Common sense is now compulsory

7 December 2001

Common sense is now compulsory

Insurers are more likely to reject claims if they think you

havent used common sense in avoiding common risks

INSURERS will be clamping down harder in future on policyholders who ignore the importance of risk management and risk reduction.

While these phrases have been around for some years the insurance market is tightening up on claims assessment and is more likely to reject claims where the application of commonsense would have led to a different outcome for an incident or accident, say brokers and consultants.

A typical example is where keys are left in a vehicle and that vehicle is then stolen. While every case will be assessed on its merits, insurers are keener to point out now than in the past that cover may specifically exclude theft under these circumstances and are also more likely to reject a claim.

However, agricultural loss adjuster Nigel Collinson of Phoenix Loss Adjusters says farmers have generally improved security over recent years.

But working practices need to be reviewed to improve safety. Some farm fires are still happening because of a lack of care or risk awareness, he says. Maintenance work with angle grinders is often carried out in close proximity to combustible material, such as straw, and bonfires are left burning unattended. Sparks from fires drift and set fire to other materials and buildings because the original fire was lit in the wrong position or was not watched.

Accidents involving big bale handling are likely to be the cause of more claims in future, predicts Mr Collinson. "Big bales are usually fine when they are stacked, its when you start going into that stack and using the bales that they are more likely to become unstable. One of those falling onto someone can easily cause a death."

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