Uncertainties regarding the performance of the construction sector in 2018 may spur some roofing contractors to consider diversifying into new disciplines to broaden their skill base and consequently their contract opportunities. The roofing sector today comprises a wide mix of different disciplines creating plenty of scope for business diversification for those contractors keen to develop and grow their business. However, it is important to remember that with diversification, the insurance risk changes. It’s therefore vital that roofing contractors understand the importance of declaring any significant change in the type of contracts they are undertaking – or indeed significant growth - in order to keep their insurance cover in pace with the types of risks they are exposed to.
The Insurance Act of 2015 – One Year on
It is now over a year since The Insurance Act of 2015 came into effect, offering greater protection to contractors. However, the fact remains that in order to maximise the benefits of this greater protection with insurance cover more precisely suited to their needs, roofing contractors need to both understand and declare exactly the type of risks their business deals with day to day. In fact, roofing contractors have an obligation to ensure all information known or ought to be known by them which could influence an insurer’s view of the risk is declared.
This should be fairly clear-cut for smaller businesses, but may be less easy for mid to larger contractors that have grown and diversified into new markets. Let’s face it, insurance cover won’t always be front of mind for contractors, particularly when you consider the fact that many parts of the contracting market are struggling with resources. Indeed, in a survey this year of over 350 contractors by ECIC, over 77% had been impacted by skills shortages.
This is where an insurance broker has a real value. They will work with the roofing contractor to ensure all relevant information has been disclosed so the insurer can make the best decisions as the basis for the insurance contract or ask further questions based on the information provided. This may include reviewing disclosure processes in light of any recent diversification of their business and ensuring that records are in place of the individuals responsible for arranging insurance cover along with senior management who should be involved in any disclosures made.
Fundamentally, brokers will work with roofing contractors to help ensure they really understand the risk profile of their business and to remember that when entering into new contracting areas, expanding their field of expertise or diversifying into new markets, just how crucial it is to disclose this information to their insurer.
An insurance broker will also explain in detail the roofing contractor’s insurance contract so the roofing contractor is aware of any relevant restrictions, exclusions and terms and conditions which they would need to comply with.
If you would like help finding a broker who can offer ECIC insurance please complete this form (form to hyperlink to https://www.ecic.co.uk/KnowledgeHub/FindaBroker.aspx)
 ECIC Survey of 355 contractors, March 2017