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Supported_Living_InsuranceTo be clear on which health care sector supported living insurance is aimed at, it is worth clarifying that it covers the domiciliary care and supported living service providers and is targeted at agencies and companies providing care at home.

Care homes insurance covers owners of buildings used for residential care of the young, vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our society.

With the growth in our ageing population and, in a lot of cases, resident’s preference to remain in their own home, a whole range of support services are needed through local homecare services, local authorities and agencies. These services can include:
  • Housekeeping and domestic work
  • Cooking
  • Nursing and healthcare
  • Carers respite service
  • Personal care
  • Gardening and repairs
Home health care is one of the fastest growing sectors in the health care industry and organisations providing these services face many risks whilst carrying out their daily tasks.

Due to the very nature of their working environment, travelling and working at different locations and in potentially unsafe households where risks are difficult to control, insurance cover with a wide range of benefits is required.

A “one size fits all” approach may not give you the most suitable insurance cover. This is where an insurance broker such as CLA will be able to research several providers and tailor a policy that is most appropriate for your business.

Employers liability insurance, public/product liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance are essential.
  • Other insurance cover you would expect include:
  • Business interruption
  • Mistreatment
  • Legal expenses
  • Personal accident and fidelity guarantee
  • Computer and business equipment
Call us for a quotation for your bespoke insurance requirements on 0121 321 4600.
If an employee is injured or becomes ill as a result of the work they do for you, they can claim compensation from you.

Meeting your health and safety duties is easier than you think. Providing you have taken reasonable steps to prevent accidents or harm to your employees (and the injury or illness was caused after 1 October 2013), you shouldn’t have to pay compensation. However, if a court finds you are liable, employers’ liability insurance will help you to pay any compensation for your employees’ injuries or illness.

Though there were fewer prosecutions taken in 2016/17, the statistics show an increase in fines to £69.9 million from the 2015/16 total of £38.8 million. New sentencing guidelines in England and Wales were introduced in 2016. Twenty large fines accounted for £30.7 million of the new figure.

Key figures for Great Britain (2016/17)
  • 1.3 million working people suffering from a work-related illness
  • 2,542 mesothelioma deaths due to past asbestos exposures (2015)
  • 137 workers killed at work
  • 609,000 injuries occurred at work according to the Labour Force Survey
  • 70,116 injuries to employees reported under RIDDOR
  • 31.2 million working days lost due to work-related illness and workplace injury
  • £14.9 billion estimated cost of injuries and ill health from current working conditions (2015/16)
Above taken from http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/ and http://press.hse.gov.uk/2017/britains-annual-injury-and-ill-health-statistics-released/

How insurance premiums are calculated
Your insurance premium is calculated by insurers by assessing the risks associated with the type of work being carried out. For example, if you employ mainly office based personnel, your premiums will be lower than for manual workers because the risks are generally lower.

Other factors include type of industry, previous claims history, number of employees and factors that may improve your risks such as management systems you have in place.

Generally, your employer’s liability insurance will cover you against compensation for injury, disease, damage or death together with any related financial losses incurred by the claimant. It will also reimburse the Department for Work and Pensions for any benefits paid out during the claim.

Liability_Insurance_for_health_and_safety_proceduresHow to reduce your employers’ liability insurance premium

Providing you can demonstrate that you have an effective Occupational Health and Safety management system in place, insurers can usually reduce your premiums. An effective management system will help to minimise the risk of injuries and diseases and the risk of a successful claim being made against your organisation.

You may need the support of an external consultant if you do not employ your own health and safety personnel.

CLA have partnered with Health and Safety Assist to provide access to your own safety management hub and expert advice via an online portal. This will help you to manage your entire health and safety processes, action plans and audit trails with documentation all in one place.

Join Health and Safety Assist to improve your health and safety management and reduce your insurance premiums.

For more information visit our web page http://www.clarisksolutions.co.uk/health-and-safety-assist or call one of our account managers.

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.

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.
Health_and_SafetyTwo recent cases of accidents in the workplace resulting in court cases being brought against companies and directors by the Health and Safety Executive highlights the increased risks to employees in these sectors.

The cases below are just two examples of the many court cases and fines imposed on companies in breach of health and safety regulations.

The first case involved an HGV driver who suffered fatal injuries while coupling the HGV tractor unit to a trailer.

**Speaking after the case, HSE inspector Jessica Churchyard said “This tragic incident led to the avoidable death of a young man, and was caused in part by the failure of his employer to implement and monitor safe systems of work to prevent vehicle runaways.
“This death could have easily been prevented if his employer had acted to identify and manage the risks involved, and followed the industry guidance.”

The second case resulted in the amputation of a demolition worker’s left arm and right hand.

**HSE inspector Rohan Lye said after the hearing: “If the company and its director had taken basic steps to decide how to do this routine task, and what control measures to use, they could have prevented this devastating incident resulting in an employee suffering life-changing injuries.”

In the first case involving the HGV driver, the company was fined £170,000 and ordered to pay costs of £6,268.80.

In the second case, the company was fined £150,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,523.04. In addition, the company director was sentenced to ten months imprisonment, suspended for two years and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

Insured risk
In both cases the companies would have had to pick up the fines. Your Employers’ Liability insurance policy will generally (depending on your policy wording) cover you for:
  • Employee compensation
  • Employee and criminal proceedings defence costs
  • Court attendance compensation
Even if you have Directors and Officers insurance as well, neither will cover the cost of an HSE investigation or resulting fines or time in prison.

How to minimise your risk of prosecution
As the two quotes above from HSE inspectors imply, both incidents could have been prevented if the employer had implemented effective risk management and approved codes of practice.

To protect your business, you will need to manage your safety documentation, training records and risk assessments etc. Every business has most of this in place but very few can easily and quickly put their hands on it and rely on it being up to date.

Our partnership with health and safety specialists “Health and Safety Assist” can help you with this.
Their online portal is a secure resource and provides access to your own safety management hub. The portal will help you simplify and efficiently manage all of the documents necessary to meet your health and safety responsibilities and comply with the relevant standards for your business sector.

There are also a host of added benefits that you can exploit as the portal becomes more bespoke to your business. It could lead to reduced insurance premiums by demonstrating you have proper management of your workplace risks and compliance with health and safety legislation.

To find out more about how working with Health and Safety Assist can save you money, protect you from prosecution and a hefty fine or prison sentence, please contact one of our team.

**Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0
22nd September 2015

Stress free office insurance

Forget lions cages, surveys have shown that one of the most stressful places to be is inside a modern office!

The demands of modern technology, job insecurity, cost cutting pressures, the different personalities of staff and even the unpredictability of office equipment all add to the tension cauldron. Now concern is being expressed that office managers and other work premises decision-makers are storing up more trouble for themselves by cutting corners or overlooking gaps in insurance cover.

In fact, this is one area when peace of mind is one phone call away, as local independent brokers like us can work with office managers to build the right cover to match their specific needs. Offices vary enormously, but the search for a bargain is leading some decision-makers to take up online or direct insurance “packaged” policies which may prove ineffective when they need to make a claim.

This false economy could be avoided by using a local independent broker to research the most appropriate policies and the right levels of cover. This all saves you another huge headache too when you make a claim, as we take personal responsibility for working towards resolution as quickly as possible.

Office_insuranceSo why do office managers and other decision-makers in this sector leave their workplaces exposed to underinsurance, or even no insurance? Apart from cost, part of the problem appears to confusion about the complex nature of modern insurance. Just what cover do – and don’t – you need? Some pundits believe office managers could even be paying for cover that is not appropriate at all.  A small home-based office for a freelance graphic designer who produces artwork, is vastly different from an office housing hundreds of staff engaged in handling sensitive data.

Local brokers like CLA can guide you through the many options, to find the policies you do need, and at what levels. Your building, its contents, any specialist equipment you use and other standard insurance requirements may seem, straightforward.  However, the different levels of cover needed could even be affected by such things as your locality. We can also look at special risks you may face, such as if any of your staff work from home and therefore take equipment, money, goods or data off your premises.

One of the biggest headaches for office managers is staff – have you got sufficient Employers Liability insurance if one of them makes a claim against you for an injury at work? It is an increasingly common occurrence. Is your Public Liability insurance up to date to cover visitors and suppliers to your office?

With all the pressure of keeping an office running smoothly and working productively, the last thing you need is the distraction and disruption of a long drawn out – or even unsuccessful – insurance claim. Step one to avoiding this is using us to find the right cover, at the right premium. The next step is to take advantage of our claims service, which makes us responsible for progressing your claim to resolution, saving you the stress.

Researching and finding the right polices and cover, progressing claims swiftly – it all leaves you to concentrate on all the other things that you have to juggle to keep your office productive each day.
Flooded_street_sandbags_protecting_property_compressedVermin, storms, fire, floods and foul play - not a line from Shakespeare but just some of the problems that commercial, residential and buy-to-let property owners face.

Daily headlines prove that what used to be seen as a good ticket to a steady income, can quickly turn in to a nightmare. With so many potential risks that can trip up property owners, industry insiders are shocked that large numbers still don’t check how thorough their insurance cover is. Forced by legislation to have certain insurance products in place, and desperate to keep costs down, many property owners are turning to policies purchased online or direct. This could leave them with disastrous cracks and gaps when it comes to making a claim.

Property owners of all types have money invested in their buildings, and protecting this can’t be left to impersonal questionnaires or faceless call centres. And with all the horror stories about tenants from hell, do property owners really need the added nightmare of researching and pining down the correct range of insurance products from the most appropriate insurer?

Independent, local  insurance brokers like us understand the unique and complex challenges facing this sector. We have the market knowledge and expertise to help property owners like you get the right policies, with the right limits, at the best possible premium. Unlike an online form or an  insurance “package”, we quickly grasp the wide range of variables you may face such as empty properties, theft, malicious and accidental damage and damage to your own accommodation or office.

We have another vital benefit to offer property owners too – local knowledge. This is a sector for which location, location, location has wide-sweeping meaning.  We know the special challenges faced by inner city, urban and remote properties and the finer points of where your property is too. If a claim does have to be made, local brokers like us can visit the premises, gather relevant information swiftly, and argue a case with insurers with authority.

The first step to achieving success for any future claims is for us to understand exactly what it is you need for your property.  It is not just what cover you have that counts, but at what levels and limits. For example are the sums insured on your property up to date with its value? Again, personal knowledge of the premises is a huge help because the insurance needs of an upmarket buy-to-let flat, inner city lock up shop and urban factory could not be more diverse.

CLA can look at your landlord insurance policy, and buildings, land and contents cover.  We can also advise on any extra covers you may need like Employers Liability insurance, legal expenses cover, rent guarantee insurance, equipment breakdown and loss of rent due to damage.

All of this helps is to make sure you are not paying for cover you don’t actually need. More importantly, it ensures that your commercial, residential or buy-to-let property is protected from the perils that could lead to loss of income. How much easier will it be for us to get your claims settled swiftly, if we are not knocking at a locked door?

10th December 2014

Insurance for Retailers

Shop_retail_insuranceHeadlines like “Ghost Town UK”, “Retailers Closing 14 Shops a Day” and “Consumers Cut Back Spending” do not make happy reading for embattled shop owners.

Though the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has reported that shop closure rates in some areas are beginning to slow down, in other parts of the UK they remain stubbornly high. Yet at a time when retailers should be protecting themselves in every way possible, concern is being expressed that the opposite is true.

It could be that tight margins and days spent fire fighting are causing retailers to cut corners on something that could one day prove to be a vital lifeline – adequate insurance. There are so many risks and threats to a shop’s ability to do business effectively that insurance cover shaped to each shop’s specific business needs has never been more important. Yet hundreds leave this cover to chance by obtaining packaged policies online or direct, which may leave fatal gaps.

As each shop is different retailers are being urged to talk to local independent brokers like us. We can work with you to create a clearer picture of what insurance products your business needs, then research the best policies, the correct levels and limits, at the best possible premiums. Our understanding of the retail sector – and your location – means we can be thorough in advising you on appropriate cover and progress claims personally.
It is an ever-changing world for retailers. Consumers and the buying decisions they make are evolving fast.

Retailers are fighting to attract and retain customers, using every penny in the business to trade profitably. What retailers do not want is the distraction of dealing with damage to property, goods, equipment, vehicles, reputation or supply chains. The right insurance can shield you.

We can also look at Employers and Public Liability insurance; your protection against non-compliance with legislation or that irate employee or customer who decides to take you to court. Statistics suggest that as sales rise, so does the incident of shopper injury, which these days can lead to disastrous law suits.

We can also look at any extra covers you might need, like Professional Indemnity if you are providing advice or expertise, or cover for loss of licence if you sell alcohol. There are so many insurance products available, guidance on finding the right ones can avoid paying for cover you don’t need, or costly mistakes by being underinsured.

The true test of your insurance cover comes when you make a claim. And that’s when the support of a local broker like us could also be invaluable.  We can help you avoid interruption to your business by progressing claims as speedily as possible. You won’t have to worry about faceless call centres, and long drawn out haggling. Not least, as by doing our homework, we get your business covered properly, making claims a great deal more likely to succeed.

ISS_8967_01846A Corby recycling firm have been fined and its director given a suspended jail sentence for endangering workers after allowing them to operate fork lift trucks without proper training and then ignoring a notice requiring urgent action to address the safety failing.

Northampton Magistrates’ Court heard yesterday that despite an Improvement Notice being served by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) against BB Recycling on 29 November 2011, the necessary training was continually overlooked even after a deadline to comply was extended until 28 February 2012.

The company and director Russell Wayne Armer were also found to have no employer’s liability insurance, which is compulsory for all employers.

BB Recycling, of Pilot Road, Corby, was fined a total of £300 and ordered to pay £340 in costs after pleading guilty to single breaches of the Provision and Use of Work Equipment Regulations 1998,  the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 and the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969.

Director Russell Wayne Armer, of, Furlong Street , Desborough, Northamptonshire, also pleaded guilty to the same three breaches.  He was given a fourth month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £80. The court have also applied to disqualify Mr Armer from acting as a company director, managing or in any way controlling a company for at least five years.

Speaking after the hearing, HSE Inspector Roger Amery said:

“Employees were placed in unnecessary danger, but thankfully the situation was resolved before any one was injured.

“The requirement to train fork lift operators is long established across all industries so there is no excuse for this company and its director to blatantly ignore what was required as well as a notice that explicitly called for remedial action.

“Possessing valid employers’ liability insurance, meanwhile, is mandatory for all businesses. So I doubt that many employers will have much sympathy for a firm that was operating without this.”

Information about working safely with forklift trucks, including the need for training, can be found on the HSE web site at www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport

Call us for more information about employers’ liability insurance.

‘Contains public sector information published by the Health and Safety Executive and licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0’.
A landmark ruling by the UK’s highest court will pave the way for thousands of insurance claims to be bought to the relatives of workers who died after being exposed to asbestos.

According to the Health and Safety Executive, asbestos is responsible for an estimated 4000 deaths each year and is the single greatest cause of work related deaths in the UK.

The Supreme Court last month ruled insurance liability begins when an employee is first exposed to asbestos.

The battle centred on the obligations of a small group of insurance companies providing employer’s liability insurance. The decision can be welcomed by businesses as it reinforces that English law will give a common sense and business like interpretation to insurance contracts and not be a slave to semantics or dictionary definition.

Business top tips
  • Check there is continuity in your liability cover, it could prove invaluable.

If you would like to learn more about how to protect your business from such claims, please contact us on:
t 0121 3214600
e info@clarisksolutions.co.uk