Business Startup

Starting a small business requires tireless effort and endless financial reserves. Besides dealing with necessary tasks to start the business—affording exorbitant start-up costs, establishing a customer base, forecasting cash flow problems—new small business owners are besieged on all sides by risks.

The only sure-fire thing you can count on during the tumultuous beginning stages of your business or later in its development is

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Manual Handling Information

ID-100179288For construction workers and contractors, the most common injuries come from repetitive motions, poor lifting techniques and unsafe handling practices. Coincidently, the injuries are also usually preventable by employing safe lifting techniques. Use these helpful ergonomic guidelines to lift any size load without causing injury to yourself or others. Pre-Lifting Techniques • Determine whether or not you will need assistance to do the job. • Consider the size or shape of the load – bulky or odd-shaped building materials could create additional challenges. • Determine if you will have to turn or change direction while carrying the load. • Find out if the route that you will take with the load is clear of obstructions and slip, trip or fall hazards. • Make sure that your route is not dangerously close to vehicular traffic, especially if it is travelling at high speeds. • Make sure that you have a back support belt and are wearing it properly. • Determine what kind of personal protective equipment (PPE) you will need to protect your hands and prevent slippage during lifting. Lifting Techniques • Get as close as possible to the load and keep it close to your body. • Always bend from the knees and not the back and lift using your legs. • Be aware of your balance. • Stand on a stable, even surface, and wear the correct foot protection to prevent slips and other injuries. • Bring the load down to waist level if lifting from above and wear a hard hat to prevent head injuries from dropped materials. • No matter what you are carrying, always avoid reaching and lifting at the same time. Carrying Techniques • Look ahead instead of down to make sure that your path is clear. • Watch out for terrain changes and avoid carrying up stairs if possible. • Have someone else open doors, gates or other closed entries for you. • Keep shoulders, hips and feet aligned – do not twist at the waist or change direction by moving your hips. • Set the load down on a firm surface if it becomes too heavy or unstable. • Watch for pinch or shear points on trolleys, dollies and hoists. • When you have finished transporting the load, set down the corner or edge of the object closest to you first, keeping your fingers out from underneath.

Bromwall is here to help you by offering advice on reducing your commercial insurance.  Contact us today on 01707 883377 or email us on

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How To Calculate Your Business Interruption Insurance

Business InterruptionIt is reported that 8 in 10 large commercial insurance claims are underinsured in respect of their business interruption insurance.  We have compiled the following to  help you calculate your cover and what it all means: In order to make sure that you are properly covered it is necessary to know how to calculate the amount of Gross Profit that you need to insure.  If you require a two year indemnity period then, in effect, you have to review the expected level of Gross Profit to be earned in what would be years 2 and 3 after the first year of insurance.   For example if, at the end of 2012, you were calculating the Gross Profit to be insured for a 2 year indemnity period commencing 1 January 2013 and ending 31 December 2014 then you need to calculate the Gross Profit for the period 1 January 2014 to 31 December 2015.  The reason for this is that your Business Interruption Policy pays for a two year period from the date of a loss.  If the loss is at the end of your current intended policy period ceasing 31 December 2013 then your claim will run for year 2 (2014) and year 3 (2015) and it is this period that needs to be insured.

Example (if calculating for a 2013 policy):

You must identify Gross Profit and Turnover for the years 2010 to 2015.  Estimated figures should only be used when actual figures are not available.  The anticipated Gross Profit for the two year period 2014 (£3,200,000) and 2015 (£4,000,000) gives an amount of £7,200,000 for the 2 year indemnity period to commence 1 January 2013.  This exercise needs to be reviewed for each policy renewal and the Gross Profit insured amended accordingly.  This form of cover is called a “Sum Insured” basis. If the Gross Profit is underestimated then you run the risk of having “Average” applied to your claim on a “Sum Insured” policy.  This is where, if for example, you insured for £6,480,000 instead of the correct figure of £7,200,000 and had a claim of £1,000,000 then insurers would only pay 90% (£6,480,000 / £7,200,000 = 90%) and proportionately reduce the claim to £900,000. To avoid average being applied you should be insured on an “Estimated Gross Profit” basis which would remove the problem of average.  Although the figures that you are using may be estimated you must specifically request an “Estimated Gross Profit” policy from your insurers otherwise they will issue a “Sum Insured” basis with an average clause included. We recommend the use of an “Estimated Gross Profit” policy – please speak to us about arranging this cover for you. Business interruption can appear a real minefield.  If you wish to discuss your requirements or have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Call Bromwall on 01707 883377 or email us on 

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Mesothelioma Claims – Employers Liability

MesotheliomaOn the 28th March 2012, the Supreme Court handed down judgment regarding the employers liability trigger litigation.  This overturned the Court of Appeal’s judgement of 8th October 2010 which was regarding the meaning of “disease sustained” in Employers Liability policy wording and reinstates the market practice that policy cover for mesothelioma claims is triggered by the date of exposure to asbestos and not by the deemed date of injury many years later. This was all started back in 2006 with the Bolton V Municipal Mutual Insurance (MMI).  This was a public liability case that held that in a mesothelioma claim, injury occurs when the tumour starts to develop, often 10 years prior to the onset of any symptoms.  Insurers had differing wordings, some with “disease sustained” and others with “disease contracted” within their Employers Liability wordings.  Often insurers would refer to the Bolton ruling and decline claims on this basis.  A group of claimants sought to reverse the stance being adopted by insurers and issued legal proceedings. This was known as the employers liability policy trigger litigation. The Supreme Court held that employers liability policies will respond whether the wording of the clause is “caused”, “contracted” or “sustained”.

What does this mean to business?

You should ensure within your own business: 1) Seeks to assess whether you have claims against historic employers liability policies with insolvent insurers. 2) Make sure you have a comprehensive understanding of your historic employers liability insurance, especially if there has been acquisitions. 3) Have financial provisions in place to meet the cost of possible future uninsured mesothelioma claims. Reference: Marsh Insolutions

 To discuss this topic further or if you have any concerns regarding your own liability insurance, contact Bromwall on 01707 883377 or email us on or check out our liability insurance page here 


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