It all starts at home!

And it doesn’t have to be complicated

Whenever I have had to train new entrants into the world of insurance, we always start with a basic household policy. It is the simplest form of policy for damage to property.

If I can get a new team member to understand the cover provided, they can move on and understand more complex forms of cover and more complicated products like package shop, office and property policies, before moving on to more complicated commercial combined policies, where you choose what you want from an array of possibilities.

So, what is the basic structure and cover in a household policy?

It has all the sections you might expect in any policy, they generally are detailed in the contents and are:

  1. General information including identity of insurer
  2. Cancellation rights
  3. Definitions of words in the policy where it is relevant
  4. Cover sections
    1. Buildings
    2. Contents
    3. Personal portable possessions
    4. Legal expenses
    5. Third party liability
  5. Conditions applying to the whole policy
  6. Exclusions applying t the whole of the policy
  7. Complaints procedure
  8. Making a claim

Understand the structure of this basic household policy and you understand the structure of most insurance policies you will come across, personal or commercial. You will also get a good understanding of the perils that are covered under any policy giving cover for damage to property, the extent of cover for liability to others and the scope of legal expenses cover.

Obviously the detail will be different for different types of policy, but the structure and basic cover will be the same, understand this and you wont go far wrong #becauseaccidentshappen to nice people all the time.

Have a great day.


Spring design


Client and advisor

An invisible benefit?

I can’t touch it, feel it or see it?

Insurance is known as a, ”Risk Transfer Mechanism” that means that for a defined financial loss (The Premium) you transfer a much bigger, but uncertain financial loss to someone else (The Insurer).

When arranged internationally the industry contributes to what are called “Invisible Exports” as part of our gross domestic product, (The size of our economy) and it is this characteristic that sometimes leads to uncertainty when bought by individuals and businesses in the UK.

In essence you are handing over money for something you can’t see, touch or feel, other than some paperwork. You are trusting that when you need the benefit of the insurance, there is no misunderstanding, and it operates as expected.

Now I’ve come across situations where the customer was disappointed in a claim situation, mostly when they bought direct, often over the internet. There was no advice about suitability from an independent adviser and whilst they had expectations about what was covered, what was not covered was not explained.

The client was left to read highly technical documents in detail and that was never going to happen. Even if they had they probably would not have understood the implications of 40 pages of policy wording. That is why you need a professional broker, who operates in an #openhonesttransparent manner.

When you buy a “Promise” you need to trust the person who sells you that promise and you need to trust that they understand what you want, the environment in which you make that purchase and the risks that you face and maybe even some you hadn’t thought about.

Its all about trust, and you can only get that from a professional, highly qualified advisor.

It’s likely to cost far less than you think and the quality of support in all circumstances is exactly what you need if the worst happens, #becauseaccidentshappen to nice people all the time.

If you want to see how that works and what it costs, then just drop me a line, for a completely no obligation chat. You never know you might learn something of value, in fact I can almost guarantee it.

Have a great day

Client and advisor

Good advice is essential in business


There is only one right way to do this!

Wish it were so!

It’s frustrating when we find clients who have purchased insurance from another provider or broker, and the product they have bought does not meet their needs, #becauseaccidentshappen to nice people all the time.

Whether that is because the provider didn’t understand their business, or the client didn’t explain what they do or what they needed properly, either way it’s the providers fault, they should conduct a detailed fact find so they understand what the client does, so they can advise them correctly.

Under the Insurance ACT 2015 this duty is clearly established. Clients have a duty to disclose anything that they can reasonably assume is relevant, but providers and brokers have an absolute and higher duty of care to “Find Out” what they know might be relevant, that a client wouldn’t necessarily know.

This is a skill taught to all our staff and honed through experience in the real world. Its’ one we exercise day in and day out on behalf of our clients and we are proud of the care that we show them. All clients receive the same duty of care. The small ones are less complicated and sophisticated, the larger ones just need more time and so pay higher fees, so our service is #openhonesttransparent.

This week I will be dealing with:

  • A property management company that requires liability cover for a piece of land
  • A security company
  • A client that needs a deferred VAT Bond
  • A company that imports clothing
  • And a fishing lake in Mid-Wales.

All require different solutions, but we will make sure we understand their individual needs and design solutions specifically for them.

Have a great week.


It’s not complicated, is it?

If you have a legal matter to resolve, you call a solicitor or a barrister. If you need your accounts prepared or audited, you get an accountant and if you want a building surveyed, designed and built you call a chartered surveyor and an architect.

Why, because you generally understand that there are complicated matters that require, the professional attention of those qualified people. What do they all have in common? They have professional registered bodies and they are in a highly regulated industry, with important protections in place for consumers.

So why on earth would you buy complex insurance and financial products direct from an insurer, where there is absolutely no advice about suitability, and ultimately very little protection for you as a consumer if a situation arises where the insurance does not do what you expected it to do?

Insurance brokers are highly regulated and qualified by one of the oldest professional bodies in the United Kingdom, the Chartered Insurance Institute.

The regulatory regime ensures that there is a very high level of protection for consumers and that transactions are completed in a compliant manner with full disclosure of information. Advice is at the forefront of the service, so that suitability and efficacy are almost guaranteed.

In addition there is a whole host of referral processes for dispute resolution, including recourse to the Insurance Ombudsman if necessary and the Financial Compensation Scheme should a provider go bust, during any claim process, before settlement.

So once again I ask, why would you buy direct?

Oh, it’s cheaper?

Well, I’m glad to tell you that apart from Car, Pet and Travel insurance, nothing could be further from the truth. A good broker will approach multiple insurers to find the best fit and the best value for you.

Its no good buying a cheap policy, if it turns out to be just a very expensive piece of paper, which is of little worth when you need it to respond.

Next time at least ask a broker to find out what the difference is between buying direct and taking professional advice. I doubt you will be disappointed.

Want to know more just call the office on 029 20 470 375 or email info@severnbay.com

Have a great day


Man and woman


Not boring at all

The possibilities are endless!

You think insurance is boring, well it is!

We seldom sit down and read policy wordings, endorsements, warranties, clauses or conditions, unless we have to and then of course we do, but what has kept me fascinated for the last 40 years is the people, their businesses and their situations.

One minute you’re dealing with a single site retail shop, then professional negligence for a legal firm in London and then your immediately thrown into a multi-site manufacturing operation, with all the complexity that involves, including:

  • Damage to buildings, stock, equipment and machinery
  • Business Interruption
  • Liabilities
  • Money
  • Goods in Transit
  • Engineering risks
  • Marine Cargo
  • Fleet Insurance
  • Cyber

The range of work we do at Severn Bay is endlessly fascinating, at the moment I’m working on solutions for an importer of high-end gifts, a registered charity that advices disabled people on adaptations for their vehicles, a manufacturer of children’s sunscreen products, liability for a piece of derelict land, a building company and a security firm, #becauseaccidentshappen to nice people all the time.

The range of work we do at Severn Bay is very wide and I like to think that after 40 years we’ve seen just about everything there is to see, but I’d love to find something I haven’t. That’s when I learn the most.

The challenge is on, but I know we are up for it and should be able to sort any situation to the client’s satisfaction in a completely #openhonesttransparent manner.


Not boring at all

Its boring we arent bored



Frustration acceptance

That’s a perverse decision!

Why would you do that?

It makes no sense whatsoever and that tells me that you have no understanding of value of the advisers you deal with.

A client asked us to put forward a complex solution, in a difficult market. Having conducted a substantial piece of work for them, we delivered a solution that saved them over £3,000 and delivered terms and conditions that were better than they had previously enjoyed. They were #openhonesttransparent working on a fixed fee, not hidden commission.

Did they say thank you?

Did they place the business with us?

Not a chance. What they did was feed our price and terms back to the incumbent and asked them to match or beat it, and this is after they had already been offered a solution that was over £3,000 more expensive than ours.

The incumbent reduced their price and altered their terms to match ours to keep the business, and on the grounds of consistency the client decided to stay where they were.

Why would you do that?

It doesn’t matter if you’ve known them for several years, or that you want consistency. What you will continue to get is:

  1. Consistently bad service
  2. Consistently lazy broking
  3. Consistently higher pricing

Had the broker been any good, they would have found the solution we sourced, in a particularly difficult market sector.

If they ever approach us again, I’m afraid the answer will be NO THANK YOU!

There are some clients and some opportunities which are not worth your time and effort, learn to identify the tyre kickers and decline the opportunity.

They will inevitably get their just reward, one day.

Have a great day

Start as you mean to go on!

And there they were, gone!

At times in business you find that due to illness holidays or other reasons, your team can be down as much as 40%, such is our lot for the next 10 days.

Am i worried about workload, no I am not!

If your business is set up correctly and you have the right processes in place, which every team member understands and takes responsibility for, then it easy to adjust for short periods and make sure nothing goes awry.

If you build your nbusiness like a big one, from day one, then plain sailing even when circumstances transpire to make live difficult should be no problem,. so you can #justkeepgoing

A good week in prospect helping property owners, consultants, sustainability entrereneurs, solicitors and sporting charities, to name but a few.

Have a great week everyone

Information is Power!

An uncertain world!

The world is not an easy place to be at the moment and planning for your business is never easy, especially if it involves a large team, complex arrangements and even international considerations.

Insurance is not the answer to all those problems, good planning for a range of contingencies is essential in any business, #becauseaccidentshappen, but insurance can provide the financial backstop behind some of the more serious events that might occur, such as serious physical damage, injury and death to name a few.

So how do we convince an insurer that the risk that our business presents is one which deserves the very best terms and the lowest price?

It’s all about uncertainty!

All insurance is based on either an uncertainty about whether a particular event will occur or about the frequency with which it might occur, or its severity should it occur. When accepting a business insurance, every underwriter is staking their professional reputation on the process they have followed, the terms they will apply and the premium to be charged

The way to get the best terms is to remove as much uncertainty as possible from the mind of the underwriter, so that he/she is comfortable with the risk to be taken by their company and is willing to produce advantageous terms and the lowest price.

We do this with a full and detailed fact find and a quality presentation, answering every question the underwriter might have in their mind.

So next time you are asked to provide information to your broker, remember INFORMATION IS POWER!

You have it and if you give it to us in an #openhonesttransparent manner, the better the terms we can get you and lower the premium is likely to be.

Have a great week

Face to face whenever we can!

Commitment is key!

What a lovely sunny Monday morning, it is and what a week in prospect I have.

These days lots of our work is done remotely, by phone, email or nowadays by zoom, but there are occasions when we not only have to but want to meet our clients face to face. They fall into five distinct categories.

  1. Meeting new prospects
  2. Conducting site surveys
  3. Conducting Liability investigations
  4. Conducting periodical reviews
  5. Dealing with serious claims on site

We always tell our clients we will never let an event happen where they are on their own talking to an external professional. We will always be there to make sure the meeting is conducted correctly and to the advantage of our client, #becauseaccidentshappen to nice people all the time.

That’s just one of the commitments we make to our clients.

Tomorrow, I get to travel down to conduct a survey in Paignton in Devon, at a client’s main site. It is one of the nice parts of my job, that occasionally I get a nice trip out and meet more of our lovely clients.

I’m hoping the sun will be shining.

Have a great week


Business Women

It just the decent thing to do, isn’t it?

Maybe I’m not the only one in business who thinks this way?

I have a lovely and extremely clever wife, Karen. We are co-directors in three different businesses and what makes this possible is that we trust each other completely and we KNOW with absolute certainty that we have each other’s back, every minute, of every day.

Karen will tell you I have lots of wives. Running wives, London wives, Ex-military wives, you get the idea. The truth is I have always found the company of women far more interesting than men. They have a better sense of humour than most men and are far more fun socially.

In business they just get on and do stuff, without grandstanding or whingeing about it, which means they often cover much more ground. They are generally more organised than men and invest more time in relationships to make them work. They are also very tenacious, which means opportunities seldom slip by, ask any married man!

So, I find it unnerving and slightly uncomfortable when I hear and see news and posts on various social media, including LinkedIn that relate to bias against women in the workplace.

I immediately feel defensive, as if they are aimed at me. That’s the decent bloke psyche kicking in of course, immediate gender related guilt for nothing I have done, but it’s there, nonetheless. It’s probably a good trait, in a modern business environment.

We are currently looking at another opportunity and the candidate is female, if she is right for the role, that’s all that matters. I simply don’t understand why men would act against women in that way. It’s not decent behaviour and certainly not good business.

Supporting women in the workplace and developing their careers is a no brainer, to ensure they become the very best person in that role. Stifling success is plain stupidity. If that means they eventually move on to larger opportunities, I won’t feel aggrieved about that success, we will celebrate it and the value they brought to our business.

I’d like to think that we create a working space with a balance of life and work, that works for everyone. As far as I’m concerned, the best person for the job, will always be, the best person for the job, gender doesn’t come into it.

It’s not difficult, to create a supportive space for women in business, just make it a supportive environment for everyone, oh and have some fun at the same time.

Have a great day

Business Women

Business women make a huge contribution to the economy