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The Claims Column - Commercial Claims

Published: 12/10/2016

Jim Tuhey, Flint's commercial claims guru gives us his take on what's happening in commercial insurance.

Insurance Act

The Insurance Act 2015, which came into force in August is explained in greater detail within this publication, however speaking from a purely practical point-of-view considering claims and general insurance advice, this is Jim's message.

“The Insurance Act looks to embody best practice in placing insurance and dealing with claims. Best practice has always been Flint’s ethos for over 30 years.

The Insurance Act does place emphasise on disclosure of facts and accurate content.

To protect you, as our customer, we must be able to have full and proper discussions with you in person or over the telephone, and be provided with any relevant documents and information to gather all of the necessary facts about yourself and your business when making presentations to insurers.

We ask our clients to always remember, the purchase of a policy is to protect you and your assets, and reimburse you in the event of a claim. Full and accurate disclosure of facts are essential to provide an accurate presentation of your business and therefore the risk to insurers. This process is essential for a positive response to any claim.”

Risk Management

The essence of successful risk management for any business is ‘good housekeeping’ i.e. clean and tidy premises, common sense and forward thinking. The recent surge of flood and storm claims affected many of Flint’s clients.

Meteorological Autumn is already here and Winter is on the horizon.

The way in which the British climate has behaved of late, gives concern to everyone that we may experience further spates of flash flooding and storms etc. With this in mind, and applying common sense and forward thinking, now is the time to check that all gutters, drains and gulley’s are clear of leaves, branches and obstructions to ensure they remain free flowing and in proper working order. Claims for inundation of water from floods or storm are invariably costly, disruptive and distracting to the business.

Smoking

We are all, by now, well aware of current legislation on smoking in buildings, and those who wish to smoke must go outside.

So you need to consider -

  • Does your business have suitable designated smoking points and is their use enforced?
  • Do you provide suitable ashtrays, ash-cans or cigarette butt-bins which are emptied regularly into a suitable metal lidded bin or container separate from other rubbish, wetted down or otherwise safely extinguished prior to being placed into general waste?

OR,

  • Are your employees standing outside the back door putting their cigarette ends in the rubbish wheelie bin which is full of cardboard and waste paper, standing immediately next to the building?

The last scenario is what our Commercial Claims Manager, Jim Tuhey, recently discovered whilst accompanying a Risk Survey with one our clients. This unfortunately brought the proceedings to an untimely end and the survey was immediately stopped. Obviously everyone wants to avoid this sort of thing; good risk management is absolutely essential.

Legislation

Legislation affects all fields of business. Are you aware of any recent changes that affect your businesses and the welfare of your workforce? However, one of the most important laws has been around for some time now.

The Employers Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969. This places the onus on an employer to have a minimum cover of insurance to meet the cost of compensation for employee’s injuries or illness whether they are caused on or off a site.

Remember, you may call them Sub Contractors, but if they are wearing your T-shirts, driving your vehicles and installing your materials they are your employees and you are legally bound to have Employers Liability Insurance. This is a legal requirement if your business employs 1 or more persons. Each day without cover can bring fines of up to £2,500 per day.

If you are in any doubt about your position as an employer, please contact one of our commercial business specialists who can discuss the options with you for this type of cover.

Jim Tuhey has a long history of dealing with insurance claims; he sees many of the same issues arise, but as the industry changes it brings new challenges. Whilst we utilise much of his knowledge when handling claims, it is also invaluable when assessing risks. If you would like his advice, please call him on 0344 247 7361. For any other general commercial insurance enquiries call 020 8309 5000.

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