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Nov 25 16

Rising house prices are causing many to sleepwalk into Inheritance Tax issues

by Marcus Martin

Over the past few years we’ve experienced a worrying trend emerging. House prices have risen dramatically throughout the UK and in particular pockets there has been significant growth. This has led to inheritance tax  issues for many residents – but we’ve found that many people aren’t even aware they’re affected. Even those who are aware don’t know about the IHT solutions available to them, and are failing to maximise the amount of their estate they can pass on to their loved ones upon death.

In this post, we’ll outline how your finances might be affected, and some of the steps you could take to protect them.

IHT Inheritance Tax strategy and solutions

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Nov 11 16

5 Pieces of Armour Every Start-up Needs

by Marcus Martin

When you’re running a start-up, it can feel like there are a million and one things to keep track of! So we’ve put together these top tips to make sure your business stays protected.

Start-up, Start-ups, business insurance, protect your business, risk management,

Don’t let anything hold your start-up back…


  1. Get serious about Cyber Security – don’t bury your head in the sand!

TescoBank, Sage, Kiddicare, TalkTalk, Moonpig, Mumsnet, Staffordshire University, Mumsnet, even HMRC. All hacked, with serious reputational implications, and costs running well into the millions. But the latest Government Security Breaches Survey shows that hackers are increasingly targeting SMEs, finding that a staggering 74% reported a security breach in the past year.

Cyber Risks Insurance gives you the peace of mind that you have proper protection in the event of a Cyber Attack. With the new General Data Protection Regulation bringing fines of up to €20m, it’s no longer worth the gamble. The regulator expects you to take cyber security as seriously as they do.


  1. Take care of your workforce

Becoming an employer is a big step for any start-up; you’re suddenly liable for a whole host of stuff you weren’t before. It’s important to make sure you’re protected in case an employee ever takes you to court – or if you ever have to sue them for fraud or theft. Getting covered with Employers’ Liability (a legal requirement), and Directors’ and Officers’ liability is a great first step. You’re now also required to auto-enrol your employees in a pension scheme, and pay into it (don’t worry, we can help with that too).


  1. Protect your intellectual property

Whether you’re creating original design content or working on new technology, your original output is the lifeblood of your business. Intellectual property is an umbrella term for your original creations, covering things like your brand name, product names, inventions, the design or look of your products, and things you write or produce.

Standard IP insurance allows you to defend your business when someone claims you’ve infringed their IP. Much better IP insurance will give you additional protection: the financial resources to legally prosecute anyone who infringes your intellectual property. Could you afford to defend against an IP lawsuit? Could your business survive someone stealing your ideas and out-scaling you? IP insurance can be expensive, but with good reason: just bringing an IP infringement case to court in the UK can cost £350,000. Worse still, if you’re trading internationally you could be sued in the US, where the average cost of a patent lawsuit is around $2m. Such sums are enough to cripple most firms that didn’t buy insurance.


  1. Look risk in the face

Name it and nail it. It’s generally thought that the best entrepreneurs are big daring risk-takers. Not so. They’re calculated risk takers, just like us. Minimising your business risks can maximise your start-up’s chances of success. Common risks for start-ups can be business interruption (power outages, down-times etc), loss of property or vital data, or insurmountable legal costs (even when you’ve done nothing wrong!).

The good news is, you can mitigate a vast number of these with insurance, which will take the hit for you if something goes wrong. (Legal fees really are the big one to avoid!)


  1. Don’t get caught in the crossfire with suppliers

Your business is in the middle. You’re sandwiched between your suppliers and your customers. If you’re a software or design company, a supplier could be your internet provider, or a cloud server, or perhaps you’re creating a physical product and are working with material suppliers. Either way, if your supplier goes under at the wrong moment, it can be catastrophic for any business. Having supply chain insurance means you can avoid becoming collateral in someone else’s meltdown, and keep your start-up on track.


For a speedy, easy, comprehensive solution to your start-up’s insurance needs, check out Our flexible Pay-As-You-Go premiums start from £46 per month and you can cancel anytime. Our solutions are always scale-able too, and can adapt to your business’s growing needs – with minimal hassle to you. To talk to one of our experts directly, call Hanna Beaumont on 01223 200664 or email

La Playa: Insurance with Intelligence 

Aug 8 16

Taming the tech unicorn: staying in control while you scale-up

by Marcus Martin

“Grow fast or die slow” – technology is an industry where scalability is often the key to spectacular value growth. Just look at Uber, the taxi service that’s gone from zero to a market cap of $62 billion in 7 short years.

But how do you manage high-growth in the tech sector? How can you respond to huge market demand with agility, intelligence and sustainability? How do you tame the tech unicorn?

When you’re busy planning to succeed, don’t overlook the need to prepare for a crisis. There’s one area of operations – often overlooked and seldom prioritized – that all tech entrepreneurs must grapple with and which requires specialized advice: insurance.

Risk management board meeting

In your hurry to take advantage of a burgeoning market for your tech services, are you keeping on top of your changing risk exposures? If you’ve been guilty of paying lip service to insurance, it’s high time you review where your real risk lies. One or more of these elements might prompt some soul-searching:

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Jun 28 16

Signing contracts with companies overseas?

by Marcus Martin

If you’re signing overseas contracts – contracts with an overseas venue, collaborator, publisher or artist – you’ll want to make sure you have the best protection for your organisation.

But having the right cover isn’t always straightforward. Many organisations can find themselves constricted by geographical and jurisdictional clauses, which can lead to complicated and messy claims – read on to find out how to avoid onerous clauses and ensure your organisation has the full protection it deserves.

Overseas contracts for arts organisations

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Jun 23 16

Sleepwalking into a pension problem?

by Marcus Martin

Are your company directors missing a trick – still paying tax on life insurance through a ‘Death in Service’ scheme?

Tax problems over-payment inefficient death in service scheme

New pension rules mean that tax could be deducted at 55% from a large chunk of a Death in Service payment – a particularly acute problem for your higher earners. But there is a tax efficient solution – read on to find out more.

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Jun 23 16

Art & Jewellery – State of the Nation

by Marcus Martin

I thought you’d like to see the headlines of this year’s art and jewellery May auctions from our friends at Gurr Johns. If you’re thinking of buying or selling this year their advice may prove particularly helpful – and the trends may affect your valuation.

Is there a turning tide in the art market? What’s behind a $1.6bn drop in auction sales in 2016? How is this caution affecting the jewellery market – and what are the headline acts in jewellery?

Discover what’s making the world of fine art and jewellery tick – read on for more…

Jewellery and Art auction valuation advice

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May 20 16

Could ‘damp squib’ weather hit your event income?

by Marcus Martin

At this time of year, event organisers start to bite nails and pray for good weather. Cancellation Insurance – to buy or not to buy? And when to buy? But now there’s an alternative way to fine-tune your protection against bad weather:

• Traditional Cancellation Insurance – for calling the whole thing off
Reduced Income Insurance – for ‘damp squib’ scenarios

Wet weather



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May 20 16

An Introduction to La Playa Wealth: Investing with Intelligence

by Marcus Martin

Have your investments lost money this year? Is this because your investment managers are not proactive – leaving you invested in the markets despite evidence that they may be about to sustain losses?

At La Playa Wealth our approach is different. On 6 January 2016, we took the decision to move our clients’ money out of risk assets to protect their capital. Since then we’ve seen a substantial sell-off within the global markets, with many of our competitors losing around 8% since the start of the year (see chart).

By taking this decision we’ve been able to shelter our clients from the misery of a large capital loss – you know that sinking feeling as you watch the news headlines? When we feel the time is right, we’ll move back in to try and capture the upside. This proactive approach has had a significant effect on the performance of our portfolios (see chart) – as well as on the sanity of our clients!

La Playa funds performance* 

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May 20 16

Where’s the weak link in your operations?

by Marcus Martin

Supply chain failure is a significant threat to operational viability for companies in high tech manufacturing, pharmaceutical development, contract research, device development and emerging technology.

How closely have you analysed your reliance on suppliers? Do you know the potential failure points in your operations?

An interruption in the supply of a key component or service could have a devastating impact on your bottom line. How do you insure against loss occurring in your supply chain?

Supply chain failure


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May 3 16

Arts organisations and National Mourning – are you covered at home? On tour?

by Marcus Martin

National mourning has become a sad and more frequent fact of life, as these recent headlines attest:

  • Belgium declares 3 days of national mourning for recent terrorist metro and airport attacks
  • Spain declares 3 days of national mourning following French Alps air crash
  • France has 2 days of national mourning for the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris
  • Santiago train crash: Spain declares 3 days of national mourning
  • Sabah earthquake: Singapore announces day of mourning

National Mourning flowers

When the worst happens, a nation must be able to take the time it needs to grieve and come together to support one another through difficult times. Limiting the consequences of tragic events is an important part of this.

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