EXCLUSIVE: Berkeley Alexander launches risk management portal

Michael Lloyd

September 6, 2019

General insurance provider Berkeley Alexander has launched a risk management portal service for brokers and other intermediaries to offer to their business clients.

The service helps businesses to manage all aspects of staff employment and workplace safety.

Geoff Hall, chairman at Berkeley Alexander, said: “There’s a whole library of documents they can use to help with things in their business, for example, some training activity.

“Your employer has a legal responsibility to make sure you’re safe and know certain things. There are lots of sections that help businesses maintain legal and business requirements.

“Every firm in the UK would find this of some use. A lot of them would already be having employment contracts sorted or doing risk management. Firms have to by law and this is a way to help them do it.

“Businesses put in their details and have templates to use. They create documents and then it saves it and businesses have it all in one place.

“We’ve already sold a few of the portals when testing it and it’s gone down very well. Lots of people like the process and idea.”

The service, which is available to all businesses, costs £90 per business including VAT for the year and intermediaries make a 35% commission (net of VAT).

The portal provides step-by-step guidance and the tools they need to maintain best practice and stay compliant in relation to health & safety (H&S), human resources, business continuity and driving at work risk. The e-learning section contains 16 certified self-assessments.

Hall suggested it could help firms in the mortgage space prepare and deal with The Financial Conduct Authority’s Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR).

The regime which aims at making senior managers accountable for their actions and how they influence others, comes into effect on 9 December this year.

Hall added: “It might help firms deal with SMCR in certain areas, for instance IFAs and mortgage brokers have a duty to make sure their customer is looked after.

“If someone has a fire in an office and can’t trade in it for a while, they need a business continuity plan. If they employ staff, they have to ensure the staff are on proper contracts.

“It’ll help with the structural side. Part of the SMCR regime is making sure products offer are suitable, it won’t go that far. The portal is generic and every company in the UK will need aspects of this.

“Networks have duty to ensure ARs have business continuity plans and if they don’t have a robust way to do that this could help. There are situations where the network may feel it helps them fulfill their SMCR requirements and SMCR requirements of AR firms.”

The service will be included as an optional add-on to all commercial general insurance new business and renewals but can also be offered as a stand-alone service, regardless of whether the business has a policy with Berkeley Alexander or not.

Brokers can also buy blocks of insurance cover and provide free access to their commercial clients as part of their added value service. It will soon also be available on a white labelled basis, so intermediaries can offer it under their own brand.

Mark Hutchings, managing director of Berkeley Alexander, said: “We’re delighted with this new risk management service. It’s a powerful, comprehensive tool that clients will really benefit from and value – helping brokers with client retention and loyalty and giving them another all-important USP.

“The Corporate Manslaughter and Homicide Act came into force on 6 April 2008; ever since then defendants must convince the jury that they have taken all care to protect their employees. Are commercial clients aware of their responsibilities?

“For time and cash strapped SMEs in particular this can be a daunting task that dangerously and all too easily gets swept under the carpet.

“This presents brokers with a real opportunity. Our new risk management service will prove an affordable, accessible and long-lasting benefit to their clients’ businesses.”

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