Press Release

Press Release

Date: February 2012 

Protect the Fruits of Your Invention! 

Sci-tech broker La Playa comes to the aid of vulnerable R&D labs with the launch of Lab PortfolioTM, a flexible, modular insurance policy designed for start-up, early stage and SME research and development businesses. 
An R&D Insurance Checklist is included.

60% of businesses in the UK are inadequately insured. 70% either won't reopen or will fail within 3 years of a serious fire*.   And laboratories are especially vulnerable to disruption and catastrophe.  *Statistics from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

R&D firms face risks that are markedly different from other sectors – how do you replace the years of blood, sweat and tears invested in a tiny phial of serum destroyed in a freezer power-out, for example?   How do you protect your bottom line so that funding isn’t jeopardised by unforeseen interruptions to R&D activity?  Commercial insurance polices generally fail to address these unusual risk elements, so specialist advice and insurance is a must for any lab or research enterprise.  R&D insurance hasn’t until now been widely available for smaller businesses - and solutions that do exist usually require accreditation. 

La Playa now offers a practical, modular insurance solution with Lab PortfolioTM that starts with Employers’ and Public Liabilities and builds in other covers only when needed as the enterprise grows, saving money for early stage businesses.  Lab PortfolioTM is exclusive to La Playa and supported by Catlin, the global specialty insurance group.  Uniquely, Lab PortfolioTM is underwritten in-house by La Playa’s expert team of life science specialists.

So what risks do labs face?

Alongside the usual business liabilities and risks to property and equipment, labs operating in areas like Biotechnology, Contract Research, Medical Device Development, Micro & Nano Engineering, Environmental Testing and Toxicology face a range of unusual risks; an interruption to R&D operations, a disruption in the supply chain or a freezer breakdown in the lab can involve extra expense. The financial impact of replacing and reworking materials, relocation and downtime can be enormous.  Labs may also be exposed professionally - what if a client is unhappy with the work done, and threatens with a lawsuit?  How do R&D firms plan for disaster and how do they keep ahead of the minefield of Health & Safety legislation? 

Here’s our Insurance Checklist for R&D management teams – you may not need all of these, but consider your risks in each area: 

  • Employers’ Liability: covers your liability to employees for injury or illness arising from their work.

  • Public and Products Liability: protecting your business against allegations of negligence resulting in third party injury or property damage.
  • Professional Liability: dealing with allegations of negligence or poor performance in your services.
  • Property: protecting your physical assets including buildings, improvements (such as lab fit-outs), office & lab machinery & equipment, computers & data, stock, documents, lab books, prototypes and R&D materials – even mobile equipment and insurance for international cargo shipments.
  • Business Interruption: protecting your income streams when there’s an unexpected interruption to business operations (such as accidental damage, fire, flood, power-outage or terrorist event)
  • Stock Deterioration: critical protection for loss arising from malfunction or loss of power to fridges or freezers.
  • Terrorism Insurance: protects against loss or damage resulting from acts of terrorism or the ideologically motivated.
  • Professional Indemnity
  • Clinical Trials
  • Directors’ & Officers’ liability
  • Loss Recovery insurance
  • Intellectual Property Insurance
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Travel insurance for business trips

Lab PortfolioTM provides a simple solution for complex problems - available online for quotes and cover within a day.  Premiums start at £750 (plus tax) and added benefits include:

  • “Office in a Box” Disaster Recovery programme built-in
  • Simple online tools to calculate the values of R&D materials
  • Access to discounted online Health & Safety assessment services

“Lab PortfolioTM  helps to protect the fruits of your invention with sensible levels of cover at reasonable prices,”says La Playa’s Matthew Clark, Director, Science & Technology“And by building in covers as and when you need them, you only pay for the insurance you need, when you need it”. 

More information and online application are available here

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