The County Group acquires Douglas Insurance

 

  • Third acquisition this year for the GRP-owned broker
  • Strong acquisition pipeline in place
  • Transaction another step towards doubling the size of County in the next five years.

The County Group Ltd (County) has acquired Douglas Insurance Brokers Ltd (Douglas Insurance). The deal, which has received regulatory approval, is the third by County this year and comes hot on the heels of Guardian (Wigan) in July and Rahon (Derby) in October.

Dave Clapp, founder and CEO of County said: “I am delighted that yet another fantastic business has chosen to join our family. Thanks to the backing and support of GRP, we have a winning formula for vendors and long may it continue.”

Douglas Insurance specialises in commercial risks and is a family-owned business based in Swansea.

Ian Douglas, Managing Director, said: “After starting discussions with Dave earlier in the year and visiting the County HQ in Crewe, I was convinced they are the right fit for our business. I now look forward to working with the whole team over the coming years to build out our presence in Wales.”

Mike Bruce, GRP’s CEO Broking, said: “We knew that County had a strong pipeline when we invested at the beginning of this year, and that investment is paying off with a surge in top and bottom line growth.”

He added: “This latest move takes them another step toward their aim of doubling in size within five years. I warmly welcome Ian and his team to GRP and look forward to a fruitful and successful future with them.”

Dave Clapp explained that County had previously completed three very successful acquisitions in North Wales and, three years ago, opened an office in Cardiff.

He said: “Cardiff has done phenomenally well and we see this venture into Swansea as a natural extension of our current footprint, bringing the capability to service even more customers across Wales.”

The County Group was founded in 2003 by CEO Dave Clapp. County has since grown both organically and through acquisitions, thanks to the Group’s focus on high quality people delivering a great service to its customers. County employs nearly 300 people and won Insurance Broker of the Year at the 2017 BIA Awards. County’s strategy is to continue the development of its branch network by acquiring commercial and community brokers across its region.

Global Risk Partners Limited (GRP) acquires brokers, managing general agents (MGAs) and teams trading in the UK retail and global, specialty, insurance markets. IGRP was established in 2013 by Peter Cullum, chairman and David Margrett, chief executive.

The company has acquired 36 businesses to date and handles in excess of £700m GWP.

For more information on GRP please contact:

Ben Welsh, Certus CC Ltd: 07568 382040

GRP News Archive

16-8-2018

GRP hub Abbey Bond Lovis acquires Digney Grant to boost Northern Ireland footprint

Abbey Bond Lovis (ABL), GRP’s retail broking hub in Northern Ireland, has acquired a majority share in Digney Grant Ltd for an undisclosed fee. The deal has received regulatory approval.

This is the second transaction that ABL has completed as it accelerates its ambitious growth plans in Northern Ireland.  Digney Grant, which has offices in Newry and Banbridge, transacts commercial and personal lines business. The deal is the third transaction for GRP in the last month, bringing the total number of acquisitions to 33, and Gross Written Premium to in excess of £700m.

Maurice Boyd, MD of ABL, said: “We are delighted with this deal and look forward to welcoming Digney Grant’s three directors, Anthony Boden, Sean Grant and Paul Grant and their 21 strong team to the group.   We are looking forward to working in partnership with them and helping Digney Grant’s significant growth plans.”

“Digney Grant is a high quality business with a strong reputation for excellent client service built up over 40 years of trading in its local marketplace.  I am confident their clients will see further benefits from new products and services from ABL/GRP and our relationships with our blue chip insurer partners.”

Paul Grant, Director in Digney Grant, said all three directors and the staff would be staying with the business. “We are all truly excited by the opportunity to grow Digney Grant in partnership with ABL.  The added firepower supplied by the group will enable us to accelerate our development plans in Northern Ireland.”

Mike Bruce, CEO Broking for GRP, welcomed the deal and said the acquisition “once again illustrated the effectiveness of GRP’s hub strategy in encouraging ABL to pursue acquisitions in its local markets where it has a wealth of experience and connectivity.”

He added: “GRP has a strong acquisition pipeline across the UK. Our unique  proposition continues to be highly attractive to broking entrepreneurs looking to crystallise value from their work, while maintaining an ongoing and active role in driving business growth. ” Continue reading

New ‘News’ Thread for GRP Followers

We have now launched our News Thread which can be followed using feed-reading apps and software across a number of platforms.  This will make it easier for our followers to keep informed of the latest changes and developments in GRP Insurance services and across the wider group.  Click on the “News” tab which is located in our main menu and copy the URL into your chosen feed-reading application.

 

The Benefits of Championing Mental Health at Work

At least 1 in 4 people will experience some kind of mental health problem each year, according to the Mental Health Foundation. The mental health crisis has come at a cost to UK businesses as well—research shows 70 million working days are lost each year due to mental health illness, costing employers £33 billion to £42 billion annually. By investing in mental health at your workplace, research shows you can achieve a significant ROI. In fact, improved mental health support can generate between £1.50 and £9 for every £1 spent from reduced turnover, fewer illness absences and increased productivity. Follow these guidelines to champion mental health at your workplace and reap the rewards:

  • Develop mental health awareness among your employees.
  • Encourage conversation about mental health and highlight resources available for those who are struggling, such as a helpline or local support group.
  • Provide your employees with good working conditions, ensuring a healthy work-life balance and opportunities for career growth or personal development.
  • Monitor your employees’ mental health and well-being.

Health and Safety WORSENS in Motor Vehicle Repair

According to recent reports, health and safety in the motor vehicle repair (MVR) industry is an increasing concern—a concern that could be deadly if the proper precautions aren’t considered.

The industry, which employs 200,000 people across the UK, has seen a marked increase in injuries over the past number of years. Injuries have increased so much, in fact, that the fatality rate in the MVR industry is nearly as high as it is in construction. The latest data indicates that, over a five-year period, 7,000 injuries were reported to the HSE and local authorities. Most of these injuries were serious and often the result of easily preventable low-speed collisions between vehicles, buildings and equipment.

While collisions are often low-cost claims for garages, injuries to employees or the public can be much more damaging from an insurance perspective. To prevent such losses, consider doing the following:

  • Enforce speed limits on marked traffic routes.
  • Have a safe system of work procedure in place, which helps reduce the risk of accidents when car engines are on or employees are working under moveable vehicles.
  • Ensure adequate spacing between vehicles to lower the risk of accidently trapping employees.

Naturally there is much more that can be done to keep the chances that one of your team gets injured to a minimum.  Please contact one of our Motor Trade Insurance and Risk Management experts for more information on 01638 596400.

Most Efficient Lorries Will Pay Less Tax in 2019

Beginning February 2019, lorries meeting the most recent Euro 6 emissions standards will be eligible for a 10 per cent reduction in the cost of the heavy goods vehicle (HGV) levy. Lorries that don’t meet the latest emissions standards will be expected to pay 20 per cent more in their HGV levy.

Currently, the HGV levy is up to £10 a day or £1,000 a year, depending on the vehicle’s size and weight. However, the amount of emissions will also be a determining factor for the levy sometime in the future.

The change is a part of the government’s programme to improve air quality and reduce emissions, as lorries with the cleanest emissions produce 80 per cent less nitrogen than dirtier ones, according to the Department for Transport’s research.

What Are the Euro 6 Standards?
The Euro 6 standards apply to all new cars registered after 1 September 2015 and defines acceptable limits for exhaust emissions. The limits are as follows:

Petrol

  • Carbon monoxide: 1.0 g/km
  • Hydrocarbons: 0.10 g/km
  • Nitrogen: 0.06 g/km
  • Particulate matter (direct injection only): 0.005 g/km
  • Particulate matter (direct injection only): 6.0×10^11/km

Diesel

  • Carbon monoxide: 0.5 g/km
  • Hydrocarbons and nitrogen: 0.17 g/km
  • Nitrogen: 0.08 g/km
  • Particulate matter: 0.005 g/km
  • Particulate matter: 6.0×10^11/km 

Who Will Likely Be Affected?
Companies operating HGVs will be most impacted, especially if vehicles in their fleet were manufactured before 2015. Vehicles manufactured after September 2015 should meet emissions standards.

How Can I Comply?
If a vehicle fails to meet the emissions standards, there are a few options available to help reduce the amount of emissions produced by the vehicle.

  • Have the vehicle regularly serviced.
  • Instal in-cab technologies that monitor driving and provide performance feedback to help encourage driver behaviours that lower emissions.
  • Encourage your drivers to drive more smoothly, which helps increase fuel efficiency and thus reduce emissions and costs.

However, one of the most effective methods to ensure that a vehicle complies with emissions standards is to instal a selective catalytic reduction system, which reduces nitrogen emissions. Another option is injecting fuel tanks with cerium each time you refuel the vehicle, which helps optimise the diesel particulate filter.

New truck, new insurance cover?
For a competitive quote on your truck insurance (single or fleet) , contact GRP Insurance Services today on 01638 596400.

 

GDPR – What on EARTH?!

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) will impact how your organisation handles sensitive personal information, which includes employee phone numbers, home addresses and bank account numbers. Most likely, your health and safety system or department stores a great deal of this information. For that reason, it is essential that you take the necessary steps to ensure that you are compliant.

  • Understand and document your processes for collecting, handling and storing personal information, and ensure that they meet GDPR requirements.
  • Keep detailed documentation of the personal data you hold.
  • Conduct a cyber-risk assessment to evaluate the security of your personal information digital library.
  • Consider whether your insurance arrangements need to be adjusted to include Cyber Liability Insurance (Contact us for help with this)
  • Have clear documentation of where and how personal information is shared with third-party organisations.
  • Review and define your organisation’s justifications for storing personal information.
  • Assess the potential risk if your store of personal information was affected by a cyber-breach.
  • Adopt GDPR data retention policies and establish a process to ensure that your organisation remains compliant.

For more information on ensuring compliance, contact GRP Insurance Services today.

Lorry, Coach and Bus Drivers Face Steeper Fines

Beginning on 5 March, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) traffic examiners will begin issuing on-the-spot fines to any lorry, bus or coach drivers for drivers’ hours offences committed in the last 28 days, such as exceeding daily driving limits or not taking enough breaks. Previously DVSA examiners could only fine drivers for offences committed that day, or ongoing offences such as manipulating tachograph records.

If drivers are caught breaking the rules, a DVSA traffic examiner can fine them up to £300. However, in a single roadside check, the traffic examiner can now issue fines for up to five separate offences, which means a driver could be fined up to £1,500. This applies no matter where the offence occurred.

 

What’s the Problem?

Driving tired is a serious problem. About 40 per cent of sleep-related accidents involve commercial vehicles, while driving tired is responsible for 20 per cent of all accidents, and up to 25 per cent of all serious and fatal crashes, according to government data.

What Rules Will DVSA be Scrutinising?

Here are the rules that the DVSA will be enforcing:

  • Drivers (and employers) cannot and will not manipulate tachograph records.
  • Drivers can work an average of 48 hours, but no more than 60 hours in a single week.
  • Drivers can drive no more than 10 hours each night, unless there is a workforce agreement to work longer.
  • Drivers must take a 30-minute break for every six to nine hours of work. If drivers work more than nine hours, they must take a 45-minute break. (Note: Breaks can be broken up into 15-minute segments.)
  • Drivers must take a 45-hour rest break at least once every two weeks. Since 1 November 2017, DVSA has the authority to fine drivers up to £300, if they spend their full weekly rest breaks parked in places where it causes a problem, such as a layby.
  • Drivers must take their weekly rest after six consecutive 24-hour periods of working.
  • Drivers must not take their weekly rest breaks completely in the cab of their lorry.

What Counts as Work?
Here is what the DVSA considers work for drivers:

  • Delays at a distribution centre
  • Time spent travelling in the vehicle, but only if no work is carried out, such as navigating
  • Reporting for work before being informed that no duties are to be undertaken for a specified period
  • Accompanying a vehicle being transported by boat or train

How Can I Comply?

If your organisation employs lorry, bus or coach drivers, or you yourself are a driver, here is some simple guidance to help you comply with the DVSA’s driving rules:

  • Plan where in your route you will take your breaks as well as daily and weekly rests.
  • Be aware of the signs of fatigue, which include restlessness, lapses in attention and dizziness.
  • Get a good night’s rest and avoid indulging in too much caffeine, nicotine and other stimulants.

Be Smart, Be Mindful, Be Safe

For more information on the latest news about fines and regulations, contact GRP Insurance Services today.

Common Risks for Commercial Drivers

Because many people drive every single day, they tend to forget how dangerous it really is. But just because people are accustomed to driving does not mean they are safe while doing so. For commercial drivers especially, driving involves regularly travelling at high speeds on congested motorways.

Many drivers make the mistake of believing they are invincible behind the wheel. Commercial drivers spend so much time on the road that driving begins to feel like second nature. But be careful—complacence begets carelessness.

As an employer or manager of commercial drivers, you must ensure your employees stay alert behind the wheel and avoid the numerous and varied risks on the road. Educate yourself and your employees on the following dangerous everyday driving risks.

Driver Fatigue

Tired drivers are lethal. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency estimates that one-fifth of accidents on motorways may be caused by drivers falling asleep while driving. Although commercial drivers often feel they are able to drive for long stretches without a wink of sleep, they will eventually need to stop and rest. Continue reading