Any business owners may have missed or thought that there was no significance to their business of the recent announcement by the Lord Chancellor reducing the personal injury discount rate from 2.5% to minus 0.75%, effective 20 March 2017.
However, the change is so significant that it will affect all individuals and businesses by increasing insurance premiums for both motor and liability covers.
The irony following recently announced changes to the small claims limit – intended to lower insurance premiums – has not gone unnoticed.
Last year the establishment of FloodRe brought huge relief to households up and down the country as flood insurance for domestic properties was now to be made available throughout the UK – with a small number of exceptions.
However, the scheme introduction meant huge problems for business as any business premises, including mixed use such as pubs, retail with living accommodation and even buy to let houses were denied the benefits of the new arrangements.
There is no legal definition of different types of self-employed persons but it is essential to correctly determine the status of sub-contractors to ensure the correct insurance cover is in place.
If a sub-contractor is a bona-fide sub-contractor (BFSC), Employers’ Liability Insurance is not required but if a sub-contractor is a labour only sub-contractors (LOSC), Employers’ Liability Insurance is required. However, a main contractor still requires contingency public liability cover for the acts of BFSC and needs to have a system in place to ensure that the BFSC does indeed have their own cover.
Hopefully the following guide will make the decision-making process easier and help employing contractors:
I am delighted to be featured in the Insurance Age online magazine where I discuss with Judith Ugwumadu, the origins of Knightsure, what I specialise in, how the business has evolved, and my view of what the future of insurance holds. Check out the full article here.
No sooner had we gotten used to the increased Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) rate of 9.5% effective early 2016, up from the 6% introduced in 2011, do we find that it’s going up again, a result of the last Osborne Spring budget – before some commentators start bemoaning the effect of Brexit!
Click here for a PDF outline of the Insurance Act 2015
Businesses and individuals are always being reminded of the rising risk of cyber-crime, either as a safety precaution from their insurance broker or simply from the steady stream of high profile businesses whose encounters with hackers have made the news.
But what are we actually up against with cyber-crime? Knightsure’ s Tony Knight looks behind the screens to highlight some of the ways in which cyber criminals make their mark:
When deciding on what insurance to purchase, its essential to assess the risks that could impact your business and make your decisions based on the most appropriate protection available to meet your requirements.
Two insurance covers that sometimes cause confusion are Public Liability and Professional Indemnity.Whilst both of these covers protect your business against legal action and compensation awards to third parties, they do provide different forms of protection in your business activities.
One of the key differences between the covers offered is around the nature of the work that you carry out. If a third party suffers injury or damage to their property as a direct result of any physical work you undertake then Public Liability would protect you, whereas Professional Indemnity would protect you for third party financial losses if the risk is linked to your professional duty when providing design, advice consultancy or a service for a fee.
What is Public Liability?
Public Liability protects a business against the financial risk of for death, bodily injury, disease or damage to property suffered by any third party as a result of your negligence. The levels of cover available normally start at £2 million although much higher limits are the norm.
Examples of when you would be protected by Public Liability Insurance;
- A carpet fitter accidentally breaks an antique vase while fitting a carpet.
- A visitor, trips over a trailing electric cable and breaks their leg.
- A plumber damages a pipe and water leaks causing thousands of pounds worth of property damage and means the business is unable to carry out work for several weeks. Please note defective workmanship – ie the damage to the original pipe – is NOT covered
Public Liability is not compulsory, however, it is becoming increasingly important that small businesses protect themselves from the risks that are presented when they come into contact with the public and other businesses and many firms make it a basic contract term that sub contractors and other businesses working on their behalf have adequate cover.
What is Professional Indemnity?
Professional Indemnity insurance covers your legal liability for the advice and design that you provide, on the basis that this advice, design is given in a professional capacity. Professional indemnity also ensures protection against liability for breach of professional duty that you may face when providing a service for a fee.
For example, if a client disputes the accuracy of advice that their Health & Safety Consultant has undertaken for them, professional indemnity insurance (or PI as it is more generally known) will cover the cost of defending any claim as well as paying any compensation or damages that are awarded up to the limit of indemnity selected.
Examples of when you would be protected by Professional Indemnity Insurance;
- A builder designs an extension for a customer but during construction major design flaws are discovered leading to it being demolished and work having to start again
- Tax advice given by an Accountant leads to the customer suffering financial loss
- An IT Consultant fails to monitor a customers network as agreed in their contract, leading to the system being hacked which loses them business and they are then sued
Professional indemnity insurance has always been regarded as essential cover for traditional professions such as accountants, solicitors or architects but now, IT Consultants, Consulting Engineers, PR agencies as well as businesses that test or certificate such as electricians or gas engineers — Knightsure have professional indemnity insurance solutions for many trades and professions.
Next time you buy your business insurance policy hopefully you can now more easily identify the risks and exposure facing you and your business. For more information without any obligation contact us on 01489 579926 or use the Contact form on this website
There are imminent changes which will do away with the paper counterpart of the photocard driving licence and affect the ways that critical driver information can be accessed by employers. So what do businesses who employ people who drive for a living need to know?
Driving Licence Changes
From 8 June 2015 the paper counterpart will become invalid (except in Northern Ireland) and the DVLA will cease to issue the paper counterpart with new licences.
The paper counterpart used to provide address details, categories of entitlement and the recording of driving offences and fines and used to be updated to reflect any changes in driver entitlement or penalties. However, this will now no longer happen and businesses will no longer be able to rely on a visual check to ensure that their employees are qualified and legally permitted to take company vehicles on to the road.
So what are the options?
The DVLA have introduced two new developments. The first is called ‘View My Licence’. This facility is designed for the licence holder only and replaces the information that was available to view on the counterpart. Access is restricted only to the licence holder and this service is not designed for use by businesses.
The second option is called ‘Share my Record’ and allows any licence holder to create a “one off” licence check code to share their driving record with a third party, e.g. their employer or a car hire company. This code is unique and valid for 72 hours. This means that an employer can access an individual’s record online to ensure that the driver satisfies all legal and company requirements. More information can be found at www.gov.uk/check-driving-information.
Postal or telephone checking
Businesses can still contact the DVLA for a check, at a cost of £5 per check, or use the call centre service which is payable using a premium rate number. In both cases, the driver’s permission is required.
Businesses must make sure that anyone they employ to drive has the right licence and qualifications. It’s clear that there are cost and time benefits of using the new online system but whatever the method used, we strongly recommend that employers check their drivers’ licences at least every 6 months. If an employee receives a ban and does not disclose this to the employer but continues to use a company car, the company insurance will be invalid and insurers will be able to avoid claims.