Artist, maker and Cockpit Arts/CLEAR award winner Ula Saniawa reflects on her full-year progress

The annual Cockpit Arts/CLEAR Insurance Award supports professional designer-makers who have been in business for less than three years and have aspirations to develop their craft trade.

The winner of the award receives a match funded studio space at Cockpit arts worth £2,500* — plus a specialist insurance package tailored for their needs from us at CLEAR.

2019’s winner, ceramic artist Ula Saniawa, recently completed her full year at Cockpit Arts. In the interview below she reflects on the impact the award has had across her work and life:

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Why are certain types of insurance getting harder and more expensive to arrange? Unfortunately, the answer is far from simple...

We've already written about a 'hardening' insurance market and how, until recently, this was primarily confined to the supply of professional indemnity insurance (PII).  However, conditions across the whole insurance sector are now becoming more challenging as insurers are forced to increase premiums, reduce their presence in specific markets or withdraw from them altogether because they are no longer financially viable. 

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Communication counts on property policies post-Covid

The advent of Covid-19 has given the property sector much to think about. While attention is focused on finding solutions to multiple challenges, from the economic fallout from lockdown to ensuring spaces comply with social distancing, there are several insurance issues which should not be overlooked. In many respects, risk has changed – for better or worse – and action may need to be taken accordingly in order to satisfy any relevant policy conditions, ensure cover is adequate and to avoid paying unnecessarily inflated premiums. Our property specialist, James King, recently caught up with Estates Gazette to discuss this in more depth:

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Cyber risks of staff laptop theft — how to mitigate data loss

With the majority of businesses now working remotely, laptops have replaced desktops for many.

This change in equipment presents additional risks for data security that may harm your business.

We have outlined how to identify and reduce the likelihood of data loss via laptop thefts in this 3-step guide:

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As MPW strengthens its ties with the CLEAR Group, we talk to CLEAR MPW MD Andy Webb

This week, we announced that MPW Insurance Brokers, an organisation with more than 30 years of experience in arranging specialist insurance for the construction industry, has made some changes to reflect its close relationship with the CLEAR Group.

This exciting integration brings a new trading name - CLEAR MPW - and a new logo, making it more obvious that the business’s clients are benefitting from CLEAR’s resources and infrastructure, receiving a faster, more efficient service from the same MPW team that they’re already familiar with. This is an exciting stepping stone towards a full trading name change to Clear Insurance Management at a later date.

To discuss the integration and what it means for the newly minted CLEAR MPW, their team, and their clients, we sat down with founder and Managing Director Andy Webb.

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FCA court case regarding COVID-19 insurance cover - implications for clients with business interruption insurance

There has been much confusion over the COVID-19 crisis and the response from insurers. In an attempt to gain greater clarity over policy cover the FCA has started a High Court action against a number of insurers. We have had a number of queries from our customers regarding the test case and what it means for commercial policyholders; we hope this note will help you to understand the process and how it might affect you.

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Our 5 tips to help keep staff safe as they return to commuting

Businesses across the UK are now returning to the workplace, meaning many workers will now be commuting again for the first time since March.

As with ensuring offices and other work environments are as safe as possible, proactivity is the key to supporting staff safety as they commute. It’s worth considering adjusting your working practices, as well as your rules and guidance for staff, to help ensure they’re as safe as possible.

Here, we’ve compiled 5 key factors to consider as you do this:

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COVID-19: How are you responding to the risk management needs of your business after lockdown?

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it's that if a business is to ride out a major crisis and continue trading, it needs a risk management plan.

That's not to say that a risk management plan is a silver bullet. But without one, you can't hope to understand how your business might suffer and, crucially, how it might adapt and respond to minimise disruption to its operations.

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How to onboard employees remotely during COVID-19

COVID-19 has affected all elements of business practice, and onboarding is no exception. 

With remote work now the norm in many sectors, business owners must refine their onboarding strategy to provide new employees with a comprehensive overview of the business, its challenges and its opportunities - and all while cultivating a feeling of belonging.

Achieving this at a time when new employees might not meet a colleague face-to-face for many months is difficult, so onboarding should begin at the moment an offer is made. 

Here are our best practice guidelines to help you in this new process: 

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Protecting key staff during the COVID-19 pandemic: 5 top tips

Protecting key staff who are both crucial and influential is of paramount importance to any business. Key persons normally possess special skills, intellect, knowledge, experience and/or have valuable contacts, or they could be a person whose loss or replacement attracts significant financial expense. Examples might include an IT manager, an Account Director, or indeed COO and CEO’s.

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5 things to consider when designing an ergonomic home workspace

Avoiding ergonomic injuries is one of the difficulties associated with working from home that is most often overlooked. 

The outcomes of poor ergonomics – sitting with bad posture, having only a limited range of movements, having to bend or reach repeatedly – may seem fairly innocuous, but over the long term it’s possible they can lead to a range of issues that may have long-lasting effects, including damage to muscles, nerves, blood vessels, ligaments and tendons.

Many factors that feed into good ergonomics are taken for granted in an office but can be lacking in a remote workspace. For example, while at the office, you likely have access to a suitable desk and chair, but at home you might not have an optimal setup.

To transform a section of your home into a suitable workspace, consider the set up of the following: 

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4 tips for staying productive during lockdown

The idea of working from home may initially sound appealing – no commute, more time in bed, access to your own kitchen – but remote work is a double-edged sword. 

For people who are not used to working from home, distractions and a lack of structure can limit productivity and drive. On the other hand, you may find yourself continuing to work long after you would have normally finished for the day because you are not leaving your work environment.

For these reasons, it is vital that you plan ahead and create a healthy, sustainable routine that you can follow on working days, and that you prioritise your work effectively. 

Here are four things to bear in mind when you are designing your day:

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