Customer Service – Where did it all go wrong?

Posted by 1 September, 2009 (0) Comment


I recently read an article in a newsletter from marketing expert Dave Croydon, Hilltop Consultancy. David was voicing his concern that automated telephone systems were of little benefit to customers, going as far as to call them a “customer disservice”.

The article mentioned that we wouldn’t accept it from the emergency services yet we’re already having to. My Mum broke her ankle last year and called me. Being made of stronger stuff than some of the celebrity icons of today, Mum didn’t want to bother the Ambulance service until she was sure it was broken. It was and I dialed the famous three digits, something we all dread.

How annoying to be put on hold by an automated system that informed me I was in a queue, at 9am on a Thursday morning.  I was very, very Read the rest of this entry

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

Posted by 26 July, 2009 (0) Comment

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.

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

Categories : Business Insurance,Company Insurance,Personal Insurance,Trade Tags : , , , , , , , , , ,

Insurance Myths – Part 2

Posted by 8 July, 2009 (0) Comment

Employers often ask why insurance companies pay the wrong employee claims.


The answer may be that it’s cost effective. Why incur court costs when you know the claimant will accept less than the cost of mounting a defence? The other answer is that sometimes they have no choice, especially when health and safety planning has been botched or ignored.

There are three questions that accident and injury lawyers will ask all claimants: 

  1. Did your employer have a health and safety policy?
  2. When did you last receive a copy?
  3. Have you signed your training record?

If the answer to all 3 is “no” the employer is in breach of a central plank of health and safety legislation. A defence is difficult to mount. Companies that specialise in mounting “no win – no fee” claims realise it’s prudent to keep claims under certain thresholds because they know it is not economical for insurers to incur legal costs attempting to defend. And claims will be paid when they shouldn’t be.

Some insurers seek to recover defence costs from businesses that have shown a flagrant disregard for health & safety. If they cannot repay the insurer the rest of us receive inflated premiums.

The last time I looked, up to 40% of UK employers’ liability premiums were spent defending claims. Premiums would increase further if insurers started fighting losing battles.

So how do we avoid funding these sometimes ill gotten gains? A great way to reduce insurance premiums now and in the future is to embrace health and safety planning. It’s not as complicated as it’s made out to be, common sense is the order of the day. If businesses had effective, up to date health and safety policies, these claims could be declined meaning reduced costs for insurers and lower premiums for all – except those sectors that collectively ignore such plans.

TOP TOP: If you have a governing body or trade association let them know they can help you cut costs by improving standards in your sector. I’m happy to help you work out how to tackle your liabilities. 

P.S. Have a peek at some of the myths  the HSE have exploded.

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

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