How to avoid underinsurance as building costs inflation reaches record high

Underinsurance remains a concern for many people and businesses. Underinsurance worsened during the COVID pandemic, and the Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters has reported that over 40% of all commercial claims exhibit some degree of underinsurance, which is now compounded by soaring inflation.

A new guide from the British Insurers Brokers’ Association (BIBA) advises how to avoid it, and BIBA member, TL Dallas is keen to meet with clients to ensure the right levels of insurance are in place.

Written with loss adjuster and BIBA valuation facility provider, QuestGates, the new ‘guide to valuations’ looks at macro issues that impact sums insured. It also highlights the importance of reviewing sums insured and making accurate valuations of buildings, plant, machinery, and other contents as well as estimating suitable indemnity periods in business interruption cover. 

Managing Director, Polly Staveley, from TL Dallas, added: “Underinsurance is a serious concern and can leave a policyholder responsible for a large percentage of a loss where the discrepancy is significant. Part of our role is to try to ensure this doesn’t happen and advise clients on setting correct sums insured, albeit we are not professional valuers so we recommend their services should always be sought.

“We will also assist with setting the right levels of business interruption cover and indemnity periods, which are especially critical as there are often long delays in deliveries of replacement machinery and also building material supplies are still somewhat disrupted. This new guide from BIBA will act as a great aide-memorie when it comes to reviewing clients’ policies.”

Alistair Steward, director at QuestGates highlighted that: “Getting the sums insured stated correctly at the time of inception of the policy makes the claims process so much easier, avoiding difficult conversations with customers around underinsurance and enabling prompt and full claims settlements.”

To download a copy of the guide, click HERE and to arrange a call with TL Dallas contact your nearest office. 

Your business, your IT and cyber insurance

Cyber risks might not be high on most contractors list of concerns, but how well would your business function without access to your IT systems and records? With increasing reliance on IT, many contractors would grind to a halt.

One of the main benefits of Cyber insurance is 24/7 access to the insurers specialist experts who can advise on and help with responding to, containing and resolving incidents in both a prompt and cost effective manor. After all you will still have the normal day to day pressures of running your business.

It is a fact that in the UK, cyber incidents are rising at a substantial rate as hackers continue to explore ways of damaging businesses and IT systems. Currently in the UK one small business is being successfully hacked every 19 seconds and around 65,000 attempts to hack small to medium sized businesses occur in the UK every day (circa 4,500 of which are successful)*1.

Suspicious e-mails, websites and links are now a common occurrence especially with more internet usage, and computer companies are continually trying to find various ways to minimise or prevent them affecting your critical business systems.

So what happens to your business if you become affected by:

  • A ransomware attack,
  • A virus attack,
  • A hacker accessing your system(s) and releasing customers and staff data causing you to suffer a data breach,
  • A social engineering incident (the use of deception to manipulate individuals into divulging confidential or personal information that may be used for fraudulent purposes).

Will you throw away your computer(s) and purchase new ones? If you do will the hacker still be inside your system continuing to cause damage to your business as well as enticing or damaging your customers IT?

Will you contact your IT support or maintenance company? If so will they be able to clear/fix everything and repair all the damage? How much will this cost your business? Will they assist you with any data breaches? Will they help you if a client or customer is being affected by your hacked systems?

Will your bank reimburse you for any funds lost?

How about mobile phones? They can also be affected by cyber incidents. Will your mobile phone company help?

It is really worth thinking about your business and how it could be affected by a cyber incident and what protections your business has in place to minimise and prevent such incidents. Education and training are also important, not just for you, but for any staff too.

How about looking at and reviewing Cyber Insurance?

Insurers are very aware of how businesses can be affected by cyber crime and now offer very good competitive packages to help in the event of a cyber incident. Annual Cyber Insurance is not expensive, with premiums in the £100’s, and can provide:

  • Specialist Incident Response Team to help and guide you with a cyber incident;
  • Privacy and Security Liability Costs;
  • Media Liability Costs;
  • Costs in respect of Regulatory Proceedings;
  • Privacy Breach Notification;
  • Costs for Computer and Legal Experts;
  • Public Relations Costs;
  • Cyber Extortion;
  • Data Restoration;
  • Business Interruption loss of income including System Failure, Voluntary Shutdown and Non-functional Equipment and
  • Other Additional Benefits such as Computer Fraud, Telecommunications Fraud, Funds Transfer Fraud, Social Engineering Fraud, Vendor/Client Fraud, Betterment Costs, Reputational Harm and Accounting Costs.

It is worth your business investing a small time now reviewing Cyber Insurance. Hackers certainly will be thinking and spending time on how to overcome businesses systems.

If you are interested in Cyber Insurance, please call our team below for free insurance advice and a no obligation quotation.

Mark Clements 0207 426 5347

Jeremy Burnham 01274 465 589

Lindy Deanus 0207 426 5335

*1 Statistic information taken from website – https://www.csoonline.com/article/3440069/uk-cybersecurity-statistics-you-need-toknow.html

Raw material values predicted to soar

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (www.rics.org) in recent articles has highlighted the increasing costs of construction. “Insulation, aggregates, timber and timber products, steel as well as shortages of building materials, higher costs of transport, energy and labour costs/availability remain among the key cost pressures”.

It is also widely reported in the media about the rising cost of goods, generally.

This has an impact on property insurance and the need to ensure that your buildings, contents, machinery etc sums insured remain adequate. Most sums insured are subject to a Condition of Average which has the potential to restrict the amount an insurer will pay in the event of a claim.

It is therefore essential that sums insured are maintained at an adequate level at all times.

In light of the increasing costs we recommend that all our Clients review their sums insured. Please do let your usual contact know if any alterations are required.

If necessary we will recommend the services of a professional valuer.