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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.
Contractors_hard_hats_insuranceWhen looking for contractor’s insurance, one size does not fit all contracting businesses.

The contracting sector is coming under increasing pressure from rising material costs and a reduction in access to affordable skills. This may lead firms to look for cost-saving measures in other areas such as insurance and opt for a generic policy that may not cover all the risks they face in their day to day work.

Contractors risk underinsurance and higher costs in the long run and should check the terms and conditions and any exclusions before buying insurance cover.

Consequently, contractors are strongly encouraged to work with their insurance broker to seek out specialist cover for their respective trade.

This will help protect against the risk of an insurance claim not being paid as well as protect them adequately should a claim be made against their business.

The key restrictions in insurance cover that contractors need to check are as follows:
  • Height and depth limits
  • Activity restrictions
  • Premises restrictions
  • Hot work exclusions
  • Activity exclusions
  • Subcontractors not being covered
The process of arranging insurance cover shouldn’t be rushed, particularly if the type of contractor work being covered entails a variety of risks such as working at height or with hot materials.

While there are specialist covers available online to purchase direct from an insurer, it makes better sense to use an insurance broker who will seek out the cover that’s right for your business and the specific risks you face.

Other cover you may need
Whilst remembering to insure your equipment, materials and a variety of activities, you may also need professional indemnity insurance if you provide advice to other businesses or one of your customers makes a complaint for negligence or financial loss against you.

You will also need employers’ liability insurance if you employ contractors, staff or part time workers.
In some cases, a contractors’ all risk insurance policy will be the most suitable for your requirements; for other businesses a more tailored solution may be needed.

As your broker, we ask the right questions to ensure we secure the correct levels of protection. Most importantly, we will know the claims record for the insurers we work with. This is one area where contractors should use expert help and find specialist cover – the risks of not doing so can be far reaching.

For more information about insuring your contracting business, call us on 0121 321 4600 or email us at info@clarisksolutions.co.uk
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.
Insuring commercial property can be complex.
Commercial buildings come in all shapes, sizes and material construction. They generally need specialised heating, lighting and ventilation systems and the flexibility to cater for a variety of businesses or tenants.

Commercial_Property_InsuranceInsurers will assess multiple factors when they are calculating premium costs. A commercial landlord or property owner will need to provide details such as:
  • Location and any risks such as flooding
  • Type of construction and materials
  • Fixtures and fittings
  • Security
  • Type of industry using the building
Underinsurance
One of the regular mistakes made when insuring commercial property is assessing the full rebuilding cost. When calculating the sum insured for building and contents, it can be easy to undervalue the full rebuilding and replacement costs. This will leave you with a shortfall if you need to claim for a total rebuild if the property is destroyed.

Often, commercial property insurers will work on a pro rata “condition of average clause”; for example, if you are claiming for a partial loss of 100k out of your insured value of buildings and contents of 200K and you are underinsured by 50% (the full rebuild value is 400K), you will only receive an amount minus the percentage you are underinsured (50% of 100K = 50K). This could have serious financial consequences when you come to make a claim.

Property owner’s liability
Commercial property owners will need property owner’s liability insurance to protect against claims from a third party due to an accident resulting in injury or damage to their property.
The amount of cover will be determined by the type of business and the risks involved.

Business interruption and loss of rent
Following the total loss of a commercial building through fire, flood or another event, it may take some time to rebuild or repair the property. During this time, you will be losing rental income and you may have to find alternative premises for your tenant.

The amount of insurance cover will depend on your type of property and how long rebuilding work is expected to take. Calculations will include time taken for clearance, planning permissions, rebuilding and replacement of fixtures and fittings. This will determine the indemnity period (12, 24 or 36 months).

Legal cover
This is usually offered as an add-on to your commercial property policy and covers your legal costs if you are involved in disputes for non-payment of rent, data protection or employment etc.

Insurance broker
An insurance broker will be able to help you assess your individual requirements and provide an accurate valuation to ensure your building is adequately covered.
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/
 
 
 
 
 
Residential and non-residential care homes face a wide range of risks due to the very nature of the work they carry out and the vulnerability of their residents.

With many high-profile stories in the media and concerns over health and safety, care homes are under pressure to deliver support to an increasing number of the most vulnerable members of our population.

Care_Homes_insuranceThe social welfare sector including private and public care providers, charities (not for profit organisations) and social enterprises provide care and support to the young, vulnerable and disadvantaged members of our society.

Because of the nature and diversity of risks involved in this sector, an insurance broker is well placed to provide the expertise and advice needed to cover your responsibilities to your employees, vulnerable residents and members of the public.

As well as your building and contents insurance, your cover will need to include some of the more challenging aspects of support such as abuse, breach of professional duty and medical malpractice. Accidental cover for your employees, voluntary workers and visitors will be necessary to protect you against claims that could damage your reputation and funding.

Care and health consultancy
Identifying the challenges and risks involved in running a care home plays a vital role in managing and minimising the effects these may have on your organisation.

A consultant will be able to help improve your management systems and identify any areas of weakness. This can have a major impact on reducing incidents and in some cases reduce your insurance premiums by demonstrating your commitment to maintaining good working practices.

Health and safety support and risk assessments can be carried out and improvements made to reduce incidents and comply with legal requirements.

Care homes insurance cover
Insurance is available for a wide variety of care homes:
  • Children’s homes
  • Rehabilitation units
  • Residential units for learning disabilities/autism
  • Special schools (residential and non-residential)
  • Mental health residential (non-secure)
  • Supported living
  • Foster care
The scope of cover can include third party responsibilities, employee liability, asset protection, cyber and data risks, legal expenses, book debts, deterioration of stock and inspections.

For a complete breakdown of cover and to find out more about what the consultancy includes, please call one of our team on 0121 321 4600.
 
 
Home-insuranceComparison sites are a great way of saving you time and money. However, cover varies widely and the cheapest quote may not give you the replacement value needed if something happens to your home or belongings.

No single comparison site covers the whole market, so it is worth checking with a couple of them to get a broader view. After checking three of the sites, you still need to go back and see if your current supplier can beat the best quote.

Comparison sites are prone to making assumptions to speed up the search process, so double check the cover before you buy as it may not be suitable for you. This all adds up to a lot of work for you. You may find it easier to use an insurance broker that can look at the whole market for you and get the best cover for the lowest price.

There are three basic types of home insurance:
Buildings insurance covers the structure of the building and the fixtures and fittings. If you have a mortgage, buildings insurance is mandatory to get your mortgage agreed.

Take care not to ‘over cover’ your buildings insurance. It’s only the rebuild value that insurers need, not the resale value. You should also consider the cost of materials, labour and architects and the cost of somewhere for you and your family to stay during the rebuild. A broker can calculate your total rebuild value for you.

Contents insurance covers your belongings. Even if you rent, you should have a contents policy, it is unlikely your landlord will cover you. Be realistic about what your belongings are worth otherwise you may be underinsured if you have to make a claim. Go through each room in your house and work out how much all your furniture, crockery, white goods, clothing, books, toys, jewellery and miscellaneous items would cost to replace.

Combined buildings and contents insurance is recommended for homeowners. Before taking out a combined policy, check the excesses, as some insurance companies have separate excesses for each area of insurance cover. This could affect your finances, if you have fire or flood damage and have to claim on your buildings and contents insurance.

If you decide to take out separate cover with different insurers, you may find they disagree over liabilities when you make a claim. An insurance broker can manage this on your behalf if you have taken out cover through them.

If you do decide to use comparison sites to save money on your home insurance, be aware that some insurance companies are charging more interest than credit cards for monthly payments. Interest charges range from 16.5% to 33.2% for monthly payments.

If you would like us to look at the whole market for you, contact us on 0121 321 4600 or request a call back.