Archive for Commercial & Business Insurance

UK Insurance Companies Pay Out Millions In Metal Theft Claims

The demand for raw materials, especially metals for industry in the emerging BRIC economies of Brazil, Russia, India and in particularly China, coupled with a recession in the UK has created a massive nationwide crime wave of metal theft that is costing UK insurance companies millions of pounds per week, according to a press release from the ABI (Association of British Insurers).
All types of metal are being stolen and each theft creates a series of public hazards and property damage.

Popular theft includes the lead from off of church roofs, cast iron drain and manhole covers from the streets, railway track and copper cabling from permanent way and sidings, all types of electrical cabling from business premises or unoccupied buildings. Nowhere is immune to the theft and reports have been made of damage from all corners of the country.

A spokesman for the ABI said that metal theft had doubled in the UK in the past five years with now around 1,000 reported police and insurance claim incidents each week.

The disruption the crime causes is estimated to cost the UK economy about £770m each year. Much of this is paid out in claims for business interruption.

The ABI report said metal theft was an “ever-present threat” and it will meet the UK Government and British Transport Police to debate the issue.

Nick Starling, the ABI’s director of general insurance, said: “Metal thieves are putting lives at risk, causing expensive damage and massive disruption. “This is why we are working with the Government to crack down on metal thefts”.

The ABI states that each week:
1,000 metal thefts occur – double the number of five years ago
300 tonnes of metal was stolen per week, which is the equivalent of 300 cars
The UK economy loses £15m in replacing stolen metal, compensating victims and disruption
Train services are delayed by 117 hours after cable thefts
23 churches are attacked

Example of recent thefts include a range of attacks from the small to the large-scale organised crime gangs.

A £500,000 sculpture was stolen  from a park in London by a few individuals while a large gang stole a train with two trucks of scrap metal, driving it down the line and emptying the metal into lorries at the track-side before making off.

The ABI support legal action which will make it harder to resell stolen metal and much tougher penalties for offenders and are calling for scrap dealers and metal recycling industry, which is  is worth an estimated £5.6bn per annum and employs 8,000 people in the UK, to be registered and cash payments to be banned.

Chris Coates of UK Commercial Ltd insurance brokers warns businesses, especially those at risk to take extra precautions to prevent theft and to minimize any disruption caused which often amounts to the biggest loss.

“All businesses large and small should carry out their own internal risk assessment as to the likelihood of suffering from a metal theft crime.”

“The theft of  a roll of lead cladding from the roof of building housing a computer repair business, could be devastating if it occurred on a wet stormy night. Often extra preventative security measures such as denying access to the roof through for example the application of anti-climb paint, is a simple, effective and cheap method of deterring metal theft.”

Business Insurance Quotes Caveats

Disclose All Material Facts When Comparing Business Insurance Online

If you are in business you will want the re-assurance that the business insurance policy you bought is actually going to cover your losses and pay out in the event of a claim.

It is an unfortunate fact that when then worst happens and your business makes a claim on the policy, that either the offer from the insurance company is nothing like what you lost or expected to receive to get the business flowing again, or worse still that the claim itself is contested or repudiated.

The majority of these problems occur at the proposal stage which translates in modern parlance to the quote stage.

All the information a business supplies when applying for business insurance quotes online, will eventually become part of the policy contract. All insurance contracts come under a class of legal contracts subject to the rule of ‘utmost good faith’ and this requires full disclosure of material facts. If mistakes are made when filling in online forms and comparing business insurance quotes, then this will cause problems for the policyholder when a claim is investigated.

The FSA is already investigating the use of default data in form fields for personal lines products sold online and the potential for these contracts to be missold. We asked Insurance Blogger to have a closer look at this increasingly occurring problem that will only be exacerbated by the increased popularity, particularly for small business insurance, of using an online business insurance supplier.

Get Your Business Details Correct When Applying Online For Business Insurance Quotes

Applying for business insurance quotes online has become a simple process and many of the five million small businesses in the UK are purchasing cover this way.

It is now easy to get both business property and liability insurance quotes and buy cover online from numerous outlets including commercial insurance brokers, direct business insurance companies and business insurance price comparison sites.

Every type of business cover can be bought online if your company does not employ more than fifty employees, and even these larger cases are handled today by helplines and callback facilities.

The practice of buying cover online is particularly of interest to small business and self employed tradesman, often working from home. An hours research and comparison of business insurance quotes could save a small business a significant amount in annual premiums.

There are however sometimes major problems that arise for businesses that buy online, further down the line, if they are unfortunate enough to have to make a claim against the policy.

The majority of the problems that can delay a payment or repudiate a claim, occur because of the information about the business that was supplied or given, when first getting a business insurance quote.

It is therefore imperative when getting quotes online that the correct information about the business is supplied.

In particular clams will be questioned when the business is either misrepresented by the information supplied or there has been an alteration to the business activities which was not declared when getting the quotes.

Misrepresentation can be either deliberate to avoid paying additional premiums or unintentional, however neither is an excuse and will be penalised.

Deliberate misrepresentation is for example a builder applying for builders liability insurance quotes,who uses heat and works at height but who declares he only works on single storey extensions. Another example would be a company applying for employers liability who only declare half of the workforce.

Unintentional misrepresentation is far more common but can still lead to disappointment when making a claim.

Get your sums insured right

The most common mistake made by business men and women when applying for business insurance cover online, is to declare the value of property at a level less than its true worth. This could apply to declared sums insured for commercial buildings and or contents insurance.

If the declared value of the sums insured is less than market value or the cost of re-instatement, whichever is applicable to a particular policy, then the claim will be subject to what insurance companies call ‘Average’. All properties will be subject to average if the market is inflationary and prices have risen over the period of the contract.

Average is applied to a claim and is a means by which the insurance company will reduce its liabilities. Average assume that the businessman will cover the loss for the difference between the declared sum insured and the true value and will reduce the claim amount proportionally.

Claims will also be repudiated and denied where it is found out that their has been an alteration to the original cover described at the quote stag which later went on to form the policy contract. For example if a motor trader has not declared that he also runs a taxi business with the same vehicles in the evenings for hire and reward.

To avoid disappointment and ensure that your business is properly covered be prepared with the correct and most up to date information about your business, when applying online for business insurance quotes.

When applying for business insurance quotes online it makes sense to use a company that can either offer fixed levels of cover so that you know that your business falls within these, or provide additional help and advice from an expert or broker on the phone.

At UK Commercial Ltd. you can compare business insurance quotes online from multiple suppliers who offer various levels of cover so that you can avoid losing out to average, at a claim.

Commercial Insurance On The Internet

Until recently it was extremely difficult to purchase commercial insurance online. In the last couple of years there has however been an explosion of small business and SME commercial product offerings appearing online and an equally large number of comparison sites, some general price aggregator and other specialist commercial insurance broker websites.

With so many new products and markets for modern risks emerging, knowing what business insurance cover is available online has become increasingly difficult with more choice.
Insurance Blog asked the insuranceblogger to investigate:-

Commercial Insurance Distribution Channels on the Internet

If you worked for a UK Insurance company just twenty years ago or anywhere else in the world for that matter, you would not have heard the term Internet distribution channel, except perhaps in the idle chat of the IT department boffins and analysts in the company cafeteria.

There were only two main distribution channels, or ways of moving insurance products to the market and the Internet as a serious sales and marketing contender would have to wait another ten years to appear.

At the time, the main channels were the direct channel, which meant producing insurance products that could be sold directly to the public from a call centre, thereby cutting out the costs and expense of managing a middleman, and the broker or intermediary channel.

The broker channel was further sub-divided into insurance brokers, agents, tied agents, consultants, sub-brokers, managing agents for Lloyds and the affinity corporate market.

Both channels offered different propositions for the same products dependent upon the way a policy was sold.

At the time only personal lines insurance products such as car and home insurance were available via the direct channel.

It was also considered that commercial insurance and business insurance were too complicated a product to sell direct over the phone, would take up too much time and would require a bank of approved underwriters with scripts to man the phone lines, as no commercial insurance autoquote systems existed. Consequently nearly all commercial insurance was sold via the intermediary channel.

This dual path situation for the sales, marketing and deliverance of insurance polices continued until Insurance finally became a product that could be bought and sold on the Internet. The earliest offerings around the turn of the Century were for personal lines insurance and there was barely a mention of Commercial insurance, save for the odd contact us button.

Ironically as personal lines insurance developed over the Noughties and became a much larger channel of distribution, the two previous direct and broker channels re-established themselves online, this time in much closer competition.

However both the insurance companies and the insurance intermediaries were caught napping as a new distribution channel emerged on the Internet; the aggregator or price comparison site, and in record time accounted for over 90% of online Internet insurance sales.

The public love to compare prices and the fact that most personal lines products could autoquote without the intervention of an underwriter, meant they could all be aggregated into an online insurance price comparison site, such as we see everywhere in the media today. This is a testament to the comparison sites success as a channel in its own right.

Commercial Insurance in the meantime was still in its infancy as a channel on the Internet, until very recently.

The inertia was mainly due to the reluctance of the large general insurance companies to standardise and autoquote for commercial products. They felt the risk was too high and underwriters resisted the change.

The change came about by market forces as the Broker channel started to sell commercial products using its own web-enabled back office systems.

This meant that online business insurance brokers could collect information about a businesses insurance requirements on a website form, and pass the data to its internal systems. These back office comparison systems are composed of a panel of insurers and providers that provided autoquotes.

Straight through processing to an insurance company could be carried out by the existing EDI or electronic data interchange mechanism.

The single broker business and commercial propositions soon became the target of the price aggregators and the large and now very rich comparison sites, who started to offer online insurance comparisons using broker panels in 2009, which rapidly became popular with small business.

The large composite commercial insurers were forced to respond and last year released a string of autoquote products into the Internet channel including packages for shops, offices, pubs, commercial let property, tradesman, professionals and commercial liability to name just a few.

The fact that it is nigh on impossible to watch television for more than an hour or two today, without seeing an advert for a builders public liability and tools policy from a dotcom is proof that the Internet has finally arrived as a commercial insurance distribution channel.

Commercial Insurance online is available from UK Commercial Insurance. The UK brokers operate one of the largest commercial insurance quotes comparison sites on the Internet.

Comparing Commercial Insurance Quotes Online

A Guide to Comparing Commercial Insurance Quotes

You can’t turn the telly on these days without seeing an advert for tradesmans business insurance or commercial liability with all the big insurance comparison websites and direct insurance companies vying for attention at one dotcom or another. Insurance Blog asked Insurance Blogger Dave Healey to take a look at commercial insurance and small business insurance websites in the UK and see how easy it is to get commercial insurance quotes.

One upon a time it was virtually impossible to obtain commercial insurance quotes without a visit to the nearest regional General and Life offices of a large corporate insurer or if you were lucky a local high street commercial insurance broker who had access to at least one commercial insurance agency for most risks, and if really lucky this broker would have specialist business insurance schemes or access to Lloyds underwriting facilities.

Comparing Commercial insurance quotes just wasn’t an option for most businessmen who had better things to do with their time so they usually took the advice of a local broker who could at least place the business. Local and provincial brokers would appoint account managers and inspectors to regularly meet with their commercial clients and keep all the business local. Inertia set in and kept the competition down and prices for cover high.  Shopping around and comparing commercial insurance and getting a range of quotes just was not feasible until very recently…..

Today all sorts of commercial insurance products are available online either direct from insurers or via an intermediary such as a commercial insurance broker with online placement facilities. Some of the larger commercial intermediaries offer comparison sites for SME business, as do all the top four general price comparison sites that dominate the screens and rankings. The broker offerings are usually much wider than the price comparison sites and they have access to many more markets.

The downside to buying commercial insurance over the Internet from say a site more known for comparing car insurance or comparing credit cards, is that there is no one at the end of a phone to give you advice about your commercial risk and when it comes to claims…….computer says uh! Would you buy business insurance off this man?

For comparing commercial insurance quotes it is always wiser to use a broker comparison site. A UK Commercial Insurance broker site will allow you to compare products and prices from all the top insurers on their panel and offer advice and claims help when you need it. They can also arrange for cover for larger risks and provide services like surveys which are often a condition of the commercial insurance quotes given imposed by the system underwriting rules.

If you operate or are responsible for any type of business entity or commercial enterprise, in order to obtain the right insurance for the company you will need to find and compare suitable commercial insurance quotes. A quote is an offer of certain defined insurance covers in a policy for a monetary price.

Quotations can be obtained from numerous sources including locally from specialist high street insurance brokers, over the phone from insurance companies or brokers, or from the many online companies and comparison sites offering all types of insurance cover.

A commercial insurance quote forms a legal offer and is the basis of the contract of insurance between the proposer and the underwriting company. The information you provide on the quotation form is used to calculate both the premium quoted and the levels of cover offered on a policy. The quote data a company provides will be used to complete the policy documents. It is therefore very important that when applying for commercial insurance quotes that the information you supply about your business activities is correct and truthful.

Most companies offering quotes will agree to honour the price offered for a period of thirty days or one month following its issue. When obtaining a quote, regardless of the source, ensure that you retain the reference number which will enable you to either take up the or recall and revise the offer at a later time. Prices offered can fluctuate and a premium offered one week may not be available the next.

Quotes and premiums can be obtained for all business types and all business and commercial risks for both business liability and property insurance, either separately or combined in what is known as a package.

Commercial property insurance will typically provide cover for buildings and contents of business premises of varying types and sizes. For example a shopkeeper would be interested in covering his glass shop front and shop stock whilst a small draughtsman business would require a price for covering the business office equipment. For this reason quotes for a business are often given by insurance companies for packaged policies that are property specific, such as shop insurance quotes or office insurance quotes.

When looking for cover search for companies that offer quotes for your particular type of building. Let property buildings only insurance quotes are available for landlords who just want to cover the buildings, fixtures and fittings. Equally commercial property tenants and lease-holders can obtain quotes that only cover the contents, stock or liabilities.

Liability quotes can be obtained with either combined property insurance packages or as a standalone quotation for individual business liabilities. The most popular liability products quoted for are public liability insurance, employers liability insurance, product liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance.

Commercial liability quotes are widely available online for most trades and professions. Packages often offer all risks cover and if you are looking online most systems allow you to pick and choose various liability coverage options

When comparing quotes online you will not have the assistance of a broker to advise you. It is vital therefore to ensure that you check that the levels of indemnity and covers offered are sufficient for your business, because levels of commercial insurance cover quoted for, can vary as often as the price.

Commercial Insurance quotes are available from UK Commercial Insurance who operate one of the UK’s largest online commercial insurance comparison and online brokerages.

Business Insurance Guide

New to Insurance? Just Started a business?

Whether you are self employed, a sole trader, run a small business or enterprise or are a director of a large company, you will need to understand the scope and limitations of Business Insurance policies.

Our Guide to Business Insurance explains all from the top down!

If you have just started a new enterprise or have been asked to look after the company’s insurance renewals, business insurance can at first seem a daunting proposition. After all, much of the language and industry jargon such as endorsements, indemnity levels and excess periods can at first appear alien.

Then there is the question of knowing what covers to get.

With the responsibility of ensuring that the business activities and property are completely covered from risks that the firm might face, a new small businessman may well also be confused by the plethora of covers, plans and policies that are available today.

Business insurance is however fairly simple even for newbies, if you break it down from the top.

There are basically two types of risk that a business may face in daily operations, these being business property risks and business liability risks.

All business insurance policies contain elements of the two risks either separate or combined under a single plan. If you need cover for business buildings and premises contents, you will need property insurance. If you need cover for the work you do, you will require liability insurance. Most businesses need elements of both.

Business property buildings insurance protects all risks to a business premises covering loss,material damage and consequential loss to all buildings, outbuildings, fixtures and fittings on the premises.

The premiums are calculated on rebuilding costs of the business property and will also contain elements of public liability to protect a business against claims from the public of for example, a wall falling on a passer-by.

Property contents insurance covers loss or damage to the contents of the business premises. Business contents policies typically have provision to cover items such as furniture, tables and desks, computer equipment, telecommunications equipment, business electronic equipment, data, tools, machinery, stock, high risk stock, raw materials, fabricated, assembled, manufactured or stored goods and anything used in the daily operation on the business premises.

Freight, cargo and goods in transit cover options provide insurance for the businesses property away from the premises.

Business property insurance polices are typically marketed by the type business property they provide insurance for. For example office insurance, shop insurance, hotel insurance and pub insurance are popular commercial property insurance schemes which contain all the relevant covers for each use of the property type.

Much business property is either rented or leased, in particular offices and shop space. Business insurance provides specialist cover for property owners of these types of premises with a let property insurance policy, which is tailor-made for business landlords.

Business Liability Insurance protects a business against all liabilities that the enterprise might be liable for as it carries out its daily actions. Liabilities are events which occur that could lead to claims against the proprietor, trader, owner, partnership or company. Liability insurance cover protects the company profits against all damages and costs incurred resulting from the claim.

Business Liability Insurance includes Public Liability Insurance, Employers Liability, Products Liability, Directors and Company Officers Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance.

Public Liability protects the business profits against claims from members of the public and this cover forms the basis of a standard business insurance contract.

If you employ staff you will require by law Employers liability insurance which protects your business against claims resulting from accidents and injuries to paid employees and sub contractors whilst anywhere at work.

If you sell or provide goods or parts your business will need Products liability insurance.This cover is usually automatically included in for example, a shop insurance policy.

Nearly all business insurance polices sold, in particular those online, are what is known as combined business insurance or trade packages that have been specifically designed for particular trades or professions. Find one that allows you to compare business insurance quotes and that is suitable for your particular company by carrying out a search for your trade, service or profession insurance. These combined business insurance policies contain all the covers you will need in your line of work, ensuring that if a claim against your company is made, you will be covered.

The company owners or directors can also purchase Directors & Officers Insurance or D & O insurance as it is often called, which covers them personally against both civil and criminal liabilities resulting from business activities.

Additionally professional services should purchase Professional Indemnity insurance which covers the service against the liability of any advice that might be given professionally and later turns out to be negligent.

Business Insurance quotes from top brands and providers, offering the cheapest prices and excellent cover, only take a minute to compare at leading business and commercial insurance comparison site UK Commercial Insurance.

Originally published By Insurance Blog at http://EzineArticles.com/?Business-Insurance-Explained&id=6940667