Markel, a leading insurance, tax and legal services provider, has developed a new product for the UK construction sector that combines over 30 years of construction PI experience with its highly specialist ECIC capability, delivering a proposition that provides a complete solution to the pain points faced by those in the construction industry. Markel Construction comes with a dedicated 10-man underwriting team led by head of construction underwriting UK, Martin Parker.
“There is a real opportunity in the construction sector for a product that meets both the specialist insurance requirements, and the extended business needs of contractors operating in this space,” said Martin Parker. “Markel Construction delivers what our customers have told us they need, and we are delighted to be announcing the launch of our offering.”
Over 30 hours of qualitative interviews with brokers and end clients reinforced the team’s understanding of the sector’s most pressing current needs, and revealed a number of pain points, including:
· A price-sensitive market with specialist coverage needs
· Difficulty placing PI and PI availability in a package
· Cash-flow and bad-debt fueled by the economic landscape
· Significant increase in disputes and value
· Regulatory uncertainty and health and safety
· Employee relations and wellbeing
With an appetite for a wide range of construction risks, across residential and commercial builders, and building completion and finishing trades, the product offers the full range of covers and extensions to meet policyholder cover requirements. These include fee for intervention, legionella, defective products, efficacy and offsite storage. As well as offering professional indemnity as part of the insurance package, something brokers really voiced as a need in this sector.
To further support customers, Markel Construction will provide unfettered access to in-house legal, tax and HR specialists and a suite of value-added services built exclusively for the construction industry. These will enable policyholders to run their business more effectively, saving time and money and reducing overall risk. This includes supporting with mental health challenges, bad debt and cash flow problems and effective HR and people management and includes:
· DIY legal templates – covering issues such as a contracts, employment and health & safety available via Markel’s Business Hub
· A business and legal helpline – available 24/7 providing access to over 40 qualified solicitors helping with everyday legal and HR issues
· Self-service debt recovery support – aimed at improving vital cash flow through a late-payment calculator and guidance documents
· Collateral warranty reviews – dedicated legal advice for what can be a key secondary contract affecting construction projects
· A stress helpline – available to all employees needing emotional support 24/7
· Project control, risk mitigation and review advice – from a dedicated team of independent construction consultants
The product is technology and data enabled for rapid quoting and policy fulfilment, but as a people-focused business, it comes with dedicated experts who are on hand for brokers needing to discuss any issues with a member of the Markel team. This includes underwriters who are readily available to discuss specific customer risk and cover requirements.
“Markel has a track record of really positive growth by successfully launching and trading products that have been carefully aligned to the needs of customers within a particular sector and backed by specialist teams of underwriters experienced in that sector,” said managing director Neil Galjaard. “We are confident Markel Construction will be the same, supporting brokers in providing a market-leading proposition for their clients.”