Why Buy Directors & Officers Insurance?

It has become apparent over recent years that society is developing into an increasingly litigious culture. There is now more emphasis on Companies to provide a better working environment and they must demonstrate a Duty of Care at all times.

The Duty of Care comes in many formats from the financial management of the company through to ensuring a safe working environment for their employees.

What is Directors & Officers Liability Insurance?

Directors and Officer Liability Insurance will cover any civil or criminal offences including defence costs and awards. In addition, not only is cover available for all Directors and Officers of the Company but it also extends to include Managers and Key Employees.

You will be aware that current Law states that if an individual of a Company is sued directly then, in some circumstances, he/she is forbidden to have the defence costs or claim awards paid for by the Company.

To summarise, without Directors & Officers Liability Insurance your homes and personal possessions are at risk.

What does Directors & Officers Liability Insurance cover?

Directors & Officers Liability Insurance is designed to cover Private Companies domiciled in the UK, Non-profit organisations in the UK and Resident’s management Companies.

The cover afforded will include key area such as:

  • Financial mismanagement
  • Breaches of Company Law
  • Breaches of Tax Law
  • Employment issues
  • Breaches of Environmental Law

There are infinite further aspects which fall with the scope of cover.

Directors & Officers Insurance Typical Claims Examples

Shareholders / Company

  • A shareholder in a building contractor brought an action against a director because he was concerned by the way the company was being run. The claim alleged negligence and maladministration of the company’s affairs that led to a loss in the value of the shareholding.
  • In a take-over, the Chairman of the company being purchased wrote to the shareholders advising them not to accept an offer, as it was inadequate. The offer eventually accepted was lower than the offer that had been turned down and the investors sued the Chairman for bad advice.
  • An advertising agency was successful in bringing a claim against its former managing director for diverting parts of the business and its opportunities to his new company. The court held that the managing director had misused the property of the agency, therefore breaching his fiduciary duty, that he was personally accountable to the company and that he should provide equitable compensation.

Insolvency

  • Two directors of a construction company which went into liquidation were held personally liable to the creditors for £417,000 which had been paid to another director. They were found guilty of a breach of fiduciary duty and wrongful trading.
  • A director signed a company cheque but omitted the word ‘Limited’. The cheque was not honoured and by the time the corrected cheque was re-presented, the company had gone into liquidation. As a consequence, the managing director was held personally liable for the value of the cheque, over £30,000.
  • A boat builder went into liquidation with losses of £1.5 million. The directors had believed that the company was making a profit but the liquidators sued the directors for negligence after discovering no accurate financial records were being kept.

Employment

  • A former director of a company sued the current directors, alleging that they had conspired to deny him his correct pension benefits
  • After receiving repeated warnings for lateness and poor attendance a female employee sued a director and personnel manager of her employer for sexual harassment.
  • A former employee of a company sued one of its directors claiming that the non-competitive agreement within their contract was excessive and unfair.

Regulatory – Environment Agency

  • Two company directors were convicted of illegally dumping 12,900 tyres on a site in Devon. A fellow director was imprisoned for operating an unlicensed waste transfer station.

Regulatory – Tax/Customs & Excise

  • Two directors of a demolition firm were prosecuted by the Inland Revenue for failing to keep proper tax records.
  • The company secretary of a leisure group who owned a number of bars was prosecuted for short measures being served at one of the bars.

Regulatory – Corporate Manslaughter / Health & Safety

  • Following a fatal coach crash, two directors of the coach company were charged with manslaughter.
  • A driver fell asleep whilst driving for the family-run haulage company for which he was employed. Two motorists were killed. The court held that the operations manager should have ensured that his driver adhered to the relevant driving regulations. He had also failed to keep in close touch on these matters with his co-director. Both directors incurred substantial defence costs before being convicted of corporate manslaughter.
  • An employee was killed having fallen into a plastic-shredding machine. The Health & Safety Executive investigated the accident and concluded that two directors were responsible for not providing the employee with a safe place to work, particularly as they had been instructed that the machine was not to be used. The incident was also reported to the Police and Crown Prosecution Office who brought up a charge of manslaughter. One of the directors lost his £250,000 home as a result of the incident.

Regulatory – Companies Act

  • Directors were held in breach of the Companies Act after their inadvertent failure to identify the company correctly on company notepaper and invoices.

Competitors

  • A competitor sued a director of a company for defamation after he made disparaging remarks about the business practices of the competitor at a conference and the comments were repeated in the local press.

Customer

  • A director took an order at a trade fair but could not recall the details the next day and was subsequently sued by the customer for breach of contract.
  • A customer sued a marketing director after promotional material, which the director had approved, gave incorrect prices for the product range.

Ministry Of Justice Reforms 2013

The 65th update by the Ministry of Justice came into force on the 31st July 2013 and relates to Employers & Public Liability and Road Traffic Accident Personal Injury claims occurring on or after the 31st July 2013 with a value between £1,000 and £25,000.

The reforms, known as the Low Value Personal Injury Protocol for Employers’ Liability and Public Liability claims will have a significant effect on how insurers handle claims which in turn will impact on our Clients.

The reforms impose much stricter time-frames in which to deal with claims which will mean immediate investigation and swift decision making by Insurers to ensure that claims do not unnecessarily drop out of the portal.

These reforms represent the largest changes to the personal injuries legal framework in England and Wales in over a decade and are intended to address the disproportionate costs that have been seen in civil litigation in recent years.

It is our aim as your Insurance Broker to guide you through these changes and assist in making the claims process as hassle free as possible to ensure that your business does not feel an impact.

The Main Changes

Timescales for decisions on liability – the current number of working days allowed by Insurers to carry out their investigations and conclude on liability is 90 however this has been significantly reduced to 30 business days for Employers Liability and 40 business days for Public Liability claims.

This is where our Client’s will see the biggest change in Insurer attitudes as they will require a slick claims process which allows them to carry out the necessary site investigations and collation of documentation as quickly as possible in order that a decision on liability can be made without delay.

There will be claims that our Client’s want to defend that Insurers will no doubt wish to settle if they do not feel that the prospects at the outset are good. In order to ensure that your Insurers are defending the right claims and settling those that do not have reasonable prospects we must provide all relevant documentation as early as possible.

We understand that you will not want your insurers to “roll over” and just pay claims however there are serious cost implications where claims drop out of the portal. The legal costs can be as much as 6 times as much.

Fixed and reduced solicitors fees – the reforms introduce revised fixed costs under a two tier approach for claims that settle within the portal.

 

Claim Value £1,000 – £10,000

Cover ClassStage 1Stage 2Stage 3
RTA (Motor)£200£300£250/£500*
EL/PL£300£600£250/£500*

 

Claim Value £10,000 – £25,000

Cover ClassStage 1Stage 2Stage 3
RTA (Motor)£200£600£250/£500*
EL/PL£300£1,300£250/£500*

 

*£250 applies to paper hearing, £500 applies to oral hearing.

Introduction of Qualified One Way Cost Shifting (QOCS) – Defendants will now have to pay their own costs whether they win or lose at trial with the exception of claims that are found to be fraudulent, where there is found to be no reasonable cause of action and where the Claimant fails to beat the Defendants pre-trial settlement offer. In the past if a claim made it to trial and the Defendant won the case their legal costs were recoverable from the Claimant.

Banning of success fees – Success fees are an uplift in the Claimant’s solicitors costs (which could be anything up to 100%) in cases that are successfully pursued against a Defendant and prior to the changes were paid by the Defendant and/or their Insurers. The changes now mean that the success fee will have to be paid to the solicitor from the amount awarded to the Claimant in damages but this will be capped at 25%.

After the Event Insurance premiums no longer recoverable – ATE policies are usually taken out by solicitors on behalf of their client’s in relation to personal injury claims and cover the costs a Claimant must pay to a Defendant when a claim is unsuccessful. The premiums for these types of policies are no longer recoverable from Defendants however this matter has now been addressed by the introduction of QOCS and ATE policies are likely to become redundant.

Banning of referral fees – Solicitors will no longer be able to pay claims management companies, insurance firms and trade unions etc., for personal injury details.

10% increase on general damages awards – general awards for pain and suffering will be increased by 10% in order to compensate for the banning of success fees.

Claims Process

  • Claims will be notified via the portal by way of a Claims Notification Form (CNF).
  • Under the new protocols the CNF must be acknowledged within 1 business day.
  • If for any reason a CNF is submitted to you directly you must acknowledge receipt and we have attached a basic template email for your use and would request that you copy us in in order that we are aware of the notification. The acknowledgment should be brief and contain very little information so as not to prejudice your Insurers position.
  • Following this a copy of the CNF should be submitted to us to be passed on to your Insurers. Please bear in mind that your Insurers will only have a maximum of 40 business days to carry out their investigations and give their liability decision to the Claimant’s solicitors and this clock starts ticking from the date that the CNF is acknowledged.
  • Your Insurers will then proceed to investigate the alleged incident in the normal way which will more than likely involve a Claims Investigator being appointed to carry out a site visit. At this stage you should have any relevant documents available to pass to the Investigator. The new protocols do not allow a great deal of time for these to be provided after the visit and we do not want to run the risk of the claim dropping out of the portal.
  • Upon completion of their investigations and no later than the 30-40 day timeframes, your Insurers will give their decision on liability to the Claimant’s solicitors. If liability is denied at this stage the claim will drop out of the portal.
  • Where liability is admitted your Insurers will have 20 business days to submit the Claimant’s earnings information to the solicitors.
  • Insurers will then wait for the Claimant’s solicitors to submit the Stage 2 Settlement Pack which will contain a medical report* and a settlement offer.
  • Upon receipt of the Stage 2 Settlement Pack your Insurers will have 10 business days to pay the Stage 1 costs.
  • Also upon receipt of the Stage 2 Settlement Pack your Insurers will have 15 business days to accept the settlement offer or make a counter offer.
  • If a counter offer is made by your Insurers a further 20 business days will be allowed to conclude the negotiations. If settlement has still not been reached after this additional 20 days the matter will proceed to a hearing either paper or oral, and the claim will be subject to the Stage 3 costs.

*There are no timeframes stipulated for the Stage 2 Settlement Pack to be submitted but this will depend upon the Claimant’s recovery and rehabilitation.

If for any reason the timeframes are not met the claim will automatically drop out of the portal and the legal costs will begin to increase.

Claims excluded from the portal

  • Public Liability claims against an individual.
  • Claims under £1,000 and over £25,000.
  • Employers Liability disease claims with more than one defendant.
  • Claims where the Defendant or Claimant is deceased or is a protected party.
  • Any accident or breach of duty outside England and Wales.
  • Abuse, mesothelioma and clinical negligence claims.
  • Claims where the Claimant is bankrupt.
  • Claims where the Defendant is insolvent and uninsured.
  • We hope that you have found this information to be of benefit however if you require any further clarification or additional details please do not hesitate to contact us.

Regards,

Gemma Roche
Claims Manager

Liability Insurance – Is your Cover Adequate?

Liability Insurance

Small businesses as well as large ones can have catastrophic losses which may impact on you if your insurance is inadequate.

You have no doubt already purchased Employers, Third Party, Products and Motor Liability insurances to protect your business but are the current indemnity limits high enough?

Levels of Awards in the USA have historically been a multiple of the equivalent in the UK (sometimes as much as 20 times) ; however the range of liabilities which can be incurred by a manufacturer or supplier in the UK means that court awards (especially injury awards) are growing at a much faster rate than inflation.

A company that is faced with a large court award and that does not have sufficient liability insurance cover could suffer severe financial strain, in some cases even having to file for bankruptcy. A cost effective excess liability programme could cover such awards.

Typical Cover:

  • Employers Liability is generally provided to a Limit of £ 10,000,000 Any One Claim or Series of Claims from One Incident – Individual circumstances are different but an accumulation of staff on one location might be a reason to consider the adequacy of this figure.
  • Third Party Liability may be as low as £ 5,000,000 Any One Claim or Series of Claims from One Incident whilst Products Liability is restricted to a Limit which applies is further limited to Any Period of Insurance – Whilst individual circumstances will differ, realistically you should consider at least £ 10,000,000 of cover..
  • Motor Third Party Property Damage Liability is generally provided to a Limit of £ 20,000,000 Any One Claim or Series of Claims for accidents involving Private Cars but is likely to be reduced to £ 5,000,000 for accidents involving other vehicles, including HGV’s – How much damage can a 44 ton vehicle do?

Excess Liability Insurance – Typical Claims Examples

The following examples are provided for illustrative purposes only but are actual accidents which have occurred.

Employers Liability

  • An explosion at a plastics factory killed nine people and injured dozens of others. The cause of the accident was never confirmed but was believed to have involved a gas oven on the premises.

Third Party &/or Products Liability

  • A machinery manufacturer supplied a defrosting machine to a food processing plant. The machine caught fire resulting in the complete destruction of the factory. Total cost was £ 80 MILLION.
  • A retail butcher was allegedly the cause of an E-Coli outbreak arising from the sale of contaminated cooked meats. Twenty people died and many more suffered serious illness. Compensation claims were received from both the injured people and the dependents of the deceased.
  • A clothing manufacturer exported children’s coats to USA. The coats proved to be inflammable, resulting in a number of serious burns injuries. Not only were the awards for damages considerable but the legal and other costs alone exceeded £ 1 MILLION. As with all product claims, a series of incidents quickly leads to the erosion of the limit of liability.
  • A 2-man business working as a sub contractor to the principal contractor on site caused £ 8 MILLION of damage when sparks from welding work they were undertaking started a fire that destroyed a new office block.

Motor Third Party Property Damage Liability

  • A lorry driver lost control of his vehicle which ploughed into a petrol station causing a massive explosion. Fortunately nobody was seriously hurt but damage to the petrol station (including a number of vehicles) was extensive and it was several months before it reopened for business.
  • All 10 carriages of a train derailed when it hit a vehicle at a level crossing. Seven people were killed and 37 injured.

Wind Turbine Insurance UK – An Overview

wind

State of the Wind Turbine Insurance Market in the UK

Within the UK insurance market there is 4-5 key insurers when looking to arrange wind turbine insurance cover. The key insurers are RSA, HSB Engineering, Allianz, Aviva and Ace. There would appear to be a great appetite from these insurers to underwrite wind turbines in the UK. However outside these key insurers there seems little desire or understanding from the rest of the insurance market towards renewable energy/wind turbine insurance.

From the UK’s insurance industries perspective the underwriting of renewable energy and specifically wind turbines is very much still in its infancy. Insurers in the UK are having to rely on the knowledge and experience of their network of offices within Europe and globally. For example Royal & Sun Alliance (RSA) utilise the expertise of their subsidiary company in Denmark (Codan) who have been underwriting wind energy for over 20 years. This expertise is particularly imperative when insurers in the UK are presented with a new turbine manufacturer/new technology. Insurers across Europe can provide information regarding reliability and loss ratio’s for the UK market for most turbine manufacturers.

The general feeling is insurance premiums within the UK are low, a £250,000-£300,000 turbine can be insured for less than £1,000 per annum. This would cover Damage, Breakdown & Loss of Revenue. We are however seeing a slight change in the UK market as the market matures, insurers are scrutinising manufacturers in more detail with insurers no longer providing cover for certain manufacturers/models who have poor loss ratio’s as a consequence of poor/unreliable technology.

Key Insurance Covers

Before the wind turbine is installed/commissioned owners/operators of wind turbines should make sure that the installer/distributor is responsible for the turbine prior to operation of the turbine. Most notably they will need to determine who is responsible for the turbine/equipment whilst in transit, before installation and during construction/erection.

Should the turbine owner have to arrange their own cover prior to operation of the turbine cover can be arranged in the form a Marine/Transit policy and a Contractors All Risk policy (covers the turbine equipment whilst on site and during construction).
Following construction and commissioning of the turbine the owner/operator will be responsible for the operational insurance cover.

There are 5 key covers that owners and operators of wind turbines should look for –

Damage – Main perils being Storm, Fire, Lightning, Accidental Damage and Malicious Damage.
Breakdown Cover – Pays for Parts and Labour following Breakdown
Theft – In the main this is for cabling and smaller/ancillary parts to the turbine
Loss of Revenue – Protecting any loss of revenue following damage or breakdown
Public Liability – Protects against third party damage or third party injury e.g blade becomes detached and damages nearby property.

It is worth noting at this stage that many farm/rural insurers can add insurance cover for wind turbines onto existing farm policies. The cover is often very basic cover with only Damage being covered. This is often the case for micro turbines with many owners of turbines either not having any cover or very limited cover.

Current issues

As stated previously the insurance market for wind turbines is still in its infancy, that said there are still many issues that insurers are having to deal with. I have looked at key issues below –

New technology/New turbine manufacturers

Over the last 12-24 months insurers have been presented with the problem of arranging cover for new turbine manufacturers with turbines who have no/very little operational history. Insurers are commonly declining the opportunity to underwrite new turbines with the arrangement of getting the right cover for turbine owners of these new turbines often difficult.

Insurers have previously provided cover for new turbines with little operational history, this has often resulted in insurers having to pay claims for loss of revenue for downtime whilst the manufacturers are trying to sort out ‘teething problems’.

As the number of turbine manufacturers has increased in the UK over the last few years it is evident that some of the entrants have offered sub standard technology which has proved unreliable. It would be prudent to point out that the unreliability of technology is more prevalent within the micro-mid range turbines as oppose the larger turbine manufacturers. Insurers are now much more cautious with the new entrants to the wind energy market in the UK

Parts availability/Delay in parts/Remote locations

One of the most common issues cited by insurers is the availability of turbine parts following damage/breakdown. Loss of Revenue claims are often prolonged due to the lack of availability of parts.

Some of the smaller manufacturers have very little infrastructure and supply chain within the UK with parts having to be shipped from Europe, USA/Canada and further afield for even for the smallest of parts.

Breakdown

Breakdown cover can cause issues for the insurer and also the wind turbine owner. Wind turbine insurers will not simply ‘pay out’ claims if the turbine stops spinning, which is often presumed by policyholders.

The definition of Breakdown cover from insurers varies very little, in summary there must be some form of mechanical or electrical derangement, the stoppage of the turbine must be sudden and unforeseen. Consequently any damage caused by gradual or ‘wear or tear issues’ will not be covered under the turbine insurance policy.

We have seen instances where a turbine has been brought to a stop with the cause being as result of a loose cable or defective installation, again this is unlikely to be covered.

Often it is difficult to determine if the cause of the problem is as a result of breakdown or simply wear or tear. For older turbines it is common for insurers to make part payments for claims, i.e where there are signs of wear and tear of the part but it is uncertain whether this has caused the stoppage.

Information from manufacturers

Following damage or breakdown to a turbine insurers often find it difficult to get information from the manufacturer to the cause of the breakdown. With the correct information being delayed then any claim is prolonged with the insurers costs increasing.

Many manufacturers/distributors only have small teams of engineers covering large parts of the UK, we have seen instances where one engineer covers the whole of the UK resulting in considerable delays in the initial inspection of the turbine following breakdown.

Lack of underwriting information in the UK

As mentioned earlier the insurance market for wind turbines is far from a mature market with UK insurers having to rely on their global network of offices to track information on turbine manufacturers.
This information obtained from across the globe is very useful to insurers in the UK however the information does not take into consideration the high winds in parts of the UK and the UK’s harsh winter. Much of the information passed across to UK insurers is from low wind countries with mild winters.

Refurbished wind turbines

A further challenge for insurers is the introduction of refurbished or remanufactured wind turbines, these turbines bring their own set of problems.

The most notable issues being parts availability with many of the turbine parts being obsolete, there have been instances when a complete new turbine has had to be installed due to lack of availability of parts.

Another issue being that the turbines being refurbished are already 15-20 years old having been imported in from Germany and Denmark in the main. There are question marks about the durability of the tower after 20 years.

In addition to this there are concerns about the quality and scope of the refurbishment work being undertaken.

As a consequence the availability of insurance for refurbished turbines in the UK is very limited with costs being much higher when compared to new/newer turbines.

New models of turbines

Insurers have concerns with manufacturers who are now making larger turbines. This appears common following the FIT cuts in the UK. Whilst insurers may be comfortable with a certain manufacturer and their respective technology which has been operating for several years, they may however be less keen to offer cover for a much larger model of turbine for this particular manufacturer. The same applies for large turbine manufacturers who have moved into the micro-mid range turbines.

Insurers feel that the technology involved in producing a 10kw turbine is very different to producing a reliable 100kw turbine and are therefore very cautious with providing cover for new models of turbines.

Blades

A recent issue we have seen for insurers is in respect of turbine blades and the replacement of blades following damage/breakdown is that insurers will only replace the blade that is damaged. The issue arises with some manufacturers only producing blades that are specially weighted that are only supplied in sets (of 2 or 3). There have been instances where a blade is damaged with the insurer paying for the replacement of the damaged blade with the owner of the turbine having to replace the undamaged blades at their own cost.

Planning Permission

Insurers have had issues following a total ‘write off’ of a turbine, sometimes the turbine is obsolete/unavailable and a similar turbine cannot be erected. If the turbine is not similar the whole planning process has to be undertaken with all the associated delays.

Top Ten Claims Scenarios

1. Windstorm Damage
2. Lightning Strikes – it is worth noting that lightning is not the issue it used to be with the advance of lightning protection. Lightning damage would be most prevalent with the blades.
3. Gearbox/Generator Failure
4. Transformer Failure
5. Theft of Cables – this is usually pre operation of the turbines i.e before construction of the turbine.
6. Foundation Problems – these tend to be associated with inadequate bolts/fixings between the groundwork and the tower of the turbine. We have seen instances of turbines toppling over with turbines being a total loss.
7. Fires in the Nacelle – often down to mechanical/electrical problems in the pitch system causing turbine overspeed and hydraulic oil igniting when contacting with hot brakes.
8. General Electrical Failures – in particular generators, transformers and control panels. This is down to several different causes e.g lightning, defective material, workmanship etc.
9. Cracking in Foundations & Cracking in Turbine Towers
10. Damage as a result of Bird Strike or Foreign Objects

Summary

The wind turbine insurance market in the UK is still in its infancy. The number of operation turbines have increased significantly over the last few years with and lots of new entrants to the market which bring with it new issues to the market.

As the insurance market matures over the next few years and insurers have claims experience/loss ratio’s they can analysis we may see an increase in the cost of insurance within the UK. The feeling is the high winds and harsh winters in the UK compared with large parts of mainland Europe may make the UK insurers more exposed than their European counterparts.a

What are the UK’s most dangerous jobs?

demolition

As an established independent insurance broker, Northern Alliance deal with many clients that have large risks associated with it. It is our job to ensure you are fully covered and have that peace of mind should the worst happen.

We have come into contact with business owners who want the best deal possible, which is perfectly understandable. By doing this they are willing to cut corners & potentially leave them themselves under insured if the worst should happen.

So we thought we would provide a brief summary of the most dangerous jobs, which may make you think twice about cutting corners & going for the cheapest option.

Farming & Fishing

Let’s start with the farming & fishing industry. Although Agriculture makes up a rather low proportion of the job market, there were 33 fatal injuries according to the latest statistics.

There are many reasons why this sector is a high-risk industry. Some of the most common reasons for accidents are machinery not being properly maintained, training of farmers had not been adequate enough or individuals falling from heights.

In 2011 a farmer in Coventry, who had an accident when he was just 23. “I’m 30 now and I wish I’d just trusted what I’d done and left it alone.”

http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/local-news/coventry-farmer-tells-how-he-lost-226011

Whilst injuries and deaths have fallen in recent years they still represent a high risk for accident & death. Commercial fishermen remain one of the most dangerous professions out there. According to a study from Oxford University
Fishermen are 50 times more likely to have a fatal accident compared to other professions.

Construction

If you thought the farming & fishing industry was bad, the construction industry has a rather high number of accidents & fatalities. The total number of fatal injuries came to 49 in the year.

The riskiest professions include roofers, scaffolders, steeplejacks, plumbers & steel workers. Most accidents occurred from slips, trips, falls & electrical shocks.

Another risk factor is from hazardous exposures that can lead to cancer and severe illness in later life. Over 5000 such cases are reported a year.

https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/industry/construction/index.htm

Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry only accounts for 10% of the total workforce but has around 31 fatalities a year. This is a vast improvement from over 20 years ago, with average fatalities reaching the hundreds.

Exposures in the manufacturing sector also accounts for nearly 2000 occupational cancer cases a year.

https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/industry/manufacturing/index.htm

Miners & rig workers

Safety has improved greatly over recent years but that has still not eradicated the risk for miners or rig workers. This still remains one of the riskiest professions out there.

There are a number of hazards that make miners a high-risk profession. Those include risk of roof cave-ins, flooding, explosions & fires. The other main concern when working down a mine is the lack of ventilation and the mining dust can cause damage to lungs many years later.

Offshore rig workers have one of the largest risks of all, due to extreme weather, remote location of the rig & the heavy machinery involved.

Other risky professions

The other risky jobs out there include; circus acts, dangerous sports such a motor racing drivers. Other professions such as journalists, cameramen & private security guards can be exceptionally dangerous, especially if reporting within war zones etc.

New Claims Contact Details

With immediate effect, please be advised that all claims should be reported to our new Claims Manager, Gemma Roche. Gemma’s contact details are as follows:

Telephone: 01924 269632

E-mail: gemma.roche@alliancebrokers.co.uk

By Post:  Northern Alliance Unit 4, Silkwood Court, Silkwood Park, Wakefield WF5 9TP

Alternatively you can email claims@alliancebrokers.co.uk for an update.

We should be grateful if you would update your records accordingly and trust that you will contact your Account Executive with any questions.

Vesta V112 Fire Risk

Vestas have confirmed that an issue with the V112 3.0MW wind turbine which led to a fire at the Gross Eilstorf wind farm in Germany; was due to an electrical fault.

The fault lies within the harmonic filter cabinet. A loose connection inside led to an arc flash which ultimately led to the fire. Owners of the V112 wind turbine have been informed and planned preventative upgrades are scheduled to take place. There are two reports pending from external investigators that work alongside Vestas to officially confirm the root cause of the fire.

https://breakingenergy.com/2012/04/12/vestas-issues-statement-on-german-turbine-fire/

Government Solar FIT Cuts – Update

Previously we discussed the effects of the government’s decision to cut the solar FIT (feed in tariff) rates to investors and individuals investing in solar panels. A lot has happened since last year and we thought we would update you on the current FIT situation.

I’m sure many of you are aware that there has been opposition from many within the industry since the government’s announcement and they have been involved in a legal battle. On the 21st of December these cuts were declared as unlawful. The challenge was made by Solarcentury, Homesun and Friends of the Earth. The high court ruling now means by law anyone registering for FIT scheme will now be able to receive the current 43.3p rate for the full 25 years.

However the Government also launched an appeal on the 4th January 2012. They want to change this decision and move back the date to the 12th December 2011. The Department for Energy & Climate Change also have halved the FIT for anyone installing after the 3rd March 2012.

From the 1st of April 2012 to qualify for the FIT you will also have to produce an energy performance certificate of grade D or higher. It is believed that half of all properties already meet this standard.

There are further proposals to halve subsidies again in April 2013. The plan is to slash the FIT cuts again in July 2012 by another 20%. Then the tariff would drop in October 2012 and then finally in April 2013. This obviously depends on the current sign up rate; if too many people install solar panels they may introduce these cuts earlier.

See here for the latest info:

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2145139/barker-tells-solar-industry-real-feed-tariff-cuts