Posts by Hiten Joshi

Unoccupied Property

January 26th, 2021 Posted by Uncategorised 0 comments on “Unoccupied Property”

As the third national lockdown continues, many are still unable to use their business premises. This may mean your business or your tenants have vacated the premises entirely or there is a change to the pattern of occupancy. In the past, the premises may have been occupied daily, whereas now they are only occupied on a limited number of days each week.

This could have implications for your insurance as most property insurance policies only provide cover where the premises are unoccupied for no more than a period of 30 days. Beyond this cover may be reduced or even automatically excluded. These conditions apply to both Building and Contents insurance.

During the first national lockdown, most insurers granted extensions to the 30-day limit, however, insurers’ have since ended these special arrangements. 

Given the current national lockdown, there is some uncertainty as to what stance insurers will take now if properties are vacated or unused or are only partially used.

The one known fact is that insurers must be advised where the occupancy has changed.

What you must tell us now:

If we arrange Business Insurance (Buildings and/or Contents) or Property Insurance for you as a property owner, please contact us if the level of occupancy has changed.

Examples of these changes include:

  • Part occupancy or complete vacancy of the premises during the working week
  • Significant changes to the opening times of business premises
  • Changes to physical, intruder or fire security (perimeter fencing/gates, alarms or CCTV)
  • Weekend occupancy (if not disclosed already)
  • New subletting to a third party
  • Change of tenants
  • In the case of multi-tenure properties, details of any vacant units or properties.

Have you changed your business activities?

You must also inform us if you or your tenants have either changed or diversified your business activities so that we can inform your insurer. This also applies to any business activities that you may have ceased.

What Happens Next

Once you have contacted us, we will notify your insurer of any changes to your property’s occupancy or security. This will mean you are meeting your obligation of ‘disclosure of information that your insurers need to know’. Policy terms may change but we would expect sympathy from insurers where you are meeting this obligation.

Should you wish to discuss this in more detail, please contact your Hamilton Leigh Client Service Executive.

FCA Business Interruption Insurance Test Case Appeal Supreme Court Ruling

January 26th, 2021 Posted by Uncategorised 0 comments on “FCA Business Interruption Insurance Test Case Appeal Supreme Court Ruling”

The Supreme Court handed down judgment on the FCA Business Interruption Insurance test case appeal on Friday 15th January.

This largely agreed with the High Court ruling, in favour of the FCA and those policyholders with Non-Damage Business Interruption policy wordings. 

The case was brought forward by the FCA to appeal certain issues on which it did not succeed in the High Court. Six insurance companies also appealed certain decisions made by the High Court and responded to the FCA’s appeal. The insurers were Arch, Argenta, Hiscox, MS Amlin, RSA and QBE; all of whom had their appeals dismissed. 

The Test Case was designed to achieve clarity for policyholders, by seeking a binding court decision on the meaning and effect of the twenty-one sample policy wordings, provided by eight defendant insurance companies, albeit only six insurers appealed the High Court decision.

The sample wordings were chosen to be representative of those in the market that provide coverage for:

  • Infectious and notifiable diseases (except where the policy contains a list of diseases or includes a limited number of notifiable disease).
  • Official actions or advice which affect a policyholder’s ability to access or use the insured premises.

The Supreme Court also considered the issue of causation and the basis on which successful claims might be quantified.

As previously explained, the vast majority of insurers were not party to the test case, nor are their policy wordings impacted by the Judgment. This is because physical damage to property is required by the majority of policies in order for there to be a valid Business Interruption claim or the list of diseases for which cover is provided is an exhaustive list and COVID-19 is not included.

The Judgment document consists of 114 pages, therefore, the FCA will publish a set of Q&As to assist brokers and their clients in understanding the test case ruling. The FCA will also publish a definitive list of Business Interruption policy types that potentially respond to the pandemic based on data that we will be gathering from insurers.

We welcome the clarity that the Judgment provides and we expect any issues not addressed by the Judgment will be assessed on a case-by-case basis as part of the normal insurance loss adjustment process. This should apply to all government restrictions, whether national or local, provided that a relevant policy was in force at the start of the relevant lockdown period.

Although the judgment establishes a number of points of principle on policy wording interpretation, the key point to keep in mind is that each policy and claim will need to be considered on its own merits, guided by points made in the judgment.

The Supreme Court’s judgment will be condensed into a set of declarations. The FCA and all defendant insurers are working as quickly as possible with the Supreme Court to enable the Court to issue these declarations.  

While there may never be a way to completely make up for the financial losses that the pandemic wreaked upon businesses, the Supreme Court ruling is one of the most significant for business in modern times. The result should leave the insurance industry in no doubt that they should immediately start doing the right thing and settle valid claims.

We have studied the judgment in extreme detail and written to those clients with policies which we believe to be affected, albeit we are still awaiting the definitive list from insurers. Should you have any questions that you would like to discuss or require any additional support, please do not hesitate to contact your Hamilton Leigh Client Service Executive.

Please click on the link for the Supreme Court judgment here.

A summary of the ruling from Herbert Smith Freehills can also be found by clicking on the link here.

What does the Brexit trade deal mean for you, your business and your business insurance programme?

January 7th, 2021 Posted by Uncategorised 0 comments on “What does the Brexit trade deal mean for you, your business and your business insurance programme?”

The Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) signed by the UK Government and the EU on 24th December 2020 ensures tariff-free trade for goods will continue as before. The agreement stipulates how the two economies will interact on a vast range of issues but it does not currently provide access for UK insurers or brokers to the EU’s single market from 1 January 2021. This will impact the arrangement of insurance for businesses, people or property situate in the EU. It does not however impact the insurance of businesses that simply sells their goods into the EU.

Both sides agreed during the negotiations to discuss financial services separately. In a document published on 24th December, the UK. government said the agreement includes provisions to support trade in services, including financial services and legal services.

From 1st January 2021, UK financial services firms (including insurance companies and brokers) no longer have automatic passporting rights. Passporting previously allowed firms to sell their services into the EU from their UK base without the need for additional regulatory clearances.

In order to continue to access the single market without passporting, UK based financial services firms will have to rely on ‘equivalence’ decisions, currently being negotiated between The Treasury and their EU counterparts.

The UK has implemented a Temporary Permissions Regime to support EU based firms operating in the UK with passporting rights but currently, there is no equivalent EU wide scheme for UK firms operating in the EU. We are hopeful an agreement will be reached during the first quarter of 2021. As Britain’s Services sector accounts for 80% of our economy and employs over 1.1 million people, this has now become a priority.

We have been taking proactive steps to provide our clients with compliant insurance solutions in a post-Brexit trading world.  Over the last year we have been engaging regularly with insurance companies and our EU broking partners, preparing for this eventuality and to identify and mitigate any potential risks to our clients and their businesses.

Hamilton Leigh is committed to ensuring we continue to provide our clients with EU cover solutions, with continuity of service for their risk and insurance needs in the EU and has formed an alliance with an associated partner brokerage; Crotty Insurance Brokers Ltd, based in Dublin and regulated by the Central Bank or Ireland. This alliance enables us to continue supporting our client relationships and to provide a practical solution for those clients with businesses, people or property situate in the EU.

With regards to existing insurance contracts, EU coverage remains in force up until your renewal, at which time we shall agree a strategy for the year ahead. Please rest assured we will do all we can to ensure any changes are as seamless as possible.

We shall be in touch with you over the next few weeks to discuss your EU cover requirements in more detail but should you require more information in the meantime, please contact your Hamilton Leigh Client Service Executive.

You Might Need a Green Card if You Are Driving Abroad From 1st January 2021

December 30th, 2020 Posted by Uncategorised 0 comments on “You Might Need a Green Card if You Are Driving Abroad From 1st January 2021”

The UK formally left the European Union on 31 January 2020. Whilst we now have a Free Trade Agreement, uncertainty remains on whether this will be extended to facilitate access to the EU’s single market for UK financial services.

From 1st January 2021, UK motorists including road hauliers driving in the European Economic Area, Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland will need physical proof of motor insurance when they travel; commonly referred to as a Green Card, until such time as the EU Commission agrees that the UK can remain part of the Green Card Free Circulation Zone. The Green Card requirement will also apply to motorists in Northern Ireland driving across the border with the Republic of Ireland.

All European Economic Area (EEA) countries (EU countries, and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway) are part of a Green Card free circulation area, meaning that motorists based there do not have to carry Green Cards when visiting other countries in the area. UK motorists will be required to carry Green Cards for driving in the Republic and other EU states, until such time as the European Commission agrees that the UK can remain in the Green Card Free Circulation Zone.

Motorists failing to carry a Green Card when one is needed, risk having their vehicle seized and facing prosecution.

What is a Green Card?

A Green Card is an international certificate of insurance that proves you are insured to drive in the EU. They’re issued and signed by your vehicle insurer, and include your vehicle and registration details. You’ll need to have one with you if you’re driving in Europe and you’ll need a second one if you’re towing a trailer or caravan.

You also need to take your vehicle registration document (V5) to prove you own the vehicle and have a GB sticker on your vehicle and any trailer. In some countries you’ll need an international driving permit (IDP) Check if you need an IDP.

How long do they last for?

A Green Card can last for up to 90 days (or until you’re due to renew your motor insurance, if your renewal date is less than 90 days away), but you should check your policy booklet for details on how long you’re covered to drive in a single trip abroad.

What happens if my insurance renews whilst I’m driving abroad?

When you renew your insurance you’ll need a new Green Card for your new policy, even if you keep your insurance with the same insurance company. If you decide to switch to a new insurer, you’ll need to ask them for a new Green Card.

If you plan to be driving your vehicle abroad, please make sure you apply for a Green Card at least 3-4 weeks in advance of your trip as some insurers require a minimum of 3 weeks’ notice in order to produce the document.

What will happen if I don’t have a Green Card when I travel abroad?

You could be breaking the law, be refused entry into the European country, receive a fine and/or have your vehicle seized. Motor insurance policies do not cover loss or damage caused by the legal confiscation of your vehicle by HM Revenue and Customs, the police, a local authority or any other government authority – check your policy booklet for full terms and conditions.

What happens if I’m driving with a trailer or caravan?

You’ll need to inform us when you ask for your Green Card as you need a second Green Card for your caravan or trailer.

If you plan to take a commercial trailer weighing over 750kg or a non-commercial trailer weighing over 3,500kg, you must also register it with the Government before you can travel to, or through, most EU and EEA countries.

Summary

Although talks remain ongoing for UK financial services firms to replace passporting rights to offer insurance coverage in the EU, an agreement is unlikely to be reached for several months, if at all. If you are planning on driving abroad in 2021, we strongly recommend planning in advance to ensure you have the correct documentation.

For more information, please contact your Hamilton Leigh Client Service Executive.

Risk Insights – Lowering Employment Practices Liability Risks

December 9th, 2020 Posted by Uncategorised 0 comments on “Risk Insights – Lowering Employment Practices Liability Risks”

Employment practices liability insurance (EPL) is a critical type of cover that provides various protections for policyholders. Employers face a variety of risks related to employment practices liability claims. These claims have become more prevalent in 2020, given the effect of Coronavirous to our economy and the number of redundancies.

Review the full article here

Challenges for the technology sector in 2021

December 2nd, 2020 Posted by Uncategorised 0 comments on “Challenges for the technology sector in 2021”

The tech sector is constantly evolving in a chain reaction of rapid technological developments. No matter where you are based in the world, it is virtually impossible to escape the way new technologies are reshaping everyday life, as exciting as this is, the tech sector faces new challenges for 2021?

Review the full white paper here.

We’re open for business and here to help

November 5th, 2020 Posted by Uncategorised 0 comments on “We’re open for business and here to help”

Following the Government’s announcement on the new lockdown measures, we want to reassure you of our continued commitment and support for you and your business. 

We have closed our office in accordance with government guidelines, but remain fully operational, working remotely and most importantly, working closely with our Clients to ensure their interests remain fully protected when it comes to their Insurance needs.

Our contingency plans were already in place to support you throughout the previous lockdown period and we are here to help you manage current impacts to your business by delivering solutions to help mitigate current and future risks.

Should you wish to discuss your policy coverage or have any questions, please contact your Hamilton Leigh service executive.

Please be assured, the delivery of our broking and claims service remains an absolute priority. Helping our clients during these extremely difficult times is core to who we are.

As before, we shall continue to update you on the latest insurance information on the Insights page on our website. Please also follow us on LinkedIn for news articles, guidance and advice.

Stay safe and healthy.

Common Types of Social Engineering Scams

September 29th, 2020 Posted by Uncategorised 0 comments on “Common Types of Social Engineering Scams”

A hackers tactics are diverse. Educating staff on common scams to watch out for is a great way to mitigate the exposure of being caught out. However, if you would like to manage the risk with insurance please reach out to Jason Cohen at Hamilton Leigh to discuss the benefits of Cyber Insurance for your business

The FCA business interruption test case – Court hands down judgment

September 15th, 2020 Posted by Uncategorised 0 comments on “The FCA business interruption test case – Court hands down judgment”

The High Court has today handed down judgment in the COVID-19 Business Interruption insurance test case. The judgment brings highly-anticipated ruling of cover under certain non-damage business interruption insurance extensions.

Lee Cohen, Hamilton Leigh’s Managing Director said “today’s welcomed judgment is a significant step in resolving the uncertainty being faced by many businesses. Today’s judgment removes a large number of barriers for those able to make successful claims, as well as clarifying those that may not be successful”.

The test case was not intended to encompass all possible disputes, but to resolve some key contractual uncertainties and ‘causation’ issues to provide clarity for policyholders and insurers. 

It is of course likely that the judgment will be appealed.  Any appeal however does not preclude businesses seeking to submit claims with their insurer before the outcome of any appeal is known.

Hamilton Leigh’s team of experts are currently examining the judgment and expect to publish a summary document which we will make available within the next few days.

In the meantime, should you wish to discuss your policy wording with Hamilton Leigh and the likelihood of being able to make a claim, please contact:

Lee Cohen

E: leecohen@hamiltonleigh.com

T: 07980 606886

Or

Paul Staines

E: paulstaines@hamiltonleigh.com

T: 07866 637989

Key Health and Saftey Concerns in Transport, Haulage and Warehousing

September 15th, 2020 Posted by Uncategorised 0 comments on “Key Health and Saftey Concerns in Transport, Haulage and Warehousing”

A wide range of industry-specific risks contribute to the transport, haulage and warehousing sector possessing a workplace fatality rate totalling twice the all-industry average. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t let employee injury, ill health and fatal accidents become an accepted aspect of your workplace. Have a look at the following industry-specific statistics to find ways that your transport, haulage or warehousing firm can combat top health and safety concerns. For more information, contact Hamilton Leigh today.

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