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Hold the policy, not a grudge

Published: 29/03/18

Hold the policy, not a grudge

As insurance professionals a reoccurring conundrum that we inevitably come back to is: 

Why do people NOT insure?

This is not an abstract thought, the subject of wistful boardroom pondering, but a question that arises through our everyday dealings with insurance – both personal and commercial.

This week the why do people not insure question happened because of this all too familiar scenario – one of our high net worth clients was having work done on their home and through the course of this work, the contractor accidentally set fire to the house, which caused a lot of damage. And as a high value property it turned out to be very costly. Where expensive, high quality furnishings, wall and floor coverings are in place, even what looks like modest damage usually means a very large bill for someone. Obviously, our client is insured, but the contractor wasn't.

The contractor is a general builder and as a sole trader we would be able to provide him with a public liability contract that offers £1m amount of annual cover for around £100.00 – so why would he not protect himself?


It can't be cost, because the figures just don't add up – if a business cannot support this kind of expenditure, then surely it's not viable? The material damage caused far outweighs the cost of the policy, not to mention loss of reputation and a lot of stress all round.

The home owner is within their rights to seek financial redress from the builder, which means attacking their assets. If there's not enough in the bank, it extends to their personal possessions, namely the family home, or car or anything else of value.

Lack of knowledge

Perhaps it's ignorance; did he not know about this cover?

Of course this is not a good enough excuse – if your business involves going into private homes and potentially putting that property or its inhabitants at risk then you need to be covered, for your sake and theirs.

Insurers don't pay out

Perhaps he doesn't trust insurers to pay out?

It is a fact that insurers definitely do expect the insured to mitigate their risk, but risk management generally amounts to good practice and a large helping of common sense, all things it could be argued, that are the basis of a job well done. Insurance is a legal contract where both parties have clear obligations to fulfil.

Furthermore at Flint we support our clients when making a claim to ensure that their insurance, (including insurer) performs as it should. Buying insurance from a reputable insurance broker such as Flint means that you get help and advice when selecting your insurance, but also throughout the life of your policy and particularly if you have an accident.

I don't like paying for what I can't see

Insurance classically has been, or perhaps still is by some, regarded as a grudge purchase, particularly for the types that are a legal requirement, such as car and employers liability. At Flint we want to see this perception disappear, because we think that it's simply not accurate. Insurance is a cornerstone of business and has been one of the factors that has forced companies to do things properly. Health and safety, with good risk management planning has made our working life much safer and continues to do so. Everyone needs to protect their business and employees. 

Do I really have to?

There are times when sub-contractors do actually buy cover because they are forced to do so by the main contractor. Once more this is done grudgingly and any old duff information is provided just so that they can get on site. Needless to say this almost as bad as no cover at all, except it costs more!

A contract of insurance is a legal document and should be treated as such. Commercial risk is serious business and is ignored at your peril.

You would say that

At Flint, insurance is our lifeblood, so you could be right in thinking - 'well, you would say that', but we believe passionately about what we do and we always put our clients first.

Perhaps more importantly we see insurance in action, every day. We witness disaster, but then the recovery that is brought about by having the correct cover in place.


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