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Running an enterprise of any kind involves an element of risk.

Risk_Management_represented_by_car_console_dialTypical risks include:
  • Health and safety.
  • Environmental risks associated with business operations or external weather or economic conditions.
  • Financial risks.
  • Regulatory risks.
  • Security including buildings and cyber risk.
  • Fire, flood and other business interruption risks.
Your insurance policy can cover these risks.

The key is to identify the risks associated with your business, assess the likelihood of the risk occurring and estimate how much the incident will cost your business. Then decide if the risk can be limited and how much of the risk you need to cover for your business to survive an incident.

Risk management
Establishing a risk management plan and undertaking a review of the risks in all areas of your business will help you to identify and prioritise risks and put in place a process to mitigate them.

This will demonstrate that you have a system in place to minimise the impact of an insured loss and will provide your insurers with valuable information they can use when calculating your premium. It may also help to speed up your claim after an incident, for example: One of your employees is making a claim following an accident. You suspect that you were not negligent and the claim is fraudulent.

When investigating your claim, insurers will have to decide:
  • Whether the claim meets the policy terms and conditions.
  • Can a robust defence be provided by way of documentary evidence or systems?
  • Is it worth defending? Defence costs can sometimes outweigh damages awarded.
An effective risk management plan and proper procedures can often prevent an accident or fraudulent claim. This is always preferable and more cost effective than defending the claim.

Risk management support
Insurance brokers are in an ideal position to offer support and advice on best practice and claim statistics to help you to formulate a risk management plan, for example:

Key causes of accidents/claims (Insurance company data)
  • Slips and trips 27%.
  • Manual handling 20%.
  • Struck by/contact with object 17%.
By working with your insurance broker, you can discover how to mitigate some of your business risks to ensure you are minimising incidents and maintaining adequate insurance cover if you need to make a claim.

Call CLA (Risk Solutions) Ltd on 0121 321 4600 to discuss your risk management requirements.
Many business owners are not aware of business interruption (BI) insurance or understand the benefits it provides. It is therefore easily missed when insuring your business against risks. If you use an insurance broker, they will usually assess whether this additional cover is needed for your business and offer it as an addition to your buildings and contents policy. However, if you use one of the online comparison websites, it would be natural to think your buildings and contents insurance would cover most eventualities.

Business interruption insurance is not necessary for all businesses but is crucial for some; for example, if you have equipment and machinery that is difficult to replace or carry a lot of stock that will take time to re-manufacture, this type of insurance cover could mean the difference between business survival and failure.

How does business interruption insurance work?
Cover is available as an add on to your buildings and contents insurance. If an insured risk affects the running of your business, or causes extensive damage to the buildings, machinery, equipment or stock, resulting in your business having to shut down for a period, the insurance will cover the financial losses, for example:
  • Loss of revenue due to closure.
  • Increased costs of working such as temporary relocation or equipment hire.
  • Additional employee costs for overtime or hiring temporary employees.
  • Temporary storage costs and removal fees.
  • Safety and security at temporary accommodation.
  • Loss of income from rent.
  • Long term effect of loss of sales and customers.
If your business is not in a position to recover quickly from a major incident, then business interruption insurance fills the gap.

For example:
Business_Interuption_Insurance_2A fire engulfs a large section of your premises and damages equipment and stock. Your buildings and contents insurance will cover the repairs and replacement of equipment and stock, but this may take months to complete.

Flooding or water damage repairs can take months to make the building habitable again and unless you can easily relocate and hire machinery and equipment, your business could fail during the time it takes to start trading again.

Each business must assess their own level of risk and whether a major incident would be manageable without the financial support that business interruption insurance provides.

This is where an insurance broker can help. Talk to CLA (Risk Solutions), your local insurance broker in Sutton Coldfield to get a quote for how much it would cost to add business interruption to your buildings and contents insurance. Call 0121 321 4600

 
 
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/
 
 
 
 
 
Business insurance provides cover for specified risks. The insured receives compensation for a specified loss such as theft or damage, in return for the payment of a premium.

Your insurer will calculate your premium based on the risk of an insured event happening to your business.

If you can show that you have minimised the risks and put in place procedures to reduce the possibility of a claim, there is a good chance you can lower your insurance premiums.

Health and Safety Assist
Health_and_Safety_to_businessWith insurance premiums rising due to an increase in claims over the last 10 years, anything you can do to demonstrate that you have minimised some of the risks to your business may help you to save money on your premium.

In the same way, insurers can offer lower premiums to fleet owners who install CCTV cameras in their
vehicles, proper management of your workplace risks and compliance with health and safety legislation can provide the same benefits.

How does it work?
These days there is increased pressure on businesses to meet a variety of health and safety requirements and accreditations such as CHAS, Safe Contractor or ISO. Together with the growing claims culture in the UK, it is more important than ever to manage your health and safety risks.

Health and Safety Assist is an online portal giving you access to your own safety management hub and support from an experienced team when you need it.

The service includes:
  • Reminders of anything/everything that needs to be done saving you time and money.
  • Tasks and “to do” lists managed centrally and allocated individually.
  • Your questions always answered at a time to suit you.
  • The system will keep all information (conversations, activities, documents, tasks, events) in a structured format in one secure place that is always available.
  • All your documents and administration in one place with easy (multiple) access.
  • Extended Risk Management benefits across your business.
  • A boost to business insurers and a real positive for underwriters.
The portal provides:
  • Document storage.
  • Action plans.
  • Sector related documents.
  • Accident incident and claim management support.
  • Personal calendar.
  • Task management and discussions.
  • Live chat “Ask the Expert”.
  • Audit trail.
  • Secure access.

Protect your business from the claims culture
If you have had to deal with claims from employees, face a claim investigation or a reduced claim pay-out from your insurer, you will benefit from the Health and Safety Assis consultancy and portal.

Their experienced team of risk managers and health and safety consultants will help you set up management systems to minimise the risk of a claim and, if a claim is made, will be there to support you.

Other benefits
Some of your customers may require you to gain health and safety accreditations before they consider you as a supplier. Typically, blue-chip corporates and government departments will expect you to have accreditations and a risk management policy in place.

Health and Safety Assist can support you with:

  • Risk management.
  • Insurance Risk Underwriting and Surveys.
  • Insurance Claims and Accidents.
  • Incident Investigation and Reporting.
  • Protection against the Insurance Claims Culture.
  • Site Risk Profiling and Reporting.
  • Contract and Tender Submissions.
  • Support with Authorities.
With a robust health and safety system in place, through our partners, CLA will be able to source the most suitable liability insurance policy for your needs. Insurers will be able to offer reduced premiums because you will be able to demonstrate that you are managing your risks and helping to reduce your exposure to claims.

To find out more about how working with Health and Safety Assist can reduce your insurance premium and help you to win more business, please contact one of our team.
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.