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Phone: 01684 580776

E-mail:  commercial@balens.co.uk

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Balens insure a wide variety of businesses for their Assets and Liabilities throughout the UK and Ireland.

Our 'Bridge Business Protection Packages' offer a wide range of competitive covers. These Business Protection Packages are pre-priced packages with optional extensions to help you tailor your Business requirements. They are designed to 'evolve' with you as your business does.

Below you will find a suggested range of covers a business should consider.

Commercial combined policy

Can cover buildings, contents, fixtures for such perils as: fire, storm, flood, burst pipes, lightning, malicious damage, theft etc. money insurance, loss of profits various liabilities, legal expenses. Terrorism is now not included but can be bought back for an additional premium.
In summary, this type of policy offers a variety of sections available under one wrapper, customised to your individual business requirements, with options to pay monthly.

Buildings Insurance

Covers perils as briefly described in Commercial Combined Policy above with the option to include subsidence plus Property Owners liability, (see Balens glossary for explanation of  the various liability covers). Not normally required where you are a tenant or leaseholder. 

Contents Insurance

As above but concerned with items other than the structure of the building and also things that you would normally take with you if you moved.  Can include Equipment, Tenants Improvements to the buildings, Goods in Transit, Employees Personal Effects, Stock, etc.  Cover can be increased to include Accidental Damage- i.e. breaking, staining, and other damage not specifically stated in the list of perils supplied by the insurer concerned.


Public Liability Insurances

This covers liability in law for causing injury to other people (not necessarily clients/patients) or for damage to their property, provided that no treatment or advice was the reason for the incident.

Employers Liability Insurance

This covers the Employer for injuries sustained by any employees or work experience assistants. This cover is a legal requirement where staff  are employed and the Employer's Liability certificate needs to be displayed in the workplace by Law. Self employed people are not usually covered by this. 

Products Liability Insurance

This covers the business for any defect in goods sold, supplied or demonstrated to the customer or client, which may cause injury or damage. Even if the business did not manufacture the item concerned and innocently passed it on, under EEC Directive, the Consumer Protections Act etc., it will still be initially held liable. i.e.. the last to pass on a product in a chain of supply will be held liable.

Money Insurance

This covers loss or damage anywhere in the UK for travel to and from the bank- e.g. takings, wages and in the premises for the usual insured perils during business hours.  Out of business hours cover reduces significantly unless money and credit card vouchers etc are kept in an approved locked safe. Some cover also is extended to an employees or director's house outside business hours. Shortages and theft by employees cover may be very restricted, so check your policy for details.


Loss of Profits insurance, Business Interruption (B.I.)

B.I. keeps the profit coming into a company if it can't trade due to a fire etc., particularly where a business is dependant on the building for its regular income e.g. a shop, warehouse, factory, or rented premises for property owners.  If you could quickly set up somewhere else and trade and may not lose income as a result, you don't really need Business Interruption cover, but should have Increased Cost of Working (ICOW) cover. This just pays the additional costs caused by the claim, including the main one of finding somewhere else and paying for it (lease and rents will carry on even if a fire has destroyed the building and you still have got to pay for somewhere else as well). There may be additional costs for getting extra staff, phones, etc. The Insured period is usually based on 12 months expenses or Loss of Profit but can be based on a longer  period, if for example, the damaged building is listed or may for various other reasons take a lot longer and more money to repair/rebuild.

Directors and officers (D & O)

This covers the Financial Risks arising from the operation of a Limited Company or Charity, where there are Directors, Trustees or Council Members overseeing the operations of the organisation.  They can be held personally responsible for losses arising from Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Negligence, Mismanagement or Dishonesty causing financial loss, and various breaches of the Law. Can be extended to include Advice, errors and omissions, and may further extend to include Public Liability and Product Liability.

Commercial Legal Expenses

Any Business can incur expenses and be vulnerable under the laws of the land. There are a bewildering amount of laws governing the operation of a Business, whether Limited or Private. A legal expenses policy offers a wide range of support, information and cover for a range of legally related issues that can arise in the day to day running of a firm. 

  •     Criminal Allegations Defence
  •     Data Protection Laws
  •     Discrimination Laws
  •     Health and Safety Laws
  •     Inland Revenue Investigation & VAT
  •     Contract Disputes
  •     Debt Recovery Services
  •     Employment Tribunals
  •     Employers Advice Lines


Employment practices liability - EPL

This covers costs and awards in the event of employee tribunals and other litigation and expenses in connection with employee issues.  They typically are extensions of Commercial Legal Expenses policies or Directors and Officers/Professional Liability Covers.

You may also need financial advice to protect the business leaders, key persons and offer benefits to staff such as:

  •     pension scheme
  •     life and sickness covers
  •     private health insurance

Balens Financial can provide this in the UK- please see the other relevant sections of our website.

 

Employers Liability (EL)

Included in our usual packages, EL is required by Law if someone is employed (not if it is a one man Band Ltd Company). We can insure separately if required.

  • Work Experience people are usually covered by this also so no separate policy is required
  • Certificates have to be kept by law now for 40 years after cover ceased!
  • Covers the Employer if they are held legally liable for injury caused to Employee in the course of their work.
  • Medical Professionals may have to pay a lot for this cover if they are involved in lifting or handling.

 Public Liability Insurance (PL) - Health Professionals 

The word "Liability" conjures up all sorts of negative images, and in our experience there are still many health professionals who get confused about whose policy covers what when other Health Professionals, organisations, or Landlords/ Room Providers are involved. What follows may help to sort out the different applications of Liability insurance (as opposed to Medical Malpractice).

PL covers your liability at law for allegations of negligence causing injury to people or damage to their property.  Whilst there are numerous other sections of cover, this is the core of it.  If you damage their property when making a home visit or working away, or injure them because of, say a loose carpet or faulty treatment couch, as the injury was not directly caused by the treatment itself, it would come under Public Liability.  If a Practitioner rents a room, then damage caused to the premises by a negligent act would also be covered.

However, Practitioners should check that any landlord renting them space has a public liability cover in place in case patient slips on a staircase due to faulty maintenance or other reasons where blame could be attached to the owner. Most Balen Schemes covers PL where it injured a passer-by. This sort of thing usually comes with, or can be added to, a buildings insurance.

 Products Liability Insurance - Health Products  is your legal liability but clearly not if it is someone elses.

 Property Owners Liability

Property Owners Liability is Public Liability

Products Liability is much misunderstood.  It covers accident but with a significant difference! It applies if a Health Professional actually owns a property, rather than uses someone elses. For example a building owner could be held legally liable for not maintaining the property properly, or if a tree fell down on neighbours land, or a tile fell off the roof causing injury to persons arising from supply, sale, manufacture, demonstration, testing of a product for which you could be held legally liable.  Manufacturers need it, suppliers need it. Many Policies available as part of a Commercial Insurance Package usually offer limited cover which does not extend to design, advice given in supply of product, nor defects in formulae etc.

In the Medical or Cosmetics Sector, there are very few insurers giving cover and typically it has been expensive.  Balens now have a lower cost range of covers for this specially designed, and we can cover exports to the Americas and cover Worldwide (not always easily available).  We have also launched our successful Health Products Providers Scheme offering comprehensive cover at very low cost- please see separate section on this. 

We look after a variety of Businesses in the Health Sector who import, design, supply, export and produce remedies, cosmetics, health devices and equipment, natural products, health aids and supplements. 

The requirements of the MHRA are getting more onerous as further legislation from Europe drifts into our awareness, so vigilance is required to make sure your product supply business has adequate protection for commercial risks. Currently the Rules relating to the supply of Herbal Products in connection with a consultation, or without a consultation is under debate.  Please see their website regarding issues surrounding natural products.

As well as Businesses selling and producing Products, Health Professionals themselves can also get confused as to how and where their requirements can be met, please ask for a copy of an article David Balen wrote on this topic... called "Products Liability for Therapists and Companies" 

It deals with the question of selling products to non - patients, such as relatives or friends, people at talks and exhibitions, mail order or selling to other therapists. 

Under the EEC directive, the last person or company in the supply chain is held liable for any defective product causing injury, even if they did not manufacture it themselves.  It may be possible to claim back eventually to a manufacturer, but this is not always the case for a variety of reasons, and the end-supplier could be faced with hefty legal bills, and possibly a substantial claim for damages. 

Balens have various low cost facilities for providing basic defective products cover, and we can offer a Pharmaceutical Liability Scheme which covers design, advice, formulation and can even cover exporting to other countries including (unusually) the USA.  Premiums are of course, much higher!

Inevitably, we are subjected to more laws and bureaucracy as the years roll by, and consumer protection measures become more and more developed.  I believe it is becoming more and more important to Therapists and Health Businesses to review their existing arrangements so that they do not become out of step.  Therapists are often more interested in looking after others than looking after themselves!