Whiteboard Plan

Back to basics on a Friday morning, ready for Monday.

Twas ever thus!

Back to basics on a Friday morning, ready for Monday.

When you start a business you will need some insurance, but what are the very basic covers you need on day 1?

Its best to think of them in three categories, which are:

  • Damage or destruction of physical assets – Buildings, stock equipment etc…
  • Interruption loss of profits
  • Liability for things other people might claim against you

Damage is covered by what are called specified PERILS, things like Fire, Lightning, Explosion, Theft and Accidental damage. There is a long list of what is covered, but you need to be aware primarily of what is NOT covered so you can aim off for those circumstances.

Wear and tear, gradual deterioration, war, nuclear explosions, sonic bangs, electronic malfunction and disease being some of the main ones.

Next, we look at interruption loss of profits. This covers the loss of income if you can’t trade following a material damage loss as above. There are soe other limited benefits, but they are small. Failure of utilities, damage t suppliers or customers, murder death and suicide, and damage related denial of access.

Finally, we look at liabilities. Primarily Public, Products and Employers liability. In all cases they ae covering INJURY or DAMAGE caused to other people outs ide your organisation, on in the final case your employees, where it can be proved the injury or damage was the fault of your organisation.

You should note that Employers Liability is required by law and failure can result in fines up to £2,500 pe day or in extremis up to 6 months in jail.

Professional liability is also an issue where you provide a service or give advice. This covers financial losses suffered by your clients where they allege it results from your negligent errors or omissions. You did something wrong, or you didn’t do something you should have.

These are the three basic elements that form the bedrock of any commercial insurance programme. There are of course many more such as credit, cyber, crime, goods in transit, money, marine cargo all of which would be taken into account in specific circumstances.

After 40 years I still learn something new every day, because the world of business doesn’t stand still and the products that can be put in place to respond change and develop over time #becauseaccidentshappen to nice people all the time.

If you’d like to know more just drop me a line.

Have a great weekend.


World disaster

How long do you have?

If you’re running a business than “coal face” matters tend to take precedence, especially where customers direct and determine the work you need to do, and the timescales involved. After all the customer is king and if you want them to part with money, you have to provide what they want, when they want it.

But what about all those integral business running matters that you know you need to get to, but never have enough time to get to them?

Continuity, Insurance and Risk Management might not seem that important, until the proverbial hits the fan and you’re scrabbling around for solutions, to problems you had either thought were catered for, or had not even considered.

Some of the most challenging situations I have faced with clients, are the ones they never even considered. They just weren’t in their line of sight.

Everyone buys insurance, because they know they need to, but they don’t really consider the range of covers provided and more importantly they don’t understand the limitations and exclusions.

Only if you set time aside to consider these matters in detail, can you possibly understand the planning and risk management required to cover off all the events that might prevent you from delivering your products or services and which might interrupt your income stream, that are not insured and never will be.

Unfortunately, it’s too late when the event occurs!

When time has run out!

You have less than you think?

If you’d like to know how a very small investment in time and money can give you almost complete peace of mind, in your business, just message me here

Have a great week

Remember #successisachoice

You just have to decide if you want it?

Boot stamping

It’s simpler than you think?

Survival is key, so you can #justkeepgoing

When I talk about the skill set that I have developed over the last 40 years, I try to make it easier for people to understand. Jargon is removed and basic concepts remain.

Sometimes they focus one bit and not the others, but it really is quite simple to understand the broad concepts, which are Continuity, Insurance and Risk Management. So, let’s break it down.

  1. Continuity
  2. Insurance
  3. Risk Management

#CONTINUITY is a very wide discipline that covers implementing and testing plans, in respect of events which can prevent you from delivering your products and services and may interrupt the income stream of your business.

#INSURANCE is simply the financial compensation backstop to a very small number of those events and even in the simplest business, you still need to know what you are going to do, directly after an occurrence. How do you do, what you had planned to do tomorrow?

#RISK MANAGEMENT is the act of setting up systems that run in real time alongside your business to reduce the likelihood of an event or to reduce the effect of an occurrence. Easy ones to think of are Health & Safety policies, Security systems and fire suppression systems.

Small businesses very often buy insurance and that is where it stops. Even in slightly larger ones they add in some risk management, but hardly any but the largest organisations carry out any detailed continuity planning, they just react when the chips are down and hope they are clever enough to survive.

If you have plans within your business that encompass all three, you should be well prepared for most events, even the ones you didn’t think about.

Happy to chat about your business and what you might reasonably do to ensure continuity and success over time.

Have a great day

Remember #successisachoice

You just have to decide if you want it



Where did my money go and how can I get it back?

Just because you have a financial loss, doesn’t mean your insurance will pay up, so understanding what is and what is not covered is crucial in business, #becauseaccidentshappen to nice people all the time.

The first concept to understand about insurance, is that it centres around specific events, such as:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Explosion
  • Earthquake
  • Aircraft
  • Impact
  • Riot and Civil Commotion
  • Storm, Tempest or Flood
  • Escae of water or oil from fixed equipment
  • Collapse of aerials
  • Theft or Attempted Theft
  • Subsidence, Ground Heave or Landslip

Even where cover is give including “Accidental Damage” or even on an “All Risks Basis” there must be a specific event, leading directly to the damage or loss. This is called the proximate cause.

Cover never includes deterioration over time, because of a lack of maintenance. If your roof gets old and leaky, or an old boiler ceases to function, don’t expect the insurers to pay. It is your responsibility to keep the property in a good condition.

Likewise, any damage caused by a “gradually operating cause” is also excluded, for instance pollution damage over several years from the local steel works.

Fundamental exclusions applying to the whole policy will always include:

  1. War
  2. Radioactive Contamination
  3. Sonic Bangs
  4. Changes in the Water Table
  5. Electronic Risks

Want some advice or guidance that is #openhonesttransparent, give us a call on 029 20 470 375 or email info@severnbay.com

Have a great day



Will you see the unexpected?

It’s the most important thing in business!

Well, that is what I believe, but belief is not universal.

In my world, planning for continuity is the most important aspect of any business, and I really do believe it should have a higher priority.

The reality is that apart from buying insurance most businesses pay little attention to continuity. It’s not their bag. They just want it out of the way, so they can get on with doing their thing and making money.

Clients seldom ask me detailed questions about their cover. I give them an outline explanation supported by full detailed documentation. I’m happy to go into detail and be #openhonesttransparent but they generally just don’t have the time. I truly wish they did.

Clients are unhappy when they are told they can’t claim for something, which has never been insurable and never could be, but they assumed it was. They seldom read the documents.

Good examples are matters of maintenance, like leaky roofs and worn-out boilers, as well as non-damage related business interruption claims, which have been much in the news lately.

Apart from loss of trading profit after an insured DAMAGE loss, there are  5 main extensions, they are:

  • Failure of Public Utilities
  • Physical damage at a suppliers premises
  • Physical damage at a customers premises
  • Murder death or suicide, on the premises
  • Denial of access due to surrounding property damage

If clients were willing to spend more time understanding their insurances, they would plan better for the things which aren’t insurable, and their businesses would be far more resilient in difficult times. The pandemic proved that beyond any reasonable doubt. Very few insurances had any cover, (for very good reasons) but many assumed they would be insured.

I can explain all this for clients, simply and efficiently, I just need to have a pleasant chat.

Tel: 029 20 470 375

EM: nigel@severnbay.com

Factory Fire

The Big Three!

When considering continuity provisions for any business, we look at all the events that could interrupt the income stream of the business and prevent it from delivering its prioritised products and / or services, regardless of whether they can be insured or not.

Those that can be insured are and provision is made, but active plans will also exist for continuation after those events, along with all those things you can’t insure, including supply chain, competition, commercial risks, staff problems, contractual and legal issues to name but a few.

Of course, a comprehensive insurance programme is required, and is one of the core elements of any risk management or continuity provision.

Its three main considerations will always be:

  • Damage to Valuable Property / Assets
  • Loss of Profits following physical loss or damage
  • Legal & Financial Liabilities

There are of course many other insurable risks, and a qualified professional adviser will always look at the exposures in your business and design a programme to cover all of the potential insurable threats that have financial consequences for it.

If you want to discuss your exposures and how they can be mitigated, under a variety of different circumstances, please feel free to contact me directly, on 029 20470 375 or email nigel@severnbay.com

Always happy to have a completely obligation free chat to discuss Continuity, Insurance or Risk Management.

After all #accidentshappen to nice people all the time.

Have a great day!

Always by your side

Always by your side.

I’m sure there’s a song in there somewhere, maybe Barbara Streisand, now I’m really showing my age. The oldies are the goodies anyway.

And some things never change, insurers still want to carry out physical surveys of premises, ask questions and generally have a poke around, to see exactly what the are covering and how “RISKY” it is.

Fire hazards are the main concerns when dealing with large scale commercial warehouses and the like and that’s before we start talking about many millions of pounds worth of stock and equipment, #becauseaccidentshappen to nice people all the time.

When we talk about fire hazard, we are generally talking about two things, sources of ignition and combustible materials, wood, cardboard packaging and the like. Keeping these two things apart is fire safety 101. Keep them apart and you are 50% of the way there.

After that we look at measure to reduce the problem if a fire occurs. These can include extinguishers, sprinkler systems and alarms, connected to key holders, monitoring stations, the fire services, police and other emergency responders.

Always there, well what I meant by that cryptic comment, is that we will never leave you alone to meet with insurers, surveyors, or professional risk managers. We will always be there to provide advice and guidance, turn up in advance and brief you about the likely course of those meetings and be there as they happen in real time.

Today I travelled 141 miles 2 ½ Hours) to be with an important client, whilst a fire survey took place. I cemented the relationship with the client and built a new one, with another industry professional and I’d have it no other way. It’s #openhonesttransparent Its what we do, day in and day out.

Have a great week.

Open Honest Transparent!

When we provide services to our clients we adhere closely to our mission, which is


We also have some core values, which are important to us, it’s the absolute essence of what we do, they are:






Very simply we will find you:

  1. The correct technical solution
  2. At the lowest price in the market place
  3. And disclose our fee up front, before you make a decision, so you can see that it is reasonable.

We will never take commission from insurers, and this removes all possibility of a conflict of interest over placing business and our earnings.

We will seek to educate our clients, so they can make better informed buying decisions and understand the nature of their exposure to risk, the recommendations we are making and why they represent good value for money.

We believe that is #openhonesttransparent

Have a great day




Insurance Freak!

Insurance freak!

I will take that! This was once levelled at me in a high-level board meeting. I took it as a badge of honour when the individual concerned said:

“This is just our job, but everyone knows you love it!”

I’ve always said, if you don’t love what you do, go and do something else. Life is way too short to spend 8+ hours every day doing something you don’t enjoy.

Today is about putting some new business on cover and making sure that our clients get all the relevant documentation in real time, very quickly, so that we can start looking after them and delivering on our promises, #becauseaccidentshappen to nice people all the time.

When you work with the diversity of businesses and situations we look at, no day is ever boring.

Today I’m sorting out:

  • A virtual business assistant
  • A business management consultant
  • An importer of adventurous training equipment
  • The largest plant and seed business in the UK
  • A multi-site shoe repair business

All of these clients will get my personal attention and all of our clients get a personal relationship with a single member of staff as their point of contact, on all matters relating to the solutions we provide.

  1. Continuity
  2. Insurance
  3. Risk Management
  4. Business Consultancy

All of this provided in an #openhonesttransparent manner, so when the worst happens our clients can #justkeepgoing without breaking stride.

Have a great day


Have a great day

Don’t break your business, the courts won’t care, and ignorance is never a defence!

Last week we talked about the one of only two legally mandatory insurances in the UK, cover for third party injury or damage whilst driving a road registered motor vehicle. Today we talk about the most important legally binding insurance, Employer Liability (EL) cover.

As a business owner it is the one piece of insurance cover you must get right, but not for yourself, more importantly for your employees, who if seriously injured may require an amount of money to look after them for the rest of their lives or if killed, families who may need long term support.

Currently our largest outstanding claim is over £650,000 and that was a guy in his late 50’s so loss of earnings wasn’t even the largest part of it. These claims can easily run into millions.

Under the 1969 Compulsory Insurance (Employers Liability) Insurance Act, cover must be in place for no less than £2,000,000, but in practice all insurers give cover up to £10,000,000 as standard, so the extent of cover is not an issue.

Now the important point, when must you have Employers Liability cover!

If you have a business where there any employees, even for one minute, of one day, of a year, or if you have volunteers or even self-employed sub-contractors, who do not have their own businesses and EL cover, you are responsible for them when they are working for you, especially in manual activities, construction and the like. You must have the cover.

The only exceptions are unincorporated businesses where there are partners and no other employees, volunteers or sub-contractors or in a limited company, where there is only one director and no other directors, officers or other employees. As soon as a limited company has two directors, who are employees of the limited company, cover must be in place as soon as the business is registered at Companies’ house.

Let’s be serious here. The penalties for failing to have the correct Employers Liability cover in place are fines of up to £2,500 per day or up to 6 Months in jail.

If you are starting a business, or registering a limited company, then get advice from a professional, #becauseaccidentshappen to nice people all the time.

We are always here to help and support our clients, just message me here or call and talk to a professional on 029 20 470 375.