Running a business is becoming increasingly complex. Does your business insurance stack up?

  • By Anton Hilton
  • 26 Jan, 2016

Running a business is becoming increasingly complex, compounded by extra regulation, cyber breaches, advances in employment legislation, new laws and the ever growing compensation and blame culture. This has meant that the traditional insurances recommended to you by some brokers are unlikely to be sufficient to protect you against all claims that may be made now against your business or you personally.

Forum Insurance takes a look at the risks that have the potential to seriously affect your business or perhaps, more frighteningly, can mean your own personal bankruptcy, losing everything you have worked for.


Directors & Officers Liability Insurance

Directors and Officers Liability protects the key people in an organisation against any personal liability they might have as a result of running the business. It also applies to charities and those taking up voluntary positions. Increasingly, directors, trustees etc are being held personally liable for acts or decisions that they make in the course of their business. This can range from corporate manslaughter, preferential treatment of creditors, discrimination, breaches of health and safety and other regulations and fraud perpetrated by other officers. The maxim seems to be if there is no one to sue, then take action against the director and/or officer, especially if he/she has some assets. It would seem sensible for most businesses to arrange cover to protect all the key people in the organisation against legal costs and most types of compensation awarded.

Cyber Liability

As all businesses become ever more reliant on technology and online sales, the risk of suffering a loss related to problems with computer systems, holding sensitive customer data such as names and addresses or own employees payroll data, continues to grow.

One of the biggest challenges to businesses is loss of client data and the business interruption aspect of your web site being down, in particular for businesses transacting online sales.

The types of cyber attacks can be varied and include targeting a business’s intellectual property, customer data or aimed at causing maximum disruption.

Once again cover is available to protect you against any actions.

Employment Practices

This is a specific cover against tribunal or other civil cases made by employees. The number of instances where wrongful dismissal claims can be made is growing and so are the types of cause where Courts can award damages above the normal limit of £50,000.

Provided you have good employment practices, cover against costs and awards is readily available.

Commercial Legal Expenses

As well as claims from employees, businesses can be sued for a whole range of commercial issues such as breach of contract, tax and VAT issues, data protection issues, property and neighbour disputes, breach of regulations and many others. Cover can be obtained for the legal expenses incurred or costs awarded against you and, in some cases, your own costs in pursuing a claim of your own.

When business was simple, so was insurance!

For a free business insurance quotation please contact Forum Insurance on 020 8909 2899.
By Anton Hilton 27 Nov, 2017

Crowded places are – and will remain – attractive targets for international and “home-grown” terrorists and so an important element of any counter-terrorist strategy is to create safer places and buildings that are less vulnerable to a terrorist attack. This is especially so for leisure, hospitality, retail industries.

Cost of terrorism

Companies still significantly underestimate their potential exposure to the related risks and losses, especially to the increasing indirect risks from terrorism elsewhere. For example, the Paris attacks in November 2015 paralysed Brussels’ tourism and retail sectors some 320 kilometres away and had a lasting impact on the city’s commerce.

Many UK companies are unaware – or have underestimated – the financial losses that could occur if a key supplier or business partner (in the UK or internationally) were unable to operate for a significant period of time.

The human and financial cost of terrorism is growing rapidly. The Institute of Economics and Peace has estimated that the direct cost of terrorism to the global economy in 2014 was $52.9 billion – a ten-fold increase since 2000 – and the indirect costs at $105 billion.

Practical steps

Companies can’t predict all possible threats to their business. However, by working through a range of potential scenarios and consequences it is possible to make informed judgements and set appropriate priorities.

The following process is an effective way for companies to think about improving the management of these risks:

Step one: identify the threats.Understanding terrorists’ intentions and capabilities, what they might do and how they might act, is a crucial first step to assessing potential threats.

Step two: decide what you need to do to.Priorities should fall under the following categories: people, physical assets, information and process (supply chains and the operational process required to support the business).

Step three: identify measures to reduce risk.Companies should introduce new proportionate measures that: deter would-be terrorists; 
aid detection of intrusion; and
delay any attempts at intrusion.

Step four: continually review your security measures.Security and contingency plans should be rehearsed and reviewed on a regular basis to ensure they remain accurate, workable and up-to-date.

 

Terrorism Insurance

Since the IRA attack on the Baltic Exchange in London in 1993, the UK established a mutual government reinsurer, Pool Re, to provide a backstop to insurers that offer terrorism cover on business property and business interruption policies. This has worked well and despite £600 million of claims from 13 separate incidents there has been no use of public money.

However, the increasingly interconnected nature of global commerce means that UK organisations are not only exposed to events in the domestic market but many also have international exposures through the global reach of their business activities. Companies can also be impacted via a change in consumer behaviour in the aftermath of a terrorist attack.

New threats and new risks require new insurance solutions and one insurer is now offering a contingent Loss of Attraction cover, for example.

As always if you have any questions regarding your business insurance please contact Forum Insurance on 020 8909 2899

By Anton Hilton 27 Nov, 2017
Here are some of the measures IT professionals believe are essential for protecting against cyber crime:

  1. Install anti-virus, web filtering and firewalls. The best way to secure against a cyber attack is to prevent an attacker entering your system in the first place. Implementing anti-virus, web filtering and firewalls are a must – and ensuring they are always up-to-date.
  2. Keep software updates up to date!
  3. Before you start shopping with any online retailers look for the security information in the address bar to ensure you see the letters “https:” to indicate that it’s a secure site. You might also see a little padlock symbol in the same line.
  4. Consider using an alternative form of payment that protects you a little more. An online payment service like PayPal has strong safeguards in place, and can serve as a go-between for you and the retailer – you can even use your regular credit card as a payment method within PayPal.
  5. In order to shop on any online retailer’s web site, you will most likely be required to create an account. When you do establish an account, it’s important to choose a strong password that has a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols, and don’t forget to throw in a mixture of upper and lower case.
  6. It is also recommended to create unique passwords, meaning you don’t use the same password for multiple websites.
  7. Check your credit cards routinely during the coming weeks to make sure there is no unauthorised activity, and remember to alert your bank if you have reason to believe that your identity has been compromised.
  8. If you have a business, keep your employees trained to be careful what they click on if receiving deals! They may not be from the well known brand they appear to be from – and this could spread a virus throughout your company’s system.
By Anton Hilton 20 Nov, 2017

Amish joins the family business after successfully managing the business through a change period, structuring the team to serve it’s core markets. Mamtora studied at Aston University prior to joining the family business some 4 years ago. In his new role he will be responsible for growing the business in both existing and unchartered sectors.

Managing Director Barry Mamtora said, “I am delighted Amish has chosen to join the family business and take it to the next stage. We have celebrated 25 years in business and I have every confidence Amish will maximise insurer partnerships and leverage our buying power to deliver the best risk management solutions for our clients.”

A number of key achievements have driven Forum’s growth in the past few years including the expansion into petrol forecourts where they have gained significant market share.

This appointment hails the next phase of growth for Forum Insurance.

Amish Mamtora said, “I am delighted to be appointed director at such an exciting time. The opportunity to continue Forum’s success story and utilise technology to our advantage is key to my plans for the future. It is an exciting time for independent broking.”

Forum Insurance are developing an ongoing client consultation programme, ensuring our diverse client base are best placed to understand the individual risks to their business.

Amish continued, “As a family business we share a common passion for excellent customer service and look forward to working even closer with our clients, delivering traditional personal service. This opens up some very exciting opportunities for our employees."

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