More times than I can remember we have been asked the age old question ‘Does my insurance company have to carry out my examinations?’. The simple answer is NO!

For a number of years we have heard our customers say that their insurance company will not cover them if the examinations are not carried out by one of their inspectors. Despite the reduction in quality many have felt pressure from management to move to the insurance companies for this very reason.

Due to this common misconception we decided to go to an independent insurance broker and find out more.

Paul Schofield of Donald Schofield (Pontefract) Ltd has kindly researched this for us and below are his findings:

‘Typically an insurance industry standard ‘Commercial Combined’ insurance policy would look to provide insurance perils to cover contents/plant/machinery and all other fixtures & fittings which would include (if selected by the insured) inspection items such as pressure system/ vessels etc. This policy type and cover though would be for wider insurance peril covers such as fire, malicious damage, water ingress etc, etc  – and not any inspection of such specified items unless selected by the policyholder.

There is no automatic standard insurance policy cover on a Commercial Combined policy for any inspection of pressure systems/ vessels or similar items at an insured’s premises. This would be a separate bespoke insurance policy known as ‘Engineering Inspection’ – and this would include (amongst other areas of optional cover extensions) – inspection of any plant/machinery etc, etc.

It is ultimately the responsibility of the policyholder to be clear and certain on what items of plant/machinery/ equipment they have and the regulatory Health & Safety inspection requirements of those items. Policyholders should be clear of the compliant nature that this issue relates and to further ensure that their needs and demands are correct for the purposes of such insurance requirements. This information would be readily available on various related online portals.

Once the policyholder has established what items they need inspecting along with frequency, then at that point they need to make arrangements for ‘Engineering Inspection Insurance of those items – at least to be compliant with H&S requirements in the workplace and the policyholder’s duty of care toward safeguarding of employees who may be using the equipment. Examples – hydraulic lifting equipment in MOT bays and passenger lifts in apartments/ office buildings etc.

Engineering Inspection could be arranged as a ‘bolt on’ to an insured’s existing policy – if an insured was looking to keep it under ‘one roof’ etc. However it is not compulsory that it needs to be added to their own existing policy. There are often specialist Engineering Inspection policies and covers within the market place – which can be more premium cost competitive and provide a more efficient time scale for inspection turnaround as this is 100% purely their field of expertise.’

Do you know how much of your insurance premium covers the vessel?

After a recent seminar with BCAS (British Compressed air Society) Matthew, Head of Engineering, discovered that just 15% of an Engineering Inspection premium is for the insurance of a vessel. The remaining 85% of the premium is for an engineer to attend site and carry out the inspection. This does not take into account the potential costs of a 3rd party, such as a service provider or staff member, to prepare the system for inspection.

What are the benefits of using an independent company?

As a family run business each member of the team is passionate about the work we do and strive to offer the best service, to give our clients that warm and friendly welcome at each call.

Mandate’s number one priority is safety. The service runs in line with the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) ‘Pressure System Safety Regulations (2000) but more importantly promotes a safe working area, so each and every person can go home the way they came to work.

As a client you can enjoy many benefits of our service.

  • Inclusion of the whole pressure system, covering protective devices and all associated pipework.
  • System drawings, allowing for ease in location, especially in larger factories.
  • Documentation is stored electronically online and is fully accessible 24/7 via a secure access code and password.
  • Because we are not associated with any other party the advice supplied by a member of the team is 100% independent and no hidden costs will pop out of the woodwork.

Amber and Louise are excited to speak with you and find out how we can assist you in your legal obligations. Call us on 0845 126 0307.