The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and Pool Re have collaborated with numerous government departments and other industry experts to launch a new and comprehensive guide on terrorism insurance, tailored to support brokers’ understanding of this risk class and with an aim to increase the take-up of this class of insurance.
Undoubtedly, since Pool Re was launched in 1993, largely as a result of attacks by the IRA on the UK mainland, the risk of terrorism has changed dramatically. Current threats see the rise of ‘lone-wolf’ attacks, potential use of chemical and biological agents, cyber-attacks and the weaponising of vehicles. No longer can businesses expect to escape the effects of an attack just because they are not located in a high-profile building or a major city.
Yet the take up of widely available terrorism insurance is low. Less than 3% of SME businesses buy any terrorism cover at all. The new BIBA guide highlights why terrorism insurance is important to businesses and will enhance understanding of the risk of terrorism, helping insurance brokers to help their clients make an informed decision about the insurance protection they need.
A highly practical tool for brokers the guide includes information about Pool Re and other insurance providers as well as the different types of terrorism insurance available to businesses. In addition, there are tips and advice on how a client can assess their vulnerability and build resilience into their business to complement appropriate insurance.
The guide describes how the Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Act has allowed Pool Re to expand its remit to provide cover for ‘Non-Damage Business Interruption’, closing a significant terrorism insurance gap for UK business, and giving confidence that businesses can continue to trade and provide services within their communities.
Graeme Trudgill, BIBA Executive Director said: “Now that legislation has enabled Pool Re to extend its remit and expand its cover options to include cyber terrorism there is more capacity for terrorism insurance. We need to increase awareness of the risks of terrorism to businesses and especially SMEs. Businesses whose trading is affected by an incident can turn to insurance to help them get back on their feet. This guide will play an important part in helping insurance brokers to help companies understand the benefits of terrorism insurance and, in turn, increase the resilience of UK businesses, strengthening the economy.”
Julian Enoizi, Pool Re Chief Executive added: “Pool Re was delighted to be the key contributor and sponsor of the BIBA Terrorism Insurance Guide. We recognise the vital role insurance brokers play in ensuring commercial policyholders obtain the most appropriate insurance cover for their business. This guide highlights the argument that there are few businesses that can afford not to buy terrorism cover.”
The Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP, Minister of State for Security and Economic Crime said: “The threat of terrorism is ever present and evolving. The aim of Government’s counter-terrorism strategy, CONTEST, is to reduce the risk to the UK, its citizens and interests, so that our people can go freely about their lives with confidence.
“This new guide on terrorism insurance will further our joint aims of improving resilience within UK businesses and its citizens. We know that UK insurance brokers, with their close relations to businesses are well placed to help improve the financial resilience of SMEs in the face of potential attacks.”
The guide is being sent to every BIBA member broker and spearheads a wider campaign by Pool Re and BIBA to broaden the understanding of terrorism insurance and increase its uptake.