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Broker is first choice for contractors

ECIC provides top tips for organising insurance

According to a survey of contractors by ECIC[1], the specialist insurer for the contracting sector, when it comes to arranging their insurance cover, more contractors use an insurance broker than go direct to an insurer or use a price comparison (aggregator) website.  The findings reflect the complex nature of the insurance market for contractors with brokers valued for seeking out policy cover most suited to the contractor’s needs.  In response to the findings, ECIC is highlighting the key factors that will help contractors secure the right cover for their business.

"The contracting sector has very specific insurance needs, particularly when considering work at height and depth, hotworks, work in hazardous locations and specialist activity. Without the correct level of cover, firms could find themselves at risk of inadequate insurance and all the associated costs and stress this entails. We would always recommend contractors use a Broker”, comments Richard Forrest Smith, CEO at ECIC. “They are able to guide contractors through the insurance buying process ensuring they have the correct level of cover required as well as undertaking regular reviews in order to keep insurance covers in line with risk exposures. This is particularly valuable if a business has diversified and is carrying out new types of work.

“The importance of this shouldn’t be underestimated, so it’s good to see from our findings that the majority of contractors do arrange insurance cover with the help of an expert.  However, contractors should also know the right questions to ask, so we have compiled some top tips to make the process as simple and easy as possible:

  • Get in on the Act: Contractors should familiarise themselves with the Insurance Act of 2015 which was enacted on the 12th August 2016. The obligation for contractors is to pro-actively declare all information known or ought to be known by them which could influence an insurer’s view of the risk, such as business description, past work and liabilities. As such, if they have diversified their business in any way, this must be disclosed to their insurer, not just at renewal but during the course of their insurance contract, if applicable, so that the insurer can properly assess the risk they represent.
  • Take care when buying online: Don’t be guided by price only, make sure you are buying sufficient cover for the type of work you undertake. 
  • Check for restrictions on cover: Value for money is important but so is insurance that is as comprehensive as possible and that allows flexibility to add other specific covers or activities. Check carefully for any restrictions on cover such as height and depth restrictions, hot work, offshore cover and working within hazardous locations or security conscious locations such as railways or airside. 
  • Becoming a member of a Trade Association: Members of Trade Associations are required to adhere to certain criteria (i.e. keeping up to date with Health and Safety regulations) and are therefore more likely to be deemed a ‘better’ risk.  This could have a positive impact on the insurance premium.
  • Interest free payments: Look for interest free credit for payment of insurance premiums.  ECIC is one of the few insurers to offer this facility over 9 months.


[1] Survey undertaken with Construction Enquirer, March 2017, completed by 357 Contractors

ECIC media contacts

For further information please contact the ECIC Press Office at HSL:  Alison Reeson/Elsa Findlay.  0208 977 9132.  ECIC@harrisonsadler.com




ECIC is a trading name of Markel International Insurance Company Limited, whose ultimate holding company is Markel Corporation.


Markel International Insurance Company Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No.: 202570). 

Registered Office: 20 Fenchurch Street, London EC3M 3AZ. Company Number: 00966670. 


© 2018 ECIC t: 0330 221 0250 e: ecic@markel.com

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