Some insurance companies are now demanding that their Customers do more than comply with the basic requirements of the law.
Insurers are including more onerous compliance requirements in their policies with many clauses relating to Health & Safety and Fire legislation. Some are also asking for specific industry guidance to be followed.
One contractor thought they were on top of compliance but had a shock when they were visited by an assessor appointed by their insurer. They stated that in addition to compliance with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (FSO), for their insurance cover to be valid they must implement arrangements in line with the Joint Code of Practice on the Protection from Fire of Construction Sites and Buildings Undergoing Renovation (the code).
They were reminded of the following statement, which is included in section two of the code: “If compliance with this code forms part of the insurance contract, non-compliance with this Code could possibly result in insurance ceasing to be available or being withdrawn, resulting in a possible breach of a construction contract which requires the provision of such insurance”.
This means that failure to comply with the code could not only result in your cover being invalid, but lead to significant contractual issues for the contractor.
The Code includes more definitive requirements that are focused on building protection, as opposed to protection of life (which is the primary focus of the FSO).
There is greater focus on isolation of services when the premises are unoccupied and the use of non-flammable materials etc.
Make sure you are fully aware of all the Terms & Conditions set out in your policy.