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Innovation Centre to host new monthly meeting for Market Harborough businesses

March 2nd, 2012

 The first of a series of monthly meetings designed to help Harborough businesses is being held at the Harborough Innovation Centre later this month. The monthly meeting, known as ‘The Business Agenda’ will be free for anybody to attend and will be a mixture of education, innovative business ideas and networking.


Business owners from Leicestershire and Northamptonshire are invited to attend the meetings which will include a main speaker who will discuss topics such as management, marketing, cash flow – and other key business topics. The group will meet on the third Tuesday of the month from 5pm-7pm.


The first month’s meeting will take place on Tuesday March 20th with guest speaker Alastair Campbell from The Ideal Marketing Company.  His talk will cover ‘The three essential marketing areas that will grow your business’.


“The Business Agenda will be a useful group for anyone who is looking for new business ideas,” comments Mick Judge from the Innovation Centre. “It is important for local companies to have the opportunity to meet up and debate ideas, to work together and generate business – not just for themselves, but for the local economy.”


The Business Agenda is a new initiative from the Harborough based networking group Working Breakfast, a not for profit business organisation who meet weekly in both Leicester and Market Harborough with the aim of offering support to members and generating business leads. More details are available at


Anyone who is interested in attending the event should register for a free place by e-mailing

HMRC to target home improvement trades for unpaid tax

February 16th, 2012

The HMRC has recently announced three new campaigns about which construction clients need to be aware. In their press release, the HMRC said that the campaigns will focus on:

  • Missing returns. This will contribute to wider HMRC activity tackling failure to complete tax returns. It will initially focus on those who fail to complete tax returns and who are liable to pay tax at the highest rates.
  • Home improvement trades. This will build on campaigns aimed at plumbers and electricians, and will include several 100,000 tradespeople in construction and building work such as roofing, window fitting, bricklaying, carpentry and joinery.
  • Direct selling. This will target customers who ought to be paying tax on income they earn from buying and selling goods direct to others, or from the commission on these sales.

The release went on to say: “Using new technology, we have been able to analyse returns to HMRC covering a range of taxes and to cross-reference these with other information to build a picture of where we believe we have taxpayers with missing returns.”

The HMRC also said that, like their previous campaigns, they will give those people who are in the groups they are targeting the opportunity to pay any tax they owe and to “put their affairs in order on the best possible terms”.

So, as is generally the case, those who are adhering to the law have nothing to be worried about.

You can read the press release in full by clicking here.

Don’t forget, Andrew Bourne & Co provide cover in respect of Tax Disputes, VAT Investigations and Employment Law Issues either as a package policy or as individual covers.


For further details please contact your usual account executive or Richard Gibson on  0116 272 0770

Insurance cheats face crackdown as fraud register looms

February 10th, 2012


Insurers will be able to dip into the IFR to weed out insurance cheats who currently add an estimated £50 to every policy.

The IFR is the latest in a series of fraud busting initiatives. The Police Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department has led to a number of arrests since it kicked off in January.

Managing director at Detica Imam Hope said the register was a “serious blow to insurance cheats”.

“The IFR is laying the groundwork to deliver a serious blow to insurance cheats. It is vital to collect information about known fraudsters so that this can be combined with existing counter fraud data analysis to further protect honest customers from being penalised.

“The IFR is a beacon to the global insurance industry with other countries taking an active interest in this initiative. Detica NetReveal’s partnership with both the Insurance Fraud Bureau and the Association of British Insurers underlines the importance of the innovative approaches we are providing in the fight against fraud,” he said.

Head of fraud at AXA Richard Davies, who is leading the project, said “The signing of the contracts is an important step as we move towards delivery of the Insurance Fraud Register during the Summer.

“Over the coming months, we will step up our engagement with insurers to ensure they are ready to participate. We will also be talking with consumer organisations so that they fully understand what the Register will mean for consumers.

“While insurers remain committed to paying genuine claims as quickly as possible, committing insurance fraud will have long and serious consequences.”  

A number of insurers will now work with the Insurance Fraud Bureau on systems testing to ensure delivery of the Register during the third quarter, likely to be July.

For more information or you would like a free impartial review of your insurance arrangements, please contact Richard Gibson on 0116 272 0770 or


Launch of Continuous Insurance Enforcement

May 26th, 2011

Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) is a new initiative led by the Motor Insurers’ Bureau and DVLA to reduce the number of vehicles being driven on UK roads without Insurance.

It is now a criminal offence to keep a vehicle without appropriate motor insurance unless it has a valid Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN).  The new law is in addition to the existing offence of using a vehicle without Insurance and also in addition to the current MID obligations.

Failing to comply can result in the registered keeper of the vehicle receiving a fixed penalty notice of £100 (multiple fines may be imposed), the vehicle clamped, seized or disposed of and possible court prosecution with a maximum fine of £1000 plus a criminal record.

For further information regarding CIE, please contact your Andrew Bourne & Co support team. Alternatively, please visit

By Richard Gibson

A Solution to the Health & Safety Minefield!

May 6th, 2011

The insurance Market increasingly demands evidence that policyholders attain and maintain compliance due to the overabundance of Health & Safety legislation.  Not only is adherence statutory, but when evidenced to insurers it can produce premium savings and, in the event of a health & safety injury, will afford crucial defense against legal action.

Many clients have neither the time, resources or trained ‘competent’ person in place, as statutorily required under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999. Therefore, in order to assist clients to meet our professional obligations as your brokers, we have sourced the UK’s premier pro-active provider MHLsupport Ltd to assist our clients in meeting their statutory and policy obligations.  Having asked several firms to present their services to us, our research revealed that MHL provides the most hands-on and professional support in assisting companies attain and maintain compliance.  We have found their fees, to be highly cost effective, and, strongly recommend companies take advantage of their offer of a FREE consultation with one of their expert team, at no cost or obligation to you.

Please bear in mind that insurance cover is not legally available to protect against the fines imposed at criminal court on the directors and officers of a business and the business itself (body corporate) if there is an accident or injury to a third party. In the event of non-compliance, criminal proceedings would be actioned by the HSE or Local Authority.  The only protection that can be afforded to you as employer is to attain – and of course maintain compliance.

For further information regarding this service please contact Richard Gibson on 0116 272 0770

Insurance premiums to change after ECJ gender ruling.

March 1st, 2011

Insurers cannot charge different premiums to men and women because of their gender, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has ruled.

The decision means that women can no longer be charged lower car insurance premiums than men, and the cost of buying a pensions annuity will change.

The court was ruling on a challenge by a Belgian consumer group Test-Achats.

It had argued that a current exemption for insurers contradicted the wider European principle of gender equality.

“Taking the gender of the insured individual into account as a risk factor in insurance contracts constitutes discrimination,” the ECJ said.

The requirement for unisex insurance premium and benefits will start on 21 December 2012, giving national governments and the European insurance industry time to adjust. For car insurance, women are generally a lower risk to insure than men but will, in due course, have to pay the same premiums.

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) said currently the cost of the average car claim by an 18-year old man was £4,400, while that for an 18-year old woman was £2,700. “The ruling will have a significant effect on the insurance industry which has used the system of risk based pricing to award discounts to lower risk drivers like young females who are statistically safer drivers,” said Graeme Trudgill of BIBA. “The industry will have to change its model and effectively females will now pay a cross subsidy for males on their insurance premiums.”

Simon Douglas of AA Insurance told BBC News that the decision could add about £400 to the annual cost of car insurance for a young woman. “Particularly for women under 30 where the difference is most extreme, they currently pay about half what a man would pay,” he said.  “We could see their prices go up 25-30% and men’s premiums could fall by about 10%.”

Protecting the Management

August 27th, 2010

Against a backdrop of difficult economic conditions in an increasing litigious society,  there has never been a greater need for U.K Companies  and their directors to have suitable protection from legal actions brought against them.

With many employers being forced to downsize in recent months many insurers have experienced a sharpt rise in claims on its policies made by redundant employees for unfair dismissal or discrimination. With alternative employment hard to come by,  more ex-employees are taking the legal route to resolve their issues, perhaps taking the view that they have nothing to lose by taking their former employer to a tribunal.

Increased protection for employees in the shape of recent legislation has further increased the risk of experiencing legal action, even for the smallest employer.  These regulations include the Corporate Manslaughter Act, greater maternity and paternity rights, and laws forbidding sexual discrimination on the grounds of age, religion or sexual orientation. Further many companies are not aware of their vicarious liability for the actions of their employees;  an “off the cuff” remark made by an employee, even in apparent jest, can lead a company facing expensive legal action,  potentially paying a six figure award if its defence is unsuccessful.



Standard Directors and Officers’ insurance will cover individual directors and officers against many forms of action.  However, this may no longer be sufficient to protect companies against new and changing laws.  In addition, some policies will respond only when the insurer believes they have a high chance of winning the case. This means that, at the very time you need it most, the cover may not be available, leading to costly, unforseen expenses.

Policy wordings are now avalable that will offer you protection even if the employees case is strong. Management Liability products offer comprehensive protection for UK companies and business owners, including cover to protect against actions from employees and regulators, plus many other areas of potential legal action including shareholder disputes , taxation claims, pollution claims and breach of  data protection rules.

For further details please  contact Richard Gibson on 0116 272 8821 or speak with your regular account executive.

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