.

Adrian Littler, Account Director at CLA, explained “Fleet insurance is based on number of claims made in previous years. If a policy holder can reduce these claims across their entire fleet, future premiums will be reduced.”

Call one of our team to find out more.