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Car insurance

Car in floodwaterWhether you live in a high-risk flood area or you are driving around the local roads, with winters in the UK becoming wetter and flood records being regularly broken, you need to check exactly what is covered in your high net worth (HNW) insurance policies.

If you left your car in the garage, parked on your driveway or driving it to the shops during a spell of rainy weather, any water ingress to the engine or interior of your car could lead to a costly claim to dry out and repair a high value vehicle.

Insurers recognise that flood damage from raised water levels while your car is parked (unavoidable damage) is different to making a decision to drive through a flooded road (avoidable). Your insurance provider may decide not to pay out on an avoidable claim, depending on the circumstances, if they consider it was reckless behaviour. To make a claim whether avoidable or unavoidable you will need to have fully comprehensive insurance, not just third party so this will not be a problem with your HNW insurance policy.

Our recommendations:

Never drive through floodwater if you believe there is a risk that your engine may cut out or you are unable to see what lurks below the surface. Extra caution will be needed if you own a Turbo-charged diesel engine car, they are more vulnerable to water ingress and damage.

High net worth Family fleet car insurance

Considering the fact that many high net worth clients live in areas on the outskirts of towns and often in rural areas with rivers and open fields nearby that are prone to flooding, having an insurance policy that meets your specific needs is vital.

High net worth insurance clients can take advantage of insuring all of their vehicles under one insurance policy. This can include other motorised vehicles such as quad bikes, boats and horseboxes that may also be parked on the premises.

This makes it much easier to make a claim under one insurance policy if worst happens and you find your property and garages destroyed or damaged by an insured loss.

If your main vehicle is worth more than £30,000, you can include all of your other motorised vehicles under the same policy. The main vehicle can be a modern high-performance prestige car, luxury saloon or a classic car.

Buildings and contents insurance

Though long periods of freezing temperatures are becoming less common in some parts of the UK, there are still times when cold weather can affect property and outbuildings. High net worth clients often live in larger older properties with pipework that can burst in freezing temperatures. A leak in a large property with expensive fittings and contents can lead to a big insurance claim. Unoccupied premises can also increase the risk, with HNW clients more likely to take long mid-winter holidays or spend time between more than one property.

Our recommendations:

Make sure the property and water pipes are well insulated, especially lofts, cellars and outbuildings. Keep the temperature above 10°C while unoccupied and ask a friend or neighbour to check the property at regular intervals.

Keep the property well maintained throughout the year and identify and test your main stopcocks as they can seize up in older properties. Arrange for professional valuations to make sure you are not underinsured if you do have to make a claim following an insured incident.

Benefits of high net worth insurance

Due to the nature of HNW claims, there are many benefits to providing cover for all of your possessions and holiday cover under one tailored HNW insurance policy.

From dedicated claims handlers to specialist repairers, you can be confident that your insurance claims will be handled quickly 24/7, 365 days a year, anywhere in the world.

Your bespoke insurance will cover all your needs. Call 0121 321 4600 to discover how it works with one of our team of advisers or visit https://www.clarisksolutions.co.uk/insurance/lifestyle/high-net-worth-insurance to find out more.
Skilled trades cover a wide range of professions and include many self-employed jobs. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) the number of self-employed increased from 3.3 million in 2001 to 4.8 million in 2017, now representing 15.1% of the labour force.

Trade sectors include:
  • Construction and building (bricklayers, roofers, plumbers)
  • Metal and electrical (Vehicle technician, aircraft engineer, welders, CNC machinists)
  • Agriculture (Farmers, gardeners, groundsmen)
  • Textile/printing and other skilled trades (Tailors, butchers, bakers, chefs).
Each of these sectors have their own range of risks when it comes to insurance and it is important to tailor policies to meet each individual sector’s requirement.

This is where an Insurance Broker can help and advise you on risks you may not have even thought about or claims trends that are on the rise. For example:

1. Van insurance for trades

Electricial taking tools from vanTheft of tools or equipment from vehicles has risen dramatically over the last few years. Some insurance providers impose conditions or exclusions in their insurance policies. Many insurers are now limiting their tool cover to working hours only and will not cover tools left in vehicles overnight. Insurers will ask you for a value of the tools you want to insure and will apply an excess on any claim.
You may be able to take precautions to protect your vehicle contents from theft and reduce your insurance premium by installing an alarm, immobiliser or tracker. However, if there are times when tools have to be left overnight, you could increase security by using additional door locks or tool vault boxes. Modern CCTV cameras can also act as a deterrent. This is when the advice of a broker is invaluable to help you get the most suitable cover for your particular business risks.

2. Farming insurance

Theft of farm machinery has been on the increase over recent years. Farmers insurance policies often cover a range of services that are needed to cover the entire farming operation including:
  • Buildings
  • Livestock
  • Accident
  • Vehicles
  • Diseases such as foot and mouth
  • Money
  • Deterioration of stock.
Farming is undergoing constant change, never more so than now, with farmers being forced to diversify, tackle livestock diseases, and cope with flood risk. An insurance broker can offer advice on insurance cover required if you are considering a new venture or change to use of your land.

2. Liability insurance

Most trades have to deal with the general public and in our increasingly claim aware culture and the growth of no win no fee lawyers, individuals and businesses cannot afford to overlook this insurance cover:
  • Employers liability insurance is a legal requirement if you own premises or employ staff.
  • Public liability insurance will cover you if a client, customer or member of the public makes a claim against your business for injury (or death), medical fees or damage to their property or possessions.
  • Product liability insurance provides cover for any products that you supply or fit that are faulty or defective and result in a claim for damages.
  • Professional indemnity insurance is available for consultants and professionals providing advice to their clients. Claims for incorrect advice or mistakes are covered together with legal costs for defending you case.
Consulting an insurance broker such as CLA to provide advice will ensure you have the right amount of cover for your individual circumstances. Call one of our team on 0121 321 4600.
Lloyd’s Coffee House was the first marine insurance market, established in the late 1680s, eventually leading to the establishment of Lloyd’s of London.

Marine insurance has evolved since then to cover a wide range of risks for today’s shipping requirements including ship’s hull, cargo and marine liability.

Political unrest, unpredictable weather conditions and the marine insurance market can all influence insurance premiums.

The current unrest in the Middle East, the recent attacks on shipping and the uncertainty of the dispute between the US and Iran are already starting to have an adverse impact on insurance premiums.

Extreme weather caused by global warming has resulted in containers from ships being washed overboard due to strong winds.

These challenges have meant that some providers in the marine insurance sector are walking away from the unprofitable areas of marine insurance. For several years the market has had a wealth of providers in the sector, however, this may be changing as margins are squeezed and providers pull out of the market or place additional conditions on the business.

Marine insurance cover

Container-vessel-at-seaSourcing the best marine insurance cover for your needs in today’s difficult and complex market will require expert knowledge and an understanding of the latest challenges facing global shipping and the changes within the insurance sector to ensure you understand any restrictions or exclusions within the policy.

This is where an insurance broker can provide the knowledge to source the best policy for your needs. Whether you are a shipowner, cargo owner or agent such as a haulier or freight forwarder, CLA (Risk Solutions) can provide the expertise to guide you through the selection of the best policy to meet your needs at the most economical price.

Freight forwarders insurance

This cover is designed specifically for freight forwarders. It is not cargo insurance; it provides cover for any errors and omissions while carrying out responsibilities to clients. The cover includes:
  • legal costs for defending claims
  • clerical errors and omissions
  • containers and trailers on hire
  • temporary storage costs following an insured incident.
You can also insure the goods, if required, under an open cover facility. Alternatively, we can arrange insurance cover for any of your clients’ goods directly.

We will work with you to understand your terms and conditions, the cover would be limited to your maximum amount under those terms.

To discuss any of your marine insurance requirements, call 0121 321 4600.
The effects of climate change are having a major impact on bus and coach operators throughout the world.

Many of the world’s capital cities are looking at ways of reducing vehicle emissions and congestion in their central districts by imposing congestion charges and permits or restricting some types of vehicles altogether. Paris and Rome are looking at banning tourist buses from their centres to encourage visitors to use more eco-friendly options.

Alternatively, bus and coach operators are having to review their fleets to make their vehicles more environmentally friendly by using new technology such as all electric vehicles. London will see the world’s first hydrogen-powered double-decker bus on its streets in 2020. Southampton is experimenting with buses that clean the air from a filter system on the roof. Birmingham is preparing for its clean air zone in 2020 along with other major cities to ensure only compliant vehicles can operate within the designated area.

Electrification of bus and coach fleets

Low-Emission-Zone-London-with-busForecasts carried out by a variety of sources predict that electric buses operating in Europe will increase massively by 2025.

In a press release by the Mayor of London in 2018, the goal of Transport for London was: “TfL aims to have 240 electric buses running on the network and for all new double-deck buses to be zero-emissions or hybrid, with every single-deck bus in central London to be zero-emission by the following year. Ultimately, by 2037 all buses in London will be zero-emission.”

The West Midlands recently received funding from the Department for Transport to support the purchase of 17 new electric vehicles. The funding includes infrastructure such as charge points. Other regions are benefitting from similar funding.

The next five years are probably going to see the biggest change to our transport networks in recent history. These changes will also affect the costs to maintain vehicles such as damage repairs, battery replacement and the effect, if any, this will have on insurance premiums.

Bus, coach and minibus insurance

There are reports that suggest electric cars are more expensive to insure and providers are difficult to find. The insurance industry is still accumulating historic data regarding the cost of repairs and insurers will minimise their risks and potentially raise premiums until these vehicles become more mainstream. Other reports consider that because electric cars are less powerful and have a reduced range, they are less likely to be stolen, therefore premiums should be less. As more data becomes available and electric car use increases, it is expected that premiums will reduce.

The same applies to electric commercial vehicles. Again, this can sometimes make it difficult to find the best insurance policy for your needs at a reasonable price.
This is where a specialist insurance broker can help. At CLA Risk Solutions we can search the entire market for the right policy for your individual business.

Whether you are running petrol, diesel or zero emission vehicles or a combination. One vehicle or a fleet of vehicles, we can call on years of experience within our team to find suitable cover for all your requirements.

This can include additional cover such as:
  • Unsatisfied court judgements
  • Compensation for court attendance
  • Legal expenses arising from health and safety and corporate manslaughter legislation
  • Defective premises
  • Leased premises
  • Contingent liability (for non-owned vehicles)
  • Car park and cloakroom liability
Call CLA Risk Solutions for all your vehicle insurance requirements on 0121 321 4600 or contact us.
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.