BUSINESS INSURANCE

Engineers Insurance

Scott Norton, Managing Director – Norton & Co Insurance

4 September 2020

Recently at Norton & Co Insurance we’ve received an influx of new clients in the engineering sector. I’m not sure exactly how this has happened as we haven’t purchased any google keywords in this space. Nor have these clients been referrals from existing customers which is the most frequent way we obtain new business. But, I’m glad they’ve found us because we’ve been able to assist them protect their risk and form really positive new relationships.

Firstly what do I mean by engineering? This could be a business that purely does the design. It could also be a business that does both design and construction. Or it could even be a business that just does the construction. Depending on specifically what tasks you perform can go a long way to determining the insurance cover you require.

Engineers are from an insurance perspective an interesting group. Because they quite often dabble in different elements including design, project management, construction and certification just to name a few things. And often overlay this with a technology element such as software development or hardware manufacture. They need to be mindful that they can find themselves needing a host of different insurance policies to fully protect their business.

Lets start with Public & Products Liability. Many engineers I speak with usually have this as their only insurance policy in place. Usually because they’re a start up business and have tried to keep costs low, or no one has ever given them advice to the contrary. Public & Products Liability can provide cover in case you injure a third party (not yourself or your staff), injure a subcontractor, or you/your product causes damage to a third parties property. Seems simple enough. However, this starts getting murky if it’s actually your software / code that is the cause. Or if the incident stems from some sort of cyber breach or hack.

To that end a professional indemnity policy may be required. And not just any professional indemnity policy. What’s known as an IT Liability policy could be required. Which is essentially a specifically designed professional indemnity insurance policy for those working in IT. Typically this will remove the goods sold or distributed exclusion prevalent in most miscellaneous professional indemnity wordings and give the cover for damages to third parties your code or software may be responsible for.

And just to complicate things further for good measure a Cyber Liability policy may be required as well. This is because the above policies mentioned will both exclude any form of unwanted online hack damage. Given the online interconnected nature of most products these days this could be a major gap. Both with not covering third party damage. But also covering your own rectification costs and business interruption because of a hack or online environment misuse. Your cyber liability policies will generally correct this gap.

So, with all that being said what we’ve been able to help engineering clients with recently is giving them the relevant advice needed relating to not just 1, but all 3 of the above mentioned exposures. We point out to these types of clients in an ideal world they would have all 3 of these covers. We even go a step further and explain how all 3 of these risks when placed with different insurers can cause problems at claim time. I’ve seen this happen where 2 separate insurers point the finger towards one another stating their case for the loss to fall under the other insurers policy and not their own. All the while the client who’s purchased the correct covers sits in the middle disappointed by the time delay and has to explain to their customers why their insurers haven’t settled the claim. To combat this, we try to use where possible insurers that can offer all 3 covers and preferably on the 1 policy to save on fees. Unfortunately, this is not always achievable as to once again complicate the matter some insurers may have an appetite for 1 or 2 of these policies for the particular clients business. But not necessarily all 3. Nevertheless we talk you through this process, educate our clients. And always advocate for them at claim time.

Now if you’re worried about all this sounding complicated. Don’t worry. It is very confusing even to industry veterans. At Norton & Co Insurance we have over 35 years combined experience and we enjoy assisting clients with their insurance needs. Please get in touch with our firm at any time. We’re more than happy to have a no obligation review of your insurance and provide you with some advice.

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