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March 2013
What's Happening?

Welcome to our 2013 Spring Newsletter.

Latest News

VOICE FROM THE CHAIR

I founded what is now MPW Insurance Brokers Limited in 1986 with Steve McMurdo who celebrated his retirement at the end of February.

For more than 26 years Steve has made a fantastic contribution to our business and my fellow directors will wish to join me in thanking him for his considerable commitment and for his wisdom. He leaves MPW with our very best wishes for the future. The Company had planned for Steve’s retirement over many months and we have been able to promote existing staff and recruit and train new colleagues to strengthen our team. We hope that these new appointments will similarly enjoy long and successful careers with us.

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Cyber Liability

No Longer A Virtual Risk! In the modern world businesses increasingly rely on email correspondence, internet activity, ecommerce, online banking and other online financial tools, leaving them exposed to the increasing activity of hackers, computer viruses, phishing and electronic identification theft.

The heart of a company is often its server and network. Fraudsters and hackers do not differentiate between a multi million pound company or an emerging company, and given the substantial information available in the public domain, all businesses are at risk.

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Olympic Park – A Health & Safety Winner

The London 2012 Olympics produced an impressive collection of medals for our athletes but in addition to this wonderful sporting achievement a gold medal should be awarded for the undoubted success of the health and safety programme imposed during construction.

Thankfully, there were no work-related fatalities during the construction of the park and the accident frequency rate was less than one-third of the building industry average - a truly impressive testament to the Health and Safety Programme imposed during the build period. By comparison, during the construction of the Beijing stadia, it is believed that at least 12 people died and at least 14 died in construction projects for the Athens Olympics.

Research by Loughborough University has concluded that the high value put on relationships between individuals and organisations was a crucial ingredient in the health and safety success of the London Olympic Park. The study focused on 13 distinct human characteristics (including respect, trust, clarity, motivation, collaboration, openness and fairness) and how they have a practical influence on many important factors in a project including effective leadership, worker involvement, safety culture and risk management. The most critical characteristics were found to be respect and clarity.

This only endorses the need and the benefit of a robust and well managed plan helping to reduce risk within the working environment. At MPW we can assist you with your Health & Safety matters, offering web based or bespoke tailored solutions to maintain a good safety record which in turn will contribute to produce keener insurance premiums.

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Business Continuity Planning

We do not know what tomorrow will bring, but we know what can harm us and we can choose to be properly prepared.

A business continuity plan is a key component in ensuring that organisations are able to manage undesired events which could severely disrupt operations and harm reputation.

When the unexpected happens, the well-prepared firm has already considered an event of this type, looked at the options and documented the plans and resources needed to manage, mitigate and communicate with confidence and competence.

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Directors & Officers Liability

Directors assume onerous responsibilities as far as their duties to creditors, shareholders, clients and customers are concerned.

Claims resulting from a wrongful act or more commonly an alleged wrongful act may arise from many directions, including creditors suspecting mismanagement, investors who feel they have been misled, trade association investigations or industry regulatory bodies and perhaps the liquidator if the company is thought to have traded whilst insolvent.

Directors involved in public companies may face further additional potential claims involving concerns arising out of allegations of insider dealing or misuse of information, whilst European law continues to drive a movement away from corporate to personal responsibility.

An alleged breach of any of these duties may lead to a claim being made against the company or the director individually, whether or not the director is culpable. In the event of a claim being brought against the director, it is the director’s personal assets that are at risk. He cannot rely on his company to indemnify him as this may result in a breach of the Companies Act.

In addition, directors may face hefty fines, possible disqualification or even imprisonment.

Protection for the key decision makers of the business is available in the form of Directors and Officers Liability insurance. The purpose of the policy is to indemnify the individual in respect of damages and defence costs. Individual directors and officers may already be protected for corporate manslaughter claims made against them, however cover can be extended to indemnify the company for actions brought as a result of alleged gross negligence resulting in manslaughter. Further protection is also available for employment practices, pension trustee issues and fraud losses, if required.

When arranging insurance cover, it is important your broker fully understands your business activities. At MPW we regularly advise our clients and arrange tailored cover so to suit their budget, providing protection for both the company and its directors.

The cost of Directors and Officers Liability insurance has substantially reduced whilst the risks have increased in recent years and we would firmly recommend such cover for all company directors and senior management.

Can employers and key employees afford not to have this cover?

Other News

Other News - Claims Matter!

Many insurance brokers choose to outsource the handling of insurance claims either to insurers or to claims administration organisations. At MPW we have always recognised the importance of providing a complete claims service. We strongly believe that having paid premiums in good faith, a policy holder should be entitled to prompt settlement of claims. To reinforce this principle and strengthen our team we have recently recruited Miss Lee Parker. Lee has considerable management experience and technical knowledge and we are all delighted and excited that she has been able to join us to head up our dedicated claims team.

Lee comments:-

“We all take out insurances to protect ourselves but with the hope that we will not have to make a claim. Unfortunately however, circumstances do arise where we need to seek assistance from our insurers. This can be a stressful event but our aim at MPW is to provide technical advice and support to our clients so that they are secure in the knowledge that their claims are dealt with efficiently and in the best way possible”.

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