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How to demonstrate that you’re better than the rest.

Insurers work your premiums out based on the information supplied by you and your insurance broker, which creates certain assumptions about the way your business operates. The danger with this approach is that the insurance company may base your premium on their experience of other similar businesses in your industry; they may have been stung in the past by companies which look good on paper but don’t measure up under scrutiny. So how do you make sure that you stand out from the rest?

Insurers look to inspect their customers’ businesses by sending out one of their team of in-house or external surveyors. They will typically undertake two types of survey – a property or liability survey. A property survey tends to deal with physical things such as the quality of your premises and security. A liability survey, however, is a different kettle of fish entirely as this looks at the performance of your company in terms of the way that you work and how you protect your staff. In essence this is an inspection of your health and safety systems. Oh no! You are as good as you think you are, aren’t you?

In order to present yourself in the best possible light you will be expected to show the surveyor:

  • Your health and safety policy;
  • Your employees’ training certificates;
  • Risk assessments;
  • Method statements;

And most importantly

  • Your well behaved workforce in their clean, tidy workplace.

Easy peasy, eh?! What’s all the fuss about? Well the problem is that the surveyor won’t care about pressures of work. They won’t care about your cash flow or bank balance. What they care about is your ability to defend any potential claim that may arise. The upside to this is that by looking at your potential for claims defensibility, the insurers might be reassured that your company is behaving as they’d expect and this might have a positive effect on the premium that you pay. If they’re not happy though, and the insurers may fear that they might be paying large sums of money on your behalf, they can impose requirements that you must meet in order to keep the policy in force. These requirements might be expensive and the insurers might demand that they are implemented in a short time frame. Essentially, if you want the cover to continue, you won’t have a choice about complying with their demands.

This is why health and safety is important in terms of insurance policy cover. It also explains to some extent why ProAktive aren’t just experts in insurance, but also have qualified and experienced health and safety consultants to assist where necessary. If you want to be reassured that you’re not going to be caught out, please contact ProAktive where one of our experts will be happy to discuss your situation and requirements.

By Ian Clayton, CMIOSH, Health & Safety Manager.


(first published in September 2016)

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