Insurance scheme aiming to gun down cowboys

New FSB initiative to assess health and safety records to help lower premiums

A new scheme which separates reputable firms from cowboy operators to help lower insurance costs has been launched by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The business lobby group has created the Safety Network Scheme to assess the health and safety record of small firms and accredit those with good practices.

Businesses can then use the recommendation to help convince insurers they are not cowboys and gain cover at a reasonable rate.

The scheme is a joint effort by the FSB and the Association of British Insurers (ABI) to help small firms deal with the soaring insurance premiums affecting many businesses across the UK.

Premiums have risen by as much as 200 per cent for some companies, leaving bosses unable to get adequate cover, risking closure if disaster strikes.

The high costs have forced some firms to go without cover required by law, such as Employer Liability Insurance, putting bosses at risk of being taken to court.

David Perry, of the FSB, said that the input to the ABI consultation on the issue was positive.

“The common theme seemed to be that it was not cost effective for insurers to differentiate between good firms and the cowboys at the very smallest level.

“This was leading to big increases in premiums or the withdrawal of insurance altogether for some types of business.

“Small firms told us that the majority of insurers were not taking their health and safety records into account.

“At the same time a government report argued that more should be done to improve the link between the health and safety practice of firms, especially smaller ones, and their insurance premiums,” he said.

To find out more about the scheme, visit



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