Insurance – requirement or rip off…?April 24th 2015
There are numerous ‘key’ areas within the Japanese Knotweed ‘industry’ that everyone gets worked up about. Insurance is a real bone of contention amongst our competitors with many extravagant claims made on various websites as to the quality and length of the policies provided.
Bonded Insurance Policies:
Japanese Knotweed Solutions ltd were THE FIRST company to offer a TEN YEAR INSURANCE BACKED PRODUCT in the field of Japanese Knotweed eradication. Others have followed suit copied the style and cover of the insurance that we first provided. These policies are ‘bonded’ which means that they are covered by a lump of money put to one side to cover the recipient in the case that a claim is required. The length of cover varies but is generally offered as a ten year ‘insurance backed warranty’. Any company offering an ‘in house’ warranty is basically giving you ‘cover’ but with no financial bond provided – this means that if they cease trading – you have no come back or cover provided. Companies offering ‘free’ insurance backed policies are usually lying – ask to see the specific policy documents before you sign anything!
Japanese Knotweed Solutions also allow within the figures that they quote for a series of return visits to site. When using Glyphosate based chemicals, a number of repeat visits are scheduled in – this allows for re-spray of herbicide and provision of a report highlighting any issues/problems and any recommended works required.
Professional Indemnity Cover – or ‘PI’:
Professional indemnity insurance covers for ‘professional advice’ given by a consultant. The level of cover provided can be quoted for on various levels – 1 million/3million/5 million/10 million – each will cost a set fee for a twelve month policy period.
Professional indemnity Policies will not cover a contractor’s work if it is carried out badly – if for example there was re-growth of Japanese Knotweed within hard surfaces a successful claim would have to ‘prove’ that the professional advice given was ‘negligent’.
Many companies offering Japanese Knotweed eradication services make the statement – ‘hard surfaces fully insured for five million pounds’ – this statement refers to Professional Indemnity cover and will NOT ever be subject to a successful claim.
Another major flaw in the Professional Indemnity policy is that cover will only be provided whilst the premium is being paid. Once the premium instalments are unpaid – the policy will cease.
Insurance backed Policies:
Several companies are offering policies which purport to give London based policy cover in event of ceasing to trade. Whilst this may be deemed a responsible stance and the name quoted as ‘Lloyds of London’ may sound impressive it should be noted that this cover would only provide cover in the case of the company no longer being in existence….
In summary I find myself thinking that in most of these cases the chances of getting a policy to actually pay out are incredibly slim.
‘Insurance this’… and ‘insurance that’…. may sound great but really what you want is a reputable company that has a good trading history -
Yes it’s good to have an insurance backed product …but …maybe it’s better to use a company in the first place that won’t require an insurance claim being made?