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How the CDM 2015 Regulations could affect your Professional Indemnity Risk

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

October 2nd, 2017

Our new website is now live.

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

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

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.

Terrorism risks

July 23rd, 2015

With the current increased threat from ISIS terrorists, terrorism is once again high on the agenda.

The terrorism risk has never really gone away but it has been changing.

The perception of a terrorism risk is probably that this will only affect London but this may no longer be the case.

The news reports are suggesting that people from across the country are traveling to Syria for Jihadist training so there is no reason to believe why they may not target outside of London too.

So far, the security forces have thwarted a good number of attempts and specialist anti terrorist units admit to being around three times busier than ever before.

When defining a Terrorist act the UK government provides a clear definition in the Terrorism Act 2000. It states Terrorism is the use or threat of action designed to influence the government or an international governmental organisation or to intimidate the public, or a section of the public; made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.

For further information or assistance in respect of terrorism cover please do not hesitate in contacting Hensure Business Insurance on 01270 758056.

Law Commission Reforms

Architects professional insurance, PI cover
June 4th, 2015

LAW COMMISSION REFORMS
“Insurance underpins a healthy and prosperous society. It enables businesses and individuals to protect themselves against risk. However insurance contract law is out of date and no longer reflects the realities of today’s commercial practices.

The provisions of the Insurance Act 2015 will modernise the law, balance more fairly the interests of insurers and buyers and provide a framework for an effective, competitive and trusted business insurance Market” Stephen Lewis, Law Commissioner.

WHY ?
The UK’s Commercial insurance contracts are based on an Act that came into effect more than 100 years ago. The Marine Insurance Act 1906 imposed a duty to disclose every material circumstance which would influence a ‘prudent underwriter’, potentially giving insurers the opportunity to decline claims where there may be no related material impact, for example intruder alarm failings on a flood claim (although this is rarely used in today’s market it does bring uncertainty to the contract). So much has changed during that time and the need to modernise rules governing insurance contracts between businesses and insurers is essential.

WHAT CHANGES ARE BEING IMPLEMENTED .

Change 1. Non Deliberate or Non-Reckless Non-Disclosure/Misrepresentation

There remains a responsibility for presentation of the risk by the customer and this is explained further in the Act.

  • If the insurer would have charged a higher premium had they known about the circumstances of the misrepresentation then market practice will be that the insurer will look to charge the insured the additional premium when the non- disclosure or misrepresentation becomes know to them.
  • Where the insurer would not have written the risk then they can treat the insurance as if coverage was never attached but must return the premium.
  • If the insurer would have imposed terms, they can treat the insurance as if it had been entered into on those different terms ( from the date of the breach).

Change 2. Deliberate or Reckless Non Disclosure/Misrepresentation – Fraud

Where non-disclosure or misrepresentation is deliberate or reckless, the insurer has the right to avoid the policy and also to retain the premium.

Change 3. Warranties

The insurers will aim to remove warranties from their policies and replace with conditions precedent to liability and conditions.

Whilst insurance companies envisage most policies will be “Warranty Free”, they may apply by exception. In these instances they would explain the rationale to the broker or customer. Where warranties are used and are not complied with by the insured, it will only suspend cover and not terminate the policy in accordance with the Insurance Act.

Change 4. Basis Clause

This will be removed from the wordings as such clauses are being abolished

In practice this means :
• The insurer will treat the basis of contract clause as having no effect in all documentation.
• The insurer will not void the policy or refuse indemnity where the breach of specific risk condition is not related to the risk of loss.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR CUSTOMERS
Confidence in the insurers ‘Fair’ settlement of claims and certainty that the policy will perform as expected. Benefit of the insurers insight and ‘good customer outcomes’ approach.

Flood RE the long term flood insurance solution in the UK

January 21st, 2015

In 2011, the Association of British Insurers formally recommended Flood Re as a long term flood insurance solution in the UK. After lengthy discussions between the Government and the insurance industry an outline agreement was reached in June 2013. Royal Assent was gained less than a year later in May 2014 and the ABI is working hard to get Flood Re established in the summer of 2015.
The Flood Re Scheme will be a not for profit flood reinsurance fund, owned and managed by the insurance industry and established to ensure the highest risk domestic properties can receive affordable cover for the flood element of their household property insurance.

Data Breaches

January 21st, 2015

Over the last 12 months the reported instances of a’ Data breach’ have soared.
What is Data Breach ?
A data breach usually involves financial information such as credit card or bank details, personal health or personally identifiable information being stolen or lost and sensitive, protected or confidential data is copied.

There are also more and more examples of companies having their I T systems hacked in to .

The Insurance market has responded to these problems by highlighting the need for Cyber Liability cover.

Is it time for your company to take these risks seriously and consider a Cyber Liability policy ? !

Architects must construct better businesses to avoid ruinous claims !

October 28th, 2014

Architects could face claims that put them out of business if they don’t fully understand their responsibilities.
•Increasingly complex projects demand new skills, including better risk management
•Brokers can add value by helping their clients avoid common pitfalls

As the UK economy grows, architects can look forward to a healthier construction sector. But firms still face intense competition along with pressure to innovate and increase standards.

“Architectural firms need to make sure they have the skills to function at the right level, otherwise, if things go wrong, they risk facing potentially damaging claims, even when they may only be partially to blame,” says Steve Watson, Head of Professional Indemnity at Zurich.

In this environment, a well-informed broker, offering the right risk management advice, can make a real difference to their client.

Take care with contracts

One of the major burdens that architects face is the breadth of responsibilities that they end up bearing.

“For example, a firm could find themselves being sued if the contractor makes a mistake on site but later ends up insolvent at the point a claim arises,” says Watson. “Stringent financial due diligence is essential for firms before they enter into any contracts.

Firms need to be very diligent at the planning stage and ask the right questions… everything needs to be covered

Steve Watson, Head of Professional Indemnity at Zurich

“Firms also need to be very diligent at the planning stage and ask the right questions. Everything needs to be covered. Often what you find is that claims start to crystallise when a project nears completion, and the client says, ‘hang on, I wanted a blue building and this is red’.”

Getting the right planning permission to fully cover ambitious projects – such as basement extensions – can be challenging, while keeping up to date with building regulations and the use of new materials remain perennial hurdles for the profession. In addition, many projects are becoming more complicated. Buildings are expected to be more energy efficient and there are heightened expectations around things such as disability access.

Raise their game

“If an architect isn’t keeping up to date with what these changes mean in practice, they can face allegations of negligence later on,” says Watson.

Architects should also avoid taking on too much work. For some time there has been pressure to reduce architects’ fees and often firms can be tempted to take on more and more work to supplement income levels – making mistakes more likely.

Above all, brokers need to provide robust advice to their clients on both the quality and extent of cover they are purchasing. “They may think that indemnity limits of £1m or £2m are okay, but end up doing work that exposes them to claims much higher than this,” says Watson. “Brokers need to stress to their customers that they aim to get to the heart of what their client wants and they need to ensure that this is expressed clearly in a contract, removing as much subjectivity as possible.

“That’s how to minimise claims and keep premiums as reasonable as possible.”


Copyright © Hensure | Hensure Business Insurance 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.
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