Marrs Insurance Brokers
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0333 200 1899
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Marrs Insurance Brokers is a trading name of The Not Too Boring Company Ltd. Registered in England & Wales, Registered No. 09026225.
Marrs Insurance Brokers is an appointed representative of TEn Insurance Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Marrs Insurance Brokers, copyright 2014. All rights reserved.
Insurance Made Simple
All but a handful of exempt entities will need Employers’ Liability by law if they are a Limited Company or have any employees working for them. Here in the UK, almost every liability claim requires proof of negligence to succeed. As every rule has an exception though, often Insurance Companies will settle a claim their client may think spurious simply to avoid the matter going to Court. EL, as it is known, provides cover against claims by an employee for injury or death following an accident or illness as a result of their working environment. The cost of such cover varies considerably depending upon the nature of the work. Clerical staff count for very few EL claims and the cost of EL in an office is sometimes free within an Office ‘package’ policy.
As one might imagine, EL cover for Building Contractors or Oil Rig workers is costed at the other end of the spectrum and is usually based on an estimated wageroll which includes Employers’ National Insurance contributions. The premium if rated on this basis is paid in advance then often adjusted at each renewal date based on the actual wages paid for the year just gone.
Public and Products Liability is similar in nature to EL but applies respectively to claims involving members of the public and to such claims arising out of products made or distributed. Often a products liability claim is passed back down the line to the manufacturers’ own insurers although in cases where the item is manufactured abroad such as in the Far East this isn’t always possible and the claim rests with the UK insurer, despite how unfair this may seem.
Public Liability is often rated on Turnover and often complex businesses which have multiple business lines and international sales will need to provide very detailed information to insurers in order that the risk can be assessed accurately.
Simpler businesses such as small contractors firms can be rated on a per capita basis which makes life considerably easier for client and insurer alike. However, as with all insurance policies, exclusions always apply and a standard contractors policy will limit cover on height work, demolition and various other high risk aspects unless these covers are required and so included by negotiation.
We at Marrs believe the first step to ensuring our clients have the right cover is to clarify the basic elements so clients understand what they are buying and, more importantly, what cover they have not bought.
It is a fact you can spend considerable sums of money being insured for every eventuality except the one that finally affects you, leading to frustration and unhappiness.
No one wants an unhappy customer so in an effort to make life easier for all we can summarise some basics here:
The backbone of any Commercial insurance policy; this would be the area that covers your building (if you own it), your contents, machinery and plant, stock, work in progress and all manner of other ‘extras’. Package policies exist for many such businesses such as Offices, Surgeries, Shops, Home Workers and so on. Strenuous efforts are being made to commoditise such offerings in the same way that Motor and Home insurance is being sold direct to the public. These products, sold online, can be very cheap compared with ones sold via the Broker market but they often come at a cost, as frequently there is no-
Without question, insurance offered online by direct writers can provide significant savings in premium. However, one has to question whether it is wise to buy a product with no guidance from an expert in the field, particularly when their entire business may be at stake. To paraphrase Abraham Lincoln, ‘the man who represents himself has a fool for a client’ – would you buy business insurance from the same company that sells you carrots?
The other myth requiring debunking at this point is that all insurance policies are the same. Nothing could be further from the truth. All Insurance Companies are out to do one thing: make a profit. They achieve this better than their rivals only two ways: by having more income or by spending less.
Example: An Insurer may decide it wants to corner the market in high performance vehicles -
Would this appeal to the retired chemist from Esher who drives a Ford Focus? Not at all and so the chemist obtains quotes from Insurers who want a relatively modest income but fewer sleepless nights and expensive claims.
No area of insurance better demonstrates this than in the Travel market. Unbelievably small premiums are charged for what purports to be luxury cover for you and family when you jet off to Majorca on a 10 day getaway. One can only wonder how much protection a traveller could expect their £8 premium to buy them when other Insurers are charging £40 for the ‘same’ policy. It doesn’t take much analysis to work out the cheaper brand just might be able to reject five times as many claims as the others…the devil is often in the detail.
Protection for professionals from claims made against them by their clients. Mandatory in the UK in certain professions such as Solicitors, Insurance Brokers, Financial Advisers etc. PI is also available to any business where advice is given in return for a fee and this can take the form of design and recommendations, so Travel Agents, Interior Designers and IT specialists are all at risk and can avail themselves of such cover.
Insurance is too diverse and complex to summarise completely and this attempt isn’t exhaustive. We have not, for instance, touched upon Private Motor insurance, itself arguably the most emotive and contentious area of general insurance in the UK.
Home, Contractors, Engineering, Personal Accident, Contingency, Latent Defect, Product Recall, Intellectual Property…the list is long and getting longer.
Click here to read a few hopefully informative and perhaps surprising facts which may set you thinking about your own insurance arrangements and why maybe it would be worth a couple of minutes speaking to the Man from Marrs.
An area criminally disregarded by many a business in Britain. This cover can make all the difference to a company which has suffered a major claim as it will allow the wheels to keep turning even whilst the premises are being rebuilt following a major loss such as a fire or flood, or whilst the shelves are being restocked because of smoke damage. Payments are made based on a variety of options too numerous to summarise and often a business not dependent upon manufacture will instead insure against the cost of additional expenses rather than loss of profit but, either way, this is a vital part of any business insurance and should never be ignored.
Cyber risks include a range of first and third party exposures relating to the use of Information Technology. In addition, liability arising out of loss of data (whether electronic or otherwise) has also been specifically incorporated in to some policies.
Today, cover is available for first party exposures such as loss or damage to digital assets (such as data or software), network failure, threats of extortion, reputational harm and related matters; and third party exposures such as breach of third party privacy rights, transmission of malicious code such as a virus or breach of confidentiality, which can all mean an expensive lawsuit and expensive defence costs.
In the world of IT, many businesses simply cannot afford not to consider such cover. Can yours?
Commercial Legal Expenses
An absolute must in the armoury of any business, particularly in today’s blame culture. CLE can provide the financial muscle needed to defend or pursue a case where a contract is in dispute, the business is being investigated by the tax man or an employee is claiming unfair treatment (which could result in a tribunal hearing and a mandatory settlement, recently increased to over £75,000). Also covered are Data Protection complaints, property disputes and perhaps most importantly for some, an expert adviser near a phone 24/7 who will give you that one piece of advice you need right now! Can I instantly dismiss someone caught with their hands in the till? Can I sue someone for failing to fulfil their contractual obligations? What’s the redundancy procedure for a branch closure? The list is endless, as are the needs of any modern business. The knowledge that one party has such cover at their disposal can often make the difference between the other side paying up and the case ending in expensive litigation.
Directors & Officers
The fastest growing area of Commercial insurance sold in the UK today and no wonder; there are now more legal responsibilities heaped on company directors and staff in positions of responsibility than ever before and the need for a policy which provides indemnity aimed at protecting the personal assets of directors and key personnel has never been greater. A personal suit against someone dragged into legal proceedings by a litigant has no limitation and all their assets could be at risk should the case go against them.
Clearly, an insurance policy isn’t designed to support illegal acts but the cost of defending any action in many instances can be enormous. D&O is there for this purpose.
Often, computers and computerised equipment are lumped in with the rest of the general contents and plant, but many policies only then cover the kit for the usual perils (Fire, Storm, Theft, Accidental Damage etc.) There are specialist Computer policies available which will not only provide cover for these claims, but also for electrical and mechanical breakdown, malicious and accidental erasure of data, cyber attack, plus the cost of replacing data and the additional expenses involved in such events, all of which safeguards are so much more relevant to businesses reliant on maintaining their IT system in order to function. Certain criteria need to be met for this cover as one might imagine, but the protection is available and becoming more and more important to have.
Large Fleets of vehicles are generally rated on a per vehicle basis and the changes declared by the policyholder on a quarterly, bi-
Family Fleets are available with a small number of Insurers and this can be extremely cost effective for families where a number of cars are retained.
Despite its title, this cover is for goods transported by any method, air and sea freight, road, rail or even post. Often rated on estimated transhipments and adjusted in retrospect as with Liability policies, these tend to come with a minimum and deposit premium – an up-
This area can be split into those with residential buy to let properties where cover is available for freeholders who let their properties to individual tenants and property similarly let out but for commercial purposes such as manufacturing, warehousing, shops, offices and restaurants etc. Whilst all homeowners should be aware, it is still evident that many people do not realise that letting out a property or even a room to someone not a member of their immediate family makes the risk a commercial one and this is a material fact requiring to be disclosed to insurers. Some Home policies may allow this to happen in certain circumstances but most Insurance Companies would require the household policy to be cancelled and a purpose-
Managing agents and property companies are commonly involved with portfolios of enormous size. Often they will be regulated in their own right to offer insurance which is a legal requirement under current EU law and so will hold authorisation by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to do this.
Many will have an arrangement with a Broker whereby the latter will source and provide a block policy covering all such properties and the managing agent will charge out the proportion of a residents’ share relating to their demise within the block. Again, cover can vary wildly and many Insurance Brokers specialise in negotiating enhancements aimed at the let property market.
Intellectual Property Insurance
It is too often assumed that by registering an Intellectual Property right there is protection against theft or exploitation by others. This is not so. It is advisable therefore to protect your ideas and effect insurance for intellectual property. This will also encourage others to invest in the project and may help attract funding from individuals, financial institutions and venture capitalists.