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Lock, Stock and Barrel

Your stock sum insured – you might think this is a relatively straight forward sum insured to calculate, but there are a number of items to consider that might not be immediately obvious – it is not just the value of your finished product or the cost of raw materials.  iStock_insurance

When calculating your stock value you should also consider whether you have any of the following:

  • Stock in the Open – have you any stock stored outside of your premises in the open? This will need to be identified to insurers.
  • Goods in Trust – are you responsible for any items that you do not own?
  • Non-Ferrous Metals – any precious metals need to be separately identified
  • Work in Progress – remember to include work in progress – this can be a substantial element of your overall stock sum insured.

On what basis is stock covered? It is important to realise that cover is on an indemnity basis – claims will be settled on the basis of replacement cost i.e. the cost of the raw materials plus any value added by you . You must ensure you have the correct sum insured so in the event of a loss, insurers can put you back on track as if the loss had not occurred. Please be aware that should the sums insured on a policy be undervalued, a claim may be reduced proportionally in line with any under-insurance.

Are you fully covered? The team at ProAktive is available to assist if you wish to discuss any of the above. Call us on either 01302 341 344 or 0114 243 9914.

By Sam Geddes, Corporate Account Handler. 




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This entry was posted in Insurance & Risk Management and tagged in , , on February 21, 2017 by admin.

The Apprenticeship Levy and the New Apprenticeship Service

Coming into effect from April 2017, the obligatory apprenticeship levy applies to all UK employers.  Businesses with an annual pay bill over £3 million, will be required to contribute 0.5% of their bill, as an additional tax through PAYE.

An allowance of £15,000 against the levy is available to each employer.  To reiterate, those with a pay bill of less than £3 million, will in fact pay nothing.

This levy is designed to replace all taxpayer funding of apprenticeships.Young female engineer with office blueprints

Connected companies are only entitled to one allowance and payment will be monthly with the money sitting in a Digital Apprentice Services Account.

The English government has also committed to contributing an extra 10% on top of payments made, with the money being available to use for 24 months before expiring. The money in this account will only be available for paying towards government approved apprenticeship training and assessments.

There is a new Apprenticeship Service that will be launched officially in May 2017 to accompany this levy, with some services being available to all employers, not just those that have to pay the levy.

The government expects that in the future all apprenticeship training and assessments will have to be put through the apprenticeship service and from 2018, employers will be able to transfer up to 10% of the levy funds in their digital account each year to another employer with an account. This will allow employers to support their supply chain or other employers in their sector or community.

As with all new legislation, the specifics surrounding the levy are likely to change and it is still unsure how the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish apprentice arrangements will work, and how this will affect companies with branches within those countries.

If your company exceeds the threshold – or is likely to soon – and wants advice about apprenticeships or any other human resource issue, please contact the employment team on 01302 341 344.

By Louise Addison


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This entry was posted in Human Resource Management and tagged in , , , , on February 17, 2017 by admin.

How does Cyber Insurance actually protect your business?

Even the best prepared firms can struggle to understand the scope of or comply with regulatory and legislative requirements in the aftermath of a data breach.

Expert advice and guidance is essential when making decisions and implementing plans to mitigate the reputational damage, law suits and regulatory investigations arising from a data breach.

The causes of a data breach could be: a disgruntled employee improperly accessing or using client data; the loss or theft of IT hardware; the opening of an email from a bogus sender containing a virus; or a criminal gang that hacks into a business’ IT system to steal sensitive data or alternatively to encrypt it and demand a ransom (cyber extortion).Finger Pointing At Cloud Access In Social Network

How could having a Cyber Insurance policy in place protect your business?

  • It provides cover for first party and third party loss
  • Costs to restore, recreate data or software, loss of net profit, and expenses incurred in order to minimise the loss of net profit arising from a data security breach can be reimbursed.
  • It offers access to experts in data breach management to help you:
  • gets your firm back up and running quickly
  • limits your reputational damage
  • mitigates your exposure to regulatory risks

You may have asked yourself, but aren’t I covered for these things with my other policies?

The gaps in coverage that exist between a Cyber Insurance policy and other insurances purchased include:

  • First party breach response costs – legal, forensic specialist IT, PR, customer notification services, call centre services, customer credit protection services, customer ID and credit monitoring.
  • Contractual liability obligations relating to cyber risks, which may be insisted upon by large corporate clients, may not fall within the scope of cover under other liability policies.
  • Breaches pertaining to first party employee, trustee, director and partner information.
  • Breaches perpetrated by rogue employees.
  • Cover for terrorist cyber events.
  • Cyber extortion costs and expenses.
  • Cover for the restoration of critical software and data.
  • Losses due to the interruption of the organisations network and trading platforms.

SL HeadShotIf you would like further information about this type of protection for your business, please contact a member of our team on either 01302 341 344 or 0114 243 9914.

By Sam Leeder ACII – Group Sales Manager.




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This entry was posted in Insurance & Risk Management and tagged in , , , on February 15, 2017 by admin.

HSE Strategy for 2017

Often, if you get a visit from the dreaded HSE Inspector, you can be left feeling that they have focused on some strange things. These might seem completely arbitrary and not a reflection of the true hazards present in your business. Actually, the Inspector’s focus is anything but strange! Each year the HSE identifies a number of issues and launches campaigns to ensure that we target these areas.

This year the HSE plans to concentrate solely on health, due to statistics being released which show work-related ill health leads to more premature deaths and greater losses to the economy than work-related accidents. ConstructionKEN

The three areas of health that are likely to be focused on are:

  1. Occupational Stress and related mental ill health
  2. Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSD’s)
  3. Occupational Lung Disease

To combat the effect of stress the HSE will be releasing guidance to build on the existing management standards and they will be targeting the industries that have the highest levels of stress; healthcare and education in particular.

A similar approach will be taken to deal with the high levels of MSD’s, however the industries that will be targeted are Food Manufacturing and Construction.

For occupational lung disease focus will be given to the four greatest concerns:

  1. Asbestos
  2. Silica
  3. Asthma
  4. Legionella

The HSE will also be taking a sector-by-sector approach to their focus this year:

For Food Manufacturing:

  • Controlling exposure to substances that cause occupational lung disease.
  • Reducing MSD’s and work related stress.
  • Preventing serious accidents involving heavy loads during maintenance activities and catastrophic events.

For Construction

  • Particular focus on occupational lung disease and MSD’s
  • Supporting small businesses to achieve improved risk control and management
  • Embedding the principles of CDM Regulations 2015

Kris 2 HeadShotHSE inspectors are influenced by the above strategy as to where they visit and what sort of questions they will ask. To prevent your company from being caught off guard you need to be prepared. If you have any questions about these issues within your workplace please contact the Health & Safety team on 01302 341 344.

By Kris Kerins BSc (Hons) Cert CII – Risk Services Adviser



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This entry was posted in Health & Safety Management and tagged in , , , , , on February 13, 2017 by admin.

Mental Health in the Workplace

Work-related stress and anxiety are estimated to be the second biggest occupational health problem in the UK and the government has now recognised the importance of mental health with Theresa May saying that “as a society we must face up to the fact mental health problems are everyone’s problem.” This includes employers. If your employees are suffering with mental health issues then as an employer there are measures you should take.

It is often assumed that people with mental health problems cannot work but this is untrue and in fact the majority of people with mental health problems are treated by their GP and are capable of continuing to work productively. Evidence shows that employment can actually be of great benefit in these cases. Female doctor with her patient

There may however be situations where employees are struggling with mental health and their work is affected. In these cases it is important that managers are:

  • able to recognise signs of stress and have some understanding of possible ill-health outcomes.
  • able to communicate effectively, including being able to listen to distressed individuals,
  • equipped with the more practical skills of carrying out a risk assessment.

It is also important that:

  • systems and procedures are in place at work to minimise the risk of pressures creating stress, and leading to ill health.
  • managers and employees know what precautions can help.

In order to tackle mental health problems a company should focus on the following:

  • prevention of the development of mental health problems or the reduction of known risks is key. This is done by working to create good workplaces and good jobs, excellent leaders and supportive/competent managers, and by educating people for the job.
  • early identification of those at risk to prevent escalation, to build resilience and allow early intervention.
  • intervention which is aimed at resolving mental health and wellbeing problems quickly to help maintain people at work or return people to work as soon as they feel able.

RHheadshotIf you would like any further advice on the points raised in this blog, please contact us today on 01302 341 344 and ask for a member of our Health and Safety Team.

By Rachel Hamill – Health & Safety Adviser


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This entry was posted in Health & Safety Management and tagged in , , , on January 30, 2017 by admin.

How would your business survive following a large insurance loss?

We have been out and about in South Yorkshire talking to motor traders a lot recently and found that Business Interruption (BI) insurance is a common gap in cover.

There seems to be a common misunderstanding of the importance of BI cover and more often than not, we are finding that so many motor traders do not have any cover. Whilst BI is not a legal requirement, we consider it to be a fundamental part of any motor trade insurance programme. Mechanic Holding Clipboard In Front Of Open Car Engine

Consider the worst-case scenario; total loss fire. Your material damage insurance will reinstate the assets you have lost i.e. plant, machinery, tools and vehicles etc but who picks up the cost of your loss of income?

It could take several months for your business to fully recover and in the meantime, your customers can’t wait – they will need to use alternative providers…your competitors!

Business Interruption covers you for loss of income during periods when you cannot carry-out your normal business activities due to an unexpected, insured event. The cover aims to put your business in the same trading position it was in before the event occurred.

So, let’s summarise. BI cover should be considered because it;

  • Protects the money your business earns
  • Provides financial support to enable your business to recover
  • Provides financial support to continue to pay staff & bills
  • Helps you to retain your customers

Leah HeadShotWhen times are tough, don’t remove cover for BI – safeguard the future of your business!

If you would like to discuss this in more detail (or any of you business insurance RachWhiteleyHeadShotrequirements) please give us a call on either 0114 243 9914 or 01302 341 344.

Leah Kendall and Rachel Storey




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This entry was posted in Insurance & Risk Management and tagged in , , , on January 26, 2017 by admin.

To flood or not to flood…

Insurers are in the business of “risk transfer”. Put simply, having identified a risk, such as a flood, businesses and private individuals may transfer that risk by paying a premium to an insurer.  In principle, for a risk to be insurable it must be accidental and fortuitous in nature. Events that are deliberate or inevitable are uninsurable; in such circumstances the premium would exceed the claim!

Climate change is of huge concern to insurers across the globe. In recent years, insurers have invested in and developed sophisticated modelling systems that allow them to predict how and where floods might occur, if not when. As a result, many insurers now will not provide flood cover in some high-risk locations or cover is granted subject to enormous excesses. windsor flooding

Thankfully the government together with the insurance industry devised a solution for private individuals that saw the formation of ‘Flood Re’ in spring 2016. Flood Re represents a pooling of resources that enables the provision of flood cover, via your chosen insurer, for those whose properties are in high-risk locations. Businesses, some landlords and residential properties built after 2009 are however excluded from the Flood Re arrangement.

If your commercial property has flooded before or falls into a high risk area it remains difficult to obtain cover or to do so on reasonable terms.

So, can anything be done?

The government in conjunction with the industry is talking about a version of Flood Re for businesses. But in the interim:

  • Start by selecting your Insurance Broker wisely; please make sure that yours has access to a wide range of insurers with local geographic knowledge – this can be vital in trying to negotiate the best flood terms.
  • It is also now possible to buy Flood Excess Insurance. If the worst should happen – and the property insurer accepts a claim for a flood – then Flood Excess Insurance will cover the excess amount up to a chosen level, usually £50,000.

DT HeadShotAs with all insurance policies the purchase of Flood Excess policy will depend on your individual situation and risk profile, however, it is proving a popular option for clients who simply cannot find a solution by conventional means to cover their properties against the risks of flood.

The team at ProAktive is available to assist if you wish to discuss any of the above. Contact us today on 01302 341 344 or 0114 243 9914.

By Dane Turner Cert CII – Broking Manager




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This entry was posted in Insurance & Risk Management and tagged in , , , on January 25, 2017 by admin.

Are you aware of the new Gender Pay Gap Reporting legislation?

With the New Year comes new legislation which will require all companies to report on the gender pay gap within their organisation, provided they employ over 250 members of staff. This regulation is due to come into force on the 6th April 2017 and affects businesses in the private and voluntary sectors alike.

So if you employ over 250 members of staff or are likely to by April, then here is what you need to know.Businesspeople Having Meeting In Modern Open Plan Office

  1. The regulation, similar to the Equality Act, includes apprentices and zero hour workers as employees and therefore their pay information should be included in the report. However, agency workers and partners in limited liability partnerships are excluded.
  1. If an employee is on maternity leave, long term sick pay or another reduced rate of pay at the time the data is collected then although they must be included to determine how many people the company employs, their pay information can be excluded from the report as it is not an accurate representation.
  1. Companies will be required to report on the following criteria:
  • The percentage difference in mean hourly pay between male and female employees on the snapshot date (5 April – this is called the ‘relevant pay period’)
  • The percentage difference in median hourly pay between men and women on that date
  • The percentage difference in the mean bonus between men and women in the previous 12 months
  • The percentage difference in the median bonus (this has been added in since the original proposals) between men and women in the previous 12 months
  • The percentage of men and women respectively who received a bonus (which must also be expressed as a percentage) in the previous 12 months
  • The percentage of men and women in each hourly rate pay quartile, split evenly across the workforce, reported by upper, upper middle, low middle and lower bands
  1. The report must be published on the employer’s website by April 2018, stay on there for at least 3 years and be sent over to the relevant government department. It is also worth noting that companies will be expected to produce this report annually, which will allow them to show the progress made. There must also be a written statement signed by a Director vouching that the report is accurate.
  1. A recent update in the regulations and explanatory notes, published in December 2016, has confirmed that a failure to publish the report is an unlawful act which could prompt action from the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, which may lead to an investigation.

Kris 2 HeadShotFor advice on the new regulation, what you can do to manage the gender pay gap differences or other HR advice please do not hesitate to contact the Employment Team on 01302 341344.

By Kris Kerins BSc (Hons) Cert CII

Risk Services Technical Administrator


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This entry was posted in Human Resource Management and tagged in , , , on January 9, 2017 by admin.

New Year’s Resolution – Be more ProAktive in your thinking

As the New Year kicks off people start to think about what they might be able to do better in 2017 (more so than they did in 2016) and what they would like to achieve.  This could involve losing weight, getting a new job, moving house etc, however, how about trying to be more proactive when it comes to your Father and son togetherinsurance?

It is always prudent to update insurers of any changes to your risk mid-term rather than waiting for renewal.  Adding an extension to a building requires notification to insurers not only during the course of the build but also once the building is complete.   If the buildings sum insured are not increased and a claim occurs, you could be underinsured and insurers may only pay out a reduced amount subject to average.

The new Insurance Act 2015, which came into effect on the 12th August 2016, also requires businesses to be proactive.   The Act requires a business to provide a fair presentation of their risk to insurers.  This involves the disclosure of material facts that you are aware of or should be aware of.  This could involve notifying insurers of a new business activity, changes in structure or any near miss incidents that have occurred during the past year.  Disclosing this information also needs to be reasonably clear and doesn’t just involve directing an insurer to a website for more information.  A dialogue may be required where insurers will ask specific questions to inform their underwriting decision.

Essentially any change that takes place within your business could affect the cover that is provided and so to avoid any doubt always contact your broker to discuss any changes.

Peter Ryder HeadshotSo why not kick off your New Year with a good resolution and be more ProAktive with your insurance requirements. We’re here to talk on either 01302 341 344 or 0114 243 9914.

By Peter Ryder BA (Hons) ACII – Account Executive


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This entry was posted in Insurance & Risk Management and tagged in , , on January 6, 2017 by admin.

“Management” Liability

In the past, you may have heard us talk about Directors & Officers Liability Insurance, often referred to as D&O.

D&O policies offer financial protection to directors and officers of companies against claims made against them in their personal capacity as directors or officers of a company. “Officer” is an unusual term but it refers to those individuals working on rather than in the business. So, for example, a Company Secretary would be acting as an officer.

Claims against individual directors and officers are quite rare but when they happen the consequences can be catastrophic. In many circumstances the various Companies Acts preclude the company from indemnifying an individual and so the target of any such action is faced with legal costs even if the claim against them has little merit.iStock_tribunalCourtRoom1

Claims against directors can flow from employees, creditors, investors and regulators amongst others. We have seen directors attacked by regulators: the HSE favour prosecuting individuals in addition to the company where death of serious injuries at work have occurred. (Your D&O policy cannot pay a fine or go to jail on your behalf but the policy will pay the legal costs of defending or representing you).

D&O policies are arranged and paid for by the company and whilst the purpose of the policy is to protect its individual directors and officers, HMRC accept that such polices are not a “benefit in kind”.

D&O isn’t compulsory. Nor does it materially over-lap or replicate any other liability policies that a company may have, Employers and Public Liability policies for example. These latter policies protect the limited entity that is the company rather than its directors and officers.

Insurers’ now refer to D&O policies as “Management Liability” policies, simply because these policies often provide other cover extensions that are both for the benefit of individuals and the company. For example, our favoured provider includes protection against employment claims, unfair dismissal and the like and does so free of any policy excess in circumstances where we provide the HR advice. All of which makes these policies great value for money.

We sometimes hear people say:

“As a director, my liability is limited”

“I don’t have the word director in my title, so I can’t be held liable”

“We are only a small company, nothing will happen to us”

“My personal assets are safe”

Leah HeadShotAll of the above statements are common myths and are simply untrue. Claims may be rare but your company can easily protect you for a modest premium. Don’t take a chance.

If you would like to speak to us about this type of policy for your business in greater detail, or would like to get a quotation, please contact us on either 01302 341 344 or 0114 243 9914 today.

By Leah Kendall - Account Executive.



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This entry was posted in Insurance & Risk Management and tagged in , , , , , on January 4, 2017 by admin.