Why personalised insurance is so important for rail contractors. A quick guide to rail contractor insurance.
Posted on 5th July 2019 by Phil Ainley MCIM CMktr
If you are a contractor working in the rail industry (including inner-city trams), then it is vitally important that you ensure you are covered against the risks that come with the industry with personalised insurance.
For this you should consider bespoke rail contractor insurance, because buying ‘off the shelf’ policies online can leave rail workers exposed to risks that they might not be covered for.
You will find that most ‘off the shelf’ policies have not been designed to cater for rail specific exposures. In some cases, this can result in contractors and organisations struggling to comply with contractual requirements.
Carrying the correct level of cover for the industry will ensure that your contractors are fully protected.
Which risks are rail contractors exposed to?
1) Design and plans – Mistakes and incomplete designs can lead to negligence claims against those responsible for the designs. This can also be the case if there are intellectual property rights issues with the design work.
Incorrect designs can expose rail contractors to safety risks during the implementation of those incorrect designs or plans.
2) Technology – Use of outmoded, outdated or even new technologies, that have been untested in the field, can expose rail contractors to any number of health and safety risks.
3) Construction – As mentioned in point 1, incorrect designs can lead to risk exposures in the construction phase of any rail infrastructure contract. There are also likely to be problems regarding worker safety and quality control as a result. This can lead to accidents and injury as well as extra costs correcting any issues.
4) The great British weather – Location combined with adverse weather conditions can cause problems for a lot of industries. For those working in the rail sector, adverse weather (which includes searing heatwaves as well as freak storms and torrential rain) can make any infrastructure project unsafe to work on.
5) Commercial risks – The commercial risks, which include procurement issues (such as the late delivery of project-critical materials), size of project and type of contract also pose a risk, as do budget constraints and fluidic deadlines.
From the above list of points, it is clear to see that the risks of the rail industry are not confined to rail construction workers but are wide-ranging and can expose office and administration staff to risks in equal measure.
It is important to ensure your risk management strategy is spot-on to ensure risks are reduced to ensure the safety of both rail workers and passengers.
For example; a design flaw could lead to a non-compliant gap between the platform and the carriages. This would place passengers (especially the elderly and disabled) at risk of a trip hazard and would likely result in a negligence claim due to the designs/plans being flawed.
What are the professional risks?
As a rail contractor you are exposed to a variety of professional risks as well as personal hazards and you will no doubt need to carry certain insurance policies before you are permitted to work on-site.
Some of the risks you are exposed to every day, include;
- working with a client’s business property
- project timescale changes and budget constraints
- planning and layouts
- designs for stations and/or associated buildings
- copyright and intellectual property rights
- working with electricity
- working at height
- repetitive strain inducing activities
these create a variety of scenarios where business insurance is beneficial, including;
- loss or damage to portable electrical equipment
- tax enquiries and legal cases, including jury service compensation
- contract disputes
- employment disputes
- accident and sickness claims, to name but a few.
How can I mitigate the risks and protect myself and my business?
Caunce O’Hara offer comprehensive railway contractor insurance through its Rail Insurance Scheme. There are a range of insurance options available to you, including;
Public Liability Insurance – Public liability insurance is essential cover for businesses that regularly deal with clients and members of the public. It covers personal injury to your staff or the general public and damage to property arising from any action of your staff while they are working on-site.
Professional Indemnity Insurance – Sometimes referred to as PI insurance or professional liability insurance, this is an important type of cover for businesses and contractors. PI insurance provides protection for your business if a client is unhappy with your work, designs or advice. It also covers legal costs and expenses in defending a claim as well as compensation payable to your client for losses or damages.
Employers Liability Insurance – Employers’ liability insurance is one of the main types of business insurance, and most employers are legally obliged to carry this policy. It can pay compensation costs and legal fees if an employee or ex-employee sues for illness or injury caused during the course of their work.
Personal Accident & Sickness Cover – Injury or illness can prevent contractors from carrying out their work. Our innovative policy provides financial help should a contractor suffer from an injury or illness.
It is obvious that rail workers are exposed to a great number of health and safety risks as well as professional risks. Therefore, it is important to ensure you are covered so you don’t find yourself out of pocket, and in the unfortunate event you are involved in an accident, you are taken care of.
For further details about rail contractor’s insurance and a personalised quotation, please call our award-winning team on 0333 321 1403
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