A New Era for Dental Laboratories

UK Special Risks have been supporting Dental Laboratories and the industry for the past 17 years, in these years we have seen a tremendous digital shift in the way Dental Laboratory owners carry out their work.

We started looking after Dental Laboratories in 2001, and at the time our own processes were completely different to what they are now. We would post a quotation to the laboratory’s address, and if they decided they then wanted to buy the policy, they would return a cheque with a letter confirming they would like to place cover.

As you can imagine, this process is now completely digital whereby we now email new quotations so that a new client can peruse these on their computer or mobile phone. If they are ready to proceed, they will either pay using their card or by doing a bank transfer. Just 17 years on, we are no longer posting 20 page quotations to prospective clients.

We have adapted to this rapidly changing process. The digitalisation of our procedures has been brilliant for UK Special Risks, as it reduced the amount of paper we use by a huge amount, meaning not only has it saved us money, but it has also made us more efficient in terms of posting, chasing and processing cheques, and reduced the amount of paper we use which in turn is good for the environment.

While UK Special Risks has benefitted from this digital revolution, we have seen that this may not be the case for many Dental Laboratories and their owners. Dental Laboratories can be reluctant to make the move to digital coming from the traditional ways of developing and communicating. The idea of trusting a machine to do much of the work may seem a little daunting, especially for those who strive for perfection.

After attending the Dental Technology Show for the past five years, we have been able to see the positive impact of digital growth within the industry, such as introducing new and improved equipment, tools and machinery that laboratories can use to ensure their work is carried out efficiently and impeccably. From CAD/CAM to digital printing, there are many advantages to Digital Dentistry and while the new generation are moving on, it makes you wonder if you don’t keep up, you could get left behind.

It is important to remember that if you buy a new piece of equipment, you should ensure that you have it covered under your insurance policy and for the correct value. This would also play a part in the Business Interruption cover, as you may find it difficult to trade again if you suffer a loss to a digital printer worth £65,000 which insurers did not know you owned.

As always, UK Special Risks ensure we are up to date with the new technology so that we can provide you with the most comprehensive policies.

Should you have any further questions regarding any of the above, please do not hesitate to contact myself on 01634 662948 or email cstillwell@ukspecialrisks.co.uk.

An Introduction To UK Special Risks & Tom Mack – Specialist Broker To The Duct & Ventilation Cleaning Industry

We are specialist insurance brokers and advisers for the Cleaning industry. We have over 50 years’ experience in dealing with cover for Specialist Cleaning Contractors, General Cleaning Contractors other associated trades such as Facilities Management.

We understand the insurance requirements for the Ventilation & Duct Cleaning industry, and our 10+ years’ experience in the sector really helps us make certain we know everything there is to know about your industry.

We as a business, and I personally, specialise specifically in the Cleaning and Duct / Ventilation Cleaning trades. We currently protect the interests of over 300 cleaning companies in the South East and across the UK and are growing rapidly.


What Makes Us Different

When dealing with most brokers in the UK, you will find they only approach one, maybe two insurers at the maximum when providing a quotation. As we are an independent chartered insurance broker, we have the facility to approach a number of insurers, and yes, we will approach all of them to complete a full market exercise.

We understand guidelines and regulations cleaners within your industry have to follow when completing the above cleaning activities such as TR19 guidelines for example.

TR19 regulations are the guidelines that govern good practice for the cleaning of ventilation ducts and should be followed by anyone carrying out kitchen duct cleaning services

There are many health and safety aspects involved in the TR19 guidelines and it is important to understand these fully, from both theoretical and practical perspectives.

Health and safety legislation, safe cleaning methodology, hazard and fault awareness needs to be understood but as well as this a working knowledge should be gained.

The new BS EN 15780 legislation regarding Ventilation for Buildings and The Cleanliness of Ventilation and Ductwork Systems, identifies the standards that need to be met by all landlords and Facilities Management.


Our Experience

We understand your needs, requirements and are always available to give advice.

We specialise within the cleaning industry and as such currently hold over 250+ independent companies. Our current book of clients can range from turnovers with £100,000 up to £20m.

No matter how small, medium or big the company is, we are always happy to help and assist!

Our Specialist Insurance Policies

We will provide tailored industry specific cover which can include the following valuable extensions in cover:

  • Damage to Property Being Worked Upon – including damage to duct, ventilation systems, access doors on ducts for example. This is a common exclusion on many standard policy wordings and can often be a fundamental gap in cover for Cleaning Contractors.
  • Failure to Secure Customer’s Premises correctly – includes the failure to correctly set alarm systems, close / lock windows and doors and the consequential losses arising from such acts. This can be a common claim area for Cleaning Contractors when working outside business hours.
  • Loss of Keys – Losing keys can render a customer’s premises unsecure. We provide cover for replacement locks / keys in such circumstances.
  • Treatment Risks – Covers damage to soft furnishings resulting from incorrect application of products
  • Accidental Damage of customer’s goods as well as customer’s cleaning equipment.


As well as the above we can provide cover for the following specialist areas:

  • Duct & Ventilation Cleaning
  • Extractor Fan Cleaning
  • Canopy & Hood Cleaning
  • All types of kitchen deep cleaning
  • Grease Extract Cleaning
  • Fire Damper Inspection, testing & cleaning
  • IAQ Tests (Indoor Air Quality)
  • High Level Access Work including use of Hydraulic Platforms, Ladders and Abseiling / Cradle work.
  • Bio Hazard – Crime scene and trauma cleaning including the cleaning of bodily fluids. I am proud & privileged to say we are the recommended broker for the NACSC (National Association of Crime Scene Cleaners).

We can provide cover for your Cleaning Equipment anywhere in the UK, as well as cover for your own office contents etc. We will provide cover for Public / Products Liability of £1m, £2m, £5m or £10m as required by your contracts and work. Our wealth of knowledge puts us in an ideal position to help resolve claims as we have detailed knowledge of the types of claims which frequently occur within the industry.


Duct Cleaning – How can we help?

Insurance policies for Ventilation and Duct cleaners are often arranged incorrectly in our experience. Due to the relatively high level of exposure for consequential losses i.e fire*, insurers are often cautious when providing insurance for Duct / Extraction System Cleaning.

If either you or your broker disclose the works simply as “Kitchen Cleaning”, this will rarely be wide enough to cover the specialist works of Cleaning and Maintaining a Kitchen Extraction System.

Our expertise and experience means we know which insurers will accept the cover, which insurers will offer the most competitive premium, and which insurers will give the widest available cover at any given time.

Construction Case Study

The Brief

A client of ours was carrying out some drainage repairs as part of their contract when one of their engineers hit a pipe whilst excavating causing the street to flood.


Our Solution

Our client called us to put the claim in, we reported this to their insurers and their insurers had the following condition regarding underground services on their policy which our client had agreed to at inception of the policy;

‘It is a condition precedent to any liability in respect of Damage to pipes, cables, mains or other underground services arising out of or caused by digging, drilling, boring, excavation, or earth moving operations, that:

A. The Insured shall prior to the commencement of such work

I. have made enquiries with the owner or relevant authority responsible as to the location of existing pipes, cables, mains or other underground services and shall have received written confirmation or have confirmed any conversation in writing

II. carry out investigation using remote electrical devices to locate existing pipes, cables, mains or other underground services where practicable

III. convey the location of such pipes, cables, mains and underground services to those Employees or contractors carrying out such work on behalf of the Insured

B. The Insured shall adopt or cause to be adopted a method of work which minimises the risk of Damage to pipes, cables, mains and other underground services

C. the Insured shall retain a full written record of the enquiries and measures taken to locate and minimise the risk of Damage to such pipes cables mains and other underground services.’

After putting the claim through and reviewing this with our client, it transpired that our client had not adhered fully to the condition above which then meant despite our efforts, the insurers were not willing to pay the claim, which would have resulted in a large loss of money for our client directly.

To resolve this, we were able to get the full circumstances of the precautions taken by our insured prior to digging and convey this positively to insurers.  We were able to get the Insurer to agree the pay for this loss and then we were able to get the policy condition amended for this client so that it matched their working practices.


The Results

We were able to bespoke the policy wording to our client’s work practices, meaning that the cover now worked around them, rather than them trying to work around their cover.  They were now fully protected with peace of mind that they could carry on with their business without having to make changes to their activities in order to adhere to their insurance policy. We changed the policy to suit their requirements, which is something which we are able to do in a multitude of scenarios and emphasises our “client first” approach to handling and arranging insurance for contractors.


Duct & Ventilation Cleaning Case Study

The problem

There are thousands of cleaning contractors who complete their typical day to day activities with ease. However, in my experience what many don’t realise is they are not insured correctly, or are only partly insured and not covered for all the works they conduct.

In particular, there are many cleaning contractors that complete specialist duct and ventilation cleaning.

There was a recent case of my own where I was approached by a cleaning contractor who at the time was insured with an online provider. After an initial conversation with the prospect, we established he conducted general office cleaning, but also 90% of this work related to specialist cleaning including duct and ventilation cleans in kitchens.

I was more than happy to obtain a quotation, however I advised him that if he was looking to save money, I would not be able to assist. Why not?

Firstly, we do not sell on price. We provide specialist insurance policies designed to cover all of the activities performed by any given client. Unfortunately, this cannot always be provided at rock-bottom prices and often conflicts with obtaining a cheap premium from information you have entered yourself on a website to get a quote.

Secondly, the advice I had given this potential client had opened his mind to the fact that he was currently insured incorrectly. He came to this conclusion almost instantly after realising his existing insurer had not once asked if he completed specialist cleaning such as duct/ventilation cleans, nor had they asked if he was a member of any trade associations or followed any particular guidelines.

He was aware our policy would be more expensive, but by this point he was keen to continue the conversation. The advice and information I had offered across a 10-minute telephone conversation exceeded anything his existing provider had ever given him.

He knew he was insured incorrectly, and requested I obtain a quotation to cover his general cleaning as well as his specialist cleaning.


The Solution

After several conversations across emails and by phone, I obtained the potential client a quotation costing over £1500. Keep in mind he was paying around £200 before. This is an incredible hike in price, especially for a client with a turnover of between £100,000-£200,000.

He asked me to send a formal quotation so he could read through all of the information and the terms/conditions. I agreed and immediately sent it across.

I do not like to hound prospective clients, so I left him to think over for a couple of days. When he did not respond, I tried to call him but the line went unanswered. I then sent an email, but still received no response. I eventually managed to catch him on the phone, where he advised he had received an alternative quotation for £900 from another insurer which was covering him for everything, including the duct/ventilation cleans. I politely requested to see a copy of this quotation.

We had been nothing but honest with each other since we first spoke, so he happily consented and sent it across to me to review.

I looked over the quotation and noted that the insurer was both regulated and very well-known within the market. The problem was that the business description noted the client simply as a ‘Cleaning Contractors’. It did not denote any specialist duct, ventilation or kitchen deep cleaning, nor anything along the lines of what the client carried out.

I called the client and told him of my concerns. He acknowledged and said he would look into it and come back to me.

He called me the next day and confirmed the second quotation did NOT cover him for everything he needed it to. Without my advice, he would have purchased an insurance policy which did not cover him correctly.

He later came back to me with yet a third quotation. The quotation provided to him was significantly cheaper than ours, however upon closer inspection I noticed that the insurance provider was largely unknown, and the policy was even underwritten by an off-shore insurer. The prospect had absolutely no idea who the underlying insurer was, nor the dangers and consequences of being covered by an insurer based off-shore. I explained the potential ramifications, at which point he once again thanked for my help and said he would get back to me.


The Result

The client finally agreed that the quotation put forward by myself was superb and would cover him for all his work, and at a competitive price.

I was happy to place the cover for him. Not only does my client now have the peace of mind that he is covered correctly, but he has an insurance policy placed through a broker who is available any time to give advice or help.

The prospect has now been on cover for many months. A testimonial from the client himself is below regarding the rollercoaster ride we had.



“I would and will definitely recommend Tom to all ventilation & duct cleaning contractors looking for the unique insurance cover that our industry requires. Tom’s knowledge of the sector and ultimately the services he provided is very impressive.

Tom managed to identify gaps in our previous cover which certainly left us exposed and did not provide the relevant cover for all of our services. I now have peace of mind and a tailored package of Employers’ & Public Liability that provides the full cover we need.

I would recommend Tom to anyone in the industry.”

Imad El Faour

Company Director 

In the Unfortunate Event of A Claim

Insurance is bought for protection, whether it is a legal requirement or a personal requirement, and we all hope to never use the policy we have paid for. However, in the unfortunate event of a claim, we thought it might be useful for you to understand the steps which you can take to assist you further.

Information and documentation that may be required when reporting a new claim:
The date the incident occurred, or if unknown, the date of discovery.
Circumstances of the incident, with as much detailed information as possible.
Photographic evidence of the damage if available.
Two alternative estimates for the necessary repairs. Where possible these should be on headed paper including a breakdown of the costs between labour, materials and any equipment used such as scaffolding.
If the claim is for loss of contents, then copies of original receipts and replacement estimates will prove how much you originally paid for those specific items.
The contractors and suppliers comments on the cause of the damage.
Confirmation if you are able to reclaim VAT and, if so, what proportion.
Payment preference. If this was made by BACS transfer, we will require an account name, number and sort code.
Contact details of any third party involved.

When there has been malicious damage/ accidental loss of contents/ theft or attempted theft claims, insurers may also ask for a crime reference number or lost property number (supplied by the police).

Key points to remember
If there has been any damage or incident which may give rise to a claim, this should be reported immediately.
If the claim relates to an escape of water, it is recommended that the failed pipe or component is kept for inspection. (The reason being that it may be necessary to confirm cover or assist in pursuing a recovery).

The Insurers Process
Ecclesiastical Insurance are a specialist insurance company with 130 years of experience offering honest advice, trusted expertise and a caring approach to protection. Ecclesiastical underwrite our dental laboratory policies, and we have found that they are fantastic at offering full support when handling a claim.
When making a claim, the claimant’s solicitor will either ask you for Ecclesiastical’s details or they will send you a Claim Notification Form.
Ecclesiastical will then have one working day to acknowledge receipt.
– If the claim is made by an employee, then Ecclesiastical will have 30 days to decide whether you are liable/responsible.
– If the claim is made by someone who is not an employee, Ecclesiastical will have 40 days to decide whether you are liable/responsible.

Should you have any further questions regarding any of the above, please come and see me at the DTS on Saturday the 19th May where I will be joining the DLA and will be more than happy to help with any enquiries. Alternatively, you can contact me on 01634 662948 or email cstillwell@ukspecialrisks.co.uk.

What is indemnity to principal insurance?

An Indemnity to Principle clause is included in most liability insurance policies and is often a requirement which is stipulated in contracts. Indemnity to Principles is usually found in insurance cover for contractors and is particularly prominent in the construction industry. However, despite its wide-spread application, it remains a clause which is often not fully understood.

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Top 100 Independent Brokers of 2017

We are very proud to announce that UK Special Risks are now officially recognised as one of the Top 100 Independent Brokers of 2017 by Insurance Age.

This is the first time we have submitted our business UKSR for the Top 100 Insurance Broker Awards and we are delighted that our rapid growth and continuing development has been recognised. We will now strive to continue our success and growth whilst maintaining our independent status which enables us to put our client’s interests first.

Specialist Insurance for Blasting, Jetting & Pressure Washing

Blasting, jetting & pressure washing are hazardous activities and carry with them an inherent risk to both people and property. It is therefore imperative your insurance protection is adequate for the work you undertake. Insurance can be a complex topic, which is why we explain your cover clearly and without using jargon.

We have over 10 years’ experience in the industry and have capacity to quote on the following:

• Pressure Washers / Water Jetting.
• Sandblasting – Shot Blasting / Grit Blasting.
• Dry Ice and CO2 Blasting.

Important areas for consideration:

• Treatment Risk / Damage to Property Being Worked Upon – although this is a standard exclusion under most policy wordings, we view this as essential cover for blast cleaners as damage or allegations of damage to the item being worked upon can be common.
• Cover for customer goods which have been removed from their premises.
• If you use sub-contractors, what is the nature of your relationship with them?
• Do you require cover for work in confined spaces?
• Do you require cover for industrial cleaning?
• Do you work at Heights or Depths?
• Additional covers are also available for: Directors and Officers Liability, Theft by Employees, and Loss of Business Claims (Financial Losses) from your customers.

We won Schemes Intermediary of the Year 2011 at the National Broker Awards thanks to our detailed understanding of specific industries and combining this with our experience and expertise in insurance.

We are happy to advise, recommend and quote on the following:

• Employers’ Liability.
• Public / Products Liability.
• Motor Fleet including tankers and fitted jetting equipment.
• Property including owned jetting equipment / customer’s goods / own premises.
• Professional Indemnity.
• Directors and Officers Liability.
• Legal Expenses.

It is important that you take out the right cover at the right price, so speak to our specialists who understand the industry.

We are happy to consider and quote on every type of blasting contractor, and relish the chance to work on something outside the ordinary.

Call Andy at UK Special Risks on 01634 662913 to discuss your business, cover requirements and to obtain your quotation.