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HSE (Health and Safety Executive) has had to bear its fair share of cuts since 2009/10 and has seen a 46% reduction in central Government funding.

Though there have been serious cuts to HSE by the Government over the last few years resulting in a drop in enforcement activity, individual fines are increasing. The average fine per conviction now stands at £149,661.

The manufacturing sector was again the most heavily fined contributing nearly 40% to the total fines imposed.  Whilst that figure was a 15% reduction on the previous year, the fine per conviction went up by 8% to £210,058.  

The construction sector followed with total fines of £15.7m (down 12%) but with an increased fine per conviction of £107,794 (up 14%).

Utility supply was the sector with the highest average fine per conviction (standing at £605,000).

Transportation and storage followed at £243,731, the latter industry having a 100% conviction rate.

Health-and-safety-insuranceIndustries with statistically significantly higher injury rates include:
  • agriculture, forestry and fishing
  • construction
  • public administration/defence
  • wholesale/retail; repair of motor vehicles
  • accommodation/food service activities
  • manufacturing.

Managing health and safety

Your employers’ liability insurance will protect you if one of your employees is injured or becomes ill as a result of a workplace incident and makes a claim for compensation from you. However, if you are subsequently found to have breached health and safety legislation, any fines and other expenses cannot be claimed under your employers’ liability insurance policy.

The implications of an investigation can have serious consequences on the financial viability of a business and its officers. Fines and investigation expenses can lead to insolvency for the company and in the worst cases imprisonment for its Directors.
 

Directors and Officers insurance

You may be able to make a claim on your insurance policy if you have Directors and Officers insurance. This covers a variety of claims; for more information visit our webpage insurance/liability/directors-and-officers or call 0121 321 4600 to discuss in more detail.

However, prevention is always better than trying to close the barn door after the horse has bolted and implementing an effective health and safety plan and management process will help to reduce accidents and minimise the risk of an investigation in the first place.
 

Health and Safety Assist

At CLA we like to offer a holistic solution to our clients’ insurance needs. As an insurance broker, we can advise you on the best insurance policy to provide cover for your individual business. We have also teamed up with partners who can provide additional services to manage and mitigate your risks.

One of our partners specialises in providing support by way of an online safety management hub to help you to simplify and manage your health and safety responsibilities all in one place.

To find out what the service includes and how the portal works, visit our webpage health-and-safety-assist
Or call one of our team to find out what you can do to reduce your exposure to health and safety risks and help to reduce your insurance premiums at the same time.
With effect from 5th August 2019, the Ogden discount rate changed from -0.75% to -0.25%.

Why will this lead to higher premiums? To understand this, you will need a bit of back-history.
 

What is the Ogden discount rate and how does it work?

Road-accident-fire-engin-and-ambulanceNamed after Sir Michael Ogden QC, who was the chairman of the working party that established the Ogden tables.

They are used to adjust the compensation a claimant will receive after sustaining a life-changing insured injury.

There are a variety of tables that can be used to calculate the discount rate such as; how to calculate life expectancy, a multiplier for lifetime loss, the value of a single loss in the future and a multiplier for loss over a period.

For example, if you are involved in a life-changing accident that you are covered for under your insurance policy, you will be entitled to compensation to cover hospital treatment, care and loss of earnings.

This figure is then reduced by the discount rate to allow for the likely income achieved after investing the lump sum. Using the tables, a figure can be established to show how much a compensation lump sum is adjusted after calculating the expected return on investment. The higher the Ogden discount rate, the lower the payout from insurers.

The rate was set at 2.5% and had remained at that rate since 2001. Then in 2017 the rate was reviewed and changed to -0.75%. The large decrease was justified because of the lower yields achieved on investments during the period. This resulted in increases in insurance premiums for customers buying insurance but a better outcome for claimants who would not have to take risks with their invested compensation funds.
 

Why will this affect my insurance premiums?

Many insurance providers believe that even at the new level of -0.25%, claimants are being over-compensated and think a further review will be necessary, adding more turmoil to the market. The below 0% figure continues to assume a low-risk investment return.

Most insurance providers were expecting the new rate to be set between 0 and 1% and made assessments based on this figure. Though under the new rate, they will have to pay out less to claimants, they are warning that this could still lead to higher insurance premiums in future because keeping the rate below 0% maintains high claims settlements.
 

Winners and losers

It looks like we will all be paying more for our motor and liability insurance in future with premiums already rising since the announcement was made.

However, personal injury lawyers have welcomed the restraint in increasing the Ogden rates stating that claimants who have suffered life-changing injuries will be able to maintain a steady income from their lump sum from low-risk investments and avoid the risk of short term swings and losses from riskier investments.

CLA Risk Solutions, with access to a range of insurance providers, will be able to research the market to find you the most cost-effective insurance policy for your needs. As your local insurance broker based in Sutton Coldfield and Stafford, we cover the whole of the West Midlands and can offer a range of business, personal and liability insurance.

Call 0121 320 4600 to discuss your requirements.
If you are an employer, a self-employed person or are in control of your workplace premises, you are required by law to report certain workplace incidents. These include occupational diseases, specified dangerous occurrences (near misses) and acts of non-consensual violence to people at work.

Man-with-sling-filling-out-health-and-safety-formWhat is RIDDOR
The initials RIDDOR stand for the Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013.

Accidents must be reported online using the relevant form for the type of incident you are reporting. For fatal accidents or accidents resulting is specified injuries to workers only, you can call 0345 300 9923.

A report form must be sent within 10 days of the accident occurring or if the accident results in an employee being unable to work for 7 days or more, within 15 days of the incident.

Occupational diseases such as exposure to carcinogens, mutagens or biological agents must be notified to HSE (Health and Safety Executive) as soon as a diagnosis is made.

It is a criminal offence if the person responsible for reporting these accidents fails to notify HSE. If found guilty they could face an unlimited fine.

There have been some recent changes to the HSE suite of RIDDOR forms. The main change affecting reporters is that a copy of the form will no longer be automatically sent back to the notifier; they will have to download a PDF copy themselves. To maintain a record of what was reported, users must remember to download the PDF, otherwise they will not have a record of what they reported.

Insurance cover and premiums
Your insurance policies will cover you for:
  • Accidents involving vehicles.
  • Third-party accidents (usually) included on your building’s insurance.
  • Employers liability insurance for injuries and ill health to your employees whilst at work. This is compulsory.
If you have a poor health and safety record and are making multiple claims against your insurance policies, this will lead to an increase in premiums. Some providers may even refuse to offer insurance cover.

However, a good management system with documented training records and risk assessments will help reduce insurance premiums by demonstrating your commitment to health and safety and minimising the risks to your employees.

CLA (Risk Solutions) has teamed up with Safety2Business who have developed an online portal “Health and Safety Assist” to provide you with a raft of resources to help you manage your safety documentation.

With the knowledge that your business is using this platform to manage your health and safety risks and reduce the cause of accidents, CLA can source the most competitive quote for your insurance renewal.

For a complete breakdown of what the portal can offer visit the Health and Safety Assist page on our website www.clarisksolutions.co.uk/health-and-safety-assist

Areas that may not be covered by insurance
Your employers liability insurance will cover injury as a result of an accident or illness to your employees; however, there are some costs related to an incident that may not be covered:
  • Sick pay.
  • Replacement labour costs.
  • Delays to production.
  • Fines.
  • Loss of business.
  • Insurance investigation costs.
  • Legal costs.
There is additional insurance that you can take out to cover some of the above if you believe these risks could cause long term damage your business. For more information call 0121 321 4600 and speak to one of our team.
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
Management_Liability_InsuranceIf you are running a business, you will have made sure you are insured if anything happens to your employees, premises, equipment and stock. Losing any of these could have a major impact on the financial survival of your business.

What you may not have considered is a scenario where you could lose your own personal property or wealth. After all, your company is a limited company and therefore has limited liability so there is nothing to worry about. However, as a director of the company your liability is unlimited. If a claimant cannot get full compensation from your company, they are entitled to seek redress from the assets of its directors.

Directors and company owners often make decisions that entail an element of risk. If, because of a decision you have made, the company is sued for negligence or a wrongful act, claims can be made not only against the company but also against the company directors. This could have massive implications on your own wealth and lifestyle. Legal and investigative costs can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds and that’s before any compensation or fines are levied by the courts.

Management liability insurance
This insurance cover has been specifically developed for companies with a turnover of up to 50 million. It is taken out in addition to your usual commercial and property insurance and does not add very much in the way of premium to your standard insurance costs.

The cover includes directors’ and officers’ liability and company legal liability, employee dishonesty cover and legal pursuit.

You can also include pollution clean up costs and cyber-crime liability.

Access to employment, legal and regulatory advice is available with this policy to help you to manage a critical situation that could have devastating consequences for the company and its directors.

Why risk your own personal wealth now and in the future for a small additional cost?

Some of the decisions you make as a director now may not have an impact for years to come. You will still be liable for those decisions even if you have left the company. The last thing you want is to be caught up in a claim after you have gone.

This insurance cover is ideal for small to medium sized businesses that are just as vulnerable to this type of claim as larger corporations. It is often easier to reach and identify the owners of these companies.

Peace of mind is not easy to come by these days; for the price of a few sandwiches and drinks at your next board meeting, you could protect your company directors from claims on their personal wealth and the company from a devastating loss of funds.

To get a quote for your peace of mind, simply go to the contact page on our website and fill in your requirements and one of our team will contact you with more information about how management liability insurance works and the amount of cover you will need for your company.