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Update Windows immediately to guard against BlueKeep exploit

Posted on: November 13, 2019
Categories: General, Technical

By CFC Underwriting

Client advisory

Outdated Windows systems vulnerable to BlueKeep exploit

Security researchers have recently seen a mass exploitation attempt targeting devices vulnerable to the BlueKeep exploit, also known as CVE-2019-0708. This advisory urges you to ensure all systems are updated to avoid potential attacks as a result of this, or any other, vulnerability.

BlueKeep is a critical Remote Code Execution (RCE) vulnerability in Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and was first reported in May 2019. It is ‘wormable’, meaning it could be used to spread malware without authentication or user interaction. It therefore has the potential to create incidents similar to the WannaCry ransomware attack of 2017.

As of November 2019, it is estimated that 500,000 systems could still be exposed to BlueKeep, despite Microsoft releasing patches against the exploit shortly after its discovery in May. The National Security Agency and Microsoft have stressed the importance of running system updates and have advised everyone to immediately apply patches to the following affected versions of Windows:

• Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7
• Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2008 R2

Please upgrade to the most recent version as soon as possible. Legacy operating systems pose a serious security risk since the more outdated systems become, the less likely manufacturers will support them with security patches.

Besides upgrading systems, the following additional measures should also be taken:

• Block TCP port 3389 at your firewalls, as this port is used by the Remote Desktop Protocol. This will deny any attempts to establish a connection.
• Enable Network Level Authentication (NLA). This would mean an attacker would first have to authenticate the RDS to exploit the vulnerability.
• Disable RDS if it is not needed to reduce exposure to vulnerabilities overall.

For those who use the affected versions of Windows, links to critical patches are contained within the Security Guidance Advisory link from Microsoft here:

Thanks for your time and attention!

Erimus Insurance Brokers


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Take Ten with Tarren

Posted on: June 5, 2019
Categories: Community, Sport

We caught up with local golfer, Callum Tarren, as he wraps up the PGA Tour in the USA. Erimus announced its sponsorship of Callum back in 2018 and since then he has gone from strength to strength.

San Antonio, Texas – 21st to 28th April
The tour kicked off in San Antonio, where Callum made a strong start to his campaign finishing T19th. “What a great week we had in San Antonio, I got a real all American experience” notes Callum. He was situated on a 2000 acre ranch where he was able to fish, hunt, off road and BBQ during his down-time. “When we arrived in San Antonio we were all shattered, we touched down at 3am and made our way to the host house – or at least so we thought! We accidentally walked in to a stranger’s home in the middle of the night, suffice to say I am just glad we managed to make it out without being shot” joked Callum.

Nashville, Tennessee – 29th April to 5th May
Unfortunately Callum missed the cut by 2 shots so didn’t play the weekend. The golfer didn’t let this stop him enjoying the history and music of Nashville, even catching up with some College friends.

Kansas City, Missouri – 6th to 12th May
Callum is used to the volatile North Eastern climate but Kansas City saw 12 inches of rain at the weekend. The golfer praised the course “They did incredibly well to host the event with that amount of rain”. Thankfully he made the cut but finished T38th.

Knoxville, Tennessee – 13th to 19th May
Determined to make the cut in Tennessee, Callum played the weekend. Although a little disappointed at finishing T69th he didn’t let this dampen his spirits. The golfer expressed his gratitude for being able to play these courses “Knoxville was another amazing week, to be honest there hasn’t been may bad ones! We stayed with another really cool host family on Loundon Lake where we were able to jet ski, wake board and go out on the boat”.

Glenview, Chicago – 20th to 26th May
The golfer’s first time in the windy city did not disappoint, he finished the week on -7 and 42nd overall. Taking a break from golf, Callum managed to catch a game of baseball seeing the famous Chicago Cubs in their home stadium.

Callum is hopeful for the future “My game has felt solid all year and I am just trying to stay patient. I am waiting for the week it all seems to click and my game comes together, hopefully that will be sooner rather than later”.

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Recruitment Opportunity

Posted on: June 3, 2019
Categories: Erimus IB

As part of our ongoing strategic expansion plans, we have an immediate vacancy for an Insurance Broker with a minimum of five year’s experience in dealing with corporate and commercial business.

In the first instance, please contact our Operations Manager Mike Ansboro by email or mobile 07967 985856

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Charity of the Month: Neoangels

Posted on: May 10, 2019
Categories: Charity, Community

By Emma Hughes, Marketing Executive

Neoangels and Feet

This month saw International Day of the Midwife on May 5th and it got us thinking about the fantastic work that the Midwives of Teesside do. In order to say a big thank you we are going to commit Q2 to raising money for the Neoangels

Neoangles was set up in 2015 with the sole purpose of supporting families through their neonatal journey, assisting the amazing staff who make it all possible and the babies on the unit. A few months ago our company secretary, Chris Nolan, was fortunate enough to visit James Cook’s neonatal unit and see first-hand the amazing job that they do.

It is no secret that becoming a new parent is hard but when your baby is premature, unwell or only held for too shorter time it can be devastating for the families. Neoangels provide so much for the wards they work with in North Tees and James Cook:
• Emotional & Bereavement support
• Financial Support
• Emergency transfer packs for parents
• New Equipment

So this month we will be organising fund raising events to raise money as well as collecting toiletry items to donate directly to the neonatal wards.

We invite all of our friends within Teesside to donate any of the following items to our Stockton office:
• Deodorant for men & women
• Tissues
• Lip balm
• Comb
• Hairbrush
• Maternity pads
• Disposable pants
• Shampoo
• Conditioner
• Toothbrush
• Breast pads
• Face wipes
• Mouthwash

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New HSE Regulations For Welding Activities

Posted on: February 14, 2019
Categories: Uncategorized

By Emma Hughes, New Business Broker

This month HSE have announced new guidelines for mild steel welding fumes. This will affect all workers and employers who undertake welding activities, including mild steel, in any industry.

The Workplace Health Expert Committee has endorsed the reclassification of mild steel welding fume as a human carcinogen. This is in light of new scientific evidence that has confirmed exposure to welding fumes as a cause of lung cancer and there is also limited evidence linking the fumes to kidney cancer.

Now all businesses undertaking welding activities should ensure effective engineering controls are provided and correctly used to limit fumes arising from the welding activities. Where controls are not adequate, suitable respiratory protective equipment (RPE) should be provided and appropriate instruction/training given to all employees.

It is important to note that general venitlation does not acheive the necessary control.

HSE have outlined the following actions that will be required:

1. Make sure exposure to any welding fume released is adequately controlled using engineering controls (typically Local Exhaust Ventilation).

2. Make sure suitable controls are provided for all welding activities, irrelevant of duration. This includes welding outdoors.

3. Where engineering controls alone cannot control exposure, then adequate and suitable RPE should be provided to control risk from any residual fume.

4. Make sure all engineering controls are correctly used, suitably maintained and are subject to thorough examination and test where required.

5. Make sure any RPE is subject to an RPE Programme. An RPE programme encapsulates all the elements of RPE use you need to ensure that your RPE is effective in protecting the wearer.

HSE Website

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Stillage Conditions Explained

Posted on: January 3, 2019
Categories: Client, Retail, Warehousing

By Emma Hughes, New Business Broker

A stillage condition is simply the height at which goods must be stored off the ground. It is important to know whether or not your policy contains a stillage condition as it usually a condition precedent to liability. When a condition is precedent to liability it means that if you are non-compliant with the policy condition then the insurer can avoid meeting liability for that aspect of the insurances.

The condition is most commonly found when a business stores a large quantity of stock or materials. Most warehousing and retail policies will contain a stillage condition but it is not exclusive to these sectors.

Below is a typical example of a stillage condition wording:

It is a condition precedent to liability under Section A of the Policy that all Stock insured shall be stored on pallets, shelving, racking or similar at least 15 centimetres off the floor.

The height stipulated can vary and is generally influenced by the flood risk in your area, where the goods are being stored e.g. a basement presents a higher risk of flood than first floor, or the value of goods at risk.

If your policy contained the above stillage condition and you were unfortunate enough to suffer from a flood, any stock that was stored below the 15cm would not be indemnified by insurers. This would be the case even when you have insured for the full value of all stock. For some businesses this could represent a huge uninsured loss.

Any conditions of this nature should be highlighted in your policy documents but if it is unclear then please do not hesitate to contact us on 01642 240400.

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Defective Design Exclusions

Posted on: November 21, 2018
Categories: General, Technical

By Emma Hughes, New Business Broker

The majority of Contract Works policies will look to exclude damage to property which is in a defective condition but will provide cover for other parts of the property which are damaged as a consequence of this defect. Insurers apply this exclusion in the form of a Defective Design Exclusion, tiered from DE1 (lowest level cover) to DE5 (highest level cover).

DE1: Outright Defect Exclusion
Excludes all losses arising from defects in the Design, Workmanship or Materials.

DE2: Extended Defective Condition Exclusion
Excludes property which is defective and property which relies for its support on property which is defective but covers other insured property which is damaged as a result of the defect.

DE3: Limited Defective Condition Exclusion
Excludes property which is defective but covers other insured property which is defect free and is damaged by the defective property

DE4: Defective Part Exclusion
This is similar to DE3 but the exclusion is restricted to apply only to any ‘component part or individual item’ which is defective eg. Only the defective nut, bolt or screw would be excluded.

DE5: Design Improvement Exclusion
Provides full cover for both the defective and non-defective products but damage must occur. The existence of a defect alone is not insured. The costs in improving the design, materials and workmanship are excluded.

A steel framed building collapses during the construction period due to the connective bolts being inadequate for their purpose. The building collapses after the roof has been erected, the cladding has been partially completed and a dwarf brick wall has been built. The various Defect Exclusions would pay as follows:

DE1: All damage would be excluded
DE2: All damaged items are excluded apart from the Dwarf Brick Wall
DE3: Steel Framework is excluded but the Roof, Cladding and Brick Walls are paid for
DE4: Only the Nuts & Bolts are excluded and all other damage is paid for
DE5: All damage is paid for but improvement costs are excluded

The most common level of cover found in a Contract Works policy is DE3 and there may be an option to uplift cover to DE4/DE5 if requested. As you can see from the above example it is prudent to ensure you have DE3 coverage as a minimum. Defective Design Exclusions should not be confused with Professional Indemnity insurance. Professional Indemnity would provide cover if the design was found to be defective but no damage had occurred.

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The Impact of Catastrophic Claims on UK Businesses

Posted on: November 14, 2018
Categories: Liability, Technical

By Emma Hughes, New Business Broker

In February 2017 the Lord Chancellor amended the Ogden Discount Rate from 2.5% to -0.75%. This change has brought in to question whether businesses are adequately covered in the event of a catastrophic and complex injury claims.

The Ogden Discount Rate is used by UK Courts when calculating compensation in personal injury claims, the intention is to put the claimant in the same financial position had they not been injured. The Discount Rate reflects the additional earnings the claimant would make from low-risk investments and deducts this from the overall settlement. Since the economic crash in 2008 investment returns have tumbled, leading to the Lord Chancellor changing the rate of discount from 2.5% to -0.75%. Although a change of 3.25% may not seem too significant, in the case of catastrophic claims this can lead to substantial settlement costs.

For example, a Male aged 21 years old with a life expectancy of 87 years suffers a serious head injury resulting in needing 24 hour care. Under the previous 2.5% Ogden Discount Rate he would expect to receive £15.1 million in compensation. However, with the reduced Ogden Discount Rate of -0.75% this skyrockets to £29.3 million.

As you can see from this example, the rate change leaves all businesses vulnerable to underinsurance, not just industries partaking in high hazard activities. It is therefore important that you put measures in place to protect the balance sheet of your business. The standard limit of indemnity for Employers Liability given in the UK is £10,000,000. In the event of a serious injury, as per the above example, the standard indemnity for Employers Liability would leave a £19.3 million shortfall in cover. In this instance the Courts will look to the business assets to compensate the claimant. If your business is a Partnership, Limited Liability Partnership or Sole Trader then they can pursue your own personal assets.

The best and most cost effective way to protect your business is by increasing the limits of your Liability insurances. Your broker should be able to provide you with indications for increasing your limits, the additional premium often being minimally priced in comparison to the underlying policy.

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Seasonal Stock Increases

Posted on: November 6, 2018
Categories: Client, Trends

By Emma Hughes, New Business Broker

The final quarter of the year brings about increased levels of activity within the retail sector. The surge in consumer demand sees the stockpiling of goods, greater number of staff and longer working hours. During this hectic time it is unlikely you will stop to think; am I covered for this?

Check and Don’t Chance

You may find that the increased stock you are holding over the festive period leaves you open to underinsurance. In the event of underinsurance the insurers will apply the clause of Average. The clause of Average influences how much of a claim will be paid. For example, if you have insured your stock for £10,000 but during the month of December this increases to £20,000 then the Average Clause would be applied and any claim would be reduced by 50% in-line with the underinsurance.

Some Insurers may offer a ‘Seasonal Stock Increase’ extension to their Retail packages. This extension offers a discretional increase of 20% to 30% typically during the busier months. It is important to check whether this extension is included and whether the uplifted sum is adequate to cover your increased exposure. If you are unsure then it is best to make insurers aware immediately of the change.

It is also important to make insurers aware of any other changes that may happen over the festive period; from Santa Clause meet & greets to the loaning of a Fork Lift Truck in order to move stock more easily. Anything that is out of the ordinary for your business needs to be disclosed to insurers.

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Treats Not Tricks This Halloween

Posted on: October 31, 2018
Categories: General

By Emma Hughes, New Business Broker

Between Halloween and Bonfire Night Britain’s streets see a spike in anti-social behaviour and property damage. Unfortunately some members of the community see this time of year as an excuse to cause a nuisance. Although it is impossible to completely alleviate the issue, here are a few steps you can take to protect yourself and your property.

Friends & Family Try to avoid trick’or’treating at houses you do not know, people are often worried about opening their door to strangers at this time. Call on friends, family and neighbours that will be expeting you. Alternatively a street party is a great way for the community to come together and enjoy Halloween safely.

Remove the Temptation Make sure that your external property is free from any disused furniture, wood, wheeliebins or other flammable objects. It is best to make sure that your neighbours are preparted too.

Communication If you feel that you have been targeted in the past or you have seen a potential incident remember to keep in contact with your local community support officers.

Out of Sight Vehicles bear the brunt of the anti-social spike, if possible try to keep your vehicle housed in a garage or on a driveway. If this isn’t possible make sure it is parked on a well-lit residential street, preferably within sightlines of your home.


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mercedes benz retail corporate sales

TIC and Erimus Insurance Brokers are delighted to announce that Mercedes-Benz Retail Group trading as Corporate Sales have agreed access for all TIC and Erimus's customers to preferential rates and terms for the supply of new Mercedes-Benz cars. If you are in the market for a new car and particularly enjoy the prestige Mercedes-Benz brand we are confident that we will be able to introduce you to the best rates and terms available. You can access Mercedes-Benz Retail Group Corporate sales by clicking here. Alternatively, please call us on our main land line number and we will set the 'wheels in motion' towards obtaining your new Mercedes.

Please note: If your enquiry is made by email via the links on our websites or directly on the phone to Mercedes-Benz Retail Corporate Sales, to obtain our preferential terms you MUST state or mention in the comment box "referred by Erimus Insurance Brokers" or "referred by Teesside Insurance Consultants (TIC)".

Erimus Insurance Brokers is a trading name of Teesside Insurance Consultants Ltd. Registered in England No. 2043783. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority No. 307660.
Directors: P.J. Davison, S.D.E. Hughes, I. Miller ACII, S.S. Pinnell. Non Executive Director: G. Lumby MBE, FCIBS.
Company Secretary: C. L. Nolan.
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