With only a few days remaining until we leave the European Union we attach a very useful guide from Markel Insurance.

Brexit Guide

Protect your business this winter

With winter just around the corner, now is the time that many of your customers will be looking to protect their premises and business against the usual mix of heavy rainfall, freezing temperatures, icy conditions and snowfall.

Through doing thorough equipment checks and ensuring certain safety measures are in place for when the extreme weather hits, your clients can ensure they give themselves the best chance to stay operational and not incur any damage from freezing conditions.

Escape of water damage – such as from frozen pipes – is one of the most common types of domestic property damage claims, with insurers paying out £1.8 million for it every day, according to The Association of British Insurers*

To assist you and your client, Pen Underwriting has put together this handy Winter Briefing and Checklist, which can help to keep businesses protected over the coming months.


Cyber Security Awareness Month Review: Keeping cyber perils at the forefront of your mind all year round

Cyber Security Awareness Month may now be over, but if there is one key message to take forward, it is that cyber security awareness is not just for October!  NMU’s Cyber & Financial Lines Underwriting Manger Matt Drinkwater and BSI Cyber Security and Information Resilience’s Austin France can be heard discussing these in the podcast below:

The Growing Threat

With a great number of businesses working remotely in 2020 – we’ve seen an increase in cases of cyber criminals seeking to infiltrate employees’ private networks and gain back-door access to businesses’ virtual private networks (VPNs) and data. This year, we have also seen an unprecedented rise in ransomware attacks, with attempts on businesses tripling from Q1 to Q2. Alongside this increase, cyber attacks such as phishing also spiked over the months from February to April, as scammers attempted to take advantage of the lower cyber security standards typically in place when working from home. It is reported that three SMEs are being attacked every minute!

Human Error

Despite the increasing prevalence of cyber attacks and influx of new scams involving emerging tech such as deep fakes, research showed that in 2019, around 90% of cyber claims stemmed from some type of human behaviour, with the findings revealing that human error is actually seven times more likely to cause data breaches than hackers. Taking these factors into account, it’s now more important than ever for businesses to educate employees about common cyber attacks and how to protect against them.

Education Is Key – Cyber Essentials

For businesses that are looking to increase their cyber security know-how, NMU recommend Berea’s Cyber AMI – Cyber Essentials product. This government-backed scheme explains common cyber threats and how to protect against them, and provides organisations with the option to purchase a certification upon completion.

Recognising Cyber Risks

During a recent BSI survey, 8 out of 10 businesses questioned said that cyber security is a high priority for their senior management board. More businesses have also expanded their staff in the last year, with roles relating to information security and governance. This shift indicates a growing acknowledgement of the risks cyber attacks present, although many SMEs are still unaware that cyber security on its own is not enough protection. Unfortunately, all businesses, even those with state-of-the-art cyber security systems, are at risk of a cyber attack; that’s why having proper cover in place that’s fit for purpose is essential.

Get CyberSafe

Considering the increasing number of cyber attacks this year, along with a growing recognition of the importance of cyber security by businesses, it’s vital that brokers understand current cyber risks and the key benefits cyber cover can offer. Our CyberSafe product provides UK SMEs with a simple, robust solution for cyber liabilities, cybercrime and restorative support.


Thanks to Northern Marine Underwriters for this news item.

The Covid-19 pandemic has seen the enforced closure of many premises, some temporarily and some permanently.

The attached guide from Risk Stop gives some useful information on how to look after your property during the closed period.

If you have any queries please contact us on 01772 555585.


Following the latest Coronavirus updates please find some useful information regarding Tier 3.

Please click on the link below:

Tier 3


We are delighted to announce that the Charity Commission and the Financial Conduct Authority have approved us to use an additional new trading name of Charity Insurance Brokers.

This will be to provide cost effective cover for Charities and Social Enterprises and Not for Profit Organisations combined with advice on what covers are particularly relevant and appropriate.

Engineering inspection service specialists, Thurra, have provided some very useful information. Please click on the link below.

If you are unsure if you need any items inspecting please call us on 01772 555585.

Thurra Inspection Guide

Monday December 23rd        Open 9:00am – 5:00pm

Tuesday December 24th        Open 9:00am – 12:30pm

Wednesday December 25th  Closed

Thursday December 26th      Closed

Friday December 27th            Closed

Monday December 30th        Closed

Tuesday December 31st         Closed

Wednesday January 1st          Closed

Thursday January 2nd            Open 9:00

The Thurra team of Engineer Surveyors are out in the field, in all sorts of workplaces, inspecting plant and equipment day-in day-out, so we asked them for their thoughts on the most common faults they find with forklift trucks and what you, as users can do to help avoid life threatening accidents and costly insurance claims from arising.

Thurra’s Engineers’ top 5 defects are as follows:

1. Ineffective parking brakes – this defect should be picked up on daily checks. As with the parking brake on a car, if this is defective, it should be reported as a serious defect, however, our surveyor can risk-assess the client, the site and use of the truck, before deciding on an appropriate course of action.

2. Inoperative / disconnected seat safety switches – again, should be picked up on a daily check, however, we often find these disconnected and it is apparent that the operators have carried this out. The seat switch should do one of three things, cut the operation of the mast/fork controls, bring the truck to a stop, or just sound a warning alarm/provide a warning on the truck dash.

3. Worn / distorted forks – the allowance for fork wear at the heels is 10% material loss. For deflection (the fork tip), this is calculated as 3% of the length of the fork. Check frequently against the original measurement.

4. Seized load chain links – proper maintenance should prevent this, however, in harsh environments, cold store use, timber yards, the chain links can seize easily, so extra vigilance needed here.

5. Ineffective / inoperative seat belts – again, should be picked up on a daily check. Quite often driver’s do not bother wearing them, but they should work in the correct manner. Common faults are the seat belt not locking, or the retaining clip not locking the belt in position.

If you require advice or help on any of the above, please speak to us on 01772 555585. We will be happy to arrange a call to Thurra for technical advice, or a visit by an experienced engineer, who will be happy to advise.

Following the uncertainty of the impact on UK policyholders driving in the European Economic Area (EEA) after Brexit, the ABI has issued guidance for policyholders.

What’s the impact on policyholders when the UK leaves the EU?

If the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a withdrawal agreement in place, and in the absence of a specific agreement to the contrary, your policyholders need to ensure they carry a physical Green Card while driving their vehicles in the EEA and some other countries (Andorra, Serbia and Switzerland).

Drivers with a UK driving licence travelling in the EU and EEA Countries may also need to obtain an IDP (International Driving Permit).

From 28 March 2019, all commercial trailers weighing over 750kg and non-commercial trailers weighing over 3,500kg must be registered with the DVLA before travel to or through most EU and EEA countries and a separate Green Card will be required for these.

What are Green Cards?

Green Cards are an international certificate of insurance issued by insurance providers in the UK, guaranteeing that the motorist has the necessary minimum motor insurance cover for travel in the country they are visiting.