Archive for February 2011

What are Bankers Good for? Ask a Tradesman!

Now I don’t know how legal this is, but it’s brilliant and so funny!

The guys over at the tradesman insurance quotes comparison site tradesman-insurance.com sent us it!

Watch!

Insurance Blog – keeping up the crusade against rip off banks that we are all paying for now in higher taxes and soon to be higher interest rates!

Someone should tell Cameron that he could get rid of the so called deficit if he sold the Banks that this Country owns!
However it suits his political purposes to line the pockets of his banking prep school chummies with Government money is the form of treasury bonds………

A Brief History of Insurance: Part 2 Early Marine Insurance

A brief history of Insurance:

Part Two: Rhodian General Average and Athenan Maritime Loans:

OK, so in the first article in this series we discovered that whilst those amazing Chinese chaps were out inventing everything and anything, they put together the worlds first ever risk management systems. We also discovered that it was a thousand years or so later that a rather brilliant Babylonian, a first dynasty king called Hammurabi came up with something that many scholars consider to be the first recorded form of monetised insurance.

This system was in fact set to become incredibly wide spread largely down to the Babylonian’s sphere of influence within the young, growing markets of commerce within early history.  The practice of paying what we would now consider an insurance premium, to cover the cost of a merchant’s cargo should it be lossed due to theft or accident on the high seas, had become common place across the mediteranean in its many fledgling cultures.

As the cultures of the meditaranean developed and in particular that of Ancient Greece, so we see further complexities within insurance as a financial product within these cultures and also their growing importance within the daily lives of members of these societies.

The inhabitants of Rhodes were to establish a rule of general average amongst their merchants and traders. In essence this was very much in the same vein as a general mutual insurance fund, a term many of us are more familiar with. This general average was created to allow groups of merchants to pay to insure their goods which were to be shipped together.  Under this very community minded statute, should a merchant be unfortunate enough to have his goods jettisoned due to reasons of sinkage or storm, then each of the merchants whose cargo was also on the journey would share the cost of this loss  by paying a premium. Of course the term and principals of  general average are still applicable in many modern marine insurance policies today.

It was during this period in history that the concepts of insurance and risk management really began to beccome more refined and complexities within risk calculations started to emerge.  And it all started with boat insurance.

The ancient Athenians created what was termed a maritime loan. This loan provided advanced money for voyages and repayment  was cancelled if the ship was lost at sea, much like the laws in the older Codes of Hammurabi and indeed the maritime loans of modern times. It was circa the fourth century that the rates of interest for loans differed accordingly to the relative ease or danger of the passage. The time of the year, the prevalent weather conditions, the route to be taken, even the socio politcal enviroment were all taken into account, which would suggest a level of intuitve pricing for risk begining to very much resemble modern day insurance.

As with so many elements of modern society, we  see that what began in Mesoptamia, was once again absorbed and developed by the Greeks, and as is true with many other facets to civilisation, was so then absorbed and further explored within the Graeco-Roman and then Roman cultures. Insurance was to be no different and as other lines of insurance developed in our modern era out of marine insurance so it was to be the case in the ancient empires of Greece and Rome.

In the next installement we shall explore this further as we discover how the Greeks and Romans introduced the concepts of Health Insurance and Life insurance to their civilisations.

Tradesmans Insurance – What does it cover?

A Guide to Tradesmans Insurance Online

It’s the oldest online commercial insurance and the widest sold type of business insurance in the UK, but what exactly is Tradesmans Insurance?

If you own or manage a small business, you will require at least some type of liability insurance to protect your company against the various risks and possible claims, that your business will face.

Small businesses and tradesmen are required by law to have employers liability insurance at the very least in order to carry on business. Employer’s liability cover  protects the workforce and allows the business to pay any claims against it which may be brought by a worker who was injured carying out his or her duties.

Public liability insurance is essential if you work with members of the public who may pursue claims against you and motor insurance or van insurance is also likely to be a necessity.

If the business has plant or machinery which must have a periodical statutory inspection, it will be usual to arrange for this to be done by a specialist engineering insurer under the terms of an engineering inspection contract, with or without insurance.

Tradesman’s insurance is more often than not sold online as a small business insurance package policy. A package will include all elements of cover required by a small business or self employed trader such as basic employers liability and public liability covers and theft of tools. Trademans insurance quotation systems allow you to vary the levels of indemnity required for liability insurance in a typical range of between £1 million and £10 million. The higher the levels of indemnity required the higher the premium. Tools cover is usually rated on a replacement new for old, sum insured basis, where you define the value of your tools.

Most trades and small business will have premises that need protection against buildings perils such as fire and flood. Small commercial property insurance is available to cover all buildings insurance risks and is often sold as a package for a particular type of trade. For example Shops Insurance, Dentists and Surgeries or Builders Insurance Packages.

Trademan’s premises packages contain commercial contents insurance for business premises, which covers office and business equipment including files and data processing against the common perils. For companies and trademan that keep stock, this type of business contents insurance can be extended to cover risk such as deterioration and damage.

For the small tradesperson who works from home these covers are often available with strict limits of indemnity, as a bolt on to a standard home buildings and contents policy. This type of cover is often  only effective for self employed people with just a computer and a home office.

Other tradesman insurance covers

One of the largest problems faced by a small business or trades with premises is that of how to continue in business should a catastrophe happen, for example a fire that destroys the premises or machinery or stock. In order to deal with this Business Insurance companies have devised a cover called ‘Business Interruption Insurance’.

Premiums are based on your previous years annual turnover. BI covers your company against all losses caused by interruption to trading due to any of the perils mentioned on the policy and will pay out on a indemnified basis for the period of cover agreed in the policy. Most policies will also offer some type of alternative trading accommodation to enable you business to continue whilst the premises are being repaired.

Additional small business and trades insurance risks

Because commercial insurance is designed to cover all classes of business, there are many various trade or business specific covers available which can be added to a combined policy.

Examples of these covers include loss of licence to trade, book debts, hauliers cover, warehouse cover, and plant inspection services. Various people protection policies are also available for businesses including Keyman insurance which provides cover against the loss of key people within your organisation. Business mortgage protection provides a monthly payment for business premises should you suffer and accident or sickness. Group ASU policies are also available to protect your staff and employees.

Buying Tradesman Insurance Policies

Commercial insurance and tradesman risks covers for tradesmans insurance are widely available online today and it is a simple process to find a website where you can compare trademans insurance quotes.

However, purchasing trademans liability insurance can be a daunting experience for the uninitiated small business owner  or tradesman just starting off in business, and unless the risks are straightforward and can be underwritten online, it is advisable for all companies to approach the services of a local or regional commercial insurance broker who deals with specific tradesman liability insurance and covers for risks in your particular trade.

A Brief History of Insurance: Part 1 The Ancient World

Insurance Blog  likes to educate our readers so today for those of you studying for your ACII Insurance Blogger Kris Oldland discusses the development and history of  Insurance.

Part One: Insurance in the ancient world:

Insurance is everywhere and attached to everything we do. In the western world practically each and everyone of us is involved with a number of separate insurance policies everyday and everywhere we go. Whether it be in our cars, in our homes or in our jobs we will no doubt be insured somehow at any given moment. But where did this concept originate and how has it developed over the years to the modern sophisticated system that it is today?

Well, the history of insurance steps back a lot further back than many of us would ever imagine. In fact,  throughout history wherever there has been any form of commerce and an economy in place, insurance of some description soon followed.

The earliest recorded descriptions of insurance date back over five thousand years to the third millenia BC, with the Chinese empire having established insurance methods in place. Of course, having invented, paper money, fireworks, and alcohol it was probably best that these clever Chinese chaps came up with insurance too! With a thriving and thoroughly well established trade network developed, the creation of a system of insurance was driven by necessity. Chinese merchants were incredibly tenacious and would make incredible journeys, often overcoming treacherous terrain and dangerous river rapids to complete their journey. It became standard practice for these merchants to redistribute their valuable wares across a number of vessels to limit the loss of any one vehicle capsizing. Essentially, risk management in its purest, most simplistic form.

As we fast forward a millenia or so we encounter another bunch of rather clever folks who were off having a great old civilised time, whilst we in Britain were tentatively stepping out of caves,  the Babylonians. This Mesopotamian civilisation flourished amongst both the Sumerian and Akkadian peoples and again was a sophisticated and complex society with commerce beating at its heart. This was a civilisation with an incredibly well organised government, an established, functioning bureaucracy, and complex taxation systems, much of which was installed by the sixth king of Babylon, Hammurabi.

Having brought stability to the Mesopotamian region, it was Hammurabi who introduced the groundbreaking (yet slightly unimaginatively and rather egotistically named) Codes of Hammurabi; one of the first ever recorded codes of law. It was in fact from the Codes of Hammurabi that the phrase “an eye for an eye a tooth from a tooth” originated. The Code also contains the first written reference to insurance within a legal setting, outlining the insurance systems that the Babylonians had in place.

It was a common practice for merchants to take a loan from a more wealthy merchant or nobleman to fund their shipments and often when taking the loan the merchant would make an additional payment in exchange for the lender’s guarantee that should the shipment be lost or stolen then the loan would be canceled. Within the Codes of Hammurabi, it became law that in such a situation the merchant would have to declare in court (and before God) their losses and then the state would reimburse them.

This Babylonian law is often acknowledged as the very first true emergence of insurance and commercial insurance as we understand it today and in fact it spread out amongst most of the early sea faring merchants of the Mediterranean, establishing itself among numerous communities as an integral element of a merchants rights.

In the next installment of this series we shall explore further into how insurance in the Mediterranean further developed under the classic culture of the ancient Greeks. Ultimately establishing both Athenian maritime loans and the Rhodian sea law of general average as the first example of boat insurance.

New Online Crime Maps launched in UK

Did you know there was a burglary last week in your road?

Ever wondered why you home insurance premiums are so high?

Well from now on you can find out whats been happening in your area with a new online crime mapping service from the UK Police.

The maps based on Google Earth and using a streetview pointer  allow you to zoom down to see crimes commited in each street.

police crime map

What surprised Insurance blog was that for every postcode we entered, the biggest crime was anti-social behaviour!

We’ve been checking the contents insurance risk areas against the crime maps and sure enough there is a strong correlation between those areas and current high incidents of burglary.

Insurance companies, house buyers, estate agents, credit profilers and many other institutions will probably be using this database everyday once it develops. It already has a twitter feed from your local PCs!