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Archive for the ‘Professional indemnity insurance’ Category

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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.

Architects Professional Insurance

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Architects are regarded as one of the traditional professions. The profession as a whole is regulated by the Architects Registration Board (ARB). Architects PI insurance became mandatory for all qualified Architects in 1997.

Whilst the ARB is the governing body for the profession the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) is perhaps the best known organisation representing the industry. All Architects must be registered with the ARB and it is the ARB which lays down the rules for Architects PI (see www.arb.org.uk).

Architects need to be a member of RIBA in order to obtain Chartered Status. Architects are involved in all aspects of planning, designing and supervising the construction of buildings of all types.

Insurers take into account a number of factors when underwriting a risk.

These include;

  • Practice Size – The number of partners and staff as well as the gross annual income of the firm.
  • Qualification and experience – Underwriters will want to satisfy themselves that an architect is suitably qualified and/or experienced to carry out the work undertaken on behalf of his client.

The usual cover;

  • Usually the limit of indemnity will be “any one claim” with legal costs in addition.
  • The excess will not normally apply to insurers’ costs and expenses.
  • If the cover is on a civil liability basis, then the cover would normally include negligence, liability for dishonesty, liability for lost documents, libel and slander and breach of warranty of authority.

Bare in mind if the practice ceases, partners must ensure that they purchase run-off cover for at least six years. The limit of indemnity must be maintained at the highest level in the preceding three years to the cessation of the practice.

For more information regarding Architects Professional Insurance please see here.

Consultants Professional Indemnity Insurance

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Professional Indemnity (PI) Insurance is an insurance cover designed to protect a business offering professional advice or services.

Traditionally this insurance has been taken out by professions such as Accountants, Architects,  Surveyors,  Engineers etc. However this now includes a wide range of people who also provide a service and are considered to be Professionals. This  includes IT Consultants, Business Advisors, Consultants, Marketing Consultants, Management Consultants, Recruitment Consultants, P R Consultants, Health and Safety Consultants, Training Consultants and many more.

PI Insurance also protects against claims for damage to your client’s business, which means any financial loss that they suffer as a result of:

  • Any negligent act, error or omission
  • Breach of Implied Statutory Terms under the Sale of Goods Act 1979 and Supply of Goods and Services Act1982
  • Unintentional Infringement of Intellectual Property Rights
  • Loss of Documents or Data entrusted to the insured
  • Unintentional defamation (libel & slander)
  • Unintentional breach of confidence, confidential duty or misuse of information.

Professional Indemnity will pay all reasonable costs incurred in the defence (i.e. legal fees) or settlement of such claims arising from the above.

Please note if you already hold PI and decide to change insurer at renewal you MUST ensure that the new policy has RETROACTIVE COVER built in to cover the work carried out in the past that was insured by your previous policy.

There are some other points you should be aware of, these can be seen within our full article here.

Architects PI Insurance – Collateral Warranties

Monday, February 6th, 2012

What are collateral Warranties?

Collateral Warranties or Duty of Care agreements are contractual agreements between parties who otherwise might not be in a contractual arrangement.

The Reason for Collateral Warranties.

The collateral warranty boom began in the late 1980’s following the House of Lords decision in D & F Estates v Church Commissioners in 1988. During the previous 15 years the courts had shown an increasing readiness to award damages against negligent contractors and consultants without the claimant having to demonstrate that he had any contractual rights. After the decision in D & F Estates it was clear that owners and occupiers of buildings needed a contractual remedy in order to pursue claims for certain types of losses and this was provided by collateral warranties.

Forms of Collateral Warranty

Standard forms published by the British Property Federation (BPF) are designed to limit the warrantor’s obligations. These forms are generally approved by professional bodies and insurers.

Who will require collateral warranties?

In the case of an architect it is unlikely that he will have a contractual relationship with the purchaser of the building or the eventual tenant. The building may also be funded by a bank or some other financial institution and again the Architect is unlikely to have a contractual relationship. A Collateral Warranty creates a contractual relationship between the Architect and these parties which reflects the responsibilities that the Architect had to his client.


These agreements can also be assigned meaning that their benefits can be passed on from one funder, owner or tenant to the next. Very often they only stop when the limitation period expires and this is likely to be 12 years after the date of practical completion. So now the Architect can be pursued by parties other than his client.

What is the Stance of PI Insurers towards Collateral Warranties

As a rule the P I Insurance Market will normally accept claims arising from sensibly worded agreements. The British Property Federation has agreed standard templates with most construction related professional bodies (RIBA, ACE, RICS included), which most insurers will accept.

Most PI policies address the issue of collateral warranties by clearly setting out the limits beyond which cover will not apply. This should avoid the need to submit each and every agreement for sanction by the insurer. Some Insurers will also offer a free collateral Warranty checking service as part of the policy.

Three year old’s death – Wall Designer charged

Tuesday, December 6th, 2011

A man who designed a wall which collapsed on a three year old girl, killing her, has been charged with gross negligence manslaughter. The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided the designer of the wall, which was also constructed by his company, Parcol Development Ltd, should be charged in relation to the death of the little girl on 26/7/2008 in Prestatyn, Wales.

Parcol Developments Ltd, of which the charged man was a director, was also charged with an offence under section 3 of the Health and Safety at Work at 1974 which requires all employers to conduct their business in a way that ensures, so far as is reasonably practicable, that others are not exposed to risk.

There are several types of insurance that may help pay defence costs if you or your company were to find itself in the difficult situation of facing prosecution. If necessary these could also help to compensate any victims. These include public liability insurance, product liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance and directors and officers liability insurance.

In addition to the above policies providing indemnity to you for sums which you may be legally liable to pay as compensation, including claimant’s costs and expenses, some policies will also pay for legal costs and solicitor’s fees in defending a prosecution brought for breach of Health and Safety at Work Act 1974. Most of the policies will exclude any fines or penalties imposed.

From the design and build perspective of any project, quality control and safety are important concerns which should be addressed and documented at the planning stage. Having a proper risk management structure in place, in addition to a complete health and safety policy, may reduce the number of conditions which may lead to the cause of an unfortunate event (such as a faulty design leading to a wall collapse).

Limitation and exclusion of liability for IT Providers

Monday, November 28th, 2011

Professional indemnity insuranceAs an Information Technology provider you need to ensure that you effective terms and conditions in place in order to minimise legal exposure.

Many people think that if they include in their terms and conditions clauses which purport totally to exclude their liability under the contract in question, they will be safe and that they cannot be sued successfully should they be negligent in the subsequent provision of goods/services or otherwise breach the terms of the contract.

Unfortunately this is not the case and the bottom line is that, in simple terms, the chances of a liability limitation or exclusion clause being successful depend largely on whether the clause is “reasonable” when set against all the factors which make up the contractual scenario. The court will look at many factors in determining reasonableness.

It is wise to draft a whole series of different clauses which address different aspects of potential liability and to make them independent of one another. As a result of this if one or more of the clauses is found to be unreasonable, the supplier can still hope to hide behind the clause which has passed the reasonableness test.

It is thought best not to merge the provisions together into a single sub-clause but to leave them as separate sub-clauses. The rationale for this is that a court may hold certain elements of a limitation of liability clause to be unreasonable and, if so, it may delete them. If all the provisions are merged into a single clause and the court objects to one element of that clause, the whole clause may become ineffective.

Maximum Liability Clause.

This should be included to act as a last resort if the other clauses which purport to limit or exclude liability fail to stand up in court. Case law has shown from several high-profile judgments that if a supplier hopes to be able to rely on a maximum liability clause in a contract, probably the best approach is to tie this into the cap set on the professional indemnity insurance that has been taken out by that supplier.

It has been proven that a well drafted contract can help all parties involved if a professional indemnity claim is lodged against the I T Professional because:

  • Suppliers are far less likely to be sued if the contract under which they have made the supply in question has been well drafted and addresses different potential areas of liability and appropriately and reasonably imposes limits and exclusions in relation to such potential liability.
  • Insurers are far less likely to have to pay out on a claim made by one of their insured supplier clients if that client has dealt on the basis of a properly drafted contract of supply which has limited and excluded liability in a reasonable way and is therefore more likely to be upheld by a court.
  • Lawyers have a far easier time defending a case when their client’s contract of supply contains clauses which have been properly drafted to limit and exclude various aspects of potential liability.

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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