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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 
Employers_Liability_InsuranceEmployers’ Liability insurance is compulsory for any business that employs staff. Following the recent changes to personal injury law that came into effect on 27 February 2017, you may want to consider whether you currently have the right level of cover.

While the statutory minimum is £5m and today’s policies tend to start at £10m, many customers will need a higher limit to adequately meet their needs.

You will find our 6 steps (below) for choosing Employers’ Liability a useful guide.

Rate change highlights need for review
Work-related injuries regularly involve issues of long-term care and loss of earnings. In such circumstances, lump sum settlements can be awarded with the intention of compensating claimants over a long period of time.

As these sums can be invested, a ‘discount rate’ is applied to offset prospective investment returns and ensure claimants are not under- or over-compensated.

Since 2001, this rate has been set at +2.5%, meaning settlements were reduced in expectation of positive investment returns being made.

However, on 27 February 2017, the Lord Chancellor dramatically reduced the rate to -0.75%, meaning settlements will now be increased to reflect expected negative returns.

£10m on a single claim is now plausible
The reduction in the discount rate has immediate implications for the potential size of future personal injury settlements.

The following 6 points should be considered when determining a suitable level of cover:

1. Multiple Claimants
The EL indemnity limit applies to each claim individually. However, work related injury claims can often involve multiple employees.

A claim, or series of claims arising out of a single cause, are considered to be one loss; therefore, thinking should always be framed in terms of whether a limit is sufficient to sustain multiple claimants arising from the same incident.

2. Concentration of staff
Employees are often concentrated in one area, for example in an office or on a building site. In these circumstances, one incident has the potential to harm multiple people.

The more staff concentrated in one place, the higher the limits of indemnity customers should be considering.

Individual claims are now reaching £10m. If multiple staff are potentially at risk you need to be questioning whether your cover is sufficient.

3. Nature of activities
The largest EL claims tend to involve injury as opposed to death, with claimants suffering long-term loss of earnings and the need for continuous care.

You should therefore consider whether customers are engaged in any activities with a higher risk of injury, such as working at height.

4. Hazardous locations
Certain locations are more susceptible to incidents and more likely to involve multiple people.

Common examples include offshore locations, railways and airports.

5. Inner limits
Most EL policies include some common limitations. For example, incidents arising from terrorism or offshore will typically be limited to the statutory minimum of £5m.

While these don’t impact the majority of customers, inner policy limits need to be considered depending on your company’s activities.

6. Future circumstances
EL claims can arise years after the alleged incident – in the case of work-related diseases, this can even be decades later.

Between buying a policy and a claim being settled, a lot can change to affect final settlement values.

The recent change in the personal injury discount rate is a perfect example of this. You’ll want to factor-in some contingency for prospective claims inflation.

Options for increasing limits
You should talk to your broker or insurer if you think higher limits are required.

Sometimes a more economical option is to source an excess of loss policy, which delivers the required capacity above your primary limit. Your advisor will be able to recommend the best option for your company.

How we can help
CLA’s insurance providers can also help customers prevent incidents occurring and significantly reduce the size of claims that do occur.

To find out more or discuss options for increasing limits of indemnity, please speak with one of our team.