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Archive for 2012

Liability Rates starting to Harden ?

Friday, September 21st, 2012

It is true to say that most classes of liability cover are still competitively priced and there are still good deals to be had in the insurance market.

Risks that continue to show a positive approach to risk management and have a good claims record will probably continue to benefit from low premiums .

There is a growing feeling in the insurance market though that poor quality risks with a poor claims record may start to find life getting gradually tougher over the next 12 to 24 months !

Take care when buying Professional Indemnity Cover

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

If you decide to ‘Shop Around’ at renewal of your Professional Indemnity policy then you should ensure that the quotes that you receive are on a “like for like” basis.

Care should be taken to ensure that the policy cover’s all of your Civil Liabilities rather than just your error’s and omissions.

It is also important to check the limits of indemnity and check whether it is on an “ Any one/ each and every claim” or “in the aggregate” basis.

You should also check the excesses applicable under the policy as they can vary dramatically from one insurer to the other.

Cyber Liability Attacks

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Cyber attacks against UK businesses are at an all time high according to Jonathan Evans, director general of MI5.

In a recent speech he said that UK government and businesses are being “Exploited Aggressively” by thousands of hackers based at home and abroad. Apparently 40 % of cyber attacks in 2010 were directed at small and medium sized business.

Add to this the 36 % of all data breaches caused by employee negligence and the 68 % rise in cost of dealing with them and this looks like a risk that is real and present.

Hensure Business Insurance has access to insurers who offer a cyber liability extension to their standard financial lines offering.

Some examples of recent claims include :

  • A medium sized mail fulfilment firm who sustained a £ 1,000,000 business interruption loss after a virus attack
  • An employee who stole customer data and sold it to a criminal gang.
  • Theft of a firm’s customer’s credit card details that caused it to be sued by 3 banks for over £ 6,000,000.

Expert Witness Immunity Abolished

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

The Supreme Court Ruling in the case of Paul Wynne Jones v Sue Kaney (2011) is a key legal development in the expert witness arena and has brought an end to the immunity enjoyed by experts for over 400 Years.

Dr Kaney was instructed as an expert witness by Mr Jones following a road traffic accident. Following a discussion with the defendant’s expert witness Dr Kaney signed a joint statement without properly reviewing it. The joint statement was damaging to Mr Jones’ claim and Mr Jones’ claim settled at an undervalue.

Mr Jones subsequently issued a Professional Indemnity claim against Dr Kaney who relied on the witness immunity defence and applied for the claim to be struck out.

The Case ended up in the Supreme Court, having bypassed the Court of Appeal . The Supreme Court allowed the appeal and abolished immunity for experts.

This case has opened the door for civil actions against witness experts and any professional acting as an expert witness is now exposed to a Professional Indemnity claim if they have acted negligently.

New Design and Construct Professional Indemnity Product

Monday, June 25th, 2012

CNA Insurance has launched a new Professional Indemnity Design and Construct Product.

The product is for larger customers or those wishing to purchase a superior product. The product has many additional coverages such as duty to warn, fitness for purpose, pollution and asbestos as standard.

Contractor’s Plant and Equipment

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

Many building sites have a vast array of high value items of plant and equipment that are very theft attractive. Current estimates place the value of plant theft alone at £ 1 million each week.

Historically manufacturers have not fitted security devices to construction equipment( plant). It is therefore common to find a £ 60,000 excavator , without any form of reliable security, being left overnight on an open contract site.

Equally, a significant amount of driven plant is not road registered and often manufacturer markings are either difficult to find or easy to remove.

This makes it very easy to steal high value items of driven plant and the lack of proper identification means that Poiice have little chance of accurately identifying rightful ownership should they suspect an item has been stolen.

24 hours after a theft has taken place most stolen plant is in a container ready to be taken outside the country.

Here are a few simple measure to make the lives of would be criminals more difficult

  • Mark all equipment, vehicles and machinery with an identification number or unique mark.
  • Where practical , disable the equipment at night by removing the distributor cap, rotor arm or battery and consider the use of immobilisors.
  • Ensure that gates are secured with robust padlocks or chains.
  • Secure equipment with heavy chains and good quality locks.
  • Put lockable caps on fuel outlets to prevent theft.

The Insurance options available for contractors include cover for own plant, hired in plant, tools and equipment, contract works, business premises and revenue protection covers.

Many insurers will offer discounts to customers who have a good claims experience and can prove that they have a proactive approach to the management of their theft risk.

Changes to the Solicitors Professional Indemnity Market

Monday, April 30th, 2012

The Assigned Risk Pool (ARP) is essentially a safe haven for solicitors who have not been able to obtain Professional Indemnity Insurance in the open market.

In October 2011 the amount of time that a firm can remain in the ARP was reduced from 12 to 6 months and from October 2012, the ARP will be funded jointly by insurers and solicitors, with liability for claims arising from firms who have not taken out insurance moving from the ARP to the Compensation Fund.

The ARP will be replaced in October 2013 with a system where insurers offer a 3 month extended policy to firms who cannot obtain Professional Indemnity for the following year to allow them extra time to find an alternative insurer.

SME Insurance

Friday, April 27th, 2012

A new report by the Insurance Industry has shown that nearly one third of UK small businesses have admitted that they only purchase the minimum amount of insurance cover required, whether that’s for property or transport or is a compulsory form of insurance such as Employer’s Liability Insurance.

Only 21 % had Professional Indemnity cover in place. This stresses the importance of using a broker to advise an SME on the appropriate covers and to help out with Risk Management advice.

Employer’s Liability Claims- Court Ruling on Mesothelioma Cliams

Friday, April 20th, 2012

There has been a recent landmark judgement handed down on 28 March 2012 in that the Supreme court has allowed the appeals of Zurich Insurance Plc, Employers and victims on the meaning of certain Employers Liability Insurance policies in relation to their application to Mesothelioma claims.

The Supreme court also dismissed the appeals of Excess, Independent, Municipal Mutual Insurance and Builders Accident Insurance, who were contending that their policies responded to such claims only if the date when the Tumour became established in the body was during the period of insurance and did not respond if the exposure to Asbestos occurred during the period of the policy.

Professional Indemnity – Who & Why..

Friday, April 20th, 2012

If you are in the business of selling your knowledge or skills you may want to consider taking out Professional Indemnity Insurance.

This can protect your business against claims for loss or damage made by a client or a third party if you make a mistake or are found to have been negligent in some or all of the services that you provide.

Professional Indemnity Insurance also covers legal costs involved in defending a claim.

Many professionals  are required to have Professional Indemnity insurance cover to satisfy the requirement of their Professional Trade Body. This includes, Insurance Brokers, designers, architects, accountants and solicitors.

An important aspect to consider when purchasing Professional Indemnity Insurance is that the cover is usually on a claims made basis, meaning that the policy will only cover claims that are made when he policy is ‘live’.

Therefore if you plan to cancel your policy when you close your business or retire then you may need to arrange ‘Run off’ cover for a period of time afterwards.

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