Drought is a certified killer in developing nations, bringing hunger and disease to crops, cattle and people. Six years ago, a drought-induced famine killed 260,000 Somalis. The UN recently launched a $854m appeal to help 5 million Somalis who are experiencing another such drought.

But there is hope on the horizon. Senegal experienced a significant drought in 2014, but it was hardly reported in the international news – this is because Senegal, along with Mauritania, Niger, and Kenya, had created and joined African Risk Capacity (ARC).

They pooled resources into this mutual insurance company, meaning Senegalese people did not starve to death the way they had in Somalia.

Catastrophe risk pools such as the ARC have emerged over the last 10 years to protect vulnerable populations and national budgets from extreme weather events. To date, 26 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and Central America have created risk pools.

When Hurricane Matthew hit in 2016, the Caribbean version paid out $30m to affected countries. In 2015, the ARC paid out over $26m after lack of rains in the Sahel, south of the Sahara Desert.

Of course, the funds from risk pools do not replace international assistance – but they do provide early cash assistance for families, reducing the overall need from aid. The government in Senegal responded rapidly to the 2014 drought, focusing their aid on the most vulnerable populations including children under five and lactating mothers. Witnessing its effectiveness, Malawi, Gambia, Mali, and Burkina Faso have since joined the ARC.

According to research from Oxford University, each dollar invested in ARC before the catastrophe saves $4.40 in the aftermath of an event.

If you would like to speak to a broker today, please call us on 01737 377250 or visit us on 




The promise of a sunny day brings with it a high state of excitement and relaxation in a country where the summer months don’t come with a guarantee of hot weather. Dusty BBQs are dragged out of sheds, picnics are back, and windows and doors are thrown open to welcome the summer breeze. Therein lies the security problem, and the perfect opportunity for thieves. Even if you don’t forget to close a window at night, bolder criminals might even take advantage of easy access to your valuables in broad daylight.

North Yorkshire Police offer the following advice to avoid a theft in warmer weather:

  • Keep the front and back doors locked and windows closed as much as
    possible, also on cars.
  • If windows are open, keep them on the latch so that they cannot be
    opened further from outside.
  • Keep valuables and keys out of sight and well away from front or back
    doors where they may be easily reached.
  • Keep side gates locked.
  • Put away garden tools, ladders etc. after use so they cannot be used
    to gain access.
  • Use a strong lock on sheds, garages and other outbuildings and bolt
    hinges on for additional security.
  • Consider fitting outdoor security lighting.
  • Keep an eye on neighbouring properties.
  • If you see anything suspicious contact police on 101.

Remember that if you are a victim of theft but there is no sign of break-in as the thief has gained access through an open window, you may be unable to claim. Check your home insurance policy details for more information.

Contact us on 01737377250 or visit for all of your insurance needs.



A Director’s Guide to Business Insurance



Imagine you have the opportunity to invest £100,000 for your company, with a 70% chance of providing a 20% return within five years. Do you decide to go for it? Now consider whether your decision would be different if you could be held personally liable for making the wrong decision; your home and other assets are on the line. Do you have the same approach to risk?

This simplified scenario demonstrates why Directors & Officers (D&O) insurance exists. Senior employees are exposed to civil and criminal liability in relation to a host of responsibilities including employee safety, tax and finance law. Company law can also give rise to personal liability, for example if directors know a company is about to become insolvent but continue trading anyway, resulting losses can potentially be recovered from their personal assets.

D&O insurance gives directors and officers the confidence to know there is support to pay compensation or defend claims or prosecutions when things go wrong. It’s not a ‘get out of jail free’ card to excuse negligent behaviour, but it does provide valuable protection in difficult situations.

Let’s consider seven key things you need to know about D&O insurance.

  1. Claims can be brought by a variety of company stakeholders
    It’s not just shareholders who may bring a claim against senior staff. Employees, bondholders, lenders, customers, consumer bodies, suppliers and competitors could all have legal standing to bring a claim. The likelihood is that at some point, every company will face the threat of a claim.


  1. D&O insurance is not compulsory
    The law does not require you to hold D&O insurance, but in practice companies can find it very difficult to recruit top talent without having a policy in place. Qualified candidates see insurance as an essential protection and usually ask to see the policy before entering an employment contract.


  1. Operating without D&O insurance can cause undue risk aversion
    Failing to put D&O insurance in place will not only harm recruitment; it also impedes the ability of senior executives to make decisions on behalf of the company. Put simply, they are likely to be more risk averse when their own assets are under threat.


  1. Professional indemnity insurance and D&O cover different types of risk
    There is often confusion about whether policies for professional indemnity and D&O are the same thing. They are separate: professional indemnity relates to situations where it is claimed that a service or advice has not been delivered to a competent standard. D&O insurance relates to the management of a company and concerns risk connected to governance and oversight.


  1. The first policies were developed in the Great Depression
    History time: D&O insurance was created in the 1930s after new laws were introduced in the US to hold directors to account for failings that led to the 1929 Wall Street crash.


  1. The law says some areas of liability must be excluded
    Providing cover for every corporate misdemeanour would arguably create a moral hazard in which executives would feel immune from the consequences of their actions. This is why English law says insurance cannot cover some types of penalty and fines. However, D&O insurance can pay for costs such as legal fees in defending a criminal charge.


  1. Cyberattacks are increasing risk for directors and officers
    Cybercrime is increasingly common for companies of all sizes; 74% of all small UK businesses have experienced a security breach in the last year. Executives can face claims from customers, shareholders and other interested parties following a breach, with losses being virtually unlimited. This is another incentive to put a quality D&O policy in place.

Do you have the insurance cover you need?

Visit or call 01737377250 For all of your insurance needs

A Director’s Guide to Business Insurance

Affordable & Reliable Tradesman Insurance



Buying Liability Insurance online could not be easier. not offers a full Quote-TO-Buy comparison engine for Public Liability Insurance. Compare your insurance needs with the top insurance companies at the click of a button. Commercial Insurance Services Ltd will still be offering a brokers experience, so if you ever need to call us during your policy term we will be at the other end of the phone to guide you with the advice you need. So what are you waiting for!? Click here for an affordable & reliable insurance quote today!

Affordable & Reliable Tradesman Insurance

Counting the cost: a business interruption event could threaten your company’s survival. Do you need insurance?



Most of us take our workplaces for granted. We come and go, popping out for lunch or to a meeting, expecting that everything will be the same when we return. But what if something happened to disrupt this smooth flow?

As hundreds of workers found out in the City of London in July 2016, the work environment can become inaccessible in the blink of an eye. A gas leak around Blomfield Street led to the evacuation of many office buildings in the densely packed adjacent streets.

The gas leak took hours to put right. How much did that cost the surrounding businesses? All those missed deadlines, unwritten reports and lost opportunities; the wasted hours spent by some of the most highly paid people in the country.

Are you vulnerable to business interruption?
Business interruption can happen to any company. Adverse weather, civil unrest, fire, burglary, and vandalism: there is a huge range of events that could potentially stop your organisation from operating as normal. No company is totally immune.

While companies usually protect themselves with insurance to cover property, equipment and stock, it is less common to think about the loss of profit during business disruption. Yet in the event of business interruption, the usual costs such as salaries, rent and so on need to be paid, but no new income will be received.

Meanwhile, despite your best efforts, if your business is interrupted then relationships with customers are likely to suffer and they may look elsewhere. You may also miss out on new business opportunities that could have made up the gap.

How business interruption insurance helps
Business interruption insurance protects you when disaster strikes. This form of insurance provides compensation for loss of income as well as assistance with meeting the increased costs of working while the premises are restored, such as temporary offices, overtime, hired equipment or transport costs.

Insurance often also provides cover for marketing costs to tell your customers when you are back up to full speed. An advertising campaign is typically required to ensure this message reaches the right people.

How to manage a business interruption claim
There are some key steps you can take to ensure that if you need to claim on your business interruption insurance, the matter will progress smoothly. Firstly, before taking out insurance make sure that you read the policy carefully and understand exactly what is covered, what is excluded and what excesses are applicable. You should also be clear about time limits for submitting a claim.

When a business interruption event occurs, document the event and damage as far as you are able. This might include taking photographs, making notes, and keeping contact information of any emergency or remedial services you used. Be careful to keep receipts for payments in relation to the disruption.

The more information you can provide with a claim, the more likely it is to proceed quickly and successfully. Of course, ensuring you purchase insurance from a reputable and reliable provider is also essential.

Counting the cost: a business interruption event could threaten your company’s survival. Do you need insurance?




Connecting your business to the internet could be seen as similar to opening a window in your house and then going to the shops – leaving a ‘window’ of opportunity open for criminals.

UK businesses have seen a 22% increase in cybercrime in the last 12 months, according to Get Safe Online. These cyberattacks are reported to have cost more than £1bn in losses.

You might already have protected your business from unexpected bumps in the road with Business Interruption Insurance, but will this cover you against cybercrime?

What is Business Interruption Insurance?
Business Interruption Insurance can help with the financial ramifications of not being able to operate business-as-usual for a period of time.

These ‘interruptions’ would typically be fire, flood or theft – unforeseen circumstances and emergencies that left a business unable to use its office or equipment. The problems could be IT related, for example, or due to a third party issue, such as a gas leak further down the street which led to your office being evacuated.

As well as helping cover the costs of lost business caused by the emergency, this form of insurance can also help curb the costs incurred, for example, helping to cover unexpected expenditures, such as a temporary office location or replacement equipment.

Is cybercrime covered?
If your business holds customer data – particularly sensitive data such as bank information and addresses – processes payments, or uses IT systems that are essential to the way it conducts its business, then it might also be worth considering Cyber Insurance.

While large multinational organisations often have a team of specialists at their beck and call, SMEs are often expected to get to grips with the risks themselves, meaning that there are limitations as to how effectively they are able to understand the potential pitfalls.

A standard Business Interruption policy won’t cover cybercrime if nothing is physically damaged in the attack, meaning that a company could be leaving itself open to problems if it doesn’t invest in a more conclusive policy.

If the business is online too – and sells products or services on the internet, then there is a whole selection of liabilities and risks which it is exposed to which wouldn’t typically be covered by a Business Interruption policy.

Cybercrime – how can you protect yourself?
Cybercrime is a hot topic – the Cyber Risk Survey Report 2016 revealed that 81% of larger companies and 60% of SMEs were affected by a cyberattack in 2014.

Policies for SMEs would typically cover damages in the region of £100k to £5 million, although if you feel there is more at risk, there are speciality policies which cover higher amounts. The effects can be costly – TalkTalk’s hack in October last year is thought to have cost the company around £60m and led to the loss of 100,000 customers.

Pitfalls from cyber-attacks could include things such as potential service interruption and the theft of customer data from your servers, which if known to the public could cause a costly hit to a company’s reputation. If you trade online, for example, an interruption in service due to cyberattack would have a significant effect on your profits because customers would not be able to make orders while the site was down.

An evolving sector
As far as insurance is concerned, this is still a very young area. But experts are reminding policyholders to ensure that they take out the right policy for their business and its unique potential cyber risks.

16th century clergyman Joseph Hall once said, “A reputation once broken may possibly be repaired, but the world will always keep their eyes on the spot where the crack was.” It’s the same with cyberattacks – once a company has been targeted and admitted fault, its reputation takes a hit. This reputation damage can have a significant ‘cost’ to the business, so it’s important to bear this in mind when taking out coverage.

What other insurance might you need?
As well as protecting a business against the possibility of business interruption and cyberattack, it’s also worth considering liability. Liability Insurance could cover anything a business owner or employees might do which could cause harm to others.

This could go hand-in-hand with cyber insurance because it’s possible, for example, that an employee’s negligence could be responsible for a data leak.

Brokers need to make sure that they are up to speed on the industry trends and emerging issues so that they can correctly advise clients on the best policy for their needs.

Want to protect your business from cyber risk? 

Contact us on 01737377250 to speak to a specialist broker today. 




Home is where the heart is… not to mention all of your hard-earned furniture, technology, and reams of valuable personal possessions. Nothing could be more devastating than a bout of adverse weather flooding your house, causing devastating damage to both property and possessions. Yet a recent study by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) has revealed that fewer than one in three people researched the flood risk of the property before buying their current home.

The insurance industry hopes to raise buyers’ awareness of flood risks by introducing a set of traffic light-style green, amber and red symbols on property adverts, aiming to inform or warn buyers of the properties’ status before they buy. It has been predicted that one in six properties would be labelled amber or red.

Unsurprisingly, this idea is less than desirable to estate agents, who have voiced fears that potential buyers may be put off from viewing those properties deemed at risk, and possibly rendering a section of the market unprofitable.

However, the proposal may be a positive step towards raising awareness and motivating homeowners to protect their properties. In order to provide full and accurate cover, insurers need to assess the likelihood of incidence and severity. Although flood insurance usually forms part of buildings and contents insurance policies, areas at risk of flooding will likely have much higher premiums or need specialist cover.

Last year, extensive flooding across Northern England topped £5bn worth of damage, with up to £1.5bn insurance claims made as a result. Director of general insurance at the ABI, James Dalton, said: “As the floods of last winter reminded us, being flooded is horribly traumatic and can leave people out of their home or business for months. Anyone whose property is at flood risk needs to be aware of that, so they can take steps to protect themselves.”

Considering whether that seemingly perfect new property is on a flood plane is often not at the forefront of buyers’ minds. Purchasing a house is an exciting time, and with plenty to sort out it often gets forgotten, unless it gets flagged during searches.

So what can you do to make sure your home is safe? Whether or not you feel your home is at risk of flood damage, checking the flood terms of your home insurance is vital to feeling you would be covered should it happen. Remember that obvious bodies of water are not the only clue to look out for – in fact, the Environment Agency estimates that there are 5.2 million properties at risk of flooding in England from either rivers, the sea, surface water or various combinations.

Read your policy documents to ensure you know what you can and can’t claim for. You may be able to get damaged items replaced or be helped with the cost of builders and professional clean-up services. Before the loss adjustor visits your property, it may be a good idea to take photographs and video of the flood damage and list details of what’s been affected.

If you are currently buying a house, make sure you do as much research as possible into the property and area beforehand. The Environment Agency provides flood risk information broken down by postcode on its website. A broker, such as, could offer a helping hand should you find that your insurance needs might be a little more complicated as a result.


Contact use today on 01737377250