Archive for Employers Liability

Builders Insurance Anyone? White Van Man Is Taking Over

Is it just Insurance Blog or has the whole country gone mad building things?

From the amount of adverts for insurance for builders and tradesman that flood the TV intervals and blast across the radio airwaves during events like football, one could be easily mistaken to believe that the UK was in the midst of some great housing and construction boom where everyone has suddenly put on a yellow plastic hat, white overalls and bought a white van!

“Don’t forget your public liability!” is the battle cry to the Sun reading hoards.

Now don’t start on me, the latest Direct Line advert for combined Builders Liability and Van insurance has employed what would only have been described in the 17th Century as the Village Idiot in the starring role.

Stereotypes such as those used by Aviva in its regional ads featuring Paul Whitehouse were bad enough! Every village has an idiot and these days lots of cowboy builders< do exist - we all at some time have met, or to our detriment employed a builder called Steve, but even in the 17th century Builders (Masons) were far from idiots!

So why the sudden rush and millions of pounds spend in advertising builders insurance, to build up a book of insurance in a sector that is actually shrinking in size and contributing to the 8.7 milion pool of unemployed!

The housing market is stagnant, the shelves of the big out of town DIY centres are full and everything is on offer, planning applications now only fill a small space in the local paper, land with agreed planning permission for building is standing idle as set aside full of pretty spring wildflowers, its very difficult to get a home improvement loan and the UK’s credit rating has just been downgraded.

So why are all the big insurers after this market? Perhaps because they have learnt to their cost that managing a business liability book and a motor book at the same time is much more costly and uncertain than they had anticipated!
Was it not Liability claims losses that were recently blamed by everyone for the rising cost of car insurance?

“Higher Car Insurance Premiums Anyone?”

Small Business Insurance For Motor Trades and Traders

Motor Trade Insurance For Small Business Explained

Thousands of people are employed in motor trades in the UK from car washers to mechanics, used car dealers to mobile car tuners, garage owners to coachbuilders, and the list goes on…

The number of motor trades is expanding as fast as the technology. Insurers now have to cope with motor trades as diverse as ‘telematics black box fitters’ to ‘remote crypton tuners’. However complex it may seem to a new mobile mechanic looking for cover, commercial motor trades insurance is actually a straightforward and optional component based risk as Dave Healey explains……………….

If you work in trades associated with cars or the automotive industry there will likely be times when you will need to drive cars that don’t belong to you. For example moving new stock around in a car dealership or test driving a customers vehicle after you have carried out some service or maintenance on it.

Driving cars in this manner for business purposes clearly cannot be allowed under a normal private motor insurance policy, however it would be impractical if not impossible to add named vehicles onto any type of policy in the course of your normal days work.

Road Risks Insurance

For this reason a special class of commercial motor insurance exists called motor trade road risks insurance. The cover this policy provides satisfies the Road Traffic Act to enable the policyholder to ‘drive any vehicle’ in the course of their business, and if they choose for social, domestic and pleasure purposes as well.

A motor trade policy offers the most flexible driving cover available and nearly every scheme can be tailored to a particular motor trade’s road risks.

Road risks insurance is calculated differently from private motor premiums where the declared value of a car is used for rating. In a road risks policy the trader sets a level of indemnity or amount that he wishes to cover himself for driving other vehicles. This could be as little as five thousand for a part-time used car dealer or mechanic up to a hundred thousand for a valet in a Ferrari Dealership for example.

A new car dealership of prestige cars would need a policy that not only covered the cost of replacing a new car should it be written off but also an extension to cover members of the public test driving the car accompanied by a named driver. However a used car dealer working from home or a mobile mechanic would only need basic road risks cover with perhaps a tools cover extension. Many road risk policies vary in what is considered basic cover and motor traders should be aware of extra covers such as legal protection and windscreen covers, as they would with a normal motor insurance policy.

Motor Traders with premises such as forecourts or shops will require what is known as a combined motor trader policy. This is simply a basic road risks policy allowing employees and named drivers to drive any vehicle combined with other risks that a motor trader might face, such as liability and property damage.

Motor Traders Liability Insurance & Combined Covers

Liability insurance forms the basis of a combined motor traders policy, in particular product and public liability which covers your business against claims from members of the public to who you have supplied services or parts or who have suffered injury whilst visiting your premises.

If you employ any staff in either workshops, garages offices or out on the road in commercial vehicles or vans, you are required by law to have employers liability insurance cover in force. This cover protects your motor trade business against claims from employees and staff who might suffer an accident at work and claim against you in the courts.

Full combined motor trade insurance policies offer motor traders buildings and contents commercial property insurance cover for garages, workshops, office contents, machinery such as car lifts and compressors and tools, shop cover and stock.

Additional options such as business interruption insurance is available to cover catastrophe situations such as a fire where you may lose all your stock, or group personal accident which will cover members of staff against accident and sickness.

Anyone who works in the motor industry can apply for a motor trade insurance policy. Policies are available for car dealers, car valets, parking attendants, mechanics, body repair shops, service garages and motor parts shops, to name but a few trades eligible.

Motor trade cover is available to all small businesses including sole traders without premises and people working from home and on a part-time basis.

Compare quotes from a few companies before you buy a motor trader insurance policy. Premiums vary widely however the best UK commercial insurance brokers have access to a wide range of specialist motor trades schemes and Lloyds underwriters, which are invariably much cheaper.

Originally published by: for Insurance Blog

A look at Pub Insurance risks

Protect your business with public house insurance from specialist commercial insurance brokers

Pub insurance is a valuable form of insurance as it provides you the publican with protection for your employees in the event of them being injured. It also provides security against theft in the workplace.

pub insurance quotes

Pub insurance can provide cover for a variety of risks, which can be tailored to your individual business needs.

If you hire staff to work in your pub , then your public house insurance must include employer’s liability insurance, as this is a legal requirement in the UK.

You may wish to include additional forms of cover in your insurance, for example property or public liability insurance.

You might also choose to insure your stock and inventory,have protection against a loss of your license, or to protect money on the premises.

Liability for employers and public liability.

Generally employers liability insurance is a legal requirement in the UK and as such it should take priority. The next thing you may want to insure is for public liability and property liability. If a member of the public were to suffer injury whilst on your property this form of insurance protects you. This form of cover is usually taken out alongside liability insurance for property.

The latter provides you with the necessary coverage if a third party (such as a delivery driver) is injured while on your premises.

When these options are combined in your public house insurance you have protection for finances and to cover losses as the result of an accident occurring on your premises The majority of public houses will keep a large amount of stock.Inventory and stock protection.

Generally a public house holds a great deal of stock. A policy typically protects against theft, any accidents that damage stock and losses to stock and inventory that is unforeseen. Public house insurance can include cover for these items, preventing the situation where your business may come to a halt if stock is either lost in transit or stolen from your premises.

Money cover and assault insurance – Whilst every publican would hope that a theft or assault never occurs on their premises, all business owners can potentially face this situation. With insurance to fall back onto you are protected in the event that money was stolen from your premises, or if you were attacked on the way to the back with your takings for the night.

Assault cover is provides financial support to assist anyone who is injured if an assault occurs in the workplace.

Loss of Licence – Insurance against loss of licence is a very important element for public house insurance, which should be given careful consideration. Your business relies on its licence to be able to function, so a loss of licence could hit you hard. To protect against significant financial loss if you lose your licence, taking out appropriate loss of licence insurance could be essential. If you want peace of mind against a variety of events then you may wish to consider public house insurance.

When considering the range of options that are available when taking out insurance it can be confusing. If you’re uncertain about where to start and which elements you require to comprehensively insure your business, then getting advice from a pub commercial insurance broker or specialist could be the answer.

A specialist pub insurance provider will be able to help you tailor your insurance policy to meet your specific needs as a business owner.

Insurance Industry reacts to ‘immoral’ claims farmers:

Ever since they first began appearing from murky corners of the industry back in the late nineties, ambulance chasers have never been particularly good at making friends. The thorny issue of claims farming has consistently remained on the lips of insurers and brokers alike ever since they first boomed from our TV sets advising us to sue everyone and anyone.

If there’s blame there’s a claim. The epitome of the nanny state. They exist at the heart of compensation culture. In fact they are the wholly accountable for the whole bloody system. Professional parasites feeding off us all.

As you may have guessed I’m not a fan.

Yet somehow they defiantly remain a part of the industry and worryingly it seems some brokers are leaning towards the easy ‘quick fix’ solution they can offer. Lets be honest times are tough and the majority of us are having to work that little bit harder for a hell of a lot less. With the  ridiculous increases in the FSCS being the latest over the top fee handed out to the broker community by the ever incompetent FSA, a little extra revenue from those damn ambulance chasers could prove highly tempting right now, but what is the real cost of this short term financial injection?

Trevor Cutts, business development director at independent broker network 1 Answer Network recently commented that the practice of claims farming threatened to undermine not only the claims process but also the very ‘integrity of the industry’ itself. For an industry dependant upon consumer trust, anything that can damage the broker/client relationship is of course inherently dangerous.

Of course as Mr. Cutts is quick to address there is a massive difference between a broker operating a legal expense policy, working in tandem with a reputable claims management company and the more ‘questionable approaches’  made to claimants years after their claim, looking to seek unmerited awards retrospectively.

Often one will find that a law firm will have a surge in claims, and when this is the case there often tends to be generally one particular insurer involved. Whether the lists are generated by an insurer or a broker, the suggestion would certainly be that someone in the chain is selling on these claims for a quick buck. Neglecting the clients needs entirely – how quickly will it take that client to lose faith in both their broker, insurer and even the industry itself?

Commenting on the subject, Mike Keating, Head of Personal lines intermediary at Axa, actually went as far as labelling any company who make money from the practice of claims farming as ‘immoral’.

Describing what he sees as an ‘alarming feature of the market’ he acknowledged that the rise in claims farmers is a  ‘disturbing trend’. In fact Axa are now one of a number of insurers who are introducing clearly differentiated pricing, aiming to penalise those brokers that claim farm and benefit those that don’t.

The good news is that the public are slowly starting to turn away from these parasites also. Whether it is the numerous horror stories of people being out of pocket even after having won their case, or perhaps just the sheer mindless, monotony of those bloody adverts, the reputations of many claims farmers are now in tatters.

Hopefully with the industry seemingly united on ensuring that the claims farmers are driven out of town the reputations of brokers and insurers will escape relatively unscathed.

Mr. Keating states that he ‘doesn’t think brokers believe that any model reliant on claims farming is sustainable.’

For the sake of the industry lets hope he’s right.

Commercial Insurance Risks Explained

If you run a small or medium sized business you will need to understand the risks that your enterprise is exposed to in order to avoid financial loss. We asked our resident insurance expert to give us an overview of Commercial Insurance risks:

Understanding Commercial Insurance Risks and Business Insurance Covers

By Dave Healey

If you own or manage a business, either large or small, you will require some type of insurance to protect your company against the various risks and potential multitude of claims, that your business will face.

Commercial insurance or Business insurance as it is commonly known, is a complicated area of underwriting and because all businesses are different, and face different risks depending upon the nature of the company, various packages and combined policy covers have been introduced by insurance companies and commercial broker schemes, to make the process easier.

An example of a small business insurance package which is commonly sold online is the Tradesman’s insurance package, which includes all elements of cover required by a small business or self employed trader such as basic liability covers and theft of tools.

Other small business insurance packages that are trade specific and can often be obtained online are available for shopkeepers, offices, surgeries, hotels and guest houses, restaurants, public houses and builders.

Large companies will be offered what is known as a commercial combined policy which has many different elements of cover which can be combined to make a bespoke policy for the enterprise. Most large companies will require some degree of risk assessment before the policy is underwritten, which may often include a visit to the business premises or site, and for this reason these types of larger business usually employ the services of specialist commercial insurance brokers.

Business Risks

The largest risk that a business faces is from liability to others, and the potential costs and damages a company could face if a claim was made against it.

All companies are required by law to have in place liability cover, called Employers liability insurance or EL, to protect their staff against all potential risks and accidents while in the workplace.

Business liability insurance is usually sold as a package and will always include Public Liability, often just known as PL, which protects the company against claims from the public whilst on the business premises.

A further type of liability insurance called Product liability is also available to companies under a commercial liability policy which protects the company against claims made for design or manufacturing faults in the product.

Company directors can also protect themselves against liabilities with Directors and Officers insurance (D&O) cover.

Property Damage

Most business large and small will have premises that need protection against buildings perils such as fire and flood and commercial property insurance is available to cover all buildings insurance risks. Similarly commercial contents insurance for business premises is available which covers office and business equipment including files and data processing against the common perils. For companies that carry stock, this type of business contents insurance can be extended to cover risk such as deterioration and damage.

For the small businessman 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 effective for self employed people with just a computer and a home office.

Business Contingency Cover

One of the largest problems faced by a business is that of how to continue in business should the worst occur, for example a fire that destroys the premises. In order to deal with this Insurance companies have devised a cover called ‘Business Interruption Insurance’. Based on your previous years annual turnover, this protection insurance 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 Commercial 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, glass cover, goods in transit cover, book debts, commercial vehicle insurance, hauliers cover, warehouse cover, engineering insurance and plant inspection services, and theft by employees.

Outside of most combined policies are additional risks more often sold under separate policy covers, that should be considered to protect your business against all eventualities.

Examples of these are, Commercial Legal Expenses insurance cover which protects the company against claims made by employees for unfair dismissal and allows you to bring cases against suppliers.

Various 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.

Purchasing Business Cover

Purchasing commercial risks insurance can be a daunting experience for the uninitiated small business owner 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. Insurance Brokers will not only be able to assess the complete range of risks that your business is exposed to, and provide the correct levels of cover, they will more often than not have a unique local knowledge of the risks involved and will be able to negotiate premiums that reflect the nature of the risks. Furthermore, in the event of a claim, and as most businesses will be faced with claims at some point in their trading life-cycle, the broker will handle all the settlement negotiations with the insuring company and allow you to continue what you do best – running your business.

Commercial insurance and tradesman risks covers for small business insurance are widely available online today. For larger commercial enterprises it is strongly advisable to visit commercial insurance brokers for a detailed assessment of the risks your particular business is exposed to.

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