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I recently received an invitation from Surrey Chamber of Commerce to appear on a panel at an event at Reigate Town Hall, the topic for discussion was cyber security.

Cyber Security Forum Reigate

Of course, I was delighted to attend as I believe that the issue of cyber-crime is one that every business should take seriously and I am always happy to support initiatives that raise awareness.

50 or so company owners made up the audience and the discussion was lively and engaging, my fellow panellists included an IT consultant, the owner of a payroll business and two fellow insurance professionals I invited along, both specialists in underwriting of Technology and Cyber-Risks.

Cyber Security Forum

Cyber-crime is a live issue for the insurance industry and we must do all that we can to help protect businesses of all sizes from attack. The statistics are startling, the Federation of Small Businesses alone reported that 42% of their members had been attacked in the last 12 months with an average loss of more than £4,000. There are also more frightening statistics out there!

Cyber Insurance is available and we are always happy to discuss levels of cover, but there are also a number of steps that business owners can take to make their data less vulnerable to attack.

Whatever size your business is, you should as a minimum:

  • Change your passwords regularly and never re-use old passwords
  • Only allow access to the parts of your system that are relevant to the personnel involved, for example, does your sales team need access to your purchasing data?
  • Back-up your data regularly and thoroughly, it could save you lots of time and money in case of attack
  • Have an audit of your IT processes and systems
  • Consider applying for Cyber Essentials accreditation, a Government backed initiative that encourages best practice and demonstrates to your customers, staff and suppliers that you are taking their security seriously

To discuss cyber insurance in greater detail, please call us on 0203 328 9999 and we will be delighted to help.

On Wednesday, November 9th, our Managing Director Clive Harrison will be sitting on a panel of experts in an open session answering questions about cyber crime.

The event is put on by nTrust Systems and co-hosted by Surrey Chamber of Commerce and the Reigate and Redhill Business Forum. It is the first of a series planned to increase business awareness of the issues surrounding the ever-increasing threat of cyber crime.

Russ McKenzie, managing director of nTrust, will be joined by Clive who, along with an underwriter, will discuss the implications of a security breach on insurance claims and premiums. Other experts have been drawn from local businesses, providing a genuine cross-section of opinions.

Other topics for discussion include tips on making your company less vulnerable to attack, the sharing of best practice and general advice about the correct levels of IT security and business protection.

The event is aimed at any business owner or principle concerned with the IT operation of their company, experts will be on-hand to answer any specific enquiries that you may have and of course we will be welcoming questions from the floor.

To join us, please email anita.avery@surrey-chambers.co.uk or call on 01483 735540. We hope you can make it.

Event Details

Venue – Reigate Town Hall
Registration – 4.30pm
Q&A Panel Session – 5.00pm – 6.00pm
Networking – 6.00pm – 7.30pm
Admission – Free
Refreshments will be served

The Insurance Act 2015 came into force on 12th August, meaning any policy taken out on that date or after are bound by it.

We’ve produced a handy free download that lays out what the changes are, who they apply to and what it all means.

h2i Insurance Act 2015 download

Click here to download your free guide to the Insurance Act 2015. If you have any questions, please contact your advisor who will be happy to help.

The Insurance Act 2015 has been hailed by the government as “the biggest reform to insurance contract law in more than a century”.But what does it mean for you and your business?

There are two main areas you should know about, and the first was covered in Part 1: Warranties. In this post we look at the duty of fair presentation.

Changes to the law on Disclosure

The Marine Insurance Act 1906 has governed insurance contracts in the UK and overseas for more than a century. Under that Act, as a condition of cover, the insured has the responsibility of disclosing everything that the Insurer would want and need to know. This is known as the ‘duty of disclosure’.

What this meant was that if you forgot to tell the Insurer something that would have led to them offering different terms had they known about it, then they can void your entire policy, no questions asked.

The Insurance Act 2015 replaces the ‘duty of disclosure’ with the ‘duty of fair presentation’. This requires policyholders to inform insurers of “every material circumstance” that the policyholder knows, or ought to know, in relation to their risk. This is fairly similar to the 1906 position. However under the 2015 act you are entitled to provide sufficient information to inform an insurer that you need more time to review potentially material circumstances.

If you do not take this option, then you will be presumed to know the following:

  • Anything a reasonable search would reveal – of information held by you as well as any organisation working on your behalf. This includes your insurance broker.
  • Anything you have suspicions about, and would have found out about, had you not deliberately refrained from enquiring about it.
  • Any knowledge that an individual responsible for placing your insurance might have: again, including your broker.

This means that anything a broker knows about a business and its insurances, the client taken to know as well.

You will also be expected to disclose material facts in a clear and accessible manner. We will be able to help you with this as an attractive presentation can reduce your premiums and sometimes even make the difference between being offered cover or not.

What is a broker expected to know? Further details can be found here.

What does this mean for my business?

The major benefit to you of the Insurance Act 2015 is the reduction in the number of circumstances under which your insurer can terminate the contract.

Whereas before, an insurer was able to say “No” if you failed to fully comply with your duty of disclosure prior to signing the contract – or in other words, failed to guess exactly what a prudent underwriter might want to know. An insurer will no longer be able to void your policy for a theft in the summer just because you forgot your neighbour sometimes stocks fireworks in November.

Under the 2015 Act, there are now a range of remedies. These vary by the scale of the breach. The insurer may also need to disclose commercially sensitive information in order to show that one of the remedies should be taken.

For more details, please ask your broker.

4 Practical Changes to avoid owning Worthless Cover

I’ve summarised below 4 practical changes suggested in an out-law.com article that you can make to ensure you don’t get caught out by the new disclosure laws:

  1. Review your information gathering processes to make sure they are efficient and sound. Record the details of this process.
  2. Keep records that show reasonable searches have been made.
  3. Keep internal records of the name and roles of individuals responsible for arranging insurance cover. All matters within their knowledge will need to be disclosed.
  4. When making disclosures, bring the senior team together, as you could reasonably be expected to know anything known by the senior team.

Please also be aware that the act doesn’t fully come into force until the 12th August 2016, so you could still be subject to the 1906 ruling until then.

Contact us for any further information on the Insurance Act and how it affects your business.

The Insurance Act 2015 has been hailed by the government as “the biggest reform to insurance contract law in more than a century”.

But what does it mean for you and your business?

Well there are two main areas you should be aware of where you might need to change your business practices.

This post covers the first, which is with regard warranties on your insurance policy.

Changes to the law on Warranties

When an Insurer places a specific condition of cover on your policy, it is often known as a ‘warranty’.

In insurance (under the existing 1906 law), if the warranty on your policy is not complied with, then the cover will not stand. Even if say, you are claiming for water damage and your warranty requires you to upgrade your burglar alarm.

Fortunately, the Insurance ACT 2015 brings in some much needed changes to warranties.

Under the 2015 reforms, warranties will only allow the insurer to refuse payment if the claim is directly relevant to the warranty breached.

So using the previous example, if you were making a claim for water damage from flooding and hadn’t fixed your burglar alarm as required by the warranty, then you would most likely still be covered for the water damage.

Also, your cover will now only be void for instances that occurred at a time when you were in breach.

A word of warning, the act doesn’t fully come into force until the 12th August 2016. So you could still be subject to the 1906 ruling until then. You can contact us if you are unsure.

What does this mean for your business?

This allows businesses to take more informed operational decisions, knowing that if they are in breach of a warranty for a short period of time, it won’t have an effect on cover for un-related instances, or claims concerning events that took place whilst the warranty was being complied with.

For the second article in this series, regarding fair presentation, click here.

Contact

Call us on 0203 328 9999 or fill in the below form to get in touch
Unit C1b (5), Fairoaks Airport, Chobham, Surrey, GU24 8HU

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