Tradespeople and small contractors struggling with late payment issues should welcome changes to the speed of commercial insurance claims payments as part of the Enterprise Act according to ECIC, the specialist insurer for the construction sector.
Unnecessary delays in claims payments should be a thing of the past, with the Enterprise Bill having now become law, giving the UK’s smaller contractors and sub-contractors some much needed certainty when they need to make a claim. But ECIC is warning contractors that they should still gain the support and advice of a specialist insurance broker and seek cover from insurers with a proven track record in their trade sector as this accumulated claims experience can have a huge bearing on the outcome of a claim.
The Enterprise Act* creates a legal obligation for insurers to pay as promptly as is reasonable, and give policyholders a legal right to enforce this. Measures will include the introduction into every contract of insurance a requirement on the insurer to pay sums due within a reasonable time. It will also give policyholders a contractual right to the payment of insurance claims within a reasonable time; and provide for general damages to be payable by an insurer where a policyholder suffers additional loss because of their insurer’s unreasonable delay in payment.
Ian Hollingworth, Claims Manager at ECIC said: “Insurers are judged on the quality and speed of the claims service they provide.
“At ECIC we always look to pay legitimate claims as quickly as possible. Many of the firms we support are small businesses who would struggle to fund the replacement of tools so we do our utmost in clear-cut cases to expedite settlement to help avoid any further disruption.”
When Modern Electrical Contractors, based in Derbyshire had over £2500 worth of tools stolen from site last September, the immediate assumption was that the business would need to fund the replacement of all the stolen tools while the insurance claims process got underway. The police had been notified, incident reference number provided and claim form filled. However, the claim was settled in full the same day thanks to the swift response of the claims department at ECIC.
Sam Beresford, Foreman Electrician of Modern Electrical Contractors added: “We were working on a contract at a garden centre and our tools were stolen overnight from the premises. I was delighted to receive the cheque through the post within days of the theft being notified, having assumed lengthy investigations would need to be undertaken. Thanks to ECIC’s rapid response, we were able to replace all our tools and carry on with the job without undue delay – keeping our customer happy and our team working!”
We’re certainly not afraid of the Enterprise Act – we welcome it and those working in the construction sector should welcome it too.