Archives for 2012

The Most Common Types of Personal Injury

We have come to associate the term ‘personal injury’ for accidents that happen when someone else is responsible, and is a potential situation which could lead to the injured party making a claim for compensation.

In this article we take a look at some of the most common personal injury types and how they can be caused.

 Strains and sprains

This is mostly associated to jobs based around manual labour and lifting. However, even office and clerical work can require the moving of supplies or other boxes from time to time. Injuries sustained by this type of activity account for more than a third of work related accidents.

Much of whether a claim can be made will be down to if the relevant safety procedures have been explained to the employee beforehand, or if the appropriate lifting equipment has not been provided. 

 Burns and chemical damage

 When chemicals are not being handled properly or electrical equipment and installation not being maintained to a safe standard it can be extremely dangerous for those around it. Electric shocks from mains devices can be fatal in a worst case scenario and minor discharges can cause serious burns.

 Accidents involving hazardous materials often occur as a result of lax safety procedures. In any workplace where appropriate signage and training is not provided, injuries sustained will more than likely be eligible for compensation.

 Whiplash

 Most of us encounter traffic in our daily lives, where it is as a driver, passenger or even as a pedestrian. So it is no surprise that a great many personal injury claims arise from accidents involving motor vehicles.

 Whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained by drivers and passengers of cars involved in collisions. It is inflicted by the weight of the head and neck being forced forward and backward during a sudden change of speed or impact.

 As well as causing great pain and discomfort, the damage it can cause to the nerves that travel through the vertebrae can lead to serious complications.

 Illness

It isn’t only physical injury that can lead to a successful claim. Illnesses, whether short or long term, are also covered and in some cases psychological complaints count as personal injury too. If these conditions are aggravated or triggered by your place of work or a third party then you may be entitled to lodge a claim for compensation.

 Ultimately, if something impacts your well-being, quality of life or disrupts your lifestyle then there may be a basis to claim.

Home insurance and the things you need to know this winter

With winter on its way, now could be the perfect time to take out home insurance cover with a company like HomeServe. It will help protect your premises in an emergency, but what should you look out for and what do you need to know about the different policies available?

The difference between home and contents cover

If you have become a property owner for the first time, it’s essential to understand that there are two main types of home insurance available – buildings and content. The former protects the physical structure of your home including the windows, roof and walls, as well as permanent fixtures such as a newly-fitted bathroom suite. It should also provide you with adequate protection against instances of fire, flood, subsidence, falling trees and other things that could damage your premises. You must insure your property for the amount it would cost to rebuild it from scratch including legal fees.

Contents cover, on the other hand, will offer you a financial safety net for the things inside your home including furniture and jewellery. It provides peace of mind that you’ll be compensated in the event of a natural disaster or theft, but you must read the small print to fully understand the contract. As the contents of your home might tally up to more than you think, estimate the value of your belongings as accurately as possible to avoid being underpaid if you ever need to make a claim.

Is there anything buildings insurance won’t pay for?

All policies are different, so take the time to read the terms and conditions carefully. You’ll probably find that major incidents are covered, but that normal wear and tear will be down for you to pay for. What’s more, if no one is living at your home for more than 30 days in a year, the insurance policy could become invalid, so always double check this with your provider. If you have a mortgage, the property lender might advise you on the type of insurance you need, but don’t sign a contract until you fully understand what it entails.

Do I need insurance if I’m renting a property?

While the landlord should sort out buildings insurance, it’s a good idea to protect the contents you have within the property including laptops, computers and other technical gadgets. Families and students are responsible for looking after their belongings, so think about insurance as soon as you move somewhere new. There are many different policies available, but be aware that some providers won’t insure you if you live in shared accommodation.

Theft and crime can happen all year round, but with temperatures set to drop, make sure you are insured this winter.

Common types of medical negligence

Medical negligence used to be something that people shied away from, unsure of how to carry out an investigation into pain and injuries suffered as a result of said negligence. However, with the rise of  ‘no win no fee’ solicitors, medical compensation claims are increasing in number each year.

If you play your case right, you will be able to gain a successful medical claim with the help of medical negligence solicitors. This article seeks to inform you of the variety of types of medical negligence that can occur.

Misdiagnosis

This can be an extremely grave mistake for a doctor to make, and one that can lead to a lot of health problems. Misdiagnosis can occur when the symptoms of your condition or illness are not already obviously apparent.

Doctors often fail to diagnose things like cancer, symptoms of an impending heart attack or a stroke, diabetes, meningitis or appendicitis.

If you are being treated for something that you don’t have, or worse, not being treated at all, it can lead to very serious damage to your health.

Surgery-related negligence

This is a rare, but nonetheless very grave offence that will hold your doctor liable for violating his or her code of conduct. If you are operated on without giving your consent to the doctor, this is classed as ‘battery’, legally speaking.

There are many other pitfalls when it comes to surgery, unfortunately. The unintentional laceration of an organ or tissue that isn’t related to the area of concern will cause extra, unwarranted damage to your body.

Wrong site surgery occurs when there has been a mistake in communicating the area of concern to the doctor, and he or she in turn operates on a different area of your body.

A lot of jokes are often made about foreign objects being left in the body after surgery; there’s not that much to laugh at, unfortunately, if it happens to you. If something is left inside your body after the operation, it will more than likely lead to severe, life-threatening infection.

Anaesthesia-related negligence

There are two areas where negligence-caused damage can occur with an anaesthesiologist. During your patient review, he or she will go through your entire patient history to see whether you have a particular allergy or other conditions they need to be aware of.

A mistake in the review will inevitably result in a mistake during the operation, where an allergic reaction could cause severe damage or even death.

Even if the review is successful and the anaesthesiologist is adequately prepared, slip-ups may occur during the surgery, where they may not react in time to changes occurring in front of them.

Key considerations when claiming after an accident

Despite the decrease of serious traffic accidents in the UK, there is always a chance you may be involved in an accident. Whether the damage to you and your vehicle is minor or serious, you are always able to seek compensation for an accident that wasn’t your fault. Here are some key considerations for those wanting to make a road traffic accident claim.

Never admit it was your fault

If you’re involved in an accident, admitting the accident was in any way your fault could invalidate your insurance claim. This means you should even avoid apologising, as some cases have been denied after a claimant was heard to have said ‘I’m sorry’. Instead, you should exchange all important details such as name, address and so on. If the other driver refuses to give you their details, note down their licence plate so your insurer can get them for you.

Contact your insurer

Failing to notify your insurer of an accident can immediately invalidate your policy, so make sure that you contact your insurer at the first given opportunity. From there, steps can be made towards getting compensation.

If you sustained serious injury as a result of an accident, be sure to consider the services of a specialist solicitor. For instance, if you’ve stained serious spinal damage, a spinal injury solicitor will be of much more use to you than a general practice solicitor.

Collect evidence

As with all insurance cases, you need to be able to prove that the accident wasn’t your fault. This means you should always try and prepare as much information as possible before going through the legal process. To help your case, you should try and collect any pertinent information from eye witnesses, as well as their names and address. If you managed to take any photographic evidence at the scene of the accident, be sure to have this ready for your solicitor.

If you were involved in an accident with an uninsured driver

If you have an accident with an uninsured driver, you will be unable to make a claim to an insurer. You will however be able to settle your claim through the MIB (Motor Insurers Bureau).

Repairing your vehicle

you should never get your car repaired without your insurers consent in case they want to have somebody inspect the damage. You should always check with your insurer first, as you may be required to use a mechanic who is approved by your insurer.

Liability

It’s important to remember that if an accident was partially your fault, you could be faced with a reduced amount of compensation. If for example you were seen to have been 50% responsible for an incident, you will only recover 50% of your compensation.

When is it right to make a medical negligence claim?

Analysts have claimed that there has been an upsurge in the amount of successful medical claims being made against health services for malpractice and negligence. Indeed, now that solicitors are well versed in how to deal with such cases, more and more patients are stepping up to receive compensation for the damages caused to them.

Medical negligence lawyers can definitely get the job done; but it’s important that you don’t waste your time, as well as the court’s time, by filing a case when there really isn’t one to be made. This article aims to help you decide if your case is actually viable or not.

Early signs that you’ve been made a victim

Usually, when a mistake has been made, most of the time your health care staff will do their utmost best to remedy the situation. You will be informed at the right moment that something has gone wrong, and that everything possible is being done to fix it.

Unfortunately, bad apples do exist. Some healthcare staff will attempt to pretend like there’s nothing wrong, or gradually distance themselves from the mistake.

This in turn will lead to hesitant staff not answering your questions directly in an honest manner.

Trying out the official channels of complaint

There are several complaints commissions that have been set up specifically to deal with complaints of medical nature. The CQC, or the Care Quality Commission, will look into your case to see what can be done.

Of course, should this route of complaint lead you nowhere, adding to your frustration and anger at how you are being treated, it might be an indicator that it’s the right time to change tack.

Being sure that you deserve compensation

Some are understandably apprehensive about demanding compensation. It can take a lot of time; some are afraid that it would damage relations with their carers and thereby complicate future treatment.

Others choose not to pursue compensation because they feel like they just need to get on with their treatment. However, it is highly advisable that you do pursue it, for several different reasons.

The most important reason involves the fact that you could be losing colossal amounts of money that could be invaluable to paying for your further treatment.

It’s the responsible thing to do

Others may stand to gain from your experience; if you take your issue to court, you could inspire others in your position to get compensation for mistakes that they’ve had to suffer from.

This in turn would mean that healthcare services would be more careful in the future when it comes to practicing medicine and rectifying mistakes.

It’s always difficult to make the decision to embark on this journey; however, it’s usually worth it.

The Truth About Insurance Claims

With the recent data revealing the steady increase in whiplash claims despite the drop in road accident injuries, many consumers may be rejoicing.

A report released by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries shows that the increase of claims has cost the insurance industry nearly £400m. However, companies have yet to mitigate the blow by relaying the cost to UK motorists. In fact, the data indicates that the average cost of an insurance policy has decreased.

This is partially because now, more than ever, it’s easier for UK drivers to file a whiplash claim. Whiplash, a soft-tissue injury to the neck, can occur whether the accident is severe or minor. A person experiences whiplash when there is an abrupt jerk of the head forwards, backwards or sideways.

The sudden extension and flexion of the head, known as a neck sprain, can cause damage to the ligaments in the neck, cervical muscles, nerve endings, intervertebral joints and discs. Although a person may experience whiplash, the symptoms may not be prevalent until 24 hours or more after the initial trauma. The symptoms can range in severity and may include neck pain and stiffness, headaches, dizziness, muscle spasms, pain in the shoulders and lower back, numbness in the arm and hands, blurred vision, difficulty concentrating and irritability.

Whiplash most often occurs during road traffic accidents when a car from behind collides, causing the head to jerk backward and then whip forward. Anyone can experience whiplash, even in a minor accident in which the speed was low or there is no damage to the car.

The length of recovery and the treatment required depends on the severity of the injuries. In minor cases, a person may recover within a couple of weeks. However, it may take several months or even years for someone to recover from a severe neck sprain and other injuries associated with whiplash.

Oftentimes, it is advised that motorists seek legal aid to help rectify the problems they have incurred from their whiplash. Not only does it cause physical harm and pain, but a victim’s injury may be so severe that there is an absence from work and a decreased quality of life.

A lawyer that specializes in road traffic accidents can help victims file a claim and receive compensation. The report indicated that on average, claimants in small third-party injury claims are awarded roughly £8,400 in whiplash compensation. This is on the lower end of the scale, as some claims can be as much as £100,000.

The payment can help cover any medical bills, lost income and other injury-related expenses. Yet, with so many insurance companies paying for claims, some experts question how likely it is that motorists’ insurance prices will continue to be unaffected. For now, it’s all a waiting game.

How to protect your lifestyle

Sometimes it is possible to hear some quite extraordinary views about the nature of insurance protection and lifestyle.

Occasionally these are close to being potentially dangerous myths and here are a few of the more typical ones together with a rational comment.

The government will help pay your mortgage if you can’t

Although not totally incorrect, this is very significantly misleading.

If you lose your income and are unable to continue repayments on your mortgage, your mortgage provider may be willing to help, where they can, for a short period. 

After that, they may inevitably move to repossession.

Government help in such situations is extremely limited.  It may relate only to helping with the interest repayments on your mortgage and it might be conditional upon you having used any existing financial reserves you have beforehand.

If you’re keen to protect your family home in the event of things such as redundancy or sickness, it might be unwise to rely exclusively on the government aid. 

That is why various forms of mortgage protection insurance exist, such as those policies offered by Drewberry insurance and others.

My employer is under an obligation to keep paying my salary if I am sick

That might typically be true but it is important to recognise some of the limitations implicit in that statement.

Firstly, sickness is only one thing that may rob you of your income.  If, for example, you are made redundant, the statutory minimum redundancy pay is actually relatively limited – particularly if you have not built up an extensive service record with the employer concerned.

Secondly, even in the case of sickness, your employer is under an obligation to pay you sick pay for 26 weeks only.  After that time, your income may stop and then you may immediately struggle to continue paying your mortgage.

That is why it might be advisable to consider things such as mortgage payment protection insurance.

Mortgage lenders won’t repossess your property if you are seriously ill

Unfortunately, there may be little hard evidence to support this assertion.

Of course, you may hope that in such circumstances your mortgage provider may be sympathetic but their patience is unlikely to be unlimited.  The one thing you perhaps will not want if you are long-term sick and unable to work is to have to start to worry about whether or not you and your family will be able to retain the roof over your head.

In order to fully protect yourself against such circumstances, you might wish to consider investigating critical illness cover – something that might generate income cover for you for an extended period, perhaps running up to your normal retirement age.

You can’t have two people insured for the same mortgage

Yes, you can.

As it is perfectly possible for a mortgage to be in joint names, it is equally possible to cover the joint risks associated with the two mortgage holders.  That might include life, sickness and redundancy type issues.

Which are the best vans for cheap insurance?

Perhaps you’ve just started a new business that requires a van, or you’re moving house and need to hire a van for the day to move your belongings. Whatever the reason, it’s a legal requirement that you take out van insurance to ensure that, should anything go wrong or you are unfortunately involved in an accident, your insurer will cover any costs of damage or loss.

The cost of van insurance is determined by the category of insurance group your van falls in. There are 20 van insurance groups, with number one being the cheapest level of insurance. Vans are categorized on a number of factors, including:

Weight and size

This will affect the steering and breaking, so it naturally follows that heavier vehicles are much more difficult to drive and therefore the risk of an accident is higher. As a result, owners of larger vans will be quoted higher premiums than those who drive smaller vehicles.

Value

A no brainer this: the more expensive the van is the higher the cost of insurance will be.

Repairs

Another contributing factor towards which insurance group category your vehicle will fall in is the cost of repairs, as it is usually more difficult to source the spare parts for cheaper models, so they become more difficult to replace.

If this is the case, then it’s likely that your van will be assigned to a higher insurance group to reflect the costs involved in sourcing the parts in the event of a claim.

Security

Vans that are more likely to be stolen, such as those that are unsecured of lack security features, will also be categorised in a higher van insurance group, so it may be worth looking into investing into some immobilisers or security alarms before you contact a company like Swinton van insurance for cover.

Usage

How you intend to use your van will also have an impact on your level of cover and cost. If you are self-employed and hope to use the van to transport your own belongings, such as your ‘tools of trade’, you will most likely be covered by what is known as ‘carriage of own goods’ cover. On the other hand, if you’re transporting goods that do not belong to you, i.e. you’re delivering other people’s belongings, then this type of cover is ‘haulage/hire and reward’ cover.

Other factors

Where you choose to park your van will impact the cost of your insurance premium, so this will be vital information for the insurer. If you are able to park your vehicle in a secure location overnight away from the risk of theft, then you will be offered a cheaper quote than if you intended to keep it parked on the side of the road.

Joint motorcycle and car insurance

Owners of both car and motorcycles often find it difficult to insure their vehicles under one plan, citing that it’s generally more expensive than insuring them separately as well as it putting their no claims bonus at risk should they have an accident on one or the other. This, however, is not always the case, with many insurers now offering joint vehicle insurance, with discounted premiums for their safe drivers.

6 wheel insurance

Joint motorcycle and car insurance policies are now often referred to as 6 wheel insurance, allowing those who own both types of vehicles to be insured under the same plan. These insurance policies have been in demand for some time but only recently have they begun to crop up. Bikers are generally more prudent drivers as they are used to being more exposed on the road, meaning they also tend to be safer car drivers. Insurers have realised this and now have begun to offer competitive insurance policies to reflect this.

Save time and cost

Insuring your car and bike under one policy is also massively convenient as it saves a lot of time and effort reading into separate insurance policies that can often be confusing. Once you have your policy, your renewal dates are consolidated, protecting your no claims bonus for both vehicles. These insurance policies are a good comprehensive option, offering UK and European accident and breakdown cover as well as £50,000 in motor protection should you get in an accident that wasn’t your fault with an uninsured driver. These insurance policies are comprehensive, meaning that if you don’t want that level of protection, you could be saving more by using third party insurers.

How it works

With your average comprehensive motorbike insurance policy and car insurance policy costing more than £600 combined, having some form of six wheel car insurance can save you considerable amounts of money, with the average combined cost coming to around £550. The price of insurance will obviously vary driver to driver, depending on the age, previous driving history, type of vehicle, eye sight and criminal convictions. So, be sure to get a quote and you could find yourself making considerable savings.

Compare online

Depending on your history and circumstances, it may be cheaper to insure separately, so use price comparison websites to calculate exactly what savings can be made. Using Swinton motorbike insurance in conjunction with a cheap third party policy could be a wiser option, so shop around for the best deals.

BIBA reports 1,500% growth in black box car insurance sales

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) published their telematics car insurance industry research last week.

The report highlights the growth of the sector over the past year, and predicts that the ban on gender rating will amplify the growth in the take-up of black box car insurance policies.

This new kind of car insurance is particularly popular with young and new drivers who often find car insurance expensive and sometimes can’t even get a quote. The Telegraph recently reported that young males aged 17-22 now pay an average of £2,792 for their insurance. Having a box fitted to your car could make getting on the road a more realistic possibility for young drivers across the UK.

Demand for telematics is predicted to further accelerate in light of a new EU directive, whereby a driver’s gender cannot be used in generating their quote. Having a box fitted could therefore be an attractive option for young female drivers seeking to avoid the expected rise in their premiums.

Another benefit of the box is that insurers can evaluate young drivers more quickly. Instead of waiting for your annual renewal to earn NCD, your policy could be reviewed every three months. Not all telematics providers have quarterly reviews, but one interesting insurer that does is ingenie – as well as being backed by Gary Lineker and underwritten by insurance heavyweights Ageas and RSA, the black box car insurer also uses a mobile app to send frequent driving feedback to their customers, as well as providing helpful tips on how to become a better driver.

BIBA are already forecasting 500,000 annual box insurance policy sales within the next two years.

Making an insurance claim against your employers

 Accidents at work are extremely common, with roughly 118,000 injury claims made per year in the UK. These cases can range from repetitive strain injury to serious work related accidents.

If you feel that you have been injured at work through no fault of your own, you should seek legal representation to help get financial compensation.

Workers are often worried about making insurance claims against their employers as they feel it may jeopardise their job security as well as their relationship with their employer. This shouldn’t be the case as your employer is responsible for the safety of the workforce and you may well be able to sue for unfair dismissal if a claim gets you in hot water with the boss.

If the accident occurred as a result of another employee, you are also liable to make a claim under vicarious liability.

If you’re injured at work, you should immediately contact your supervisor or manager and get them to log it in the accident report book that all employers are legally required to have. This will be essential in validating your claim further down the line. Be sure to note down all the details of the accident in as much detail as possible.

If there were any witnesses at the time of the accident, it’s important that you ask them to make a statement as this can make the claiming process much easier. Some employees may be reluctant to report against your employer and that is something you have to respect.

You should then have your injuries examined by a doctor who can then decide how you need to be treated. If you can, ask your medical practitioner for a letter outlining the injuries sustained to help support your insurance claim.

A successful insurance claim against an employer will depend on being able to conclusively prove that the injuries you sustained were of no fault of your own. This can be especially difficult with things like mesothelioma compensation claims, where significant sums are often sought, because it can take years for the illness to develop.

You should not worry about this affecting your job, your employer is fully insured and is not allowed to make you redundant as they will be faced with further legal action for unfair dismissal. Your employer, if anything, should be understanding of the injury and help you in making your claim. There are many specialist injury lawyers that can help you with your claim so be sure to research into which firm is the best at handling cases similar to yours.

Biggest hazards when visiting London

With millions of visitors descending upon London this year for the Olympics, there are a number of hazards and dangers that visitors should be aware of to ensure that they have a safe and enjoyable trip. Here are our top things to watch out for when visiting London.

Pickpockets

London is one of the worst locations for pickpockets in the world, standing in at no.10 on the list of destinations where tourists are most likely to be pickpocketed. When travelling on public transport or walking in busy high-street, making sure your belongings are not easily accessible is of the utmost importance. There are over 20,000 reported pickpocketing offences per year but this number is decreasing as police help crack down on thieves.  If you have lost something on public transport, be sure to visit the lost property office on Baker Street to see if your belongings have been returned.

Road safety

Londoners drive on the left side of the road unlike the rest of Europe where they drive on the right, meaning that you must always look the right way when crossing the road. There are many accidents caused by unsuspecting tourists who are not familiar with UK traffic, so be sure to contact www.injurylawyers4u.co.uk if you feel you are entitled to compensation.

Taxis

If you are out and about late at night and want to use a taxi service, be sure to use a certified taxi service. London has a huge problem with unlicensed mini cabs, with many criminal offenses being committed by illegal taxi drivers. It’s always important that you pre book a taxi with a reputable taxi service. There are a number of services which can help you find a licensed mini cab company near you. Travelling alone is not advised, especially for women, who are the most vulnerable. Always notify someone if you have to use a taxi service that is questionable to travel around London.

Street works

With many areas of London being renovated for the Olympics, there are many areas that may be dangerous for pedestrians. With many uneven pavements and roads you may trip and hurt yourself if you are not paying attention. If you are seriously injured in a public place, contacting accident claims UK  may help you gain compensation to cover medical bills.

Muggings

When travelling around make sure that your valuable items are never on show. There are thousands of muggings every year in London, meaning you should always be careful when walking alone in the streets at night. Avoid poorly lit streets and always try and notify someone if you are travelling alone at night.

On the whole London is a safe place if you are prudent and sensible when travelling. Keep your wits about you and don’t flash expensive items in public and you should have a wonderful visit.

London motorcycle theft on the increase

According to a number of insurers, London is by far the worst place for motorcycle theft in the UK. A comprehensive report into motorbike theft showed that motorcycle owners in parts of London are 30 times more likely to be a victim than in other parts country. The top 10 locations in the UK are as follows:

1. South West London

2. North London

3. West London

4. South East London

5. East London

6. North West London

7. Enfield

8. Huddersfield

9. Sutton

10. Twickenham

Costing the industry roughly £105m per year, motorcycle theft in London continues to increase at a staggering pace. With considerable policing cuts being made and the Metropolitan police’s stolen vehicle unit being closed, things are showing little signs of improving. The additional survey made by the Motorcycle Crime Reduction Group report that 50% of all motorcycle theft occurs in London, with an average of 77 bikes and scooters being stolen each day. These worrying statistics mean now is a better time than ever to make sure your bike is fully insured by insurers such as MotorCycle Direct.

So what can London motorcyclists do to help keep their bikes from being stolen?

Keep your bike in a Garage

Keeping your bike off the street and out of sight will drastically reduce the risk of theft. If you don’t have access to a garage, make sure it’s grounded with an anchor and well covered.

Use insurance approved security devices

With a number of security devices on offer from trackers to immobilisers, bike owners should invest in a number of devices to keep their bikes safe as well as keep insurance premiums down.

Lock your bike to immovable objects

Many thieves are now taking more expensive bikes and putting them straight into the back of their vans. Properly securing your bike to an immovable object is therefore of the upmost importance.

Be careful where you park

Avoid poorly lit, isolated areas as these are the most common spots for bike theft. If you can, place your bike near a CCTV camera in a well exposed area.

Sports bike and scooter owners are by far the most at risk from theft, so make sure your vehicle is properly locked and secured at all times. With a bit of common sense and investment you should be able to considerably decrease the chance of motorcycle theft, even in London

I’m a self-employed builder – do I need public liability insurance?

In the construction trade dealing with cash flow to keep suppliers and clients happy is critical and seeing insurance payments go out every month can be very frustrating. There might be some policies that you can afford to do without but, self-employed or not, public liability insurance is absolutely not one of them. Here’s why.

What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance protects you from a claim made by a member of the public who suffered injury or a loss because of you. As a builder, the likelihood of such a claim being made is greater than for other businesses. This isn’t a comment on the quality of your work. You are building the physical environment around us, and usually have no choice but to work in close proximity to the public so the scope for a claim, is high.

When might I need it?

An easy example to picture is if you are working at a height – say, fixing some guttering – and a tool falls and hits a passing member of the public. They can make a claim against you for their injuries, and depending on how high you were, what the tool was and where it hits them, that can be very significant. Likewise if someone gets electrocuted from a light fitting you have installed, or if your van damages someone’s property, claims can be made that PIL would cover for.

What would happen if I didn’t have it?

Public liability insurance is not there to prevent you from prosecution, it’s there to make sure claimants have a better chance of getting their compensation. That is because, if you don’t have cover and have a significant claim made against you, it has the ability to put you out of business and, if you are a self-employed sole trader, rather than a limited company, bankrupt you. It is this point that makes public liability insurance so important. But even with smaller claims, the risk for small companies, especially the construction game where cash flow is so important, are significant. Furthermore, clients look for builders with PIL. Not having it will restrict your access to business.

What else do I need to know?

Your policy will not just cover you for the cost of the award made to any successful claimant, and remember that it has to be your fault for the claim to be valid. You should also be covered for costs, expenses, ambulance and treatment costs that the NHS could seek compensation for and legal costs if you are faced with criminal prosecution. Premiums differ with the type of business you are, so it is advisable to speak to an insurance company with expertise in covering members of the construction industry. You should also look online, to tailor a quote that suits you and get a feeling for the market price for your insurance and peace of mind.

At what stage in life should I start considering life insurance?

There aren’t many of us who enjoy contemplating our demise, but what’s that saying
about death and taxes? As unpleasant as some people might find it, it pays to
plan for the future and make sure our loved ones aren’t left in the financial
lurch when we die.

So when is the right time to think about getting life insurance? It varies significantly
from case to case. Your personal circumstances are everything.

Home and Family

For young adults with no dependents and no mortgage, the financial implications of
death are far less grave, and life insurance may well be unnecessary. But the
moment you buy a flat or house or, more importantly, start a family, a policy
is well worth considering. Without you to help, would your family be able to
keep up with mortgage repayments, school fees and the countless other bills and
costs we incur in our everyday lives? If the answer is no, or if you want to
make sure your family does not have to deal with financial as well as emotional
heartache, you should act. Mortgage life insurance pays a lump sum to your
mortgage lender upon your death, alleviating that particular burden for the
loved ones you have left behind. Visit insurance sites like mortgagelifeinsurance.org.uk for more information.

Age

Without wanting to alarm anyone, we really could get hit by a bus this afternoon. That
said, obviously, the younger you are, the less likely you are to die. It is
very understandable why young adults – who will likely have less money to spend
than in the future – might dismiss life insurance as expensive and unnecessary,
even if they do own their own home and have a spouse and/or children. That’s
their decision, but there is affordable life insurance out there. Term life
insurance is the most common form of cover and requires insurers to only cover
applicants for a set period of time, which means they are prepared to offer
young and healthy people coverage from as little as a few pounds a month. Visit
www.termlifeinsurancequotes.co.uk for more information.

Health

It is not uncommon for smokers to pay more than double what a non-smoker of the
same gender and age would for term life insurance. When evaluating what risk
you pose, insurers will pay a great deal of attention to your lifestyle
including the dangers presented by your job, and you and your family’s history
of illness. While life insurance will be more expensive for people representing
a greater risk, it is also, if anything, more essential. As is critical illness
protection. Realistically, many of us will contend with illnesses such as
cancer before we die. The financial impact of paying for treatment and care,
and the loss of income you will suffer can mean your family is facing financial
difficulty before your death. Critical illness insurance sees a lump sum paid
to you once you are diagnosed with a critical illness so that you can pay for
treatment etc. Visit criticalillness.org.uk for more information.

 

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