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Are you regularly experiencing late payment or non-payment by your customers?
Do you have a few clients who represent a large proportion of your business income?
Would you like to access new markets but are reluctant to expose your business to the risk of bad debt?

If you are constantly having cash flow problems due to bad debt and this is limiting the growth of your business and increasing stress, you may want to consider Trade Credit Insurance.

All types and sizes of business can benefit from Trade Credit Insurance and you will have support from one of the world’s leading providers of this type of insurance.

What is Trade Credit Insurance?
Woman-in-office-relaxed-because-she-has-trade-credit-insurance-coverTrade Credit Insurance provides protection against bad debt caused by insolvency, cash flow problems or political instability in overseas markets.

If one of your customers goes into administration and is declared bankrupt or insolvent or is having cash flow problems and the debt is outstanding for a protracted period, your insurance policy will protect you against loss of income. You are also covered in overseas markets where there is more risk from political instability.

In addition, as part of taking out Trade Credit Insurance, credit checks are carried out on your customers to establish their credit rating and provide a maximum limit your cover will support. This allows you the freedom to trade confidently up to this limit with new and existing clients.

Benefits of Trade Credit Insurance:
  • By insuring your debtor book, you will improve the cash flow of your business. The policy works alongside your credit control and enhances it.
  • You will be able to generate new business from markets you may have originally thought were too risky.
  • Using the latest financial data on companies, our provider will be able to monitor your customers and assess their credit risk so you will be the first to know if there are any problems emerging.
  • Our provider offers a reduced cost for debt recovery and legal expenses to help reduce the costs of getting your debt paid.
  • You may be able to negotiate better terms with your suppliers because they can be more confident that your business will not fail due to a bad debt.
  • It may be possible to obtain more funding on better terms from your bank because they will be assured that your business debt is secured by your insurance policy.
  • No more sleepless nights. Taking out a Trade Credit Insurance policy takes the worry out of bad debt.
  • We meet all new clients prior to the start of the policy so that you know exactly what is covered and how it works.
Gain control over your cash flow and peace of mind for the future of your business, call your local insurance broker in Sutton Coldfield and one of our team will be able to help on 0121 321 4600 or get a quote.
At the time of writing there is still uncertainty about the outcome of negotiations on whether the UK leaves the EU with or without a deal on the 31st October 2019.

If we crash out of the EU without a deal, travelling to Europe after Brexit will see some changes to documentation and checks you need to make before you travel:
  1. Insurance Green Card – you will need to allow around 1 month to get one from your insurance provider.
  2. International Driving Permit (IDP) may be needed to drive in some countries.
  3. Healthcare insurance. Your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) may no longer be valid.
  4. Check your passport is valid for at least 6 months.

Customs-check-at-border-for-vehiclesWhat will it mean for haulage operators travelling in Europe?
The implications of a no deal for the haulage sector could be very disrupting and costly. The government has sent emails to 70,000 operators and industry bodies outlining what will be required when exporting goods to EU countries if we leave without a deal. They have produced a detailed handbook that can be downloaded from their website: Transporting goods between the UK and EU in a no-deal Brexit: guidance for hauliers.

Changes include:
  • Driving licences – the UK driving licence will no longer be valid in the EU, you will need an International Driving Permit
  • Possible delays at customs – additional paperwork and not having the correct paperwork are expected to cause long queues of HGV’s at ports, with worst case reports suggesting delays of 1.5 days on average
  • More documentation – a raft of additional certification, permits and insurance Green Cards.
No deal haulier documentation
In the event of a no deal, additional documentation required will include; Certificate of Professional Competence, International Driving Permits, EMCT Permits (European Conference of Ministers of Transport) and insurance Green Cards.

Other changes include renewals of documentation such as the International Operator Licence which will require a UK licence for the Community instead of the current EU Community Licence. Trading between EU countries could also be more complicated with countries adopting different rules and timescales. For example, some EU countries have decided that the IDP will not be required for travel through their territory. You will need to stay updated with the latest news.

Insurance Green Cards
If we leave the EU without a deal on the 31st October 2019, all vehicles will need a Green Card and HGV’s will need one for the unit and one for the trailer.
We are advising our clients that if they know their vehicles will be in the EU after 31st October 2019 and want to avoid last minute application delays, to apply for their Green Cards now.

To discuss your requirements, please call one of our team on 0121 321 4600.
Every year, more than 2,000 serious injuries are caused by falls from vehicles that are reported to HSE (Health and Safety Executive). Insurance claims for one injury can often be over £100,000.

Falls from height are one of the most common causes of death from industrial accidents with 35 of 144 work-related fatalities in 2017/2018. With 3 million people in Great Britain working on or near vehicles as part of their regular job, falls from cabs or trailers pose a serious risk to your business.

Considering these statistics, taking measures to prevent this type of accident can save your haulage business from losses and reduce your haulage insurance premium.

Haulier-unloading-HGVRisk assessments for hauliers
Carrying out a comprehensive assessment of the daily tasks of your drivers and getting them involved in discussing ways of making their job safer and more efficient will help to reduce the risk of falls and slips.
  • An effective risk management plan will include:
  • A list of all the risks associated with your drivers’ work
  • Analysis of the risk
  • Rank the possibility of an event happening and what the effect would be
  • Measures you would take to minimise the risk
  • Ongoing protection measures that can be taken
Typical examples of controls to minimise risk would include providing suitable workwear and equipment to prevent falls, for example; ladders for climbing from trailers instead of jumping off or using the trailer side guards, driver training to cover specific tasks carried out by your drivers for the vehicles they will be operating.
Insurers will often require copies of training records in the event of a claim and as part of the HSE Work at Height Regulations 2005, you must ensure:
  • all work at height is properly planned and organised
  • those involved in work at height are competent
  • the risks from work at height are assessed, and appropriate work equipment is selected and used
  • the risks of working on or near fragile surfaces are properly managed
  • the equipment used for work at height is properly inspected and maintained
Haulage insurance
Insurance for your fleet of HGVs requires expert advice to ensure your policy provides adequate protection at the lowest cost per vehicle.

This is where an insurance broker provides added value by understanding the market and being able to select a provider to suit your individual requirements.

A broker can also identify ways you can minimise risk and reduce premium costs by using telematics and improving driver safety. In some cases, you may be able to obtain a discount on your premium or even get a contribution towards the costs of implementing these risk-reducing measures.

Contact CLA (Risk Solutions) Sutton Coldfield to discuss your fleet haulage insurance requirements on 0121 321 4600.
The Direct Vision Standard (DVS) covers heavy goods vehicles over 12 tonnes and the regulation is intended to improve the safety of all road users.

London is taking the lead by banning the most unsafe lorries from the capital’s streets by issuing HGV Safety Permits from October 2019. Safety permits will be available free of charge from Transport for London (TfL).

You will not be able to get a permit unless your vehicle is rated 1 star or above. Vehicles with 0 star rating will have to prove a Safe System (see below) to get a permit.

EU road safety legislation looks likely to follow London’s lead with the European Parliament voting on the proposals later this year.

Two-hgvs-on-road-in-London-representing-haulage-insuranceWhat does DVS mean for hauliers?
The new standard will require all vehicles over 12 tonnes to apply for a permit to allow them to be driven inside the enforcement zone, the Greater London Boundary, from 26th October 2020.

If your vehicles operate in London, you will have to find out the star rating of your vehicle(s). The ratings range from 0 (lowest) to 5 star (highest) and you can obtain your vehicles current rating from vehicle manufacturers.

The star ratings have been allocated depending on the vision available from the drivers seated position looking forwards and downwards and the ability to cover any blind spots.

Safe System
Vehicles with 0 star ratings and without a permit will be banned from 26th October 2020 unless they can prove they have taken vehicle safety measures designed to reduce the risks to other road users and in particular pedestrians, cyclists and motor cyclists.

Examples of a Safe System include:
  • Eliminating blind spots by installing cameras, sensors and driver alerts
  • Audible vehicle manoeuvring warnings
  • Reducing the effect of physical impact by installing side-underrun protection etc.
Going forward, the Safe System will include a consultation in 2022 to review any new technology that is not currently available. From 26th October 2024 all 0 to 2 star rated HGVs will be banned unless they can prove they have a Safe System fitted.

Haulier insurance
When insurers calculate your insurance premium, they will consider the risks associated with your business and your claims history. Anything you can do to reduce the number of claims and minimise risks will be beneficial when you come to renew your insurance policy(s).

According to Transport for London:

“TfL research shows that between 2015 and 2017 HGVs were disproportionately involved in fatal collisions, with 63 per cent of those involving people cycling and 25 per cent of those involving people walking. This is despite HGVs only making up four per cent of the overall miles driven in the capital.”

By demonstrating that your HGV fleet has a star rating of 3 or over, or you have a recognised Safe System installed, your insurers may be able to support you with contributions that will help to offset the cost of installing the equipment.

Any camera system or other safety features should be approved by your insurers and regular maintenance will be necessary to qualify for any reductions or contributions towards your insurance premium.

To discover whether you could receive a contribution or reduce insurance premiums for your fleet, call 0121 321 4600 and ask for Adrian Littler.
Prestige-car-door-being-openedKeyless car theft in the UK is on the rise. The latest remote keyless car entry systems enable drivers to unlock car doors and start the engine “hands free” when they are near the car. It is not just prestige cars that use this method of entry; many new small saloon and SUVs incorporate this technology alongside other clever features such as a kick boot.

The increase in thefts of vehicles fitted with these systems is because criminals can use devices that boost the signal from a key lying inside the house to trick the vehicle into thinking the key is nearby, allowing them to enter and start the car.

The German testing body ADAC has found that 99% of the 237 cars it tested were vulnerable to theft using this keyless system.

Some insurers are refusing to pay out if thieves use these devices to break into your car. This is because most car insurance policies will not cover claims if keys are left in or around the car.  If there is no sign of forced entry, you may find your claim is rejected.  Check that you are fully covered for this type of theft with your insurer.

What you can do to minimise keyless car theft
Some manufacturers have implemented ways of preventing this type of theft by supplying keys that turn themselves off when not being used either automatically or by the user pressing or holding down a button on the key fob. A shielding pouch can also be used to store the keys when not in use which blocks signals from the boosting devices used by thieves.

Practical advice is to store keys well away from doors and windows near the car and as far away from house entry points as possible. Fitting a steering wheel lock is another method of deterring this type of theft.

Looking into the future, manufacturers are working on replacing keys with a smartphone app. This will register users to a central database and enable owners to use their phones to unlock and start their cars.

Other advantages of using the app will be the ability to share cars with family members using their own smartphones. It may also be possible to control the cars speed and even volume of music even when you are not driving the car yourself.

With more technology being built into new models, especially prestige and luxury cars, it is more important than ever to make sure your insurance provider is keeping up with the new technology to keep you fully insured.

High net worth insurance
Online comparison sites and standard insurance policies do not always provide the level of insurance cover needed for some expensive modern cars. Often packed with a high level of technical specification and high value components, you may find your prestige car needs a higher level of insurance cover.

It is not just about replacement or repair costs; you may have a preferred garage for repairs and need the use of a replacement car of equal value when you have to make a claim.

A high net worth insurance policy can provide a range of benefits including cover for your home, leisure craft and travel insurance all under one policy tailored to your individual needs.

To make sure all your possessions are fully covered, talk to your local insurance broker in Sutton Coldfield, CLA Risk Solutions on 0121 321 4600.