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Feb 2 17

11 Tips to Stay Safe on the Ski Slopes

by Juliet Allan

ski-2If you’re skiing at half term, take a minute to make sure your travel insurance is all in order – and make time to talk through some winter sports safety points* with your family or group.

Despite the safe ‘bubble’ feeling on the slopes these days, you’re still at the mercy of the elements and the weather – and as we’ve seen recently, accidents and avalanches are a real threat.

Even the most competent skiers and snowboarders can be involved in collisions or accidents. Read our top tips for staying safe on the slopes*:

  1. Take out the right winter sports travel insurance package and keep hold of your travel insurance medical emergency helpline number – as well as your policy number. Our Chubb and AIG policies include Winter Sports – with others it’s an option.
  2. Make sure your skiing or boarding equipment, whether your own or hired, is in good order. It should fit your height, weight and skill level.
  3. Wear protective headgear or a helmet – make helmets mandatory for your children.
  4. Take lessons if you’ve never skied before. If you haven’t been on the piste for a while, a lesson or two will polish up your skills.
  5. Remember that skiers or boarders in front or below you on the piste have right of way.
  6. Know your limits – ski or snowboard to your skill level.
  7. Respect the mountain and obey all warning signs – especially during avalanche season.
  8. Never go off-piste unless you are authorised to do so by the resort. Your insurance won’t cover off-piste skiing unless you’re accompanied by a qualified guide.
  9. Carry a fully-charged mobile phone with you.
  10. Don’t drink and ski. A glass of wine or beer with your lunch is fine, but excess alcohol will slow your reactions and affect your observation and balance.
  11. Remember to take an EHIC card. It still offers state-provided emergency medical treatment in EEA countries.

Many of La Playa’s home policies include winter sports travel insurance, but do check – and be aware that if you go off piste, you’re not covered!

Happy ski-ing!

To talk through your travel or home insurance, contact  our advice is always free and without obligation.

*with thanks to Aviva

Feb 2 17

How Could Terrorism Affect Your Organisation This Year?

by Juliet Allan

With political and economic dynamics hotting up globally, it’s a good time to check you have the right insurance protection against the threat of Terrorism.

Tracey McCreath, Director of Media, Arts & Entertainment

Tracey McCreath, Director of Media, Arts & Entertainment

Terrorism is rarely confined to government or military targets – all public venues and transit routes are considered fair game. Your organisation could be affected not only by a terrorism incident but also by a threat or false alarm. If roads are closed or access restricted, that could hit your income – and without separate Terrorism cover, your insurance is unlikely to cover it.

How Terrorism Insurance Works
For some time now, UK insurers have been unwilling to provide full cover for loss, damage or interruption due to terrorism – preferring instead to pass on the majority of such risks to Pool Re, the government-backed terrorism insurance programme.

Most insurers providing commercial property and consequential loss insurance (more commonly referred to as business interruption) in the UK are members of Pool Re and can offer terrorism cover to any client who requests it, as part of the relevant commercial policy they issue.

***But Terrorism Insurance has to be bought separately***

If you don’t have Terrorism Insurance and would like a quote, or if you’re unsure if your current policy covers terrorism, contact: Tracey McCreath  Our advice is always free and without obligation.

Feb 2 17

Clinical Trials Insurance

by Juliet Allan

If you’re involved in or considering clinical trials, insurance is one thing worth understanding.Hanna Beaumont black & white.JPG small

What if…

…unforeseen risks result in participants being harmed – perhaps requiring life-long medical care?
…the participants (or their dependents) demand compensation?
…participants reject the compensation guideliness and sue you independently for greater damages?


Unforeseen risks are inherent in medical research. Read on to understand how Clinical Trials Liability Insurance works and how you can reduce your risks.


Because clinical trials are conducted on human volunteers, rigorous controls and procedures must be in place to ensure the wellbeing of the participants. The developer or “sponsor” may conduct the trial themselves or engage a Clinical Investigator or CRO (Contract Research Organisation) to do it for them.

Specialist insurance is a vital piece of the jigsaw – and usually a regulatory or contractual requirement. Clinical Trials Liability Insurance is designed to provide financial protection for those conducting the trials and to provide compensation for the trial participants in the event they suffer harm.

How does Clinical Trials Insurance work?

Clinical Trials Liability Insurance is only available from specialist insurers. The policy provides protection in two ways:

  1. Negligent harm to trial participants: caused as a result of negligence, lack of due diligence/care on the part of the sponsor, investigator or CRO. The policy pays for legal costs & expenses and compensation or “damages” awarded to the participant.
  2. Non-negligent harm (or “no-fault” compensation): harm with no specifically identified cause, but likely to have arisen from the participant taking part in the research. Participants in clinical trials will inevitably sometimes suffer non-negligent harm, with the expectation of being compensated despite there having been no negligence on the part of the sponsor or CRO. The policy pays compensation in accordance with guidelines set out by competent authorities, such as the Association of British Pharmaceutical Industries.
    How can I manage my risk exposure in trials?

Insurance is only part of the solution. You can take positive steps towards protecting yourself from liability by keeping a close eye on:

  • Avoiding conflicts of interest – for example by reviewing any financial interests the clinical investigators or CRO may have in the drug or device being trialed.
  • The qualifications of the investigators and the make-up of ethics committees or institutional review boards
  • The ethics of participant recruitment techniques
  • The informed consent process
  • Trial monitoring

What information do insurers need to quote? Click here to find out…

For advice on our specialist Clinical Trials Insurance, call Hanna Beaumont T: 01223 200664.  Our advice is alwayHanna Beaumont black & white.JPG smalls free and without obligation.

Feb 2 17

Contracts and Clauses in the Arts: 4 Top Tips

by Juliet Allan

Grappling with contract clauses and legal liabilities can be tricky, but signing contracts with various suppliers, venues and performers is a part of everyday business in the arts.

Some contracts contain clauses that could affect your insurance protection – so it’s important to make sure you’re not exposed to extra risk as a result of signing a particular waiver or clause.


Don't let your contracts make you piggy in the middle...

Don’t let your contracts make you piggy in the middle…

1. The Subrogation Waiver Clause

Some contract terms require that you, or indeed your insurer, waive your rights of subrogation against the other party to the contract – known as a ‘Subrogation Waiver’ clause.

If a claim arises due to the fault of the other party, and it is brought against you rather than them, then you may not be able pass that claim onto them. This is because you’ve agreed to waive your rights of subrogation against them.

Most insurers are not keen on such clauses as they will have to potentially settle the claim without recourse to the negligent party. It’s therefore important that such clauses are declared to your broker before you agree to them.

It may be possible to change the wording of the clause so that such rights of subrogation are not waived in respect of claims which are as a result of the negligence of the other party for personal injury or property damage, so that insurers retain their rights for potential claims that may be made under a public liability policy.

2. Hold Harmless Clause

If you’re signing a contract with a US or International company it may include a contract term known as a Hold harmless clause. Essentially a hold harmless clause means that you may be agreeing to accept all legal liability and responsibility for an action, activity or event and relieve the other party to the contract of any liability with respect to that action, activity or event.

These clauses are common in US contracts and like subrogation waiver clauses to which they are very similar are not popular with insurers.

It may be possible to change the wording of such clauses as per the previous clause but it is essential that such clauses are declared to your insurance company as they are deemed to be a ‘material fact’.

3. Limits of Indemnity

Many contracts will stipulate what limits of indemnity you need to have under your insurance arrangements which may occasionally be higher than you have in place.

Sometimes these levels can seem high in relation to the work that you’re undertaking, or the size of your business. If this is the case, you might be able to amend them – if not then you will need to increase your policy limits with your broker to reflect these requirements.

4. Joint Insured

Finally some contracts may insist on your noting the other party as a ‘Joint Insured’ under your insurance policy. This means that each party shares the same policy, cover, limits and rights to make a claim, however if one party breaches the terms of the policy the other party could be denied cover.

Insurers normally only agree to such a clause if both parties to the contract have a identical interest in the subject matter of the policy which should be borne in mind.

La Playa offers a free contract review service and insurance health-check – just hit ‘reply’ or call Tracey McCreath on 01223 200655.

Feb 2 17

Congrats on the new contract – but what have you let yourself in for?

by Juliet Allan

Are your contracts saddling you with unfair risks?Key Person Insurance

It’s easy to get stuck between a rock and a hard place with supplier/customer contracts; so you need a specialist insurance partner who really understands your work – and a tech-savvy Professional Indemnity policy.

What if…

• Your client sues you when it’s your supplier’s fault?
• You’re sued for breach of contract – perhaps for more than the contract value?
• A dispute over service levels starts to cost you money and impacts your bottom line?
• A high-profile dispute threatens to cause irreparable damage to relationships with existing clients?



Your contracts could be exposing you to a range of risks and liabilities. Here’s how you can mitigate your risk:

1. Don’t over-promise: only promise what you can fulfill

2. Cap it: limit your liability in the contracts

3. Pass it on: If you’re using another party to deliver part of the contract, ensure that the same liabilities are passed down to the person or company who are actually doing the work

4. Get covered: buy Professional Indemnity Insurance

Here’s how La Playa can help:

1. Free contract review: In conjunction with your legal adviser, La Playa can review your contracts and advise on any gaps between contractual liabilities and what can and can’t be protected by an insurance policy.

2. Professional Indemnity Insurance: your real life ‘Ctrl+Z’ for expensive mistakes

It’s important to take proper legal advice on a contract you’re signing – to rule out wriggle room on your claim.

If you’re signing new contracts, let us take the strain of your professional liabilities – remember we offer a FREE contract review alongside Professional Indemnity Insurance that’s tailored for your specific exposures.

Call Hanna Beaumont T: 01223 200664. Our advice is always free and without obligation.

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

read more…

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:

read more…

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

read more…

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.

read more…