Archive : Author

BIBA 2018 – ARE YOU ATTENDING

POSTED ON April 26th

BIBA 2018

Our Broker Relationship team will be attending BIBA 2018 on Wednesday 16th May and would be delighted to discuss our exciting schemes and facilities with you. Please contact your dedicated Broker Relationship Manager to arrange a meeting.

Miles Smith London Market Broking is one of the largest London Market brokers, with an experienced and driven broking team in the motor fleet and non-motor insurance market. As specialists in schemes and facilities, we place complex and high-risk business that would typically fall outside most insurers’ risk appetite. We place substantial premium into the London market and by using us, you will benefit from the influence that brings.

VISIT OUR WEBSITE

Below are your Miles Smith dedicated Broker Relationship Managers. Please contact them to confirm your attendance and to arrange a meeting at BIBA 2018.

BARRY GILLIGAN

BARRY GILLIGAN

HEAD OF BROKER RELATIONS
Tel: 07764 928952

TERESA ORNYIK

TERESA ORNYIK

SENIOR BROKER RELATIONSHIP MANAGER
Tel: 07515 065513

ROBIN DALY

ROBIN DALY

BROKER RELATIONSHIP MANAGER
Tel: 07584 062519

CHARLIE JOYCE

CHARLIE JOYCE

BROKER RELATIONSHIP MANAGER
Tel: 07387 261973

MILES SMITH MARKET UPDATE

POSTED ON March 16th

MARKET UPDATE

Miles Smith London Market Broking are delighted to announce that a new insurer has entered the London motor fleet market.

Edison Motor, a member of the Volante Global Group of Companies, comes with AA+ rated capacity provided by Berkshire Hathaway International Insurance Limited.

Miles Smith have recently partnered with Edison Motor to provide motor fleet insurance quotations from 1st March 2018.

Their target occupations list is extensive, and they will be writing a diverse book on both a conventional and non-conventional basis, focusing on risks with a minimum premium spend of £25,000.

For further information, please contact the Miles Smith London Market Broking motor team or your Broker Relationship Manager.

Please email new enquiries to

LMBNEWENQUIRIES@MILESSMITH.CO.UK

FIND OUT MORE 

GARY ROUTLEDGE

GARY ROUTLEDGE

Motor Director
Tel: 020 7977 1298

SCOTT MILLS

SCOTT MILLS

Head of Motor Operations
Tel: 020 7977 4933

MILES SMITH PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY MARKETPLACE

POSTED ON March 8th

MILES SMITH ARE WELL PLACED TO HELP YOUR CLIENTS DURING THE CURRENT CHALLENGING PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY MARKET PLACE

Since the tragic events at the Grenfell Tower, there has been a significant change in the professional indemnity insurance market, which is affecting many construction trades, not just cladders and façade contractors.  Some insurers who were previously happy to consider 100% of a risk are now only able to offer quotations on a subscription basis i.e. a panel of insurers.

Cladding contractors, in particular, are seeing price increases of over 300%.  Some insurers are coming under pressure to re-evaluate the rates they charge to improve underwriting profitability. In the London market, professional indemnity insurance has one of the highest loss ratios, which is leading to a more disciplined underwriting approach.

Miles Smith has the solution. We have been trading over many decades, in both hard and soft markets, and are well placed to help with your professional indemnity insurance placements during what may become an even more challenging environment.

 We can provide insurance solutions for your commercial and financial clients involved in giving professional advice or for those providing design.

From SMEs to large corporates, we cater for traditional and modern professions and have specialist facilities for complex professions, with underwriting authority on a number of classes of business.

Please ensure that all new enquiries are sent to
LMBNEWENQUIRIES@MILESSMITH.CO.UK

SOLUTIONS FOR

Accountants
Architects
Contractors
Engineers
Estate agents
Financial sectors/financial institutions (excluding financial advisers)
General professions
Insurance brokers
IT and media
Medical professional, corporate health providers, complementary therapies
Surveyors

CLASSES OF INSURANCE COVERED

Professional indemnity (excess layers also available)
Intellectual property
Commercial legal expenses
Directors’ and officers’ liability (including management liability portfolio)
6 years prospectus cover (public/private offering of securities insurance)
Crime/fidelity guarantee
Medical malpractice
Cyber liability
Charity trustees’ indemnity
Pension trustees’ indemnity (for pension trustees of group company pension schemes)
Kidnap and ransom

FIND OUT MORE 

Please click here to download this email as a PDF
NICK PAULEY

NICK PAULEY

DIVISIONAL DIRECTOR
Tel: 020 7977 4911

CHRIS POULTER

CHRIS POULTER

SENIOR ACCOUNT HANDLER
Tel: 020 7977 4909

CHLOE CRAWFORD

CHLOE CRAWFORD

ACCOUNT HANDLER
Tel: 020 7977 4804

GEORGIA DENTON

GEORGIA DENTON

ACCOUNT HANDLER
Tel: 020 7977 4910

MILES SMITH FOR MOTOR FLEET

POSTED ON February 21st

Miles Smith has one of the largest motor fleet broking teams in the London market

With the benefit of this resource behind each risk, you can be confident that you and your clients are benefiting from our unrivalled access to the London market including our schemes and facilities.

Our preferential policy extensions are tailored to your client’s requirements, which provides additional protection over and above standard motor fleet contracts.

Please ensure that all new enquiries are sent to

LMBNEWENQUIRIES@MILESSMITH.CO.UK

SOLUTIONS FOR

Ambulance/patient transport
Asbestos industry
Bus/coach operators
Commercial vehicle fleets
Couriers
Driving schools
General haulage and freight companies
Hazardous haulage companies
Heating, ventilation, electrical and mechanical services
Private car fleets
Social, domestic and pleasure (SD&P) and own goods fleets
Self-drive/credit hire
Taxi/chauffeur
Waste/recycling disposal fleets

FIND OUT MORE 

Please click here to download this email as a PDF
STUART COOPER

STUART COOPER

Broker
Tel: 07738 041253

ALLAN GEMMELL

ALLAN GEMMELL

Broker
Tel: 07980 912480

WOMEN: 100 YEARS ON VOTING AND WORKING IN THE INSURANCE INDUSTRY

POSTED ON February 6th

 

6th February 2018 marks 100 years of the Representation of the People Act 1918, a legislation which enabled all men and some women over the age of 30 to vote for the very first time, and paved the way for women striving for equality ever since. Significant change can be seen since this legislation, especially in the 2017 general election when more than 200 female MPs were elected to House of Commons for the first time, winning 208 out of 650 seats.

The position of women in the insurance industry has also changed dramatically as well during this time, positively moving women towards a position of recognition, and equality.

1822-1900s

In the first half of the 19th Century, the insurance office was exclusively a male dominated workplace. Women were only allowed into the office if their husbands had passed away and they were taking on the family business, however, accounts of these are minimal. The earliest known female agent to work within the insurance office was Ms Barnes, who was appointed in 1822 to take over her late husband’s business. Following this, the insurance office became ‘feminised’, as women were employed exclusively in clerical roles. In 1871, the first female clerks were hired at The Prudential, providing ‘Industrial Insurance’ (life insurance) during the Industrial Revolution. This opened women’s entry into the insurance industry.

However, women working as clerks enabled other males to easily ‘climb the insurance ladder’ whilst maintaining a cheaper female labour force. Not only were the employment limitations taking its toll on the female work force; they also had the challenge of Victorian notion of gender roles. The ideal surrounding women was that they should remain at home, providing for their husbands and children. Any kind of employment was carried out within the home, therefore making office work ‘unfeminine’.

1914-18

Many attitudes began to change during the First World War (1914-18), with the majority of young males being enrolled into the army, women were relied upon to preserve the workforce at home. This experience encouraged the suffragettes to fight for equal rights, including the right to vote. This consequently lead to the Representation of the People’s Act in 1918, after the war had ended, and women continued to integrate themselves into the insurance industry. The CII bar on women sitting exams at the CII was lifted in 1919, and the first female fellow of the CII was appointed in 1921.

1970s

Lloyd’s of London was the final barrier that women had to overcome in the insurance industry. Prior to 1970, women were not permitted to underwriting memberships and it wasn’t until 1973 that women were permitted to work in the underwriting room. Liliana Archibald was the first female broker to be appointed by Lloyd’s. She then became Lloyd’s first female ‘Name’ (this term was used to describe rich individuals who backed policies written at Lloyd’s with all of their personal wealth and took on unlimited liability).

The Sex Discrimination Act was passed in 1975, which protected people from discrimination on the grounds of sex or marital status. Margaret Thatcher also became the UK’s first female prime minister in 1979.

2000s

The 2000s marked a huge change in women’s position in the insurance industry. Lillian Boyle was appointed the first female CII president in 2001, and was succeeded by Amanda Blanc in 2012. Sian Fisher became the first female CEO for the CII as well in 2016.

Lloyd’s of London also appointed Inga Beale as their first female CEO in their 328-year history. A third of Lloyd’s workforce are now female. Beale has spoken about creating diversity in the industry, stating: “What you do is, you de-genderise every statement you make. You’re in a business environment; you de-gender everything. You never say he or she”. Beale has been heavily involved with the Inclusion@Lloyds initiative, and has launched the Pride@Lloyds, which is an internal LGBT resource group.

Despite these successes, there is still a long way to go before true equality is achieved. Lloyd’s of London is currently two-thirds male, 90% white and 90% British, and Beale has stated her ideas and initiatives to tackle this. The gender pay gap is also another major issue, which has recently been raised by major corporations such as the BBC, with women earning around 76 to 80 per cent of what their male colleagues make, according to a 2017 survey by Glassdoor. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2016 Global Gender Gap Report, this gap would not be closed for another 170 years.

http://www.insuringwomensfutures.co.uk/careers-in-risk/

http://www.cii.co.uk/knowledge/blogs/articles/the-feminisation-of-the-insurance-office-during-the-19th-century/43951

http://www.cii.co.uk/knowledge/resources/articles/women-in-the-office-of-yesteryear/44306

Press release: 22/12/2017

POSTED ON December 22nd

Miles Smith announces proposed acquisition by Pollen Street Capital

Miles Smith is very pleased to announce the proposed acquisition of a majority shareholding in the business by funds managed by Pollen Street Capital (PSC), a private equity firm specialising in the financial services sector. The transaction is subject to approval by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Miles Smith is one of the UK’s leading schemes and affinities brokers and can trace its origins back to 1925. It is currently ranked in the country’s top 40 brokers and employs over 220 insurance, claims and risk management specialists, together with customer service and support staff. Its head office is situated in London and it also has offices in Suffolk and Bedfordshire. The Group writes in excess of £170 million GWP annually.

Miles Smith is a market wide problem solver for its customers, brokers, affinity partners and insurers. It leverages strong market relationships and has used its extensive industry expertise to develop quality, complex schemes and solutions for high risk industries, offering them to market through its diverse distribution channels.

The current company was formed following a re-structuring in 2000 under the stewardship of Paul Chainey (CEO). Paul remains head of the company today and, during that time, has overseen a number of successful acquisitions and led a specialist team providing an impressive and consistent organic growth rate.

To achieve its next stage of growth, Miles Smith worked with Deloitte’s Financial Services M&A Advisory team to present the opportunity to potential investors wishing to participate in a business with strong fundamentals and growth potential alongside an experienced and skilled management team and workforce. Miles Smith carefully selected a partner who they felt would support the business through this next exciting phase and who could facilitate retiring and exiting shareholders. They are now entering the final stages of the deal with investors PSC and, subject to regulatory approval, hope to complete in the first quarter of 2018.

PSC is a fund manager, which is focused on investing in businesses in the financial and business services sectors. They have invested over £1.2bn in a range of businesses across all stages of development, such as Moneycorp (provider of international payment and retail travel money products), Shawbrook (challenger bank), and Arrow Global (debt purchaser) to name but a few.

Ian Gascoigne – PSC Partner says “Miles Smith is a client centric business, which has an attractive market position within its focus areas of specialist insurance distribution. We are excited by the opportunity to invest in the expansion of a unique and specialist business like Miles Smith.

We share a common view of the opportunities for the business and as a potential future shareholder, we look forward to leveraging our experience and network within the UK financial services sector to support Miles Smith through its next phase of growth, building on the strong reputation and deep industry expertise the business has developed to date.”

PSC represents a unique combination of financial resources, hands-on approach, extensive experience of backing specialty financial services businesses, and involvement in adjacent sectors which creates an environment in which the growth of their portfolio companies can accelerate.

Paul Chainey – Miles Smith CEO says “PSC offers a great solution for shareholders, staff and Miles Smith’s strong market relationships. Miles Smith has many large and exciting opportunities, which we are determined to pursue with the strategic investment of our new partner and the PSC investment provides a spring board for these opportunities to crystallise and take Miles Smith to another level. Their portfolio of investments reflects values shared by Miles Smith in that they work with expert specialist businesses. They have a good track record of supporting the management teams of their investee businesses and we look forward to a long and successful partnership. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank MS Amlin and our retiring shareholders for their contribution to the business.”

For more information, please contact:

Sharon Brown

Group Distribution and Marketing Director

07850 936833

COMPETITIVE SOCIALISING: AN ALTERNATIVE WAY TO SPEND YOUR NIGHT

POSTED ON September 20th


UK nightclubs have faced considerable pressure in recent years due to the number of clubs almost halving, as numbers have fallen from 3,144 in 2005 to 1,733 in 2015 (Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR)). The millennial generation, typically aged 18-35, appear to be less inclined to spend their evenings at a club venue, instead opting for alternative entertainment. So, why is this interest in nightlife changing? Rachel Stern of Colliers International’s theorises that “Customers are increasingly looking for something different to do, rather than just go out for meals or to the cinema”. In addition, 1 in 5 adults in the UK do not drink at all, meaning that a standard night out to a bar or club would no longer be satisfactory to a growing number of the population.  To conclude simply, the millennial generation are searching for entertainment for which they feel it is more worthwhile for them to spend their time, and their money.

What is competitive socialising?

This demand for new, innovative forms of entertainment has established ’competitive socialising’ as an emerging part of the industry. The concept of competitive socialising is based upon the combination of socialising and competition, typically within the environment of a bar, or a club. Within the UK, there have been many permanent and ‘pop-up’ activity-style bars and clubs, with different types of competitive activities ranging from mini golf to darts. In 2014, The Institute of Competitive Socialising found success with its group of pop-up golf venues, named Swingers, in London. Despite being initially open for 6 months, over 90,000 Londoners visited the adults-only venue to play golf and to eat and drink socially with friends. Swingers is now a permanent venue in London, and various mini golf-inspired chains have opened across the country as well. Matt Grech-Smith, co-founder of Swingers, explains that competitive socialising is not wholly targeted towards Millennials. “Our main age group is 25 to 50 – people with quite a bit of money who like to buy nice wines and cocktails,” he says, “but it’s not limited to that age group – we hosted an 80th birthday recently. It is an experience that speaks to everybody”.

Similarly, Bounce, a cocktail bar and restaurant combined with table tennis tables, already has 2 venues in London and one in Chicago and plans to open 20 more permanent venues by 2020.  Adam Breeden, CEO and founder of Bounce, states: “Being at the forefront of the social entertainment industry for many years means we can now encompass a greater range of concepts in different territories. Now is the time to leverage our extensive experience to bring to market more concepts within this fast-growing category as well as embark on a more ambitious roll-out plan.” Breeden is also the co-founder of All Star Lanes, a bowling alley which distinguishes itself as “boutique bowling” with food and cocktails, and Flight Club, a social darts-bar hybrid.

How Miles Smith can help you

It is vital that you understand the changing climate your nightlife, leisure and entertainment client’s are operating in and are able to adapt to their requirements and provide tailored insurance solutions to meet their needs. Miles Smith London Market Broking provides insurance schemes which cater for the evolving and developing nightlife, leisure and entertainment industries.
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MILES SMITH AND THE WASTE INDUSTRY

POSTED ON September 8th

An interview with Barry Dennis: Miles Smith and the waste industry

Barry Dennis FCIWM CEnv is the current chairman of RWM and a consultant for Miles Smith. Previously, Barry was the Director General of the Environmental Services Association (ESA), and in 2010/11 he was appointed President of the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM).

1. HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME INVOLVED IN THE WASTE INDUSTRY?

My family were heavily involved in a business called the Deards Group. When I left school in 1964, it was agreed that I would join the group. Part of the business specialised in waste management. We had a fleet of tippers and container vehicles, about 80 in all. We also had a very big contract with the Port of London Authority, working in the London and Tilbury docks, so any waste that arose along the Thames from Tower Bridge to Tilbury had to be cleared by us, under that contract. My father built two incinerators to dispose of the waste from the contract, one in the Millwall dock and the other at the Royal Albert basin, which is now known as London City Airport. This business dealing with waste management was short staffed, and I was sent to work there, so it was by accident really that I became professionally involved in the waste industry.

2. WHEN AND HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME INVOLVED WITH MILES SMITH?

I first met Roy Miles, then Managing Director of Miles Smith, while playing cricket back in the 1980s and we were soon discussing what industries we both worked in. He told me that he was a Lloyd’s insurance broker, so I proceeded to explain to him why brokers did not fully understand the waste industry. I told him that, as soon as you went to an insurance broker, they would tell you that the insurance would be very expensive. I said “My lorries on the road are a no more dangerous motor risk than a baker’s van; they are just lorries driving around. What is different is what we have got in the back, and that is not a motor risk, it is instead an environmental risk.”

Roy and I met up a week later. He told me that following my comments to him about the lack of understanding of the waste industry in the insurance market, he’d been making some enquiries with other brokers and insurers and concluded the same. The underwriters would ‘cherry pick’ risks as they didn’t understand the liabilities or problems that could occur with certain areas of the waste industry, such as landfill sites or incinerators, that they were offered to insure. Over the next couple of years, we met with underwriters at Lloyd’s many times to explain how the industry worked and exactly where and what the risks were. The outcome of our talks enabled Miles Smith to produce a waste insurance product specifically for waste management companies.

In 1993, I left the family business and went to work for NAWDC (National Association of Waste Disposal Contractors) which later became the Environmental Services Association (ESA). Miles Smith joined ESA as a member and thus enabled Miles Smith to meet and engage with waste management companies and offer them the unique insurance solutions Miles Smith could provide to the industry.

3. WHAT CHANGES HAVE YOU SEEN SINCE MILES SMITH FIRST STARTED PROVIDING INSURANCE FOR THE WASTE INDUSTRY?

Although Roy and I met in the 1980s, we didn’t properly start working together to provide insurance to the waste industry until 1993. From that point forward we worked together to create industry specific insurance solutions for waste management companies, and as a result, these companies are benefitting from working with Miles Smith who fully understands the industry. I’m not sure that many other insurance brokers fully appreciate the risks faced by the waste management companies.

4. HOW HAS THE IMAGE OF THE WASTE INDUSTRY CHANGED IN THE PAST 50 YEARS?

The industry for decades had three stages when collecting waste from its customers: it was collected, it was transported, and it was disposed of in a landfill site. However, as the government started to impose regulations on the industry, these stages had to change. The first main piece of regulation was the Poisonous Waste Act 1972. There was an incident involving drums of cyanide waste which were dumped in a layby near a school in Nuneaton in 1971. This incident received national media coverage and was the main reason the 1972 Act was introduced. After this, the Government began creating various regulations for the industry, and the Environment Agency (EA) was created in 1994 to specifically regulate the waste industry. Nowadays, our fundamentals have changed, as there is now the fourth step. After the waste has been collected and transported, it is treated before being disposed of. This fourth step has completely changed how the whole industry operates, as it has now become much more technical.

In 1996, the Government also introduced a landfill tax, which consequently created the landfill credit scheme. This meant that when waste was brought to the landfill, we as operators had to pay landfill tax to the landfill company and they paid the tax to HM Revenue & Customs. It was designed to deter companies sending waste to landfill and encourage recycling. Initially, this tax was levied at £7 per tonne for waste, but if it was ‘clean’ waste (soil, bricks, non-active waste), the charge was only £2 per tonne. The landfill tax credit scheme meant that a proportion of the landfill tax liability could be paid to not-for-profit organisations, called Environmental Bodies, set up by the landfill company. These were regulated by ENTRUST. The environmental body could fund projects within the community, such as clearing up village ponds, education or research. This was good PR for the industry as a whole, and a great deal of good work was and is being, carried out. Today government has increased the rates of the tax; ‘clean’ waste is now charged at £2.50 per tonne, but for normal waste, the tax has increased to over £80 per tonne.

5. WHAT DO YOU EXPECT TO HAPPEN WITHIN THE WASTE INDUSTRY IN THE NEXT FEW YEARS?

Currently, one of the challenges within the industry is waste crime. Many million pounds of tax revenue is lost a year due to waste crime because people are either avoiding their landfill tax liability altogether or labelling their waste as inert, so they only pay tax at £2.50 per tonne instead of the higher amount. Similarly, fly tipping is another problem that needs to be tackled and, as we see, these incidents are constantly in the newspapers. The industry, led by ESA, and the Government through the EA, are working closer together to fight waste crime. The government has provided funds to carry out this work.

Another big problem for the industry in the coming years is having the capacity by way of facilities to deal with all the waste arising within the UK. There have been conflicting reports about this problem recently in the press. And of course BREXIT, which in my view, is hindering investment within the sector.

6. WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT WITHIN THE INDUSTRY TO DATE?

I think one of my biggest achievements was helping to create RWM as we see it today. Initially, CIWM had an annual show in June; the whole industry was there, including local authorities and the private sector. Then a separate recycling show started exhibiting annually at the NEC in September. The industry decided that it did not want separate shows in June and September, instead favouring one industry show a year. At the time, I was President of CIWM and Director General of ESA, and I was closely involved in the negotiations when EMAP, now Ascential plc, who ran the September show, bought the CIWM show and rolled both shows into the one big industry event that we have today at the NEC called RWM. I am still involved with RWM as its Chairman.

I was also involved with the creation of the legislation surrounding skip licences. Skip vehicles started to appear in the UK in the early 60s. Initially, you could put a skip anywhere on the road at any time. This did cause some problems! There were occasions when motorcyclists and cars ran into the skips because they were not lit at night and there were some fatalities. As a result, skip licences were introduced into the Highways Act. I worked closely with the Department of Transport, as one of the industry representatives, in the drafting of the section relating to skip licences. Every skip had to have yellow ends, the owner’s name and telephone number and reflective plates displayed on it. When a skip is placed on the road, a licence must be obtained from the local authority. Suddenly some Local Authorities started to make charges for these licences. This was illegal! I took on the battle and, with the help of a solicitor Richard Rawlence, we took various Local Authorities to court. We did not lose a case and the Local Authorities which had made these charges had to pay the money back. Because of this one skip firm in North West London were paid back over £15,000 pounds, a great deal of money, especially in the early 70s!

I was very proud and a great result for the industry.

Sadly some years later Local Authorities were given the power to make these charges, but the charges vary considerably as does the period of the of time it is issued for. Local Authorities are using this power as a revenue earner, and the public as a whole is suffering. So there is another battle on the horizon to tackle this problem, and I plan to try and do this through working with UROC the trade association that represents the SME companies operating skip vehicles.

7. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WANTING TO WORK IN THE WASTE MANAGEMENT INDUSTRY?

Let us be clear, it is not a waste industry anymore it is a ‘resource’ management industry. The industry now utilises very highly skilled people, chemists, engineers, biochemists, lots of highly technical people and we haven’t got enough of them. There are massive opportunities in the industry because it has become so technical. There is a lot of work to be done, there’s a lot of fun to be had, and people need to be aware of this.

INSURANCE FOR WASTE, RECYCLING AND RE-USE SERVICES

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INSURING THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY

POSTED ON September 7th

Miles Smith works closely with the high-risk construction sector to provide industry recognised insurance products acceptable to all main contractors and employers

Miles Smith London Market Broking has a proven track record in creating resilient schemes and facilities for high-risk industries. As a London market and Lloyd’s broker, with over 40 years’ experience at your disposal, they are able to provide proactive solutions for your clients where your local insurance markets are unable to assist.

Solutions for

Demolition and dismantling contractors
Roofing contractors (wet, dry, hot, cold and specialist)
Piling and ground engineering contractors
Scaffolding contractors
Structural steel erectors
Rail contractors
Mechanical and electrical contractors (including fire and intruder alarm installation)
Heating and ventilation contractors
Property developers and house builders
Plant hire companies and associations
Groundwork, shuttering and formwork and reinforced concrete frame contractors
Tunnelling contractors
‘Muck-away’
Waste disposal and site remediation specialists
Recruitment and labour supply
Environmental consultants

Classes of insurance coveredLiabilities

Contractors ‘all-risks’ and plant
Non-negligence (JCT 6.5.1) cover
Professional indemnity
Motor fleet
Contractors environmental impairment
Personal accident

FIND OUT MORE 

Please click here to download this email as a PDF
SAM CHURCHMAN

SAM CHURCHMAN

Senior Account Handler
Tel: 020 7977 4812

KEVIN COOMBER

KEVIN COOMBER

Key Account Manager
Tel: 020 7977 1584

FIRE SAFETY IN CONSTRUCTION

POSTED ON August 30th

As demonstrated by the devastating fire at Grenfell Tower in North Kensington, fires can and do kill, injure, and cause suffering and financial loss. This is particularly prevalent in buildings such as tower blocks and office buildings where fires can spread quickly and escape may be difficult.

What can the construction industry learn from the Grenfell Tower tragedy?

All construction projects, large or small, need to ensure that all fire safety requirements are managed from the earliest stages of design and procurement to minimise the damage that fire can cause. The sourcing of materials should consider the three ways fire can spread:

Convection – fire spread by convection is the most dangerous and causes the largest number of injuries and deaths. When fires start in enclosed spaces such as buildings, the smoke rising from the fire gets trapped by the ceiling and then spreads in all directions to form an ever-deepening layer over the entire room space. The smoke will pass through any holes or gaps in the walls, ceiling and floor into other parts of the building. The heat from the fire is trapped in the building causing the temperature to rise.

Conduction – some materials, such as structural steel, pipe work and ducting absorb heat and transmit it to the next room, where it can set fire to combustible items that are in contact with the heated material.

Radiation – radiation heats any solid it strikes in the same way as an electric bar heater heats a room. Any material close to a fire will absorb the heat until the item starts to smoulder and then burn.

Taking this information into consideration, thorough research during the planning stage is paramount as use of sub-standard materials can result in serious consequences. This was the case when it was discovered that the cladding panels used on the Grenfell Tower contributed to the rapid spread of fire. It has been reported that the manufacturer’s own brochure stated that the cladding applied to this tower should only be used in buildings up to 10 metres, with more fire-resistant products recommended above that height. Grenfell Tower was more than 60 metres tall.

Cladding tests have been performed on similar buildings across the country and to date 45 local authorities in England had tower blocks that failed tests, as 100% of the cladding samples tested were found to have combustible material.

Thankfully tragedies such as this are rare.

Miles Smith and the construction industry

Miles Smith understands the challenges faced by businesses within the construction industry and is very experienced in the placement of risks within this sector. Our long-standing relationships with both Lloyd’s and company insurers allow us to support large capacity requirements, plus we have the ability to design bespoke placements that ensure the unique needs of each insured are met. We provide a comprehensive solution to cover employers’ liability, public and products liability, contractors’ “all risks”, contractors’ plant and equipment, professional indemnity and commercial fleets, often written on unique and exclusive wordings.

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