Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Professional Indemnity Insurance in a Down Economy

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Professional Indemnity insurance offers protection from damages arising from the rendering of or failure to render professional services. With claims increasing during this economic downturn, the need for professional indemnity insurance cover is even greater.

Professional indemnity insurance, also referred to as errors and omissions insurance, protects professional personnel against negligence claims made by a client or third-party. Professionals who commonly turn to this type of liability insurance for cover include architects, home inspectors, solicitors, estate agents and accountants – among others. Because claims become more frequent in a down economy, protect yourself with professional indemnity insurance.

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Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

In today’s business climate of corporate transparency and accountability, an organisation’s officers and directors 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.

In the wake of recent unprecedented corporate scandals, clearly the trend of corporate accountability applies to large corporations. But smaller privately held companies, including not-for-profits, are not exempt from litigation arising out of the management decisions of their boards. They, too, are at risk.
Regardless of your company’s size, the legal cost to defend a director is substantial, as are the potential penalties that can be personally incurred. Due to liability risks, protecting boardroom talent can be a challenge. To help ensure both your officers’ and company’s well-being, a directors’ and officers’ liability insurance (D&O) policy is part of a comprehensive risk financing strategy.

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Staying Safe Around Asbestos

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Even though most uses of asbestos have been banned, it can still be found in a variety of products, such as building materials. The new Control of Asbestos Regulations 2012 came out on 6 April 2012 and creates procedures and requirements that apply to all work involving asbestos materials. The inhalation of asbestos fibres can cause serious damage to the lungs and other organs that may not appear until years after exposure. Asbestos fibres associated with these health risks are too small to be seen with the naked eye, and smokers are at a higher risk for developing asbestos-related diseases if exposed.

Avoid Asbestos Inhalation
The following tips are basic safety reminders for those who work near or with asbestos-containing materials:
• If you suspect that asbestos is present in area that is not designated as an asbestos workspace, leave the area immediately and tell your supervisor.
• Never enter a controlled zone that the company has designated as a regulated area where asbestos work is being performed.
• If you are not wearing the appropriate respiratory protection, do not enter an asbestos-regulated area.
• Do not eat, smoke, drink, chew gum or apply cosmetics in an asbestos-regulated area.
• Read and obey all warning signs displayed in asbestos-regulated areas.
• When working with asbestos, keep the material wet and vacuum the dust using a HEPA vacuum. Immediately collect and close all waste in bags designed to hold asbestos.

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Professional Indemnity Insurance

Monday, June 16th, 2014

The need for professional indemnity (PI) cover has grown over the past several decades as more people enter professional service-based professions. While PI insurance still covers “traditional” professionals, such as doctors, solicitors, accountants and architects, a whole new market of professionals now need to consider PI cover. Whether a traditional or new professional, you can protect yourself, your business and your reputation by investing in professional indemnity cover.

PI insurance safeguards against catastrophic losses in the event of a legal action due to a negligent act, error or omission by the professional. In addition to claims of error, omission or negligence, PI insurance may also protect against slander, libel and breach of contract.

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Directors’ and Officers’ Liability Insurance

Monday, June 16th, 2014

In today’s business climate of corporate transparency and accountability, an organisation’s officers and directors 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.
In the wake of recent unprecedented corporate scandals, clearly the trend of corporate accountability applies to large corporations. But smaller privately held companies, including not-for-profits, are not exempt from litigation arising out of the management decisions of their boards. They, too, are at risk. Regardless of your company’s size, the legal cost to defend a director is substantial, as are the potential penalties that can be personally incurred. Due to liability risks, protecting boardroom talent can be a challenge. To help ensure both your officers’ and company’s well-being, a Directors’ and Officers’ liability insurance (D&O) policy is part of a comprehensive risk financing strategy.
D&O Fills the Cover Gap
Unlike liability policies that provide cover for claims arising from property damage and bodily injury, a D&O policy specifically provides cover for a “wrongful act,” such as an actual or alleged error, omission, misleading statement, neglect or breach of duty.
For example, a manufacturer told one of its suppliers to increase inventory because they were expecting a large increase in production. As predicted, demand for the manufacturer’s product grew, but the manufacturer increased its inventory with another supplier instead. The original supplier successfully sued the manufacturer, alleging they suffered damages as a result of having relied on the manufacturer’s promise.
A D&O policy provides defence costs and indemnity cover to the entity listed on the policy declarations, which may include:
• cover for individual directors and officers;
• reimbursement to the organisation for a contractual obligation to indemnify directors and officers that serve on the board; and
• protection for the organisation or entity itself.
Indemnification provisions are typically included in the charter/bylaws of a company. While an important risk component, small to medium-sized enterprises or not-for-profit organisations often do not have the financial resources to fund the indemnity provisions, making the bylaws hollow. A D&O policy can provide an extra blanket of security in the event of a covered loss.
A “fraud” exclusion is typically included in a D&O policy, which eliminates cover for losses due to dishonest or fraudulent acts or omission, or wilful violations of any statute, rule or law. D&O cover can be tailored to your needs, but be aware that D&O insurers are not consistent with their policy forms. This fact, plus the complexity of D&O claims, requires the insurer to have market commitment and deep expertise, as well as the financial resources to handle potential claims.
There are also additional forms of cover to adequately protect directors and officers, including:
• entity cover;
• payment priority for insured persons;
• severability of the insured as well as severability of the application;
• cover over time, meaning cover responds to past, present and future directors and officers;
• pay on behalf clause; and
• duty to defend clause
Consideration for Not-for-Profits
Many not-for-profit organisations with directors and officers often report some difficulty in affording the cost of D&O insurance. To minimise the costs, brokers should recommend choosing only those policy provisions considered most critical. For example, a volunteer-run not for profit without paid staff may skip employment practices cover until it hires staff. To defray the cost of premiums, some not-for-profit organisations consider charging board members a portion of the policy cost.

We’re Here to Help.
Whether you’re a not-for-profit, privately held or a public company, it is likely that your business can benefit from a D&O policy. Since there is no such thing as a “standard” policy, a professional broker is invaluable when purchasing D&O cover. We understand your organisation and can knowledgeably help design policy language to meet your needs. Call us today at 01270 758 070 to learn more about the appropriate protection for your company against potential directors’ and officers’ liability.

Cyber Risks & Liabilities – Is your Website Secure ?

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

In the wake of several high-profile cyber security scandals and the widespread Heartbleed security bug, website security is more important than ever. And the stakes have never been higher—according to the 2013 Information Security Breaches Survey, over 78 per cent of large organisations and over 63 per cent of small businesses were attacked by an unauthorised outsider in the past year.
Without a concerted effort to safeguard your business’ website, you risk losing money due to relentless cyber attacks. Because hackers are constantly searching for new website vulnerabilities and engineering new viruses, website security should be a round-the-clock concern—the threat will never ebb. The consequences of weakening your stance on website security, even for a second, can be disastrous: loss of revenue, damage to credibility, legal liability and broken customer trust.
Web servers, which host the data and other content available to your customers on the Internet, are the most targeted and attacked components of a company’s network. Some specific security threats to Web servers include the following:

• Cyber criminals may exploit software bugs in the Web server.
• Attackers can disable a network by flooding it with information.
• Hackers may secretly read or modify sensitive information on the Web server.
• Criminals could gain unauthorised access to resources elsewhere in your business’ network following a successful attack on the Web server.

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Green Deal Assessors Insurance

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

In 2008 , The Climate Change Act received royal assent in the UK, placing a duty on the secretary of state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 34 % by 2020. At the forefront to achieving this in the UK is the Energy Act, which came into force on 01/10/2012. The significance of the Act is that by 01/04/2018 , all residential and commercial properties that are rented out must meet certain energy efficient standards . All of the buildings must now be assessed by accredited energy assessors for their energy efficiency and given a rating. If the assessment results in the building being assessed as not energy efficient then improvements will need to be made to the property to make it more energy efficient. Landlords can apply for Green Deal Finance to help them with the financial burden, but to do so the energy assessment will have to be carried out by a qualified Green Deal Assessor. Green Deal Assessors are required to carry Professional Indemnity Insurance and Liability Insurance. Hensure Business Insurance can cater for all of the Insurance needs of Green Deal Assessors and can offer very competitive premiums  for both Professional Indemnity Insurance and Liability Insurance.

No Immunity for Expert Witnesses

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Expert Witnesses have traditionally enjoyed immunity when giving evidence in court and at every other stage in the process, such as report writing and answering questions. However in jones Vs kaney , a case heard in the UK’s Supreme Court in 2011 this immunity was removed. This now means that an Expert Witness is no longer immune from a civil action for professional negligence and breach of contract. Experts need to make sure that they are acting reasonably and professionally within the terms of their instruction and that they have taken out the appropriate level of professional indemnity insurance. Hensure Business Insurance has a product specifically tailored for an Expert Witness so contact us today to arrange your Professional Indemnity cover.

The Professional Indemnity Market

Friday, August 23rd, 2013

Over the past 20 years the Professional Indemnity Insurance Market has grown rapidly and is now worth an estimated £ 5.81 bn across the European Insurance Market alone. The reason for the growth can be attributed to the following:

  • Statutory Regulation making P I cover compulsory for professionals such as Solicitors ,Accountants and Architects.
  • A more litigious society with a growing blame culture meaning that emerging professions are seeking the peace of mind that can be provided by a P I policy.

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Sterling Insurance Group are now offering Professional Indemnity Insurance

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Sterling Insurance Group, One of our Preferred Underwriters, have extended their underwriting appetite recently  and will now write Professional Indemnity Insurance. Hensure Business Insurance can now add Sterling to our large panel of existing insurers who are keen to write Professional Indemnity Risks. We are therefore more confident than ever that we can find the right deal for our clients in terms of policy cover at the right premium.