Principal Insurance is a specialist broker who have been operating for over 12 years, insuring around 40,000 customers. Their specialism is in insuring motorcycles, classic cars, motorhomes and fleets of vehicles. Principal employ around 65 staff using a hybrid working model, with a combination of office staff, remote workers based in different locations across the UK and some that combine the two.
Principal Insurance’s director, Dave Bowcock, had worked with us in a previous role with a different firm. When he set up his own business, Dave saw it to be a natural progression to bring us on board as his health and safety consultants because of the trusted, positive relationship we’d established over years of working together.
When setting up a new business and employing people – there are a million and one different things you have to think of as a director or business owner. In the early days of the business, we helped to take the stress out of the initial stages by providing health and safety advice and support, as well as a library of templates they could use to make sure they had the right systems and procedures in place from the off.
As the company grew, we helped facilitate that change and manage the risk as more staff joined the team and new working practices were adopted. With increasing numbers of people working from home, it became harder to visually assess people’s working environment and difficult to know if remote workers had the same health, safety and wellbeing support that office workers had.
As well as the physical side of health and safety, Principal wanted to make sure that they were caring for the mental health of their people working from home. We were able to provide agile health and safety consultancy that gave Dave the confidence that all his employees were being considered and cared for, wherever they were working.
In the initial stages, we audited the processes that Principal had in place, so we were able to get a clear picture of their current performance and then provide the relevant support and guidance, specifically for them. We identified not only the work that was necessary for health and safety regulations and compliance, but also offer advice and suggestions for things they could action for the future as the company grew. This included video consultations online and check-ins with colleagues, extending occupational health considerations to include mental health and connectivity, as well as physical hazards.
Following this, we provided a number of easy-to-follow templates that Principal could use to implement everything they needed quickly and competently. These included vital tools such as workstation risk assessments, office risk assessments, homeworking assessments and many more. For remote and hybrid workers, we helped to implement team questionnaires, ensuring that people working from home are checked in on regularly, their working environment is always optimal, and they have access to health and safety support whenever they need it. As a business owner, there is a great fear of the unknown, especially when a large proportion of your workforce is not physically present, working on site or in your offices. We helped Principal manage the potential risks that employees and employers will encounter when required to work from home or remotely, so they could be assured that everyone in their business received the same support.
“They’ve put the stabilisers on our bike, we’ve learned to ride it, now they’re always behind us and making sure that we don’t fall off!”
Dave Bowcock, Director, Principal Insurance
With initial audits and surveys of the business, we helped Principal understand and implement their legal health and safety responsibilities. When setting up a business, health and safety responsibility can feel overwhelming, and important things can be missed. Combining a vast network of trusted partners, the experience and mentality of a corporate consultancy and the personal service of a boutique operation, we made sure that Principal were properly supported. Benefits included:
- Remote worker onboarding process and risk assessments using standardised templates.
- Better staff retention and reduced sickness.
- Increased levels of productivity due to better working from home practices.
- Daily video interaction between home workers and team leaders to ensure regular connection and communication.
- Improved recruitment success, due to remote working options allowing nationwide recruitment for the first time in the business.
Looking to the future
“The fact that I can sleep at night because we’re doing things properly; that’s huge to me.”
Dave Bowcock, Director, Principal Insurance.
Vita Safety was founded by someone who had worked for a larger firm and made the decision to set up his own business, so we knew exactly what Principal were going through. When you begin employing more and more people, the risks associated grow as your business does.
We stay up to date and in the know with any and all health and safety legislation as it changes, all year round. For a company like Principal insurance, this is very valuable. By partnering with us, their health and safety policy and practices are always up to date, and their people are always protected. Our support is not only competitively priced, but it is always flexible, changing and adapting as the business requires.