Cyber-crime is on the increase, with hardly a day going by without a story in the news of a large company falling victim to a cyber breach. The UK is one of the most digitally dependent economies in the world and is estimated to be worth over £118bn per year *. In response to the growing threat of cyber-crime the government has launched its’ strongest initiative yet.

  The queen recently opened The National Cyber Security Centre in Victoria, Central London which has been created to protect the UK from cyber attacks. The Centre is part of intelligence agency GCHQ and started work in October as part of a £1.9bn five year strategy. The government has enlisted the help of experts from […]



The queen recently opened The National Cyber Security Centre in Victoria, Central London which has been created to protect the UK from cyber attacks. The Centre is part of intelligence agency GCHQ and started work in October as part of a £1.9bn five year strategy. The government has enlisted the help of experts from the private sector to try to identify the threats, with NCSC Chief Ciaran Martin claiming “We want to make the UK the hardest target” * There were 188 cyber-attacks in the UK classed by the NCSC as Category Two or Three during the last three months. Even though the UK has not experienced a Category One attack – the highest level, an example of which would have been the theft of confidential details of millions of Americans from the Office of Personnel Management – there is no air of complacency at the NCSC’s new headquarters.

As well as the tangible losses faced by businesses in the UK and the threat to infrastructures, there is also the worry that consumers will lose confidence in the digital economy as criminals exploit online vulnerabilities. As small business owners we all need to play our part to protect ourselves and the wider business community.


What can I do to protect my business and clients?

The important thing is to engage with us, we can carry out a full review of your current arrangements and help you assess your current cyber risk. Insurers are investing heavily in training and technology to keep pace with the changing risks and are providing a wealth of useful help and guidance on how to minimise cyber risk. We have access to these resources and can help you to create and implement a plan within your business.

What risks do I need to consider?

It is easy to focus on the obvious areas of cyber vulnerability such as client data held on servers, or data collected during online payments. One area of increasing worry is mobile phones. With mobile phones having advanced capabilities and peoples relatively lax approach to security they are becoming an attractive target for attackers.

What steps can I take to protect my mobile phone?

There are a large number of things that can help. Here are just a few;

• When choosing a mobile phone consider its security features. Can it encrypt? Can the provider remotely wipe the device? Can you remotely delete apps? What authentication features does it have such as passwords?

• Limit exposure of your mobile phone number; think carefully before posting your mobile phone number to a public website. Attackers can use software to collect mobile phone numbers from the web and then use those numbers to target attacks.

• Carefully consider what information you want stored on the device. Remember that with enough time, sophistication, and access to the device, any attacker could obtain your stored information.

• Set Bluetooth-enabled devices to non-discoverable. When in discoverable mode, your Bluetooth enabled devices are visible to other nearby devices, which may alert an attacker or infected device to target you. When in non-discoverable mode, your Bluetooth-enabled devices are invisible to other unauthenticated devices. Our advice to you is to make sure you are fully aware of the risks that a cyber-attack could present to your business. We can help you to carry out a full risk assessment. Contact us today for this or any help or advice regarding your cyber-insurance arrangements.

Contact me to discuss in more detail on:  0161 406 4702

8 things to know about engineering inspections


At a glance

If an organisation owns or operates work equipment, there are various legal obligations they must comply with

Regular engineering inspections will help ensure that both statutory requirements and general health and safety duties are met

We can help your customers to identify relevant equipment and establish how frequently it should be inspected


Engineering inspections are essential to ensure an organisation is meeting their various legal duties concerning work equipment.

John McMullen, Chief Engineer at Zurich Engineering, answers customers’ most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about engineering inspections.


  1. Why do I need engineering inspections?

Regular engineering inspections are vital for remaining compliant with health and safety legislation and creating a safe working environment

2. What can go wrong if I don’t have regular inspections?

Operating dangerous, unsafe or defective equipment will inevitably lead to accidents, which can result in injuries to employees and the public. This can lead to costly liability claims, and in most cases create the risk of criminal prosecution for individuals and their organisation

3. How will engineering inspections improve my chances of defending a claim or criminal prosecution?

In many instances, inspections are required by law, so conducting them is essential for avoiding prosecution. However, even where inspections are not specifically mandated, owners and operators still have an overarching legal duty to manage risks in the workplace and to ensure equipment is safe to use.

Regular inspections are considered an implicit requirement to demonstrate sensible risk management practices. This is supported by the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE’s) approved codes of practice, industry standards and manufacturers’ recommendations.


4.What kinds of equipment require inspection?

Typical items of plant requiring inspection include:

  • Lifting equipment
  • Boiler plant and pressure systems
  • Local exhaust ventilation (LEV) systems
  • Electrical equipment
  • Work equipment

However, this is not an exhaustive list. The Health and Safety Executive will consider the primary use of equipment to determine whether it legally requires inspection. If in doubt, you should always consult a qualified Engineer Surveyor or your local authority for guidance.


5. I have a brand new item of plant. Does this require inspection prior to being put into service?

It depends. For pressure plant, such as an air receiver or steam boiler, the answer is ‘yes’. For other types of equipment, however, a thorough examination is typically considered to have been carried out by the manufacturer or supplier, and should be evidenced in the Declaration of Conformity. In such cases, an inspection is usually not required until the period prescribed by law or by your organisation’s own scheme of examination.

6. How often should inspections take place?

Recommended and prescribed frequencies of inspection can range anywhere from each month to every few years, depending on the type of equipment in question. This is either determined by reference to specific legislation or by undertaking a suitable risk assessment.

Our Engineer Surveyors have the knowledge and expertise to help you determine an appropriate scheme of examination for your particular equipment.


7. How can we make the most of an Engineer Surveyor’s visit?

  • To get maximum benefit and minimise disruption to your operations, prior to any visit, the following steps should be taken:
  • Check your inspection schedule to ensure that all plant that requires inspection is included Supply us with any information and documents that may be needed to complete a thorough examination of your plant and machinery
  • Ensure all equipment has been prepared in advance (for example by depressurising equipment where necessary) and that you’ve scheduled enough out-of-service time for all inspections to be carried out
  • Make the appropriate staff and facilities available so that our Engineer Surveyor can easily perform inspections
  • Provide our Engineer Surveyor with safe access to the site and a safe working environment


8. Why should I choose Zurich to carry out my engineering inspections?

With more than 90 years of conducting safety inspections, Zurich Engineering has expertise and experience in the industry. We employ more than 600 people, and are trusted to produce more than 4 million reports for 10,000 clients at 100,000 locations across the UK.

Zurich Engineering is committed to best international standards and practices of health, safety and environmental matters. Through our impartial, in-service inspections, our team will help to ensure you are meeting the wide range of legislative responsibilities concerning the safety of your equipment.

To discuss any aspect of this article further, speak to your usual Zurich contact.

Image © Getty

Going the Extra Mile!

Some wonderful feedback received today about our Personal Lines Manager, Eleanor Moore.  Eleanor had helped a client following an horrendous arson attack.  They were obviously devastated and Eleanor helped them through the claims process along with the loss adjuster on behalf of Home and Legacy, in order to make the process as smooth as possible.  The client commented, “you personally helped make the three way partnership between client, broker and insurer work so well, keeping the process moving and bringing it to a satisfactory resolution”.


This is what we do every day but it is always nice to hear that the service we offer is appreciated.

 Eleanor Moore Cert CII

If you would like to benefit from having a broker who will “go the extra mile” for you, contact us on 0161 406 4800 or visit our website at