This month is about the perils of consultants who, errr, don’t consult, why anyone offering insurance as an “add-on” should be carefully checked, and the scale of the trail of damage they can create.

Welcome back, or if you’re new here sign up to our RSS feed to receive insurance tips, new posts, plus details of events and promotions that could help you or your network reduce the risks facing their organisation.

‘Elf and safety chancers

My hotelier clients are truly wonderful people. Like myself, they ensure that their clients get a good night’s sleep.

One of them called me the other week and asked if their insurance covered them for the new regulations. “I must have missed something… what new regulations?”

It transpired that a Health and Safety consultant had turned up out of the blue, making out they were some sort of official and asked to look around. After lots of tutting, he then told the hotel staff that their boss was going to be jailed if they didn’t sign a contract for three years advice.

Putting the frighteners on (best gravelly voice required)

The fact the hotel already had an up to date and robust Health and Safety policy hadn’t crossed the consultant’s mind. He just wanted to scare people into signing up. It’s why Health and Safety has such a bad name. It’s used to frighten people into parting with their hard earned money instead of protecting people as they go about their day to day life.

Even worse than “the frighteners”, is the fact he included insurance in his offering. This would have been, in part, a duplication of cover that was already in place. What’s wrong with dual insurance, I hear you ask? Well, it causes delays at the very least, because each insurance company will suggest that the other is responsible for settlement, a case of “after you, Claude”.

So who pays – not the con man

In the worst case scenario, it can lead to claims being declined because insurance companies get a bee in their bonnet when they assume that claimants are trying to claim twice. It’s seldom true – people resent the hassle of insurance, never mind paying for it twice. It can lead to policies being cancelled because of something called non – disclosure.

And it doesn’t end there. If someone’s policy is cancelled by an insurance provider then they must inform future insurance providers of the cancelled policy, at the time that they are seeking alternative insurance solutions. Insurance companies can void the claims of those who have an an incidence of non-disclosed cancellation.

If the current insurer decides to increase their policy premiums because they suffered losses elsewhere in their portfolio, you wouldn’t want to be stuck with them forever.

Wrap up: Health and Safety is important, yet should be treated as a way to prevent issues, rather than be used as a stick to beat people with.

Top Tip

Check your health and safety, employment tribunal and other business protection practices do not include duplicated insurance.