Issue 15 | Q1/Q2 2015
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INSIDE:

Insurance Act 2015

What’s to come

Consumer insurance solutions

Could you benefit?

Cyber crime

Are you protected?

Credit insurance

Phones 4U lessons

Airmic 2015

Looking ahead

     
 

Welcome...

2015 is a year for reflection, evolution and reinforcement. The market is ramping up for the launch of the greatest change to the insurance market for decades – the Insurance Act 2015. Like Griffiths & Armour, every business operating in the UK will need to be ready for the challenges and opportunities it brings. There is an increased threat of cyber-crime.

 
We have also witnessed some horrific acts of terrorism in recent months, with threats on our own shores being at their highest since 9/11. 2015 is a year when we all need to become more aware of these new and emerging issues, to know how to protect our businesses and employees, both for the present and into the future. As ever, we are here to support you in any way we can and look forward to enjoying a bright future together. Matt Donnelly signature

Matt Donnelly

Managing Director

Griffiths & Armour Insurance Brokers Ltd

mdonnelly@griffithsandarmour.com
   
     

Insurance Act 2015

What’s to come

When the Marine Insurance Act was written in 1906, the rules were designed to protect the fledgling insurance industry against exploitation by an insured.

However, it is now widely accepted that it weighed too heavily in favour of commercial insurers. The new Act – which became law on 12th February 2015 – introduces rules that are broadly neutral between insurer and insured.

Both the insurance market and consumers need to be aware of four key areas:

  1. Pre-contractual duty of disclosure: The Act reiterates that the insured must provide a clear and fair representation of their risk but it also obligates the insurer to make their own enquiries. Insurers are given remedies for breaches of duty of fair representation, breaches that are deliberate or reckless, and other qualifying breaches.
  2. Warranties: The Act seeks to clarify what was poorly understood outside of the insurance market and therefore controversial in the eyes of the law, as insurers were able to negate liability through minor warranty breaches. Changes now make it more equitable between insurer and insured.
  1. Fraudulent claims: Universal remedies, applying to consumer and non-consumer insurance contracts, provide further clarification: the insurer has no liability for a fraudulent claim (as at present); they should meet legitimate claims that occurred before the fraudulent act; and they are entitled to refuse claims occurring after it.
  2. Default regime: The Act is intended as a ‘default regime’ for commercial insurance, regardless of size or sophistication of the insured or its business. ‘Contracting out’ is possible but the insurer must clearly communicate less favourable terms before the contract is entered into.

The Act will govern the placement of all commercial insurance in the UK and will apply to policies incepted or renewed from 12th August 2016. This leaves just one annual renewal cycle to plan for the new default regime.

Griffiths & Armour has always prided itself on being open, transparent and fair, with the customer’s best interests at the heart of our decision making process. We look forward to fully adopting all requirements set out in the Act – as well as ensuring our insurer partners come up to standard.

For further information, email coverstory@griffithsandarmour.com

     
     

Driverless vehicle technology

An image of a Google car

The leap to sci-fi realms of driverless cars is becoming a reality, with the likes of Google, Nissan and Volvo already testing prototypes. Indeed, many operations in our cars are already automated: rain-sensing wipers, automated parking and automatic headlights to name a few. With vehicle manufacturers racing to launch the first commercial autonomous car, suggested benefits include improved road safety and better fuel efficiency. But the impact on insurance is a grey area. Who would be liable for accidents: the driver; the manufacturer; or the software developer? What would new legislation entail? As time passes these questions, amongst others, will have to be answered.

     
     

Consumer insurance solutions

Could your business benefit?

Consumer insurance solutions, like any successful affinity partnership, can add value to your business and set you apart from competitors. Implementing a customised insurance solution for the end consumer is directly linked with improved customer acquisition and retention

An graphic showing customer attracting targets

Consumer insurance solutions, like any successful affinity partnership, can add value to your business and set you apart from competitors. Implementing a customised insurance solution for the end consumer is directly linked with improved customer acquisition and retention.

This is not a one-size-fits-all model: your insurance provider should combine distribution, product development and underwriting expertise to create a product and service that is tailored specifically for the needs of your customers, members or affiliates.

Typically, these customised policies will cover a combination of personal accident insurance, travel insurance, personal property protection insurance and other lifestyle risks (eg. utility bill payment protection). As Chubb Insurance outlines below, businesses that could benefit from offering these solutions to their customers include:

Associations:

Membership associations or unions can partner with an insurer to provide a range of mandatory insurance covers. This gives associations the peace-of-mind that their members have bespoke covers designed to meet their specific needs.

Affinity Sponsored Groups:

This diverse sector, including retail and utility businesses, can enhance customer relationships by offering relevant ‘added-value’ insurance covers to complement their core product and service offerings.

Financial Institutions:

Banks and credit card companies can enhance their wider proposition by offering a broad suite of insurance covers to their customers.

Should you wish to investigate consumer insurance solutions, one thing is for sure - you will need an insurer with vast experience in product development to ensure you offer the most appropriate solution for maximum member/customer take-up, use and satisfaction.

To find out more, email coverstory@griffithsandarmour.com

     
     

Cybercrime - are you protected?

With high profile hacking incidents taking place on a regular basis – such as Sony PlayStation and eBay last year and shoe retailer Office in January 2015 – and large data breaches becoming part of the norm, data security measures need to be constantly evolved, reinforced and tested.

An graphic representing cybercrime

Having a ‘security policy’ is not enough, yet all too often companies fail to realise how quickly these policies become weakened by hackers’ insatiable appetite to find new ways to breach the walls.

Once access is gained to a network, malware (malicious software) is installed to do whatever damage the hackers want, disrupting services and/or stealing confidential business files or customer data. From that moment – or as soon as the breach is detected – you’re left on the back-foot, frantically trying to plug the leak and keep customers reassured at the same time.

A well-executed security breach is potentially more dangerous to your company than a recession. Intruders can enter, execute random violence, extract data and exit a system in under seven seconds*.

To be successful in fighting off these attempts, you need to understand exactly where all of your data is – including in the Cloud and any third parties your share data with. You need to be sure they are properly protected too.

Multi-layered security measures and regular testing is key, but your business can also be protected by cyber insurance – an extra layer of reassurance and protection to safeguard the future of your business.

If you’d like to find out more, email us at coverstory@griffithsandarmour.com

*Harvard Business Review

     
     
Graphic representing saving the pound

Credit insurance

Lessons from Phones 4u

The rapid demise of mobile phone retailer Phones 4u, following O2, Vodafone and EE’s decision to exit their supply contract, stunned many.

More than £100m is expected to be available to pay secured creditors of Phones 4u, but investors and unsecured creditors still stand to lose hundreds of millions of pounds.

Leading UK mobile phone courier – Intercity Express – has already been dragged under, with their liquidators saying Phones 4u’s failure had a ‘catastrophic’ impact on the business.

This case highlights how the unexpected can happen; not from difficulties in competing in a global marketplace or even external economic pressures, but as a consequence of a business decision outside of your control.

The solution for safeguarding against such a situation has been around for years - credit insurance. However, as this type of cover is not obligatory, investment is often made after a bad debt has been incurred.

Unlike other assets in a business, debtors are invariably left unsecured. But if a business proactively covers that risk, it proves to be a very useful business tool, helping companies to grow securely and trade more confidently.

The credit insurance market is driven by specialist brokers and a wide choice of B2B product offerings from over 12 insurers, who are showing unprecedented credit risk appetite. This competition has led to very keen pricing.

A review of your debtors is free by companies such as Reynolds Trade Credit, and will enable you and your management team to reach an informed decision about this important asset.

Email coverstory@griffithsandarmour.com for further information.

     
     
Airmic's logo

Airmic’s annual conference returns to our home town of Liverpool on 15-17 June. We’d be delighted to welcome you on Stand 7.

At Griffiths & Armour, we believe that great service is all about connectivity and we are immensely proud of our history of outstanding service levels. But we also know that to retain that standard, we need to continually listen to clients and adapt our processes. That’s why at this year’s conference, we’re focusing on service and invite visitors to share what good service means to them.

We’ll be joined by Assurex Global colleagues from across the world, who can answer any queries you may have on managing your international risks. You can also enter our business card draw to win a bottle of champagne and if you are lucky enough to receive a Golden Ticket, enter our main competition! We look forward to seeing you there.

     
     
TCS&D Awards 2015 logo

Other news

Griffiths & Armour are delighted to be supporting the TCS&D Awards this year, which reward excellence in the perishable supply chain sector. We are sponsoring the Health & Safety – Transport/Warehousing Award and with applications being accepted until 1st July, there is still time to submit an entry. We wish all nominees the very best of luck and look forward to discovering who the winners are for each category at the Awards Ceremony on 16th September.

Visit www.tcsandd.com to find out more.

     

If you would like any complimentary advice regarding any of the articles you have read in this edition of Cover Story, please contact us on 0151 236 5656 or coverstory@griffithsandarmour.com.

Griffiths & Armour Insurance Brokers acts as manager for the corporate and commercial retail division of Griffiths & Armour. Griffiths & Armour Insurance Brokers Ltd is an appointed representative of Griffiths & Armour which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom. © Griffiths & Armour. This document does not present a complete or comprehensive statement of fact or the law, nor does it constitute legal advice. It is intended only to highlight issues that might be of interest to Griffiths & Armour clients; specialist legal advice may be required where appropriate. Where links to third party websites are provided, we accept no responsibility for their content. The LinkedIn logo is a registered trademark of LinkedIn Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.