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Welcome to BGP Commercial Insurance Broker

Our insurance blog is viewable on tablet and desktop versions of our website.

Innovation | Experience | Expertise

We are market leaders in the design of innovative insurance products to meet constantly changing business environment. We have become a preferred Lloyd's broker renowned for it's approach to creating new types of risk solutions. Our international presence, direct access to the specialist Lloyd's market and our underwriting strength with leading insurers mean we have more muscle and market options that most brokers.

Our insurance teams of highly qualified and experienced staff can assist you in the placement of all your insurance contracts. We require all our staff to actively pursue professional qualifications whilst recognising experience is often as important. Continuing professional development and ongoing training is key to our success.

A Lloyd's of London Broker

Lloyd’s is the worlds leading specialist insurance market providing insurance solutions for over 200 countries and territories. It is home to 44 managing agents and 62 syndicates, which offer unrivalled insurance expertise. We are proud to be a Lloyd's broker.

Innovation | Experience | Expertise

We are market leaders in the design of innovative insurance products to meet constantly changing business environment. We have become a preferred Lloyd's broker renowned for our approach to creating new types of risk solutions.

Our international presence, direct access to the specialist Lloyd's market and our underwriting strength with leading insurers mean we have more muscle and market options that most brokers. Our insurance teams of highly qualified and experienced staff can assist you in the placement of all your insurance contracts.

© Bennett Gould & Partners Ltd 2019






Tips for household flood & subsidence risks


If your clients are purchasing a property they will no doubt undertake a survey which is an invaluable tool to save future heartache and expensive problems, but often overlooked is the risk of flood and subsidence. These simple tips could provide the first step to highlighting the need for specialist home insurance.

Clarify your exposure in advance

One of the worst aspects of flooding or subsidence is that they frequently arrive as a shock. It’s true that there’s nothing anyone can do to absolutely guarantee in advance that they can’t happen. In a sense, that’s why flood risk and subsidence insurance exists!

However, with a little advance research preferably prior to buying, you may be able to spots the telltale warning signs that can lead to future flood and subsidence problems. Following these simple but often overlooked tips could save you future heartache.

Talk to local estate agents (though remember, they may have an interest in playing down such risks)

Checking with the coal mining authorities; there are an extensive array of tunnels and excavation works that have taken place in the last 100 years that could have affected your property.


Do likewise for the environment flood risks.

Look at local press histories or speak to local reporters and historians for information about any previous floods. Remember, if your researchers turn up a potential problem, it might affect the price of your home insurance or in some cases require a specialist policy that could increase your premium.

Look for Flood-Re and specialist flood cover


Flood cover is no longer provided as routine automatic cover in policies. Here at BGP we offer specialist household insurance for flood and subsidence risks but many others won’t. Some may do so through what’s called the “Flood-Re” scheme whereby the government and insurance providers have worked together to provide a central source of funds to cope with flooding claims. Whatever the position, don’t accept that such cover isn’t available or take the risk of purchasing a policy that excludes cover for flooding if you're property is in a potential risk area.

Subsidence in mining areas


If you’re purchasing in a mining area, there are government schemes in place which make the mining companies pay for subsidence problems that have arisen as a result of old mining activity. If that’s so, you may find that you’re covered by the national scheme, but check that in advance before purchasing your household insurance policy and if you are not it's essential to make sure it provides subsidence cover.

Do a visual check of property in the general area


If your research hasn’t shown much, you can simply walk or drive around properties in a half mile or so radius of your potential home. You’re looking for signs on properties of water level marks in brickwork low down (but well above ground level), signs of cracking (usually wider at the top and penetrating not just on the surface) in properties and so on. If local insurance providers are happy to offer you flood risk and subsidence insurance on standard terms and your inspection/research has thrown nothing up, then your risks are probably going to be manageable.

Protect against normal inundations.


It probably won’t come as news that the UK is a wet country and heavy rainfall is normal and extreme weather patterns are increasing in frequency. Note that “flooding” on your property after heavy rain due to things such as blocked gutters or drains, probably won’t be considered a flood as such but a problem arising from your own insufficient maintenance. So, be sure to keep these potential problem areas clear.

Self-inflicted subsidence


Although moderately rare, it’s not unknown for DIY building activities to create significant structural problems. An example might be attempting to dig out foundations to help a DIY extension. Should that cause a problem with your property’s structure, it typically won’t be considered “subsidence” by your policy’s provider so when carrying out works yourself or hiring contractors make sure you don't take shortcuts and follow guidelines carefully.

Refusals


If you are turned down for flood or subsidence home insurance, for whatever reason, don’t despair. Instead, contact an expert provider of non-standard property insurance such as ourselves, and we will be able to help. You can get in touch with us on 03330 146 156.

Whilst these checks are by no means comprehensive and not meant to replace surveys or standard due diligence they might just help to highlight potential warning signs that could warrant further investigation, and perhaps save you from future distress.









Are your clients high-net-worth?


We live in highly aspirational times, Instabraging is a common phenomenon, cyber currency is promising to make millionaires of bedroom speculators, social media trends and reality TV have many dreaming of becoming Influencers to live the high life.

When you think of high-net-worth individuals you probably picture the rich and famous, wealthy business owners, entrepreneurs, famous families or super-rich celebrities. But it's increasingly possible that your clients could be HNW without even realising it.

Home is where the wealth is

Ok so they may not be captains of industry or have an intrinsic value to the industry they work in, but what could make them high-net-worth is what most peoples largest financial asset is - their homes.

With property prices rising again after the economic crash of 2008 the average house price £226,071 and £729,134 in the capital many homeowners will find their property falling into the high-net-worth bracket.

Protecting the prize


It's vital to protect what's valuable and important to us, and when it comes to homes that means adequate insurance and not just for the property alone, contents are commonly more valuable than we first think, often we've accumulated more possessions than we recall until we move home and realise it'll take more trips than first thought!

High-net-worth household insurance


The transition threshold from standard to high-net-worth insurance might vary from one insurance provider to another but it's often assumed that HNW policies are only required once the value reaches £1.5million, this simply isn't the case especially with specialist insurers like us.

O
ur HNW household policy is available for properties from £250K to £7million and includes worldwide cover for personal possessions, legal expenses cover and 24-hour claims support.

High-net-worth insurance is specifically designed for policyholders who have the sometimes very specific requirements associated with expensive properties and contents. That’s why specific policies exist to cater to their needs.

It can be misleading to generalise but people living in larger houses might typically have more home contents and therefore typically higher contents valuations. A standard household policy might provide contents cover up to a maximum of £200,000 but that might be insufficient. A few family heirlooms, expensive jewellery or home electronics can easy exceed standard policy limits.

And it's not just the contents! The cost of rebuilding a property can vary greatly with location, listed status and materials, restoring a listed building with locally sourced materials will be far more costly than a standard brick and mortar property on a conventional housing estate.

Ask and expert and save money


High net worth policies often offer additional benefits too, like cover for legal expenses, dedicated claims lines and account managers.

So next time your clients household policy is due for renewal get in touch with us and and see what we can do for them, simply contact Darren Jeffries, the head of our household team on 01452 377 666 or email darren.jeffries@bgpltd.com





How we can help your business


Bennett Gould and Partners Ltd (BGP) is a Lloyds of London insurance broker. We also have an in-house underwriting agency (Bennett Gould Underwriters or ‘BGU’ for short). Of course, it is perfectly legitimate to ask “What do we do?” and expect specific answers rather than generalities!

Our underwriting services - BGU

Let’s consider our underwriting activities to begin with. In situations where we are not able to cover a risk on our own binders, our presence in the underwriting marketplace allows us to leverage a vast range of options and possibilities.  That might be particularly important to you if your client, for example, has a particularly difficult to place risk.

That might be in situations where they have particular structural issues on a property or perhaps where they have an extended history of previous claims.  Whatever your requirements, BGU’s presence at the heart of the London markets will allow you the possibility of being able to accommodate your client’s requirements. BGU is also at the disposal of our brokerage arm and the people and organisations working with them.

BGP Services


We also act as a major brokerage in our own right.  We offer a range of solutions to insurance requirements and have achieved an excellent reputation for our flexibility and service ethos. That reputation is one we guard jealously. Of particular interest is our programme for Appointed Representatives (ARs). This basically involves us offering selected individuals and companies the right to sell insurance solutions, knowing that our organisation is fully behind the proposition.  Unlike some other organisations, we allow our ARs to keep their own clients and client lists or portfolios, which means they are effectively operating entirely under their own branding. Furthermore, our AR programme offers help with a wide variety of other issues such as FCA approvals (not required if you are operating for us as an AR), capital adequacy requirements, statutory reporting and even IT.  In complicated or unusual scenarios, the backup and support of BGU can also prove to be invaluable.

Partnership


While it is fairly easy to talk about our specific services, it’s also important to say a word or two about our culture. In our relationships with our Appointed Representatives and their associated business operations, we are always keen to establish a healthy, dynamic and as far as possible, transparent relationship.  Our overriding objective in this respect is to help you to grow your business and to achieve success. For example, we do not believe in pointless demarcation lines, unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy or charging a fee to become part of our AR network. You can be sure that all of the professionals at BGP and BGU will be dedicating themselves to helping to make your success happen because our interests and yours are coincident.

Your next step


In a brief blog of this nature, we cannot possibly do justice to the range of services we provide and the opportunities they might offer you. So, if you’d like to know more, we invite you to get in touch with us at your earliest convenience for a discussion.  We’d love to discuss any specific enquiries or questions you might have.






Building or switching your scheme



The idea of building a new insurance scheme can be daunting to some.
Even more worrying can be the need or desire to switch from one insurance scheme or provider to another. Here is some ‘myth-buster’ information that you may find useful if you’re contemplating one of the above events.

"It's easier to leave a scheme where it is than to move it"

Theoretically, there is almost always less effort involved in doing nothing as opposed to changing things. However, sometimes it’s simply not in the best interests of either a business or an individual to adopt a ‘zero change’ philosophy. There may be many reasons why you’d wish to move an existing insurance scheme to another provider, including:

Cost advantages
More modern schemes offering significant additional features
Enhanced customer service propositions for the provider
Changes in your business operations that require a new scheme model

"It's almost impossible to move a scheme and hugely disruptive if you try"


No, it isn’t – or perhaps more correctly, it needn’t be. At Bennett Gould and Partners (BGP) we have vast experience in moving commercial insurance schemes, both large and small. We don’t just hope that everything goes well. Our expert Account Managers will use their knowledge and experience to perform an in-depth analysis and planning of your move. They’ll then work in partnership with you to make the move itself. We can guarantee that it will be seamless and involve little or no business disruption.

"Our requirements are too complicated for a single scheme"


Due to a combination of our expertise and having access to our own underwriting operations (Bennett Gould Underwriting or ‘BGU’), we can assure you that no scheme is too complicated for us to handle in its totality. For example, just a few of the scheme areas we operate in cover areas as diverse as:

Household
Overseas homes
Flood risk & subsidence
Repayment Protection
Pharmacies
GPs
Amateur & professional sports
Watersports schools & clubs

"We'd be forced to sell a scheme under someone else's branding"


To the contrary, we will construct a scheme for you, using our own team of underwriters, and we’d be happy to brand it as you require. For us, this would be entirely normal and ‘business as usual’.

"Only large organisations have schemes designed specifically for them"


No, in fact, we build schemes for organisations of all sizes. Our clients range in size from large corporate institutions to individuals and sole traders etc.  It is a myth that bespoke insurance schemes are available only to the largest companies.

"All insurance schemes are broadly the similar"


Once again, we must correct this often-heard myth. While many different schemes may share a category, for example ‘Pharmacy Insurance’, the way they go about building their cover proposition will vary considerably between providers. Upon inspection, almost all schemes contain significant and material differences in terms of the cover they provide and their associated conditions.  This is why it’s important to periodically review your schemes with the help of an expert broker. The UK insurance marketplace is widely held to be one of the most dynamic and competitive in the world. It changes regularly, as do the products within it.

"It takes excessive amounts of time to set up a scheme"


We cannot speak for others but using our experience and expertise we are able to work with you to access you needs quickly and efficiently and utilize the close relationships we have with insurers to make sure the process of creating or transfering your scheme is as swift and hassle free as possible.






Running an online scheme



Comparatively few insurance brokers want to turn themselves into IT experts but that can be an unintended consequence of ‘selling online’ - unless you plan to prevent it.

The importance of IT operational processes

Perhaps the first thing to grasp is that IT systems, just like those in a conventional office, need to be designed in terms of their process flows.  If that sounds like common sense, unfortunately, not all IT service providers seemingly grasp it due to being too focussed on ‘techie’ things. That means you risk getting the processes they think you need rather than what you or your clients actually want.

So, while your systems may all be ‘working’, they’re not necessarily doing things in a sequence that will make sense to you or more importantly, engage your potential clients. You might have experienced the frustration of this if, for example, you’re ever been asked to input information on screen 5 of an online system that you’ve already provided on say screen. Ask your IT service provider to ‘dry-run’ the process flows with you before they start to build the individual online pages. Make sure they make sense to you in terms of matching your own processes involved.

Marketing


Try to avoid the siren-like attractions of thinking that running your scheme online will in itself bring the clients flocking in.  It probably won’t. Your scheme will need to be advertised, whether you’re delivering online or conventionally (or both). There are a number of techniques for doing so and an integrated marketing strategy will be required. It isn’t just about sending a few tweets. Speak to an online marketing expert sooner rather than later.

Consider using the services of a broker in an AR (Appointed Representative) relationship who might be able to assist with your marketing requirements. It may prove to be more cost-effective than hiring your own marketing specialist(s).

Be ready


It’s perfectly understandable that you may be raring to get off the starting blocks. However, pause for breath and spend some significant time testing your end-to-end system.  That’s not just the technology part but also all of your back-office processes that will be required to make things happen. For example:

Training
- do your colleagues understand the scheme, exactly how enquiries will be dealt with and how the processes will work once they are triggered from an online source? They should be fully trained before you ‘go live’

Paperwork – do you have all the required forms ready to go? That includes things such as statutory cancellation rights notices, payment options and so on;

Do you have all the required regulatory, underwriting or principal’s signoffs? This is important if problems are to be avoided downstream;

Are your IT backup and restore processes in place (sometimes called “IT recovery” or “business continuity”) and have they been fully tested? IT disasters are rarer today than they once were but they still happen and there may be a statutory requirement to ensure that information can be restored if ‘lost’. Don’t assume your IT provider will have automatically put something into place – verify it.

Ask all these hard questions of your operation and test everything before releasing your scheme online.  If there are holes and gaps, it’s far better to spot them yourself than to have your clients discover them for you.






Setting up your own brokerage



For those wanting to become an insurance broker, the path isn’t necessarily easy but it can be very rewarding. Setting up your own brokerage and becoming you own boss may seem like a pipe dream, but if you have the skills and ambition we can help.

Basic foundations

As you may already know, this area is a regulated profession. The governing body is called the Financial Conduct Authority or FCA. The fact that it’s regulated means three things. The authorities take the provision of insurance-related advice and the sale of policies to the public, very seriously indeed. You can’t just decide overnight that you’re an insurance broker and then start working as such the following morning. That you’re going to have to convince others of your abilities and qualifications.

Proving yourself


The above paragraphs are important because it indicates that you’re going to need to bring certain things to the table in order to prove that you have the required knowledge and judgement to fill the role specifically:

You’ll need to have extensive experience within the insurance industry.

More importantly, you’ll also require technical knowledge gained through a combination of time-in-the job complemented by formal qualifications.

You must demonstrate that you understand the regulatory and compliance frameworks, as laid down by statute and the FCA;

In some circumstances, you may need to show the regulator that you have the basic experience required to run a business and the means of doing so. We’ll come back to this one later.

Taking things forward


If you have ticks in some or all of the above boxes, you have a choice to make in terms of the path you take, you can:

Deal directly with the FCA in order to obtain direct certification and authorisation from them;

Discuss your position with an experienced brokerage agency and underwriter, with a view to becoming an Appointed Representative (or AR) of theirs.

Although these two options are sometimes discussed in terms of almost competition and pros and cons, it’s perhaps more helpful to think of them as two different paths to the same objective. Dealing directly with the FCA to obtain authorisation was at one time the only route. It involves needing to meet certain knowledge criteria.  Due to the scale of their operations and the numbers involved, this can take time even if you have all the required attributes. Picking up from the above point that was ‘parked’ earlier, be aware that you will also typically need to convince them that you have sufficient knowledge and capital resources behind you so as to run a successful business.

The second route involves contacting a specialist brokerage agency and underwriter, offering routes to become an AR.  You will, of course, need to convince them of your knowledge and capabilities but they will provide the operating framework and deal with all required statutory reporting, capital and approval thresholds, as demanded by the FCA. They’re usually referred to as the ‘principal’. The second route is typically required as being a faster route to full operations as a broker.

Some notes on the AR role


Your principal as an AR is critically important, some may provide marketing assistance and access to technology systems. Do note though that some may require you to operate under their corporate branding rather than your own. Some principals may extend that to include requiring that your clients are, in effect, ‘theirs’. Yet others may demand that your commercial activities are restricted to selling their products only.

None of that need be a problem unless you are trying to generate your own portfolio and business foundation. If you’re in that position, it might be sensible to search for a principal that makes no such demands and who is willing to allow you a considerable degree of freedom in your commercial activities.

If you are interested in setting up your own brokeragem think you could saftisfy the requirements and are interested in joinging the BGP AR network simply contact us us on 01252 377 667.



Adding revenue streams to your business



Nobody doubts that the economic backdrop has been tough since 2008. While there may have been some ups and downs since, overall the business world has changed and we all have to work a lot harder for our income and success. That’s as true within the insurance industry as any other. What’s important today is diversity of income stream. While it’s perfectly fair to say that you don’t want to overly dilute your focus by starting up multiple lines of activity, equally, putting ‘all your eggs in one basket’ can be a bit of a lost opportunity too.

So how, as an insurance broker, can you take this idea further without suddenly finding that you’re now far too busy with other things to actually find the time to sell insurance? This introduces the subject of affiliate programmes.

Top tips

Use your website’s existing traffic to generate income.  People visiting your site might be very useful to cross-market to through email lists, follow-up emails, contact messages and so on;

Try to keep your affiliate work pertinent to your core mission.  Sending someone a thank you email for their enquiry about motor insurance is a good opportunity to draw their attention to ‘something else’.  However, it’s often preferable for that affiliate pitch to be in a related area such home insurance offers.  Highlighting affiliates in domains such as, say, lingerie or building supplies can look odd and be counter-productive;

Use some of the spare space on certain of your site pages for the same purposes. Carrying sponsored affiliate advertisements can be interesting in terms of assisting your income – particularly if they result in subsequent enquiries and business. However, don’t overdo this. You don’t want your key proposition to be lost amidst dozens of ads for other parties or risk annoying visitors to your sire with irrelevant and multiple ads for the services of others;

Don’t unnecessarily re-invent the wheel. Instead, look for a relationship(s) with sponsors and principals who are in the same domain as yours and who have extensive experience of affiliate-type programmes. In the insurance sector, some companies offer Appointed Representative (AR) status to suitable brokers and qualified individuals. Their experience and IT infrastructure might prove invaluable in getting your own affiliate programme up-and-running.

Of course, it’s necessary to stay within the constraints and compliance directives of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in your affiliate activities. Typically, you will need to be cautious about being perceived to be offering financial investment advice through your cross-marketing activities or attempting to sell financial products in areas that you are not authorised to do so. However, in most affiliate programmes, that should not be a significant issue and an experienced sponsor of the type mentioned above such as Bennett Gould and Partners Ltd should be able to assist.

To see a list of the insurance products we can offer or for information on our affiliate program simply visit our website or contact us on 020 3640 2370.






Constructing solutions for your risk



Construction insurance tends to occupy its own distinct position within the wider insurance market – simply because the risks associated with any construction project are likely to be more than usually complex and involved. Risks on any type of construction project may be significant, explains the website Designing Buildings, which sets out some of the complexities often associated with this particular business activity.

Building.co.uk also publishes a brief guide to the practical, legal aspects of construction insurance and describes the five principal elements commonly associated with this type of cover:

All risks insurance

Also known as contract works insurance, policies are typically issued in the joint names of the principal client and the contractor, to cover risks of loss or damage to the works, movement of machinery, business interruption and public liability.

Professional indemnity insurance

Protects the liability of those involved in the construction project (such as architects, engineers, building contractors) against mistakes, errors and failures of professional judgment.

Latent defects insurance

Protects against claims from latent defects that become apparent in new building work or new works to existing structures.


These – and the complexities we mention under this subject heading – are all factors likely to make your job harder and more challenging when it comes to arranging construction insurance on behalf of your clients. The specialised nature of the risks involved – to workers, members of the public, trades liabilities, the liabilities of directors and officers of the company, the building and its contents – demand a confidence in the capabilities and quality of the insurance cover provided.

The reliance that both you and your customers need to place in top-flight underwriting is met by the purpose-designed, in-house agency of the wider Bennett Gould & Partners group in the shape of Bennett Gold Underwriting (BGU). Our objective is to provide A-rated insurance products, which our partner brokers may make available to their own customers.

Nothing in the insurance market stands still and BGU is committed to keeping you fully up to date with respect to the latest, innovative construction insurance solutions that emerge. And in the rare circumstance that your risk excedes the capacity of our in-house underwriting agency, we are able to tap into the additional resources available from a network of Lloyd's underwriters to satisfy your clients needs and requirements.



Protecting your retail business


There are more than 290,000 retail outlets in the UK, according to Retail Economics. These include the more obvious types of retailers, such as shopkeepers, but also embrace some of the more unexpected, such as workshops, gyms, leisure centres, petrol stations, car parks, restaurants, takeaways, pubs, hotels and online retail stores.

In short, there is a huge range of businesses which are likely to need the protection of retail insurance – against such risks as damage to the premises, theft loss or damage of stock, fittings and equipment, public and employer’s liabilities and losses resulting from disruption to normal business. If you are looking for insurance for your own retail business, therefore, here are some of the features you mightbe looking for:

A tailored solution

With so many different types of retail business, you'll want cover that matches your particular enterprise, the insurance you choose is, therefore, unlikely to be any off the shelf solution, but one that is individually tailored and adapted to your specific needs and requirements
That might be in situations where they have particular structural issues on a property or perhaps where they have an extended history of previous claims.  Whatever your requirements, BGU’s presence at the heart of the London markets will allow you the possibility of being able to accommodate your client’s requirements. BGU is also at the disposal of our brokerage arm and the people and organisations working with them.

Your broker


The task of matching your individual needs and requirements to suitable insurance products is a task that falls principally to your insurance broker, you look to your broker, therefore, to come up with the appropriate solutions to your business needs – and this requires competence, skill, and experience on the part of the broker

That's where we come in


As an independent, multinational insurance group, we have an especially keen appreciation of the importance of tailoring insurance cover to your specific retail business and in securing a top-flight product that is underwritten by the a-rated insurers

Elements of cover


Retail insurance is very much an umbrella term – it typically comprises a number of different elements, representing the wide range of risks which need to be covered; these might include public liability insurance, for instance, to give you indemnity against claims from customers or members of the public who slip and are injured or have their own property damaged in your shop, for instance. Where your retail business is also employing any other members of staff, the law invariably requires that you also have at least £5 million in employer’s liability insurance.

Liability aside you'll most likely need cover for your stock and potentially your retail unit or storage facility, cover for business equipment, business interruption, cash and for larger risks potentially commercial vehicles too. Additional covers such as legal expenses, loss of licence and goods in transit are also key components depending on the nature of your business.

When arranging insurance for your retail business you are likely to look carefully at the broker you choose, but might also enquire further about the status and standing of the wider insurance industry that your broker enjoys. For a quotation or further assistance simply contact a member of our underwriting team on 020 3640 2370




Engineering a policy to suit your needs


When engineers are looking for insurance, they need a product which is specially tailored to the work they do – wherever the site, whatever the structural demands – and on which they are able to rely to provide the cover such a professional needs. Is engineering insurance a product which your brokerage hope to offer to clients? If so, you might want to take some of the following into consideration:

Engineering projects tend to be both varied and complex – especially where the location of the works or the nature of the structures involved are out of the ordinary or of particular concern;

Clients may find it difficult to find the particular engineering insurance policy they need – and the challenge needs to be taken up by you as their broker to find it;

In your quest, you might want to take advantage of the expertise and experience we have already built up here at Bennett Gould & Partners Ltd, where insurance for engineers is one of our specialities and our top-class policies are backed by the international reputation of our name; there are a number of areas in which your clients are likely to be interested;

Professional liability insurance

This is a basic safeguard taken by practically any professional engineering to protect against claims alleging some professional negligence on his or her part – indeed, professional indemnity insurance is basic demand of the Engineering Council for its registered members;

Public liability insurance


But the engineer’s duty of care extends well beyond the relationship with clients and is a risk which may lead to any member of the public claiming negligence on the part of the engineer for some injury or property damage that has been sustained;

Employers liability insurance


Any engineer employing anyone else in helping to run his or her business is almost certain to have the legal obligation to arrange employers' liability insurance – of at least £5 million – in the event of an injury or some other medical condition suffered by the employee whilst at work;

Contract works insurance


Just as the name suggests, the works themselves may represent further risks against which the professional engineer needs the protection of insurance;

Tools, plant & machinery

It is not only contractors who may have valuable tools, plant and machinery at risk of theft, loss or damage on the site of works – financial responsibility for many of these may lie with the engineer;

Business equipment insurance


There is a wide range of equipment any engineer is likely to need in the running of his or her business and this also needs the protection of insurance;

Personal accident insurance


Many of the sites which an engineer is likely to visit in the course of his professional duties are intrinsically dangerous places, with a high risk of physical injury – personal accident insurance offers compensation if the worst comes to the work and injuries are sustained;

Legal expenses


It is in the nature of practically any professional service offered to clients, that it is impossible to resolve certain disputes without recourse to the law – in that case, the protection of legal expenses insurance may be required.

In short, engineering insurance is a potentially very involved and complex form of protection and your brokerage may benefit from the help, advice and support of specialists such as Bennett Gould & Partners to tailor the solutions needed by your clients.






Protecting your retail business

There are more than 290,000 retail outlets in the UK, according to Retail Economics. These include the more obvious types of retailers, such as shopkeepers, but also embrace some of the more unexpected, such as workshops, gyms, leisure centres, petrol stations, car parks, restaurants, takeaways, pubs, hotels and online retail stores.

In short, there is a huge range of businesses which are likely to need the protection of retail insurance – against such risks as damage to the premises, theft loss or damage of stock, fittings and equipment, public and employer’s liabilities and losses resulting from disruption to normal business. If you are looking for insurance for your own retail business, therefore, here are some of the features you mightbe looking for:

A tailored solution

So many different types of retail business, you'll want cover that matches your particular enterprise, the insurance you choose is, therefore, unlikely to be any off the shelf solution, but one that is individually tailored and adapted to your specific needs and requirements

That might be in situations where they have particular structural issues on a property or perhaps where they have an extended history of previous claims.  Whatever your requirements, BGU’s presence at the heart of the London markets will allow you the possibility of being able to accommodate your client’s requirements. BGU is also at the disposal of our brokerage arm and the people and organisations working with them.

Your broker

The task of matching your individual needs and requirements to suitable insurance products is a task that falls principally to your insurance broker, you look to your broker, therefore, to come up with the appropriate solutions to your business needs – and this requires competence, skill, and experience on the part of the broker


That's where we come in

As an independent, multinational insurance group, we have an especially keen appreciation of the importance of tailoring insurance cover to your specific retail business and in securing a top-flight product that is underwritten by the a-rated insurers

Elements of cover


Retail insurance is very much an umbrella term – it typically comprises a number of different elements, representing the wide range of risks which need to be covered; these might include public liability insurance, for instance, to give you indemnity against claims from customers or members of the public who slip and are injured or have their own property damaged in your shop, for instance. Where your retail business is also employing any other members of staff, the law invariably requires that you also have at least £5 million in employer’s liability insurance.

Liability aside you'll most likely need cover for your stock and potentially your retail unit or storage facility, cover for business equipment, business interruption, cash and for larger risks potentially commercial vehicles too. Additional covers such as legal expenses, loss of licence and goods in transit are also key components depending on the nature of your business.

When arranging insurance for your retail business you are likely to look carefully at the broker you choose, but might also enquire further about the status and standing of the wider insurance industry that your broker enjoys. For a quotation or further assistance simply contact a member of our underwriting team on 020 3640 2375





Building or switching your scheme



The idea of building a new insurance scheme can be daunting to some.
Even more worrying can be the need or desire to switch from one insurance scheme or provider to another. Here is some ‘myth-buster’ information that you may find useful if you’re contemplating one of the above events.

"It's easier to leave a scheme where it is than to move it"

Theoretically, there is almost always less effort involved in doing nothing as opposed to changing things. However, sometimes it’s simply not in the best interests of either a business or an individual to adopt a ‘zero change’ philosophy. There may be many reasons why you’d wish to move an existing insurance scheme to another provider, including:

Cost advantages
More modern schemes offering significant additional features
Enhanced customer service propositions for the provider
Changes in your business operations that require a new scheme model


"It's almost impossible to move a scheme and hugely disruptive if you try"

No, it isn’t – or perhaps more correctly, it needn’t be. At Bennett Gould and Partners (BGP) we have vast experience in moving commercial insurance schemes, both large and small. We don’t just hope that everything goes well. Our expert Account Managers will use their knowledge and experience to perform an in-depth analysis and planning of your move. They’ll then work in partnership with you to make the move itself. We can guarantee that it will be seamless and involve little or no business disruption.

"Our requirements are too complicated for a single scheme"


Due to a combination of our expertise and having access to our own underwriting operations (Bennett Gould Underwriting or ‘BGU’), we can assure you that no scheme is too complicated for us to handle in its totality. For example, just a few of the scheme areas we operate in cover areas as diverse as:

Household
Overseas homes
Flood risk & subsidence
Repayment Protection
Pharmacies
GPs
Amateur & professional sports
Watersports schools & clubs

"We'd be forced to sell a scheme under someone else's branding"


To the contrary, we will construct a scheme for you, using our own team of underwriters, and we’d be happy to brand it as you require. For us, this would be entirely normal and ‘business as usual’.

"Only large organisations have schemes designed specifically for them"

No, in fact, we build schemes for organisations of all sizes. Our clients range in size from large corporate institutions to individuals and sole traders etc.  It is a myth that bespoke insurance schemes are available only to the largest companies.

"All insurance schemes are broadly the similar"


Once again, we must correct this often-heard myth. While many different schemes may share a category, for example ‘Pharmacy Insurance’, the way they go about building their cover proposition will vary considerably between providers. Upon inspection, almost all schemes contain significant and material differences in terms of the cover they provide and their associated conditions.  This is why it’s important to periodically review your schemes with the help of an expert broker. The UK insurance marketplace is widely held to be one of the most dynamic and competitive in the world. It changes regularly, as do the products within it.

"It takes excessive amounts of time to set up a scheme"


We cannot speak for others but using our experience and expertise we are able to work with you to access you needs quickly and efficiently and utilize the close relationships we have with insurers to make sure the process of creating or transfering your scheme is as swift and hassle free as possible.







Setting up your own brokerage



For those wanting to become an insurance broker, the path isn’t necessarily easy but it can be very rewarding. Setting up your own brokerage and becoming you own boss may seem like a pipe dream, but if you have the skills and ambition we can help.


Basic foundations

As you may already know, this area is a regulated profession. The governing body is called the Financial Conduct Authority or FCA. The fact that it’s regulated means three things. The authorities take the provision of insurance-related advice and the sale of policies to the public, very seriously indeed. You can’t just decide overnight that you’re an insurance broker and then start working as such the following morning. That you’re going to have to convince others of your abilities and qualifications.


Proving yourself


The above paragraphs are important because it indicates that you’re going to need to bring certain things to the table in order to prove that you have the required knowledge and judgement to fill the role specifically:

You’ll need to have extensive experience within the insurance industry.

More importantly, you’ll also require technical knowledge gained through a combination of time-in-the job complemented by formal qualifications.

You must demonstrate that you understand the regulatory and compliance frameworks, as laid down by statute and the FCA;

In some circumstances, you may need to show the regulator that you have the basic experience required to run a business and the means of doing so. We’ll come back to this one later.


Taking things forward


If you have ticks in some or all of the above boxes, you have a choice to make in terms of the path you take, you can:

Deal directly with the FCA in order to obtain direct certification and authorisation from them;

Discuss your position with an experienced brokerage agency and underwriter, with a view to becoming an Appointed Representative (or AR) of theirs.

Although these two options are sometimes discussed in terms of almost competition and pros and cons, it’s perhaps more helpful to think of them as two different paths to the same objective. Dealing directly with the FCA to obtain authorisation was at one time the only route. It involves needing to meet certain knowledge criteria.  Due to the scale of their operations and the numbers involved, this can take time even if you have all the required attributes. Picking up from the above point that was ‘parked’ earlier, be aware that you will also typically need to convince them that you have sufficient knowledge and capital resources behind you so as to run a successful business.

The second route involves contacting a specialist brokerage agency and underwriter, offering routes to become an AR.  You will, of course, need to convince them of your knowledge and capabilities but they will provide the operating framework and deal with all required statutory reporting, capital and approval thresholds, as demanded by the FCA. They’re usually referred to as the ‘principal’. The second route is typically required as being a faster route to full operations as a broker.


Some notes on the AR role


Your principal as an AR is critically important, some may provide marketing assistance and access to technology systems. Do note though that some may require you to operate under their corporate branding rather than your own. Some principals may extend that to include requiring that your clients are, in effect, ‘theirs’. Yet others may demand that your commercial activities are restricted to selling their products only.

None of that need be a problem unless you are trying to generate your own portfolio and business foundation. If you’re in that position, it might be sensible to search for a principal that makes no such demands and who is willing to allow you a considerable degree of freedom in your commercial activities.

If you are interested in setting up your own brokeragem think you could saftisfy the requirements and are interested in joinging the BGP AR network simply contact us us on 01252 377 667.



Adding revenue streams to your business



Nobody doubts that the economic backdrop has been tough since 2008. While there may have been some ups and downs since, overall the business world has changed and we all have to work a lot harder for our income and success. That’s as true within the insurance industry as any other. What’s important today is diversity of income stream. While it’s perfectly fair to say that you don’t want to overly dilute your focus by starting up multiple lines of activity, equally, putting ‘all your eggs in one basket’ can be a bit of a lost opportunity too.

So how, as an insurance broker, can you take this idea further without suddenly finding that you’re now far too busy with other things to actually find the time to sell insurance? This introduces the subject of affiliate programmes.

Affiliate program opportunities

The basic idea here is simple – and it isn’t anything fundamentally new! It’s just that today web sites make it so much easier to go about adding revenue streams to your business. You utilise your existing e-marketing infrastructure to cross-market the products and services of other commercial entities to your own site’s visitor traffic. Every time you have some success in doing so, your sponsoring company pays you for the lead or a commission. It’s as simple as that. It can generate useful income and for very little effort on your part.  Here are some top tips that might help you give some shape to the idea outline.

Top tips


Use your website’s existing traffic to generate income.  People visiting your site might be very useful to cross-market to through email lists, follow-up emails, contact messages and so on;

Try to keep your affiliate work pertinent to your core mission.  Sending someone a thank you email for their enquiry about motor insurance is a good opportunity to draw their attention to ‘something else’.  However, it’s often preferable for that affiliate pitch to be in a related area such home insurance offers.  Highlighting affiliates in domains such as, say, lingerie or building supplies can look odd and be counter-productive;

Use some of the spare space on certain of your site pages for the same purposes. Carrying sponsored affiliate advertisements can be interesting in terms of assisting your income – particularly if they result in subsequent enquiries and business. However, don’t overdo this. You don’t want your key proposition to be lost amidst dozens of ads for other parties or risk annoying visitors to your sire with irrelevant and multiple ads for the services of others;

Don’t unnecessarily re-invent the wheel. Instead, look for a relationship(s) with sponsors and principals who are in the same domain as yours and who have extensive experience of affiliate-type programmes. In the insurance sector, some companies offer Appointed Representative (AR) status to suitable brokers and qualified individuals. Their experience and IT infrastructure might prove invaluable in getting your own affiliate programme up-and-running.

Of course, it’s necessary to stay within the constraints and compliance directives of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in your affiliate activities.  Typically, you will need to be cautious about being perceived to be offering financial investment advice through your cross-marketing activities or attempting to sell financial products in areas that you are not authorised to do so.
However, in most affiliate programmes, that should not be a significant issue and an experienced sponsor of the type mentioned above (e.g. Bennett Gould and Partners) should be able to assist.

© Bennett Gould & Partners Ltd 2019



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BGP is a trading name of Bennett Gould & Partners Ltd., Registered in England No 1058351 at Corinium House, Corinium Avenue, Gloucester GL4 3HX, and are authorised & regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Our FCA register number is 306850 and you can check this on the FCA’s register by visiting the FCA’s website www.fsa.gov.uk/register/home.do or by contacting the FCA on 0800 111 6768.