Can you believe that we are in 2018 already? I mean 2017 has shot by and whilst a lot happened last year, we must learn from some mistakes I’ve seen made by high risk companies.
High risk companies can garner over last years faults and utilise it to impact the business in a positive way for 2018.
Here’s 5 things that I believe will help your construction business this year when it comes to your insurance:
1. Figures, Figures, Figures
I know talking about numbers is not the most glamorous of subjects, but when speaking with your broker be sure to give an exact breakdown of your turnover and wage roll. Yes, I know it sounds crazy nevertheless there’s still some people with the ‘around £5m turnover’ answer. Oh, does that hurt the ears. The information you provide is what your policy is worth. When there is an unfortunate incident you need to make sure that the insurer will have no qualms in covering the damage. They will look to the information that you and your broker have provided and audit your business accordingly. If they find that 2+2 don’t = 1, then their obligation to pay goes out the window.
2. Flexible as rubber!
You’re a growing business taking on contracts/tenders and not sure how the year will go. Still looking to save money and don’t want to take out too much cover because that will cost you. Well, that is only logical right!
When taking out your liability policies make sure you find out how flexible the insurer is on the tenders you could possibly take on. What will happen if you win a tender on a high-risk location or you need to go an extra 5 metres high or a few metres below ground?
The last thing you need is to be stuck with a policy that doesn’t cover you according to your business change. Be sure your broker has thought of every scenario that could happen with your business and have that reflect the policy you have.
3. Oh, Driver!
As much as it might be convenient to let any employee drive your vehicle because that’s who’s on site that day or whatever the reason. Believe me, it is not worth it to put an untrained and careless driver in one of your vehicles in the long run.
Investing the money and time in training your drivers to be cautious and effective could save you £1000s! Less accidents, means less claims which leads to less money for you to pay out year on year. At the end of the day if your business depends on having a fully functioning fleet then the manner in which your fleet operates is crucial.
There are many organisations that dedicate themselves to helping businesses like yours operate a safe and fuel-efficient fleet. People such as FORS (Fleet Operation Recognition Scheme (https://www.fors-online.org.uk/cms/) and others.
Train your drivers! And consider investing in telematics technologies to help track performance, efficiency and safety.
4. Less in not more. More is more
Having just the basic cover such as Public and Employers Liability is enough to keep you going, but are you genuinely thinking of the worst case? Having been insuring high risk construction companies for the past 15 years, we have seen all sorts of claims from the not so good, to the bad and the ugly.
Many cases have occurred where a contract dispute have put companies in such jeopardy that the expenses alone to fight their case would of basically make them go bust. Of course, they didn’t because we offered them the right cover however, you can see the worst-case scenario. There have been scenarios where businesses have been put in debt and all could have been avoided by forking out a few extra £100s for cover that would help them in those situations.
Covers like, Commercial Legal Expense Cover that will cover you for contract disputes which costs thousands in solicitor fees. At the time it might not seem necessary because “that has never happened to me before”. If I had a pound for every time I heard that!
These covers should be expressed to you by your broker in detail and you need to be made fully aware of what covers you need or should highly consider even if it sounds like some up sale pitch.
Here’s a list of covers we recommend for every construction company to contemplate:
Commercial Legal Expense
Directors and Officers
5. Use an Expert!
This may seem like common sense, but trust me you’ll be surprised on how many people use a ‘We do everything’ broker. Using an expert broker that is industry specific not only grants you access to the exclusive markets. Us specialist brokers, have inside market access that will add value to your business. Knowing the best schemes available to market and understanding how the industry is changing around you.
The experience gained with servicing similar companies year in year out allows for us specialist to really see it all. Dealing with all types of claims prepares the specialist for all kinds of possibilities. So, when it comes to dealing with new clients the experts can really narrow down what risks your business is going to be exposed to and what is needed to cover those risks. This will be greatly beneficial to you as you can be comfortable that no matter what happens you are covered!
6. To sum up
Your insurance is your safety net. We know it’s a pain to pay out for when nothing happens as you see no reward in the short term. To benefit as much as possible from insurance utilize your broker as much as possible in helping you apply risk management strategies that will add value to your business while it continues to grow.
Sit down with your broker and evaluate the year and go through all the points we have discussed. See if you are training your drivers correctly and how that will affect your insurance premium. Find out what other covers you may need. Analyse your policy and see what else it can do for the direction you are looking to take your business.
Take advantage of your broker! It is what we are here for.
I hope this has helped you and if you have any questions, drop me a message I’m always up for a chat.
All the best for 2018. Let’s smash this year!