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Archive for 2017

DIRECTORS’ AND OFFICERS’ LIABILITY

Friday, December 15th, 2017

In today’s business climate of corporate transparency and accountability, an organisation’s Directors and Officers face a myriad of employment-related exposures. Claims can come from many sources:-  employees, regulators, shareholders, creditors, customers, etc. Ever-changing regulations, increased employee awareness of employment rights and the rise of shareholder activism means directors are more frequently at risk, translating to rising claims and escalating settlement costs.

Hensure Business Insurance can help to minimise this exposure for directors and officers by arranging a suitable Directors and Officers Liability Insurance policy.

Contact us today on 01270 758056 or email enquiries@hensure.com to learn about the benefits of such a policy and the covers available to help to protect you.

How the CDM 2015 Regulations could affect your Professional Indemnity Risk

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

As a construction professional,  the introduction of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015 Regulations),  works to ensure the health, safety and welfare of all construction workers.

Rather than supplement the previous regulations (CDM 2007), the current version supersedes the previous rules and procedures. There have been several key changes to the regulations that you—as the owner or manager of a construction firm, or a construction professional, such as a designer or contractor—will need to learn in order to control your PI risk.

The objective of the CDM 2015 Regulations is to emphasise health and safety through increased coordination between the three primary parties, which are client, designer and contractor. This focus is reflected in the five following key changes

  1. All projects must have the following:
  • Workers who have the correct skills, knowledge, training and experience
  • Contractors who will provide appropriate supervision, instruction and information
  • A written construction phase plan that details the project

2.  A build project—regardless of whether it is non-domestic or domestic—where more  than  one  contractor is involved, must have the following:

  • A principal designer who is responsible for planning, managing, monitoring and coordinating the pre-construction phase of the project
  • A principal contractor who is responsible for planning, managing, monitoring and coordinating the construction phase
  • A health and safety file that outlines how to safely perform routine procedures and clean up the worksite

3.  For any project, the commercial client must always do the following :

  • Provide pre-construction information to designers and contractors, which should outline all known potential hazards that may arise during construction.
  • Make arrangements to ensure those carrying out the project can manage health and safety risks in a proportionate way
  • Ensure that both the principal designer and principal contractor comply with their responsibilities and duties, including preparing a health and safety file and a construction phase plan, respectively.

4. If a project is scheduled to last more than 30 days and will require more than 20 full-time workers, or  will exceed 500 working days, the client must notify the HSE of the project.

5. The CDM coordinator role is abolished and partly replaced by the new principal designer role.

How Does CDM 2015 Affect your P I Insurance ?

While the changes in the CDM 2015 are wide-ranging, the most important one that affects your PI insurance is the abolition of the CDM coordinator role and the establishment of the new principal designer role.

This new principal designer role potentially exposes you to greater professional liability. The HSE defines the principal designer as a designer appointed by the client in projects involving more than one contractor. Principal designers must have sufficient knowledge, experience and ability to carry out the role. Their main duties include the following:

  • Plan, manage, monitor and coordinate health and safety in the pre-construction phase, taking account of relevant information that might affect design work carried out both before and after the construction phase has started.
  • Help and advise the client in bringing together pre-construction information, and provide the information designers and contractors need to carry out their duties.
  • Work with any designers on the project to eliminate foreseeable health and safety risks to anyone affected by the work and, where that is not possible, take steps to reduce or control those risks.
  • Ensure that anyone involved in the pre-construction phase communicates and cooperates, coordinating their work whenever required.
  • Collaborate with the principal contractors, keeping them informed of any risks that need to be controlled during the construction phase.

CDM 2015 replaces the old CDM coordinator role with the principal designer on the project team, such as an architect or engineer, but the two roles do not perfectly line up. CDM coordinators were responsible for advising on health and safety risk management matters, as well as CDM compliance. However, not all designers will be able to fulfil their design duties as well as possess the skills and expertise necessary to manage extra CDM 2015 health and safety and risk management responsibilities.

For example, if an architect is appointed as the principal designer, that architect will now shoulder the burden of being the sole point of responsibility for health and safety compliance. This broadens architects’ PI exposure, as they bear more health and safety responsibility than a normal architect, which, in turn, opens them up to the potential risk of criminal liability. Penalties for corporate manslaughter or breaching health and safety regulations include an unlimited fine, two years in prison and director disqualification for up to 15 years.

The architect’s PI insurance will only cover defence costs if they let their insurer know they accepted the principal designer role and its extra responsibilities. If not, the architect will likely be on their own.

Because PI insurance protects against claims of professional negligence, it is the responsibility of principal designers to alert their insurer of their extra principal designer responsibilities, as PI insurance needs to match up with the duties undertaken by the professional. The insurer cannot be expected to know about the principal designer’s extra responsibilities unless it is notified.

If principal designers do not have the required skill sets to handle those responsibilities, they can subcontract them to a health and safety professional to fulfil that specific role. However, if those responsibilities are subcontracted, principal designers would have to consider the risk of the health and safety professional not having adequate insurance cover, leaving them again exposed to the potential risk of criminal liability

Do not assume the role of principal designer by default. Before you undertake the principal designer role, be sure to consider carefully whether you have the expertise and ability to manage the role’s extra responsibilities. Also, remember to notify your Insurance Broker as forgetting to update your policy could lead to disastrous results !

Contact hensure business insurance today

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Our new website is now live.

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Hensure Business Insurance is the online trading division of R K Henshall & Co Ltd.  Our Hensure division focuses on delivering quick and efficient solutions to small to medium-sized businesses. Hensure can offer flexible insurance solutions that provide the protection that your business needs at competitive prices. We are able to offer cover for most types of insurance ranging from Shop and Office Insurance, through to Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance.

We have used our knowledge, experience and relationships with the insurance market to develop our own products and are pleased to offer you access to our quote and buy facility for Professional Indemnity Insurance or Liability Insurance.

Professional Indemnity Insurance is compulsory for certain professions such as accountants and architects. However, in today’s increasingly litigious society more and more people who work in other professions are looking to purchase Professional Indemnity cover to protect themselves from allegations of negligence in the services that they have provided.

Why use Hensure Business Insurance

  • Independent Insurance broker with over 40 years experience of arranging Commercial insurance for our clients.
  • Instant online quotes available for a number of trades.
  • Your insurance needs are handled by a dedicated account handler who will get to understand your business.
  • Competitive rates of interest available if you wish to spread the cost of your insurance spend over a 12 month period in order to help with cash flow.
  • We are not a call centre and our staff have the ability to think outside of the box and to offer bespoke solutions.
  • Ability to bind cover online and receive policy documents at the touch of a button for a number of trades and insurance covers.
  • Knowledgeable and experienced staff on hand to assist.
  • We are a Chartered Insurance Broker and in order to retain our chartered title we must ensure that the advice, service and ongoing support we provide to our customers is of the highest quality.
  • We are part of the Brokerbility group of Insurance Brokers and this means that we have enhanced buying power with many of the major insurers.
  • All of our staff are members of the Chartered Insurance Institute and must comply with the Institute’s code of ethics.

Considering Insurance Needs

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

Small Business Start up

Starting a small business requires tireless effort and endless financial reserves. Besides dealing with necessary tasks to start the business—affording exorbitant start-up costs, establishing a customer base, forecasting cash flow problems—new small business owners are besieged on all sides by risks.
The only sure-fire thing you can count on during the tumultuous beginning stages of your business or later in its development is the protection offered by commercial insurance. Avoid losing everything to a disaster that you could have easily insured—purchase robust and comprehensive commercial insurance to keep your small business protected on all sides.

Essential Covers

Small businesses vary widely in their insurance needs. Many different factors—including industry, location and size—will determine the type of insurance your business needs to survive. All businesses, however, can benefit from the essential covers listed below.
Employers’ liability is mandatory for all UK employers. It covers employers’ liability for bodily injuries or diseases their employees may suffer in the course of their employment.
Property protects your commercial property, buildings and contents from a broad range of risks.
Business interruption recoups lost profits in the event that insurable property damage causes your business to temporarily close.
Public liability covers your liability for third-party injury and property damage arising from your business’ operations.
Products liability insures against damages and costs arising from accidental injury or damage caused by products supplied by your business.
Cyber liability provides protection against a host of cyber threats, including hacking, stolen data and system failure.
• This list is not exhaustive. Depending on your specific business, you may need to consider additional cover options to fully protect your business.

Additional Covers to Consider

Carefully consider the needs of your business—is there anything unique about it that would require additional insurance protection? Consider the following additional covers. Many businesses cannot afford to go without them.
• Motor fleet
• Legal expenses
• Theft by employee
• Equipment breakdown
• Stock
• Loss of money
• Trade credit
• Professional indemnity
• Crime
• Key person
• And much more

Scrutinise Your Business’ Weaknesses

Harshly scrutinising your business’ weaknesses can help you choose which covers you need and devise a long-term plan to strengthen your business against foreseeable risks.

Part of investigating available insurance covers is determining the points where your business is weakest. Pinpoint the spots where your business is the most vulnerable, and secure insurance that bolsters those vulnerabilities.

The content of this Small Business Start Up Guide is of general interest and is not intended to apply to specific circumstances. It does not purport to be a comprehensive analysis of all matters relevant to its subject matter. The content should not, therefore, be regarded as constituting legal advice and not be relied upon as such. In relation to any particular problem which they may have, readers are advised to seek specific advice. Further, the law may have changed since first publication and the reader is cautioned accordingly. Design © 2014 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.
Contains public sector information published by GOV.UK and licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0.

Architects and Engineers Professional Indemnity Insurance

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

As an engineer or architect, you work in a highly skilled, detail-oriented industry and are expected to provide quality design services that are free of errors or omissions. Despite your expertise, knowledge and best intentions, the reality is that not all projects are error-free and eventually a mistake or misjudgement is bound to occur. Even the smallest error can have serious consequences. If a client believes damages are due to a mistake on your part they can sue your company. It is important to protect yourself against this potentially devastating liability. The cost of defending yourself in court can be huge, not to mention the restitution costs if you’re found at fault. A professional indemnity policy will cover these costs in the event of such a claim, which may otherwise financially cripple your business.

Many professional bodies and organisations make it a formal requirement for their members to hold and maintain professional indemnity insurance. For instance, professional indemnity insurance is compulsory for architects that are members of the Architects Registration Board (ARB) and the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Likewise, almost all professional engineering bodies require the same.

How Does the Policy Work?

A professional indemnity policy will cover the cost of defending you or your company in court, along with any monetary damages awarded to the claimant due to an error or omission on your part (up to the policy cover limit). These policies are known as ‘claims-made’ policies. This means that cover is triggered when a claim is filed and you report it to the insurance company, since it is often hard to identify when the alleged error or omission originally occurred. Your work will be covered dating back to the earliest date of your continuous professional liability cover.

What to Look for in a Policy

Though you may specialise in certain areas, you likely handle a variety of projects and services and you’ll want your policy to reflect that. Depending on your needs, you may want to consider these components when choosing a policy:

• Pollution liability that covers sudden, accidental and gradual pollution
• Specific cover for breach of a client contract
• Full civil liability cover (not just negligence)
• Specific cover for breach of intellectual property rights
• Reimbursement of costs incurred to help reduce or avoid a claim
• Punitive and exemplary damages cover
• Virus and hacking liability cover

What is Not Covered

The following items are generally excluded from a professional indemnity policy:

• Unfair trade practices (you hire a competitor’s employee and subsequently take one of the competitor’s clients)
• Failure to pay a fee or invoice
• Wilful or dishonest acts

The content of this Cover Overview is of general interest and is not intended to apply to specific circumstances. It does not purport to be a comprehensive analysis of all matters relevant to its subject matter. The content should not, therefore, be regarded as constituting legal advice and not be relied upon as such. In relation to any particular problem which they may have, readers are advised to seek specific advice. Further, the law may have changed since first publication and the reader is cautioned accordingly. © 2010, 2012-2013 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.


Copyright © Hensure | Hensure Business Insurance Consultants is a trading name of RK Henshall & Co Ltd. www.rkhenshall.com. RK Henshall & Co Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Registration Number: 308865. www.fca.org.uk. Written quotations, policy terms, conditions and exclusions are available on request. Privacy policy, Cookie policy, Complaints Procedure
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