Another Happy Customer :-)

This was posted by on January 6th, 2021

Hi Daniel,

Happy New Year!

I have been meaning to reply to your email with my feedback for you guys, sorry, it has been crazy busy these last few months.

We have used Trust Insurance for many years now and have seen them develop into a really good company. They know the industry incredibly well, offering great advice and outstanding customer service. When I have last minute additions to our policy if we hire something in, it is dealt with straight away. Nothing is too much trouble and the team are really friendly. Having taken the time to see what other insurance providers offer over the years, I can honestly say that Trust Insurance stand above the rest and go the extra mile to help keep our business moving. Trust Insurance also have a very thorough due diligence process when we complete our annual declaration for our Liability Insurance, it is really reassuring that they are taking steps to wheedle out the rogue traders and also support the more complaint contractors in getting the correct level of insurance for their operations.

You guys really have helped me so much with my last minute additions to the fleet insurance. A super friendly bunch who are honest, give great advice on all levels of insurance and are consistent. What has really impressed us more recently is that you have a really good annual declaration form, it is so reassuring that you check that we are compliant!
I took our liability cover elsewhere a couple of years ago, based on the fact that they had a thorough declaration and at the time you guys didn’t. It was a mistake really as their customer service level didn’t go past their initial sales pitch. It seems that a really good level of service that goes beyond that first stage is hard to come by and being able to all deliver that remotely from your homes during Covid is pretty amazing! Well done to you all for riding through it all with such professionalism, there aren’t many companies that I have been impressed with in reacting to Covid, but you guys are up there at the top!

Many thanks
Nik Doble

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Public Liability (Injury) Claims That Happen After Work Completed

This was posted by on September 3rd, 2020

Hi,
We have a lot of claims to deal with, and most of the times they are understandable with third party property being damaged, but recently we have had a few public liability claims whereby third parties are alleging that they were injured from hazards left after work was completed. A claim that has just been settled cost the insurer £40,000 (28k to the claimant and 12k to the solicitor) and that was from a property owner alleging that their garden furniture was moved when work was carried out and they subsequently tripped up the garden furniture afterwards! Another recently reported incident is a third party alleging that a broom was left with leaves by their door and they tripped over the broom injuring themselves. I can only suggest that you ensure that sites are left in good order when work is completed but saying that it is difficult for insurers to avoid paying out especially when solicitors and third parties use their imaginations. In light of this, it would be a good idea to document results of work completed including photos of the site showing it to be all in order.

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Clients experiencing financial difficulties

This was posted by on June 25th, 2020

On the 18th May 2020, the Financial Conduct Authority introduced new measures for insurance and premium finance firms to help clients in financial difficulty.  Should you be experiencing financial hardship, or if things change at work or home, we may be able to help by:

  • Re-assessing your demands & needs
  • Reviewing levels of cover
  • Adding or removing optional covers such as legal expenses
  • Adding or removing people on your policy

Where amendments to your insurance cover does not alleviate your payment difficulties, you should contact your finance provider directly as further support may be available, which could potentially include:

  • The possibility of deferring payments (refer to FAQ’s)
  • Reduced repayments, or rescheduled term
  • Waiving missed or late payment fees
  • Amending your repayment date without any cost
  • Reducing interest payments

It is important that customers do not leave themselves uninsured, so we encourage you to contact us to discuss the options available if you are struggling to afford your payments during this uncertain time.

Please see our FAQ’s on Payment Deferrals

Q – What is a payment deferral?

A – A payment deferral is an arrangement under which a firm permits a customer that pays their insurance premium in instalments to make no payments for a specified period

Q – How do I apply for a payment deferral?

A – You should contact your insurer or finance provider direct

Q – If I am granted payment deferral, will I be classed as being in arrears on my payments?

A – No, nor would the provider or any third party such as broker or debt collector be allowed to cancel the policy or collect payment during the deferral period

Q – How long can I defer payments?

A – One to three months however, the provider can grant a longer extension should they wish

Q – Will I have to pay a fee?

A – The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) would not expect a customer to be liable to pay any charge or fee in connection with the granting of a payment deferral

Header – Post and paper-based documents

We continue to handle all post (incoming and outgoing), and paper-based documents such as cheques, as quickly and efficiently as possible to ensure they are processed in a timely manner to safeguard policy cover. Should you have any concerns about instructions or cheques you have sent which may not have been processed, or documents you believe you are due from us, please contact us urgently.

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Road Accidents Involving Towed Chippers.

This was posted by on June 9th, 2020

Hi,
There seems to have been a spike in the amount of road traffic accidents involving towed chippers. Last week, we had 4 incidents involving towed chippers and we wouldn’t normally get that number of claims (for that type of incident) in a few months. Only one of those was a non fault accident with another vehicle driving in to them, the others were simply the insured person losing control of the vehicle. I can only assume that the reduced traffic with many still being lock-down is resulting in vehicles perhaps going faster than normal and not as much care being taken. Obviously the damage to the chipper is quite considerable when in a road accident and when the vehicle rolls as well as the chipper then it is also a danger to personal safety. Take care on the roads people.

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Bedford Blues Rugby Club shirt sponsorship

This was posted by on May 1st, 2020

Trust Insurance is pleased to increase our sponsorship of Bedford Rugby Club. Trust Insurance are avid supporters of rugby; having played at a variety of levels and regularly supporting local and national teams. We have therefore taken the opportunity to increase our support of a rugby club which is over 100 years old and part of Bedfords heritage! When choosing the colour’s of our own company logo, we incorporated the blues colours as felt these are symbolic of our strong links with Bedford.

https://bedfordrugby.co.uk/news/2020/05/trust-insurance-increase-blues-sponsorship

We will also continue to sponsor Scrum half Grayson Hart. https://bedfordrugby.co.uk/team/profiles/grayson-hart

We wish the club and everyone involved in rugby every success on and off the field in these difficult times! Come on you Blues! #BluesFamily #differentshadeofblue #bluesfoundation

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Confirmation of Liability Cover during current lock down

This was posted by on March 24th, 2020

Good Afternoon,

I can confirm that our clients who have motor insurance, public liability & Employers insurance for tree surgery/forestry are covered. We have no policy exclusion for disease cover. Any claimant would have to prove that they received the illness while at work and then our policy would respond indemnify our clients.

Policy wordings will always follow government advice however, the current advice is stay at home if you can, well as an industry you cannot as your work is outside, so we can confirm you are covered!

I must add that if the government says you cannot leave your home under no circumstances due to the virus, this would then enforce you to stop working. We will then arrange a suspension of liability policies so that you do not financial lose out. For clarity this is just in relation to liability insurance. Plant will still be stolen so our advice is to retain this cover, we had two thefts overnight and you will still need your vehicle insured to drive to the shops, doctors etc so we would suggest retaining this cover.

I believe that the confusion has come from a newspaper article which is talking about business interruption not covering clients.

So just to confirm tree surgeons, forestry contractors and landscape contractors are covered with our policies.

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Application of PUWER to tree work winching operations

This was posted by on March 10th, 2020

Compliance with PUWER for tree work winching operations.

Introduction

1.  This paper outlines The Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) opinion on the application of the Provision and Use of Work and Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) to winching operations used in tree work. It clearly states HSE’s policy to apply the requirements of PUWER rather than those of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 (LOLER) to winching operations.1

Issue

2.  Differing opinions currently exist within the industry about the application of PUWER and LOLER to winching operations in tree work, eg skidding and directional felling. As a result, queries are regularly raised particularly in respect to the inspection and thorough examination of winching equipment. These queries often stem from how the term ‘lifting’ is interpreted in respect to loads being winched. The aim of this paper is to clarify the application of health and safety legislation to the use of winches in tree work – in particular in relation to the requirement for thorough examination and inspection.

PUWER/LOLER and winching operations.

3.  In the first instance it is important to recognise that LOLER and PUWER require much the same thing for work equipment that they apply to: that the equipment is suitable for the task being undertaken; that it is properly maintained, and that it is operated correctly by competent people. PUWER is not a lesser standard. It requires a similar level of safety as LOLER if the risks demand it.

4.  The application LOLER to winching operations is determined by the interpretation of the terms lifting equipment and lifting operations. In the Safe use of lifting equipment – Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations 1998 – Approved Code of

Practice and Guidance (L113, second edition), Regulation 2(1) – Interpretation, defines

lifting equipment as:

“Lifting equipment” means work equipment for lifting and lowering loads and includes its attachments used for anchoring, fixing or supporting it,

and lifting operation as:

“Lifting operation” means an operation concerned with lifting and lowering a

load.

1 Cable cranes lift as part of their function therefore the requirements of LOLER apply.

5.  L113 provides guidance on these definitions and gives examples of equipment and operations that are not covered by LOLER. In the guidance to Regulation 2 (Interpretation, para 31) it states that “in most cases LOLER will not apply to work equipment which does not have as its principal function a use for lifting or lowering.” L113 then goes on to provide guidance on specific equipment and operations not covered by LOLER including (para 32(b)) “winching a load where the load does not leave the ground.”

6.  In addition, Figure 1 (p12) of the L113 is a decision tree which sets out the main elements that must apply to a piece of equipment for it to be subject to LOLER. It indicates that two of these elements are that the equipment’s main purpose is to ‘lift or lower a load’ and that the load is ‘lifted free from supporting structures’, e.g. the ground. It also further clarifies the definition of lifting as ‘an operation that usually involves lifting or lowering a load from one surface to another.’ This interpretation

makes clear the intention of LOLER and if applied to winching equipment used in most forestry winching operations it means that the equipment is not subject to LOLER. However, it also makes it clear that where LOLER does not apply then “a similar level of safety is required by PUWER in respect of the work equipment being used.” (Para

33)

7.  Whilst the L113 interpretation excludes forestry winching operations from LOLER,

other interpretations for lifting have been used within the industry and by trainers which imply that LOLER does apply. One such interpretation is contained in The International Rigging and Lifting Handbook (North Sea Lifting Ltd), which includes the following definitions to differentiate between lifting and pulling:

a.  A lifting application is one in which a load does not become stationary should either the machine or any of its associated equipment fail;

b.  A pulling application is one in which a load becomes stationary should either the machine or any of its associated equipment fail.

8.  Applying this definition of lifting to LOLER would mean that there would be numerous circumstances where winching equipment and operations would be subject to the requirements of the regulations – for example, winching timber up a slope steep enough to cause the timber to move back down the slope in the event of the winching

equipment failing. However, whilst this interpretation is useful for assessing the level of risk involved in a winching operation, the International Rigging and Lifting Handbook is not a guide to the application of LOLER. Guidance to the application of LOLER is provided by the LOLER ACOP, L113 which, as explained above, is clear about the application of the regulations to winching operations.

9.  Again, it needs to be stressed that whether complying with LOLER or PUWER the outcome should be the same. The higher the risk associated with an operation, the more stringent the controls to make it safe and to comply with the regulations.

Inspection and thorough examination.

10. Both PUWER and LOLER are risk based. Therefore, regardless of the regulation, emphasis should be placed on the completion of suitable and sufficient risk assessments. The risk assessment is necessary to determine the nature and frequency of both the maintenance and inspection of equipment used in winching operations. Risk assessments, carried out to meet the requirements of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, Regulation 3, should identify any significant risks from the use of the work equipment considering the:

a.  type of load being winched, its weight, shape and what it consists of;

b.  risk of a load falling, moving, breaking up or striking a person or object and the consequences;

c.  risk of the winching equipment striking a person or an object and the consequences;

d.  risk of the lifting equipment failing while in use and the consequences; and e.  risk of damage to the winching equipment that could result in failure.

11. As previously discussed, LOLER will not apply to tree work winching operations and the scope of PUWER Regulation 6 requirements (inspection and the competence of the person who carries it out) need to be established by risk assessment. In effect, Inspection (PUWER Reg.6); and Thorough examination and inspection (LOLER Reg.9) should be seen as a related package of requirements with the outcome of the assessment, whether for PUWER or LOLER, being the same where the risk demands it.

Summary.

12. The definition of ‘lifting equipment’ and ‘lifting operations’ is provided in the Approved Code of Practice and Guidance to the LOLER regulations (L113 – Second edition). Under this interpretation, LOLER does not apply to winching operations that are regularly undertaken in tree work. However, PUWER is not a lesser standard of control but demands the same level of safety as LOLER if risks demand it.

13. Whilst under PUWER there is no specific requirement for ‘thorough examination’ of work equipment such as winches, PUWER requires risk-based inspection so the results of such an inspection, should be the similar to a ‘thorough examination’ under LOLER, where the risk requires it. Additionally, recording the outcomes of inspections under PUWER is as important as doing so for those under LOLER.

14. HSE’s policy is to enforce the requirements of PUWER rather than LOLER on tree work winching operations

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Mactavish criticises industry for “knee-jerk reaction” in hardening market

This was posted by on July 19th, 2019

https://www.insuranceage.co.uk/broker/4105481/mactavish-criticises-industry-for-knee-jerk-reaction-in-hardening-market?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=IA.Daily_RL.EU.A.U&utm_source=IA.DCM.Editors_Updates

We would add that if your broker has not given you your renewal terms when you as the client have supplied all of the relevant information two weeks early, perhaps you need to ask yourself if you have the correct broker working for you.

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Chipper Thefts

This was posted by on June 26th, 2019

Hi,

Chipper thefts have been on the increase lately. In fact we’ve had 4 chipper thefts reported in just 3 weeks. Only one of the four was from the insured’s premises so the other three were stolen from site.

It seems so opportunistic that chippers are being stolen whilst only being out of sight for 30 minutes, so please be on your guard.

Thanks.

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Interesting Article

This was posted by on April 4th, 2019

https://www.standard.co.uk/futurelondon/cleanair/trees-could-lower-london-temperatures-as-uk-summers-get-hotter-a4101571.html?fbclid=IwAR0YuijpoVMYcNe2EtaO7N2KcA8CCc9C4FV6nBX7Nn0qIZS8dttJKd6ZyoI

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