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Friday, 6 March 2015

Plunder and destruction at Nimrud

I can’t let the day pass without noting the continuing programme of destruction at the Assyrian city of Nimrud in northern Iraq. 

The actions are being referred to as the razing of Nimrud - which comes just a week after sledgehammers were used to obliterate stone sculptures and other important artefacts in the Mosul Museum.  Books and manuscripts were also burned.

 Many of the artefacts found at Nimrud had already been moved to museums in Baghdad and overseas, but sadly many remain on site. 

Nimrud is a 13th century BC Assyrian archaeological site which lies on the Tigris river, about 30km (18 miles) south-east of Mosul.  It was one of the most important cities of the Assyrian empire and served as the main residence for the dynasty’s kings until 727 BC.

UNESCO notes that the site, first known as Kahlka, was originally founded more than 3,300 years ago.

We have to be thankful that many videos, photographs and records exist so that we know something of what was there. 

Call me to discuss your insurance needs on 0208 2550617 / 07768 865983

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Buying online is not the best way for small businesses to ensure they have full insurance cover

Yet again there has been a push by some of the larger online insurance companies to draw-in new customers from the smaller end of the business community – including the charity sectors.  While this can appear attractive where there is a real need to spend less on insurance, the longer term consequences of buying without seeking the advice of a broker could easily wipe out any initial cost savings.

According to Datamonitor, 65% of smaller businesses are buying their insurances online – accounting for up to £14bn in insurance premiums.  In a recent survey by Boston Consulting Group, at least half of this number is totally unaware who their insurer is – following their online purchase.

From Insurance Times
According to Graeme Trubgill of the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA), “..customers who are buying online are often just trying to get some cheap basic cover but might be missing the fact they don’t have ……… something that is fundamental to the protection of their business and staff.”

What BIBA wants to do is to “…. raise the profile of this subject and for customers to appreciate that using a broker will give them greater insight into what the must-have areas of [insurance] cover are and what sums insured will be correct for them.”

The truth is that most only think about insurance at renewal or when filing a claim.  At renewal the main questions are around price; at the point of claim the only questions are about the levels and types of cover!  At the point of claim, there is always the feeling that “I wish I’d not gone for the cheapest…….”

So best advice has to be to go to an intermediary – a broker – who can advise you on the insurances which you need and who can negotiate an acceptable price for you.  What you will get from them is an ‘advised sale’ – for which the insurance broker is accountable and so if you haven’t bought what you thought you had, it is their fault – so they have a vested interest in getting your insurances right! 

Broker Network’s sales and marketing director Richard Pitt  says, “..the only protection a customer is going to get from the impact of underinsurance or not getting their cover right is to complete an annual review with a professional advisor.”

This applies the voluntary sector as much as to the commercial sector.  Archaeologists take note!!

Call me to discuss your insurance needs on 0208 2550617 / 07768 865983

Monday, 2 March 2015

Current Archaeology Live 2015 !

What a fabulous couple of days we had at Current Archaeology Live 2015!  We met so many interesting people and heard about so any interesting projects!  

The award we sponsored was won by Chris Stringer and his team – which was fantastic for me personally as Chris Stringer, Simon Lewis and I had crossed paths (not swords) at Boxgrove in the 1990’s – so it was great to catch-up with them again - not that they recognised me in my insurance uniform at first though.

Too many conversations with so many interesting people to remember everyone I'm afraid, but of note, the great Mr Friendship-Taylor (once met, never forgotten) of the Piddington excavations! And Fergus Milton, the magical metallurgist of Butser!  Plus, the many conservation experts who advised me on the positives and negatives of owning a woolly mammoth tooth preserved with a coat of 1970s varnish!  Thanks also to:

Border Archaeology Society
Braughing Archaeology
Derbyshire Archaeolology
South Somerset Archaeology Research Group
Croydon Historical Society
Brighton and Hove Archaeology Society
Oxford Archaeology East
SWAT Archaeology

…to name but a few of the groups represented.  So glad that we were able to make the grey world of insurance applicable to the needs of archaeology!


Call me to discuss your insurance needs on 0208 2550617 / 07768 865983