Monday, 18 June 2018

Clive Gamlin represents Team GB at IPSC Shotgun Worlds

It’s great to be back at work after an intense six days competing for Team GB in the IPSC Shotgun World Championship III in Chateauroux, France. The championships are held every 3 years and consist of 30 stages over 6 days and competition was fierce, with the best of the worlds’ competitors from 40 Countries taking part. The facilities in France were amazing and the weather stayed dry for the most part.

Team GB did brilliantly, with individual medals for Josh Kenny Bronze in Standard and Iain Guy Bronze in Standard Manual Senior. Team GB also won an amazing four team medals; Silver Standard Manual Senior Team, Bronze Standard Team, Bronze Open Team and Bronze Ladies Standard Team.

It was a wonderful experience, catching up with old friends and making new ones.  I am so proud to have represented by country, but it was also a great source of pride that my son Christopher was also in Team GB coming 32nd overall in Standard Division out of 230 competitors.  My only sight disappointment was that my team, Senior Standard, narrowly missed out on a bronze medal (by a hair’s breadth of 30 points - out of over 4,500!) Still, it’s spurred me on for the next one in 2021!

I would like to thank Castlemead Insurance Brokers for sponsoring Chris and I and the UKPSA would like to thank Team GB sponsors:

  • Carlisle Small Arms Club
  • Worcester Norton Shooting Club
  • Aimpoint
  • Eley Hawk
  • Magload
  • Brownells UK
  • Shield Sights
  • High Speed Gear
  • Chosen Tactical
  • Lasting Classics
  • Master Class Custom Guns
  • Practical Shooting Supplies
  • 5.11 Tactical
  • Teague Precision Chokes

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Why it’s so important to work with an independent insurance broker for your commercial insurance

Firstly, let’s qualify what we mean by ‘independent’. There has been considerable consolidation within our sector over recent years with larger brokers buying smaller brokers and insurers acquiring brokers. An independent insurance broker is one which is not owned or part-owned by an insurer or another broker.

The key benefit of working with an independent broker is that they can scour the whole market for the right insurance cover for your business. They are not tied to a panel of insurers and can act independently on your behalf.


They will have an in-depth knowledge of the nuances in policy wording for each insurer and be able to advise you on the best cover for your business. Because they are not under pressure to place more business with one insurer over another, an independent will be able to give you a practical view on exactly what you are getting for your premium. They will also advise on what action you need to take to ensure you comply with the policy wording.

Help when you need it most

An independent broker will have experience of dealing with most insurers and will be well placed to advise on how best to manage the claim if you ever need to. A good one will work with you to put the claim together and be present with you at any insurer visits.

Due diligence

An independent broker will act on your behalf without the pressure of commercial arrangements.  You need to work with a broker who only ever places cover with financially stable insurance companies. Afterall, if you ever need to make a claim, you need to ensure your insurer is in a position to settle the claim when you need them to. 

Friday, 17 November 2017

Proud to sponsor the Best Hotel Group category at the Best Loved Hotels Awards

Our Director, Clive Gamlin attended the Best Loved Hotel Awards this week at Tewkesbury Park Hotel to present the award for the Best Hotel Group winner. 

It was a fantastic evening and many congratulations to the Devonshire Hotel and Restaurants Group for their well-deserved win.

Best Loved Hotel Awards are designed to celebrate and showcase excellence across Best Loved properties throughout Britain and Ireland. As we look after the insurance for many clients in this sector, we know just how much hard work goes into delivering the very best customer experience for guests.

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees, it was an honour to be there and to sponsor the Best Hotel Group category. 

Monday, 13 November 2017

Beware the danger of assumptions. Why you need to be clear on your commercial insurance cover.

We all know the phrase ‘assume’ makes an ‘ass out of u and me’. When securing commercial insurance cover, it often happens that cover is arranged based on certain assumptions by you, your insurer and your broker.
Your broker will assume:
  • -          you’ve given full disclosure
  • -          you will read the policy documentation
  • -          you will comply with all the terms of your insurance policy

The insurer assumes:
  • -          you comply with all regulations
  • -          your premises are secure and your alarms, lock and electrics are all British Standard.
  • -          All plant, machinery and buildings are maintained and in a good state of repair.

As the client, you naturally assume that your broker has done all that is necessary to ensure that you have the right commercial insurance cover for your business. However, it’s important that you understand what your broker has recommended and why. Afterall, if something goes wrong and you need to make a claim, you do not want any nasty surprises.

So how do you ensure you have the right level of commercial insurance?

  • -          Make sure your broker has taken the time to visit your business premises and identify the risks.
  • -          When your broker comes back with a quote, make sure he or she takes the time to explain exactly what is covered and why.
  • -         Remember, there are no stupid questions. The only stupid ones are the ones you didn’t ask. Ask your broker to explain the documentation to you. It’s important you understand exactly what you are covered for and what you are not.
  • -          Be realistic on price, cheap insurance, generally means cheap cover. You need to work with your broker to understand what is worth paying for to ensure full protection and what you might be willing to compromise on.

If your broker hasn’t visited you or walked you through your policy documentation, it is highly likely that there have been assumptions made. And the last thing you want is to find out these assumptions are wrong when it comes to making a claim.

If you have any concerns about your commercial insurance, please speak to the Castlemead team.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Underinsurance, what is it and what could it mean for your business?

As a commercial insurance broker, we arrange insurance for clients in many sectors. When reviewing client’s insurance cover for the first time, we often find they are underinsured.  This post will help you understand what this is and what it means for your business.

What is underinsurance?

This is when the sum insured for your plant, machinery, buildings etc is inadequate. 

For example, the reinstatement value of your buildings is £400k but they are insured for £200k. Now imagine there has been damage to the tune of £100k and you now need to put a claim in for that amount to make the necessary repairs. The insurer will reduce the claim by 50% because you are underinsured by 50%. This is known as the average clause and it applies to almost all insurance policies.

In this scenario, you will have to find the other £50k to make the repairs. If you do not have access to this sum, you run the risk of impacting the day to day running of your business because you can’t make the repairs straight away. Even if you do have access to the amount required, this means that there is less money to invest in your business. Or in the worst-case scenario, your business can’t survive this loss.

Buying insurance is often a very cost-driven activity and if we’re honest, it can feel like a bit of a chore. But it’s so important to ensure you have the right level of cover should the worst happen. The saving you might make by not having proper and adequate cover is marginal compared to the potential cost of covering the insurance gap when you need to claim.

What happens if you think you are underinsured?

Our advice is to speak to your broker and ask them to review your policy with you. If you’re worried, we can conduct an independent audit of your insurance to help you identify whether you may be underinsured and what action you need to take. Find out more about our audit service.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Flood Re – Innovation within a conservative Industry!

Following approval from the Prudential Regulatory Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority, Flood Re opened for business on the 4 April 2016.

Flood Re was established to provide affordable cover for households located in high risk flood zones. Access to Flood Re is not available to commercial properties and businesses and house built after 2009.

Under previous agreements between the Government and members of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) flood cover was available. However in many situations the cost and terms were prohibitive leaving those who suffered flooding in a position where they couldn’t move to another Insurer.

The ABI and the Government recognised this lack of competition in the marketplace and hence Flood Re was created as a non-profit reinsurer, owned and managed by the Insurance Industry.

How it works is quite simple. Flood Re will take on the flood risk element of a household policy from the Insurer. In return the Insurer will pay a premium based on the properties council tax band. Furthermore Flood Re will charge the Insurer an excess of £250.

In addition Insurers will each contribute to the Flood Re pot by way of a levy of £180m in total to subsidise the venture.

This allows Flood Re to charge a ‘below market’ premium which is affordable to the consumer with sensible excesses.

The Home owner will not deal directly with Flood Re but with their Insurer in the normal way that will process any claim and be reimbursed by Flood Re.

Flood Re estimate that there are approximately 350,000 households at risk of flooding in the UK therefore this initiative has to be welcomed and will ease the worry and concern of those affected.
A word of warning to the wise.  This is a temporary measure and will cease in 2039 at which stage the market will revert to risk reflective pricing. In the meantime a lot has to be done to reduce the cost of flooding and mitigate future risks.

At this stage there does not appear to be any ‘road map’ outlining how or what will be done to transition. If nothing is done and the Industry and Government just sit on their hands we will revert to the status quo pre Flood Re.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Floods in Cumbria

Few things are more miserable than a flood. One cannot but sympathise with the people of Cumbria on the recent devastation left in the wake of storm ‘Desmond’.

Initial estimates by PwC predict damage could hit £400m to £450m with approximately £250m of this paid by the Insurance Industry in claims.

The Cumbria floods in 2009 caused damage totalling £275m including £175m paid by Insurers.
Across the UK in 2007 flood damage totaled £3.5bn of which £3bn was paid in claims.

These are staggering numbers yet the human hardship and suffering floods like this cause cannot be financially compensated for. The destroyed photos, personal mementos, business records and files. These are the things that make a house a home, a workplace a business and they cannot be replaced.
Properly arranged insurance can ensure that the material damage is made good and the financial loss as a result of the interruption is recovered.

However, many businesses fail to satisfactorily get to this point. The required compensation will only be met if the work has been done in advance. This demands a rigorous approach to arranging insurances combined with ongoing risk management supplemented by a good disaster recovery plan.
It’s at a time like this when a competent broker proves his worth.

At Castlemead Insurance Brokers, we take the time to advise on and arrange insurance cover that will robustly withstand a claim and successfully deliver that critical settlement. This is backed up by our dedicated claims handling unit who assist at every stage of the process.

If you would like advice on Flood Risk Management or a second opinion on your Insurance arrangements, please do not hesitate to contact us