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Archive for April, 2010

Commercial Property Insurance – Fire Risks Revealed

April 28th, 2010

With around 20% of UK warehouses and factories currently unoccupied, Insurance group Aviva is warning commercial property owners of the need to secure vacant buildings.

According to the insurer, there are around 9,000 fires in unoccupied buildings each year in the UK, and empty commercial premises, particularly in out-of-town areas, are high risk.

If not fire, other common problems with unoccupied properties include theft of fixtures and fittings fly tipping and occupation by squatters or travellers.

Property owners are therefore advised to inform their insurance company, the fire service and police when premises are empty, having first accounted for all keys and produced a list of key holders.

They should also cut off utilities and redirect mail, but at the same time keep the building looking occupied.

Rubbish and combustible materials should be cleared away leaving nothing that could be used to start a fire, or might appear to be of value.

“It also makes sense to make a note of the building’s condition when it first becomes unoccupied and maintaining a log of weekly inspections to provide evidence, should the need for a claim arise” comment’s Andrew Bourne’s David Crowther.

Trade Credit Insurance Rise 95%

April 15th, 2010

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has revealed the extent to which trade credit insurance helped UK businesses in 2009. During the year, insurers dealt with 22,791 claims, with the total amount paid out rising from £164 million in 2008, to £320 million.

According to the ABI survey, the 95% year-on-year increase reflects the ongoing effects of the global recession and the liquidity crisis on UK business.

However, figures for the final quarter of 2009 showed a significant improvement, with the number of new claims received down 23% on the previous three months.

The Associations director of general insurance and health, Nick Starling, comments: “This is consistent with the end of the downward trends observed in various sectors of the economy and the corresponding reduction in levels of corporate failures observed in Q4 2009.”

He adds: “The outlook for 2010, although improved from 2009, remains highly uncertain, which reinforces the importance of protection and risk management services provided by trade credit insurers.”

New Flood & Water Management Bill Becomes Law

April 11th, 2010

The Flood and Water Management Bill 2009-10 has received the Royal Assent. The Bill addresses the threat of flooding and of water scarcity, both of which are expected to increase with climate change.

The new legislation requires the Environment Agency to create a National Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategy, which a number of organisations will have to follow.  Leading local flood authorities are now required to create local flood risk management strategies and the Bill also introduces a more risk-based approach to reservoir management.

The legislation should enable the Environment Agency and local authorities to carry out flood risk management works more easily.

In addition, it requires the use of sustainable drainage systems in certain new developments and introduces a mandatory building standard for sewers. The cost of the damage caused by the flooding in Cumbria in November 2009 topped £200 million.

According to the Association of British Insurers, its members handled 36,000 claims totaling around £206 million, with 60% of the sum relating to business damage.

Haulage insurance Leicester – is your HGV safe?

April 10th, 2010

Andrew Bourne & Company has learnt that VOSA has vowed to implement stringent vehicle checks as part of a crack down on rogue HGV/ Haulage drivers.  It has emerged that VOSA are barred from having permanent vehicle inspection facilities at the port of Liverpool and three other ports across the U.K due to private ownership. A spokesperson from the Port of Liverpool refuted the claim and confirmed that VOSA did indeed carry out regular inspections on site.

A recent vehicle inspection led to three drivers being arrested and several vehicles taken off the road. The drivers were arrested under suspicion of driving outside of the licensing authority. Several vehicles were seized due to being unroadworthy or uninsured.
Andrew Bourne & Company are a leading haulage insurance brokers in Leicester.

For further information please contact our Haulage specialist David Crowther on 07536 117804 or

Healthcare insurance Leicester – half of Britons unfulfilled at work

April 6th, 2010

BUPA’s “How Are You Britain” report indicates that almost half of the country’s workforce is less than happy. In a poll of over 2,000 people, 49% said they were feeling “unfulfilled” in their jobs, and 21% were annoyed by a lack of career progression. The health insurer is therefore recommending some simple changes that can make a big difference, starting out with healthcare advice and support for employees.

Subsidised fitness facilities, either on or off-site, can also raise the spirits and employers can easily enhance the working day by providing free fruit. BUPA’s clinical director occupational health, Dr Jenny Leeser, comments: “Dissatisfaction at work can lead to problems for businesses with employees taking more sick days than necessary … as well as looking at job content, there are a few simple health–related changes companies can take to minimise short-term absence, improve productivity and maintain good health and wellbeing among the workforce.”

Haulage insurance brokers – night time deliveries for haulage companies

April 3rd, 2010

A suggested relaxation related to the delivery curfews could see emmisions reduced by up to 300%.  By not travelling at peak times, it would mean reduced congestion on the roads with less traffic for HGV’s to compete with journey times could be cut quite drastically.

With ever growing pressure to cut our carbon foot print, haulage firms are continually looking for ways to be more “green” on our highways. The suggestion is that with the relaxation on deliveries the roads would become far less congested. Driving HGV vehicles during the night would in turn reduce the amount of time it takes between deliveries.

The main argument against the proposals suggest that whilst night time deliveries may reduce carbon emissions and help delivery times, the noise of a HGV vehicle passing through the streets in the early hours will be a pollution in itself.

For further information please contact our Haulage specialist David Crowther on 07536 117804 or

Insurance broker Leicester – Flood Risk campaign gains momentum

April 3rd, 2010

The Environment Agency has issued a report indicating that the terrible floods of 2007 affected some 48,000 homes. The cost per house was up to £30,000, with businesses having to fork out £112,000 to get their firm back up and running.As the dangers of flooding become more widely known, 150 persons have signed up to the National Flood Forum and Landmark Information Group’s ‘Know Your Flood Risk’ (KYFR) campaign.

The members come from a range of backgrounds including government at local and national level, flood protection specialists and housing developers.The campaign aims to increase awareness, and to provide support to homeowners and property professionals against the dangers of flooding.Director Rupert Evans, of specialist flood risk consultancy Evans Rivers and Coastal Ltd, has said he believes floods will become increasingly commonplace and that awareness must be raised.James Sherwood-Rogers, MD of Landmark Legal and Financial, has pointed out that the last decade has seen three major floods, destroying thousands of homes.

David Crowther, from Leicester based insurance broker Andrew Bourne comments “Increased awareness will help those at risk reduce their exposure to the dangers of flooding.  just because there were not many insurance claims in Leicester this time round is no guarentee for the future.  The floods in Cumbria during November last year caused damage totalling around £200m”

The Environment Agency has concluded that one in every six English homes is at risk of flooding and that £20bn needs to be spent on flood defences by 2035.

Property Insurance Leicester – Fire risk blights modern construction methods

April 1st, 2010

“Building” has warned that insurance companies, including Aviva and AXA, may refuse to cover some UK buildings because of fire risk.According to the construction magazine, recent figures from insurance research body, RISCAuthority, indicate that 40% of fires involving a loss exceeding £150,000 are related to timber-frame and light-gauge steel-frame buildings.Concerns centre on the performance of fire-stopping devices in cavities that separate the frame from cladding once a building is complete.

Aviva’s property risk manager, Allister Smith, has suggested that premiums could rise or cover could be refused because of “disproportionate losses” from large buildings of modern construction.In November, a fire at a tower block in Peckham cost six lives and the RISCAuthority has now submitted a report to the London assembly fire investigation panel, warning about the risks of some modern building methods.The assembly is proposing to undertake its own investigations this month. In December, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) reported that fire damage reached record levels in the first half of 2009.

Insurers paid out £639 million or £3.6 million every day for damage caused by fires. ABI director of general insurance and health, Nick Starling, said: “While the numbers of fires may have been falling, the increase in large-scale fires is increasingly putting lives at risk, and puts more pressure on businesses in these already difficult trading times.”

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