What is cyber insurance?

Posted by on 13 August, 2009 No comments as yet


Twitter has experienced problems this week. Could it happen to you? What happens when your website is hacked or your e-commerce platforms compromised? Does your theft or loss of income insurance kick in?

The answer is that all three are unlikely yet there is something you can do to . Modern risks can be covered by contemporary insurance policies. Ever heard of cyber liability? It is an emerging form of cover designed to protect businesses in the virtual World. Read the rest of this entry

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Categories : All Risks Insurance,Business Insurance,Company Insurance,General Requirements,Trade Tags : , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Landlords gas safety certificates – how to choose the right contractor

Posted by on 6 August, 2009 No comments as yet


A plumbing and heating engineer has recently been jailed for carrying out gas work whilst not being registered. He had used another engineer’s registration after he was served with a prohibition notice. His work left innocent households with heating systems without hot water. Subsequent inspections determined the work was not up to “current standards”

Gas registration rules have changed and the body now approved is the Gas Safe Register. Approved engineers will supply a Landlords Gas Safety Certificate after checking your systems.

People are still killed in the UK because of faulty gas appliances. Landlords are responsible for the safety of their tenants and the HSE recommends checking contractors Gas Safe Register identity card. 

It makes sense to use a local contractor. To find one, you can search the  http://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/ For further information  call the HSE Gas Safety Advice Line 0800 300 363.

Click here for our 7 top tips for property owners.

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Categories : Business Insurance,Company Insurance,General Requirements,Health & Safety,Trade Tags : , ,

Protect profits before you’ve grown your business

Posted by on 4 August, 2009 No comments as yet


I recently had a meeting with a gent who manages large construction projects and he was surprised to learn that you can insure loss of profits before a business starts trading. This is a little known cover that works well in retail, leisure and property based businesses. Especially if there has been a huge investment or pressure to start trading is intense.

Imagine a restaurant facing this scenario, a huge opening night was planned, it was in a beautiful setting alongside the Thames and great PR had lead to huge interest, both in the press and online. Opening night was planned with a guestlist to die for. A-listers were ready to sample the finest dining and the most opulent surroundings that London had to offer.

The owners were sure the opening night would give them the start they needed. The income targets set by the investors were understandably huge and the banks had grown impatient because the opening had already been delayed due to planning concerns and snags during the development.

Come the day of the opening last minute deliveries were being made when a gust of wind caught one of the spectacularly unique glass front doors and smashed it. Quite apart from the mess, this was the last thing they needed. The glass couldn’t be made or fitted in time so there was no alternative but to cancel the opening. Fortunately, the insurance adviser had the foresight to recommend cover for this scenario after asking the owners what would most affect their income and reputation.

The claim was for profit not earned from the proposed day of opening to the eventual day of opening. The opening went ahead at a later date and the claim was settled once all the information had been gathered by the claims department.

Top Tip: This insurance is not provided by the builder, that’s a common mistake. The builder cannot be held responsible for anything that happens after the premises have been “handed over” to the owners. And it’s probably unreasonable to expect them to pay for gusts of wind. Tell your insurance advisor about scenarios that will affect your business, especially if you have one “off items” that are critical to your operation.

See our top tips section for simple ways to help yourself today.

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Categories : All Risks Insurance,Building Contractor,Business Insurance,General Requirements,Trade Tags : , , , , , , , , ,

Have you got All Risks insurance?

Posted by on 2 August, 2009 No comments as yet

The insurance definition of unattended items is a tricky one. Believe it or not this case history was made in the 1960’s when a sales rep left his car in a layby on A road. Then watched with disbelief as his car was driven off andhis samples were stolen. The judge ruled the items were unattended and not insured; are the same judges making the rules today?

The rule of thumb is whether or not you are close enough to the items to affect the outcome of a theft or other loss. If you don’t notice an item disappearing, cannot give chase or fail to intervene when an incident is occurring your policy may not pay out.  Examples are laptops left in the luggage rack of a train, samples or equipment left in a hotel room, jewellery or cameras put in luggage kept in the hold, anything left in a vehicle or unlocked building.

Insurers are not likely to pay out if you cannot prove otherwise. I heard of a car boot being broken into at an airport and £7,500 luggage being stolen. Fair enough they were high rollers yet only £750 was offered in settlement. The original 1960’s case mentioned above followed the theft of diamonds left in the glove box of a car. They car was left for less than a minute. The diamonds were gone. The claim was declined.

Not all cases are this clear cut. As evidenced when sneak thieves rummage through bags on trains or at busy train stations. In theory, the owner was close enough to prevent the loss – yet they didn’t. They probably didn’t notice their property disappearing. Would you?

Top Tips: Always check the definition of unattended items in any policy covering items away from your premises. Interpret it in the worst case possible and keep a tight rein on anything you don’t want to lose. And check which policy you should claim from, your adviser will help you make the best choice. Visit our top tios page for more free information.

See our top tips section for simple ways to help yourself today.                                                                                                                                         


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What happens if your neighbour has a fire that affects your business or your home?

Posted by on 26 July, 2009 No comments as yet

Is your business or home close enough to be affected by problems next door? Have you assumed that you will be covered by your neighbours insurance? If you do, you may get a nasty shock, as insurance works best when you cover yourself. Especially if your neighbour assumed nothing would happen to them and decided  not to cover themselves. Businesses in central London had to evacuate their premises recently for exactly that reason.

Click here for a recent story showing what happened.

You can arrange for your insurance to pay for income you lose or alternative premises yet only if you have asked for that type of cover before the problem begins. Don’t rely on the features of the policy that was sold to you. There are lots of terms, conditions and exclusions that can trip you up if you’re not aware of them.

In order to arrange this cover your adviser would have helped you calculate how much cover you need to hire alternative premises and equipment, worked out how long you want you might need temporary premises and totalled the cost of relocating everything essential to the new address. This is also true if you work from home, speaking of which – here’s an unrelated yet handy risk assessment for those that do.

So what can you do today to ensure you’re covered? Call your adviser and ask “how much cover have I got if my premises are out of action, when does the cover kick in and how long does it last?” If the answers seem wishy washy, request a reply by email.

Top Tip: You probably don’t have the time to develop a business continuity document – even though it could be as small as one A4 page. So keep a list of equipment that is critical to your business off site so you don’t have to rely on your memory. Remember what happened on “snow day” and focus on what didn’t work in your business that day. They’re probably your weak points.

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Health & Safety

Posted by on 18 July, 2009 No comments as yet

Discover how to help your business before your neighbours suffer a catastrophe


Did you know insurance claims don’t always get paid when health and safety investigations are underway? There are four companies being prosecuted for H&S failures following the Buncefield fire of 2005. Have their claims for loss of profit and damage settled quickly and swiftly? Imagine the neighbouring businesses had assumed that they didn’t need to arrange their own cover because the site was “bound to have insurance”. A lot of people I’ve helped over the years originally thought they didn’t need insurance for that reason.

At the very least it will take ages for the case to be heard and a successful prosecution could lead to the insurance companies recovering their losses from the companies concerned. I expect that this case will be a watershed much as the Piper Alpha disaster of distant memory.

It is common for health & safety to be maligned yet the small concerns that businesses feel need little attention are often the areas that lead to bigger problems. Health & Safety is about having a robust system for identifying hazards and reducing their impact. If every business did that there would be no need for the “sledgehammer to crack a nut” approach that stifles common sense.

So ask yourself, is your business safe enough to work in? Is it safe enough for your child to work in? If you hesitate to say yes you may not have done all that is reasonable. And if you haven’t done what’s reasonable you’re probably not complying with legislation. And your insurance is dependent on that.

Top tip: Visit the HSE website and search for what you need.

See our top tips section for simple ways to help yourself today.


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