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					C oVERED                                                                                           Winter 06

Happy Christmas                                                                                    Watch Out For
                                                                                                   Professional Indemnity
We would like to take this opportunity to wish                                                     If you hold PI cover and need some muscle
                                                                                                   when it comes to broking your risk to get a
everyone a Happy Christmas and a very prosperous                                                   reduction in premium then get in touch.
New Year.                                                                                          We have had extraordinary success this
                                                                                                   year in obtaining some great rates from
                                                                                                   well established markets.
New Fire Safety Regulations - Are you up to speed!
The new Fire Safety Regulations came into         check if your insurer has inserted a strict
force on 1 October 2006. If you fail to           warranty into your policy stating that if fire
comply with the new regulations you will not      regulations are deliberately breached, claims
only face prosecution, but insurance              will not be met. The new rules are the
companies may re-examine their warranties         biggest shake-up of fire safety
and claim conditions to penalise deliberate       legislation in decades and oblige employers
offenders by withholding cover.                   to be more proactive in preventing fires and
                                                  protecting people on or around the premises.     Things to watch out for with PI
At the core of the new legislation lies the                                                            Limit of Indemnity - you can normally
fire risk assessment. This is an organised
                                                  The rules place full liability on the                choose how much insurance you want to
appraisal of your work activities and the
                                                  ‘responsible person’ - usually the employer          purchase. This is referred to as the limit
workplace to enable you to identify potential
fire hazards, and to decide who (including        but possibly also the landlord or occupier or        of indemnity and normally ranges from
employees and visitors) might be in danger in     any other person who has control of any part         about £50,000 to £1m. Don’t be tempted
the event of fire, and their location. You will   of the premises. They apply to all                   to save money by buying less insurance -
then evaluate the risks arising from the          non-domestic premises, including voluntary           always make sure that you have enough
hazards and decide whether the existing fire      organisations and self-employed people with          cover to protect your business in the
precautions are adequate, or whether more         premises outside the home.                           worst case scenario.
needs to be done.
                                                  The assessment should look at ways to                Exclusions - make sure that you know
If a property is managed by an agent or           remove or reduce the risks, for example by           exactly what is included and excluded
there is a facilities management contract in      providing adequate alarm systems and                 under the policy. Many insurers will
place, it could be the manager who holds          fire-fighting equipment, and ensure there            refuse to cover claims caused by
responsibility for the fire-risk assessment.                                                           computer malfunction, loss of
                                                  are suitable escape routes. The findings
The situation will be quite complex in                                                                 documents or dishonesty of employees
                                                  should be recorded and reviewed at regular
multi-let properties such as offices, because
                                                  intervals.                                           for example.
there are likely to be various duty holders
responsible for different parts of the                                                                 Excess - Although your premium will be
building.                                         Under the rules, businesses are expected to
                                                                                                       cheaper if you choose a higher excess,
                                                  keep a written record of their assessment if
                                                                                                       be aware that you will end up having to
If a fire occurs at a premises and the owner      they employ five or more people. These
                                                                                                       pay that excess in the result of a claim.
has not complied with the new law, they           employees don’t have to be based in the
could face prosecution. You also need to          same building.                                       Geographical limitations - Most insurers
                                                                                                       will quote if your work is carried out
                                                                                                       within the EU. However, many insurers
                                                                                                       take a view that work carried out in
                                                                        America carries a higher risk and may
                 We have had a makeover. Take a look at our new website                                decline to offer a quotation.
                 - We hope you like it and think
                 it is more user friendly. If you have any changes that you                            Get it right! - Insurers quote businesses
                 would like to make to your policy you can now inform us                               based on the information provided to
                 via the website. You can also keep up to date with our                                them. Your claims could be invalidated if
                 latest news and see the full range of services we offer.                              you do not disclose all relevant
                 We hope you like it - Please give us your feedback.                                   information to the insurer about the
                                                                                                       business. For example, if you are an
                                                                                                       Accountant, also providing management
                                                                                                       consultancy disclose both revenue
                                                                                                       streams, since the insurer may charge
                                                                                                       you differently.
        Beware of the Christmas thief                                                                             Buy To Let
The shops are already filling up with aisles of               Keep Christmas presents out of sight of             If you own any ‘buy to let’ property we can
Christmas goodies. Granted, insurance is unlikely             potential thieves.                                  help. A landlord’s insurance policy is not a
to be at the top of your Christmas shopping list.                                                                 legal requirement, although not owning one
However, adequate home and business insurance is              Close curtains when it gets dark.
                                                                                                                  would be very foolish! Any business faces risks
more essential at Christmas than ever. The lure of            Dispose of boxes and wrappings carefully;
a houseful of presents or empty offices shut down                                                                 on a daily basis and owning a second house as
                                                              these can act as an advert to burglars for
for the Christmas holidays is all too tempting for            goods inside the house.                             an investment is no different. A fire or
opportunistic thieves. Every year thousands of                                                                    robbery may destroy your nest egg and the
burglars strike to do their own Christmas shopping            Inform your insurer if you are going to be
                                                                                                                  hard work you have put into it. With buy to let
at the expense of business or home owner’s.                   away for a long period of time.
                                                                                                                  properties becoming an increasingly popular
                                                              Businesses need to check that                       method of saving for the future, it makes
It’s not only burglaries that put under-insured or            everything is secure and switched off before
non-insured home and business owners at risk at                                                                   sense to protect it! Insurers have recognised
                                                              the Christmas close down. Think about
this time of year. Insurance companies also see an            heating in the office or factory whilst you         the need for Landlord’s insurance and as a
increase in the number of general insurance                   are away. Do you really want to return to a         result have developed a policy to cater
claims and are urging policyholders to protect                wet office from a burst pipe?                       specifically for landlords.
themselves against accidental damage. Christmas
tree lights and decorations, for example, are a               If you are going to be away make sure you
potential fire hazard. All light connections must             cancel milk and newspapers and ask a                A landlord’s insurance product consists of a
conform to the correct British Standards number               neighbour to remove your post and keep an           number of insurance products bundled togeth-
and you should remember not to overload power                 eye on your property. An accumulation of            er which will not only save you a great deal of
sockets or leave flexes trailing across the floor and         any of the above will advertise to burglars         time and effort, it should also cost less! If you
should check that plugs have the correct fuses.               that the house is unoccupied.
                                                                                                                  plan to be, or are a residential landlord you
And of course, burst water pipes are another
                                                              Leave lights and a radio on if you are out          would insure the building and any of your own
common cause for concern in cold weather.
                                                              during the evening. Invest in a timer switch        content left in the property. An example of
Tips to avoid Christmas Trauma                                if you are going on holiday.
                                                                                                                  what would be covered may include (but
Check your insurance policy: Insurers often                   Mark all your property of value and take            would not be limited to) the building, any fit-
automatically increase the amount of contents                 note of serial numbers. This can help               ted interior units, and other possessions. A
cover over the festive period at no extra cost to             recover stolen goods.
                                                                                                                  landlord’s insurance policy would also provide
you, the policyholder. The amount of contents
                                                              Keep all outbuildings, garages and sheds            cover against fire, theft, vandalism/malicious
cover and the terms and conditions varies from
                                                              securely locked up with a heavy-duty                damage, leakages, smoke damage, subsi-
insurer to insurer. Contact us to make sure that all
                                                              padlock.                                            dence, burst pipes, impact from vehicles,
your Christmas goods (food, presents, and drink)
will be covered under your existing policy. After                                                                 falling trees, animals, aircraft, aerials and
the Christmas rush, remember to add any new                                                                       masts. You may also want to consider a policy
gifts you have received to your home contents
                                                                                                                  which includes items such as business inter-
insurance policy; if they are over £1,000 (or
sometimes £2,000) in value, you may need to                                                                       ruption and liability.
insure them separately.
                                                                                                                  The tenant of your property would only take
Think about Security:
                                                                                                                  out an insurance policy to cover their own
    Alarms act as a deterrent to burglars.                                                                        contents and possessions.
    Insurers tend to favour NACOSS approved
    alarms systems.                                                                                               Commercial landlords insurance is slightly
    Lock windows and doors securely. Using                                                                        different in that the landlord is responsible for
    mortice deadlocks and rimlocks that                                                                           insuring the building and claiming premium
    conform to British Standard 3621 will                                                                         payments from the tenants.
    reduce your premiums by up to 10%.

Looking to the New Year
                                                                                                                  The New Year can also be a time we you
The wonderful thing about New Year’s resolutions is that they can give you the
                                                                                                                  think about planning for your retirement.
incentive you need to get your life - and your finances - in order. Sorting out your
                                                                                                                  Have you made enough provision, do you
life insurance may not be the most appealing task you’ve ever had, but get it
                                                                                                                  know about all the new regulations that
done early and you can feel secure for the rest of the year.
                                                                                                                  came into force in 2006.
When people’s circumstances change, they                you and your partner should take out life
don’t always remember to update their                   cover to protect each other financially.                  If you are interested in a financial health
insurance, and this becomes even more                   Otherwise, in the event of a death, the
                                                        surviving partner will be left with a huge                check then call our financial advisers on
important if they have dependents. So if you
have children, or a new baby on the way,                financial headache.                                       01782 629211 for more information.

                             Howell Shone Insurance Brokers Ltd            Howell Shone Independent Financial Advisers Ltd

                                         Station Walk House, King Street, Newcastle, Staffs ST5 1EH
                        Phone: 01782 629211 Email: Website:
                                                    Authorised & Regulated by the Financial Services Authority

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