Having provided insurance solutions to the Rope Access industry for the last ten years, I understand the approach that many technicians have to managing the transfer of their workplace risks using an insurance policy. The phrases “just give me the cheapest”, “I only need it for a contract” and “I don’t need that, it’ll never happen to me” have never been so prevalent when speaking with self-employed rope access technicians, meaning the majority of these operators only ever have the most basic insurance coverage, generally for the benefit of third parties.
Fortunately, the best practices that are continuously developed by IRATA mean that most IRATA technicians are right in their thinking and the incidents do not happen to them. This low frequency of incidents has meant that we have been able to develop the broadest and most competitive insurance products in the market place specifically for Rope Access businesses. However, as the old adage goes, accidents do happen and the consequences of not having invested in sensible protections for themselves and their businesses can be dire.
Take the case of a technician who had been working in the atrium of an office building removing some Christmas decorations. Suspended at a relatively low level, a momentary lapse in judgement and failure to properly comply with the two rope system saw the operative fall twenty feet breaking, numerous bones. Fortunately the individual survived however, the injuries resulted in 6 months off work. Being self-employed with no other forms of income and no meaningful reserves meant that he was only able to avoid bankruptcy and the loss of his home through the help of loans from other family members.
The slightly ironic thing about this terrible incident is that the technician in question had paid £500 per annum for his liability insurance so as to protect himself from being sued should he have injured someone else or damaged another person’s property. He had not, however, considered how he and his family would survive if he was hurt!
Personal accident insurance provides the possibility to insure for both a capital sum following major trauma such as death, the loss of a limb or an eye as well as a weekly amount for injuries which prevent the technician working. Any monies paid out to the company or individual are tax free and the premiums start from as little as £150 per annum.
For more information on how we can help you better protect yourself and your business please contact Rope-Sure on 01256 355656 or email [email protected].
Note on the author: Jonathan Evans is the Chief Executive Officer of Rope Sure. Jonathan has held senior positions in numerous insurance businesses over the last 20 years and has been at the forefront of the development of insurance products for the rope access industry since 2009.
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