Professional Indemnity Insurance

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.

Who Needs PI Cover?

It is appropriate cover for anyone who gives advice, makes educated recommendations, designs solutions, or represents the needs of others. Professionals such as accountants, engineers, IT consultants, software developers, planners, estate agents and contractors are prime candidates for carrying PI insurance. The main reasons professionals seek out PI insurance include the following:

  • It is legally required for their profession (Solicitors Act 1974).
  • It is a regulatory requirement. Many professional organisations, such as the Architects Registration Board, require their members to have PI insurance before they can practice.
  • It is contractually required by the customer.
  • It provides extra protection against potential legal costs and expenses.

PI Policy Overview

PI insurance offers protection for service errors, contract performance disputes or any other professional liability issues. These policies can include legal defence costs, damages and compensation due to professional negligence, which can be quite substantial.

PI policies generally have both a claim limit and an annual limit, which is based on the insured’s exposure. The claim limit is the maximum amount that will be paid for any single event, and the annual limit is the maximum that will be paid in any one year. Also common extensions include continuation of cover, liability for loss of documents, and court attendance and staff disruption costs.

There are also common exclusions typically found in PI policies. These include liability for non-financial losses and intentional, dishonest or fraudulent acts by the professional.

Count on Direct Insurance Corporate Risks

There are many different forms of professional liability insurance and various factors to consider when purchasing PI cover for your business. Because there isn’t a standard policy, an experienced broker who understands your company and can knowledgeably design a policy to meet your needs is invaluable. Contact Direct Insurance Corporate Risks at 01277 844 360 to learn how PI insurance fits into your total risk management programme.

Proper Employee Training

The waste and recycling industry is littered with hazards. From constant workplace transport to hazardous materials and manual handling, the waste and recycling industry is dangerous for the uninitiated.

That is why, as the owner or operator of a waste and recycling facility, you must ensure your employees possess the proper training to keep them safe while tackling industry hazards. Neglecting to do so endangers the health and safety of your employees—and the future of your business.

Legal Requirements

In Great Britain, the Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 requires employers to provide whatever training is necessary to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of employees at the workplace. The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 expand responsibilities, specifying that employers must identify the situations where health and safety training is particularly important.

The corresponding legislation in Northern Ireland is the Health and Safety at Work (Northern Ireland) Order 1978 and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2000.

To comply with the legislation, employers must provide training for all employees on the following three topics:

  1. The risks they may face
  2. Measures in place to control the risks
  3. How to get first aid and follow any emergency procedures

Pay special attention to the training needs of new recruits, young people and workers taking on new responsibilities—they may be especially vulnerable to accidents due to ignorance.

General Training Requirements

To maximise your training programme, secure commitment and support from your management team—the standards espoused in training should be adopted company-wide. Your management team and competent trainers must allocate sufficient time to review the programme at every step to ensure it is effective. You should always be brainstorming new ways to enhance your business’ training.

The average training regime will usually contain the following components:

  • Induction training
  • On-the-job training
  • Additional training when changing jobs
  • Refresher training
  • Assessment to verify workers’ competence
  • Periodic review of training needs

Remember to design a training regime that suits your business’ specific needs. The general requirements for training programmes fall into these six categories:

  1. Planning training – When planning your training programme, be sure to satisfy all legal requirements and take advantage of relevant guidance from the Health and Safety Executive (www.hse.gov.uk). Designate enough time for training. Demonstrations alone will not suffice—employees will need time to practise and develop skills under adequate supervision.
  2. Delivering training – When delivering your training programme, make sure staff at all levels receive the appropriate training. Account for employees’ literacy, understanding and language barriers. Make sure it is accessible to everyone. Accessibility extends to the physical location—your programme should be conducted safely in a suitably equipped venue. To boost your training’s efficacy, plan for classroom training or demonstrations that merge into on-the-job training. Always include a risk identification section in your training programme that teaches employees how to recognise and report hazardous situations.
  3. Standard elements of training – Training programmes will vary from business to business, but most will include the following standard elements:
    1. Guidance and codes of practice
    1. Assessment of risks
    1. The limits of individuals’ capability
    1. Special circumstances that pop up at certain sites or certain times
    1. The importance of ergonomic design
    1. Dealing with unpredictable occurrences
    1. Employees’ authority and ability to take remedial action and report incidents
    1. Appropriate and safe use of equipment
    1. Problem-solving
    1. Staff welfare
  4. Training records – Keep records containing the following information to help manage and improve your training efforts:
    1. Names and signatures of trainers and trainees
    1. Date and place of training
    1. Duration of training
    1. Content covered, including handouts
    1. Equipment/aides used
    1. Quizzes to show clear proof of understanding
    1. Confirmation of training, such as certificates
  5. Training review – Your business should evaluate its training programme before, during and after training to ensure the programme is still appropriate and effective. Provide feedback to management on the programme’s efficacy to ensure everyone is informed.
  6. Ensuring effective training – Training programmes should mould competent workers. Arrange for supervision, monitoring and periodic assessment of workers after training to gauge the programme’s ability to equip employees with the necessary skills and knowledge.

Training Is Indispensable

Do not skimp on a quality training programme. Especially in the hazardous waste and recycling industry, your employees need thorough training to ensure their safety and your business’ success. Count on the insurance professionals at Direct Insurance Corporate Risks for a wealth of resources on successfully operating a waste and recycling business. Call us on 01277 844 360 or email us at info@direct-ins.co.uk to start bolstering your business today. Alternatively, visit www.dicr.co.uk to learn more about our tailored insurance schemes.

Has your insurance programme been reviewed recently?

Has your insurance programme recently been reviewed by an insurance professional with knowledge of your industry sector?

If the answer to the above question is no then you may want to read on to find out if your business is properly protected…

Why should I have a technical review..?

Under-insurance or gaps in cover pose a tangible risk to the future trading of a business and can also impact the personal lives of its employees and directors. Don’t wait for the worst to happen…

Why choose Direct Insurance Corporate Risks..?

  • Our team specialise in your industry sector
  • We have insurance professionals that understand your sector and it’s needs
  • We have an in-house specialist claims team on hand should the worst occur

What will we do..?

  • We will meet or arrange a call with you to discuss your insurance program at a convenient time
  • We will then conduct a full technical review of your program and provide a report of our findings
  • The report will highlight the positives, any areas of concern and, or any gaps in your cover
  • We can then provide an immediate solution using our specialist products to resolve any issues and concerns
  • You’ll also receive a full specialist quotation

Why not put us to the test?

Our regional Business Development team cover every corner of the UK. We’d love to come and speak to you about our commercial insurance offering… To arrange a visit simply email info@direct-ins.co.uk or call the team on 0203 960 2944.

To learn more about our exclusive offering visit www.dicr.co.uk today.

6 Considerations when choosing Employer’s Liability Limits

Employers’ liability( EL) insurance protects your business from claims of negligence made by employees who have suffered an injury or ill health due to their work. Unlike most other types of insurance, EL is compulsory. If your business employs workers based in England, Scotland or Wales (including offshore installations or associated structures), your business must carry EL cover to avoid substantial fines.

By law, your business is required to carry at least £5 million of EL cover. However, depending on the size and the nature of your business, the minimum level of cover may not offer adequate protection. To figure out what your EL limits may be, here are six important things to consider:

1 Multiple Claimants

Your EL limit applies to each claim individually. While the minimum limit should be able to handle a single claim, it’s important to keep in mind that multiple claims can emerge from a single incident. Consider whether your EL limit can handle multiple claims at once.

2 Nature of Activities

In general, injuries – such as loss of hearing and continuous care – tend to have larger EL claims than those involving death. Review what activities your staff regularly participate in to better gauge the potential costs of an EL claim.

3 Inner Limits

Your EL policy will most likely have common limitations. In general, these limitations include incidents arising from terrorism, war or nuclear risks. Learn what your policy limitations are to better
insulate your business from risks.

4 Concentration of Staff

If your staff is concentrated in one main area or several smaller ones, you need a higher EL limit because an incident that affects one employee could easily affect them all.

5 Hazardous Locations

Some locations – such as production lines, railways and construction sites – are more susceptible to incidents. In addition, these incidents are likely to involve a greater number
of people. Identify whether you may have high-risk, hazardous locations.

6 Future Circumstances

An EL claim can be filed years or even decades after an employee has ended his or her working relationship with your business (claims occurring basis). During the time between
buying an EL policy and claim being settled, much could change to affect the final settlement values. For that reason, it’s best to annually review your EL policy.

Direct Insurance Corporate Risks: Your Cover Expert

The Team at Direct Insurance Corporate Risks is here to help you analyse your business needs and make the right cover decisions to protect your operations from unnecessary risk. Contact us today on 01277 844 360 to learn more about the services we offer to protect your business. or visit www.dicr.co.uk.