Renewable Energy Insurance advisor recognised by National Insurance Alliance

Yvonne MillerThe UNITAS Achievement Award 2012 has been awarded to Yvonne Miller of Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers to recognise her career development within the Renewable Energy team.

Yvonne’s aim was to not only be an expert in the insurances for renewable energy projects, but to be knowledgeable in all aspects of the renewable energy sector including financial, technical and legal.  Yvonne has committed herself to being 100% focused on the renewable energy sector and has assisted in both the growth of the Bruce Stevenson Renewable Energy account but also their reputation in the sector in helping the UK and Scottish governments achieve their 2020 low carbon targets.

As part of the team, Yvonne engaged in regular and detailed training and development.  With the assistance of Bruce Stevenson internal technical consultant, Yvonne has attended training courses on the complexities of Renewable Energy projects (Windfarms, Hydro Electric plants, Solar PV, Biomass and Anaerobic Digestion plants, waver and tidal devices). This has included theory, site visits, industry seminars and conferences.

On the financial and legal aspects of the job, Yvonne has engaged with specialist lawyers and bankers to understand the processes and risks, ensuring that the Insurance programme meets these onerous requirements.  Training has been facilitated to ensure that this has been done to a high level of competency.

On a personal level, over the past 3 years, Yvonne has successfully passed her Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute, gaining The W P Campbell Award from the British Insurance Brokers Association Scotland in 2011 and is now progressing towards her Fellowship qualification.

Derek Skinner, Director at Bruce Stevenson commented “Everyone within Bruce Stevenson is delighted with Yvonne’s recognition.   We were aware of a significant number of applications this year and we are delighted to celebrate Yvonne’s fantastic achievement.”

New Regulations for Driving in France

2012 has seen the introduction of 2 important new laws which visiting drivers should be aware of:

Radar Detection
From the 3rd January radar detection devices are illegal in France, even if they are not in use. Non compliance is punishable up to 1,500 euros, with possible confiscation of the device and vehicle! The law covers Satnav and GPS systems which show speed camera locations, so to ensure you do not fall foul of the law ensure that the function is disabled before entering France.

Breathalyser kits
The drink-drive laws in France are stricter than in the UK, with the legal limit for blood/alcohol levels being 0.5mg per ml rather than 0.8. Clearly sensible advice is not to drink any alcohol before driving. As of July 1st it is now illegal to drive without a breathalyser kit in your car. The fine, which will be compulsory from November this year, is 11 euros and it is advisable to keep 2 single use kits at hand in your vehicle so if one is used, there remains one unused in the car. Simple kits can cost from £2 and are widely available.

Other regulations already in force for driving in France include the need to carry a warning triangle and a high visibility vest.

If you can’t insure it, you can’t borrow on it.

‘If you can’t insure it, you can’t borrow on it.
‘That was the message when Andrew Johnstone and Derek Skinner from Bruce Stevenson called at Community Energy Scotland’s Dingwall office recently.

Bruce Stevenson are associate members of Community Energy Scotland and have been keen to help community groups arrange their insurances. Andrew Johnstone has also participated in a Knowledge Exchange Session on insurance, where full CES members telephoned-in to benefit from specialist advice from a range of sources – not just a single supplier.

Derek Skinner of Bruce Stevenson leads their renewable energy insurance team. Derek said ‘The key issue is that banks will need to be sure that any wind turbine selected is insurable. If a developer can’t find an insurer to accept the risk of a particular make of turbine, then the prospects for a loan to erect it are non-existent.’

Insurers and wind turbine manufacturers work together to make sure that projects can proceed. Lenders such as the Co-op Bank and Triodos Bank have worked with specialist insurers and brokers like Bruce Stevenson for many years. Banks want to make sure that new turbines will perform, and that manufacturers have sufficient business strength to support their products.

Smaller wind turbines can often be insured along with the risks of an existing business, and are typically just added to an existing policy. The situation for larger turbines is different. Where bank borrowing is specific to the renewable energy project, insurance matters are normally more crucial in the process of achieving financial close on a project.

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association has a useful ‘jargon buster’ page on its website at

This article was originally published on the Community Energy Scotland website at

Insurance Solution for Renewables Marine Industry

A joint venture between London based Insurance Broker ‘Windsor Partners Ltd ’ and Scottish broker ‘Bruce Stevenson Risk Management’ will provide a solution to the difficulties facing  Insurance within the Marine Renewables Industry.  As part of an ongoing commitment to the renewable energy sector Windsor Partners and Bruce Stevenson Risk Management have developed a joint insurance proposal for wave & tidal devices in Scottish Waters, the UK and Worldwide. 

Pulling several separate leading marine insurers together under one insurance product with agreed risk split, premium, excess levels and policy wording brings stability to an area that has seen serious variations in cover and premium levels in the past few years. 


During research in the sector, discussions clearly identified a demand for a bespoke Insurance product, understanding and commitment from insurers to work with wave & tidal developers.  A report produced by BSRM engaged a number of parties interested in the availability of insurance and risk management for the wave and tidal sector as one of the areas where there was a need for additional services and capacity. This research included all the major developers, industry bodies, testing facilities, legal advisors along with marine and risk consultants. 


A large number of risks are faced by developers and these have been identified during the testing of prototype devices in waters round Scotland and in particular the European Marine Energy Centre testing facilities in Orkney. Having a comprehensive Insurance package in place de-risks the development process and gives finance parties, investors and shareholders comfort when operating in a largely unknown area. 

Previous marine developments have found ongoing issues including: Buoyancy failure, mooring/coupling failure, incidental deployment & retrieval damage, vessel availability for rectification work, inter array/ export cable installation, subsea cable damage including anchor drag, and cable joint failures, to name but a few.

Derek Skinner, BSRM Renewable Energy Director, explained “The challenge was to establish an insurance market which will provide a level of cover, deductible and premium at a sensible level once we get to full commercial scale operational projects. This will require a greater understanding by developers of the insurer’s requirements and vice versa through open dialogue with method statements and a thorough approach to risk assessments. A general understanding of the hazards associated with operating several devices in coastal waters is essential.”

 Oliver Litterick, Associate Partner of Renewables at Windsor Partners, adds: “The marine energy sector has experienced large claims and insurers have become extremely cautious. As a newly formed panel, these insurers are able to spread the risk and limit their individual exposures providing potential reduction in premiums. Collectively as a group, underwriters are able to combine their knowledge and experience to provide greater scope of cover to the benefit of developers and the industry.”

Mark Richards appointed as Director of Private Clients

Mark RichardsScottish Insurance Broker Bruce Stevenson today (10th October) announced the appointment of Mark Richards as Director of Private Clients Team.

Mark Richards joined Bruce Stevenson in January 2009 having worked in the Fine Art world where he was Managing Director of Bonhams Scotland. He therefore brought with him a wealth of knowledge of both the Private Client sector and specialist knowledge of Fine Art which is important when servicing High Net Worth clients. This in-house expertise makes Bruce Stevenson unique amongst the insurance broking industry in Scotland.

Edward Bruce, Managing Director of Bruce Stevenson commented ‘Mark’s appointment emphasises the importance of the Private Client department to Bruce Stevenson and acknowledges the successful growth that has been achieved in this key area of the business.’

Mark Richards added ‘I am delighted to have been made a Director at Bruce Stevenson. My appointment is a sign of the company’s commitment to support the Private Client Department which strives to become unrivalled in its position as number one in offering the best service and professional advice, if indeed we are not already.’

This week Bruce Stevenson also welcomed Scott Brown former Client Service Director at Giles. Scott has worked in the insurance industry for 25 years, mainly working for the national brokers. Scott will join the team at Bruce Stevenson developing commercial business.

Both appointments strengthen Bruce Stevenson’s position as leading independent insurance broker and demonstrate their commitment to acquiring and retaining high quality professionals.

Bruce Stevenson Risk Management Ltd is a privately owned Independent Insurance Broker in the UK insurance market with expertise in renewable energy: private clients: property and business markets. Established in 1981, Bruce Stevenson provides bespoke insurance solutions and risk management advice. Bruce Stevenson was awarded the Chartered Insurance Broker designation by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) satisfying rigorous criteria relating to professional qualifications and ethical good practice. Bruce Stevenson is also one of the founder members of Unitas, a select number of the U.K.’s major independent Insurance Brokers.

Bruce Stevenson Celebrates 30th Year

Bruce Stevenson 30th Birthday LogoBruce Stevenson Risk Management Ltd, provider of insurance and risk management solutions, celebrates its 30th year in business.

Bruce Stevenson was founded in 1981 when the then Directors of a UK national insurance Broker in Edinburgh, David Bruce and Tony Stevenson, decided that they were no longer able to offer the service expected by their clients, from within that type of organisation.

David Bruce, who until recently still played an active role in the business, was succeeded by his son Edward Bruce.

Bruce Stevenson prides itself in being one of the largest independent insurance brokers in Scotland, providing a first class broking and risk management service to its large and varied selection of clients throughout the UK.

Bruce Stevenson has, over the years, acquired like minded and well established insurance broking firms to add more strength to ITS bargaining position in the insurance market place. During this time of rapid expansion, Bruce Stevenson was one of the founder members of UNITAS one of the largest broker markets in the UK. Bruce Stevenson is the only Scottish Broker included in this elite group, but remains totally independent.

Today the Bruce Stevenson key areas of business expertise are: all types of property; commercial and business; private clients and fine art; renewable energy.

The 30th year marks another important step in the company’s history. In 2010 the company was awarded Chartered Status by the Chartered Insurance Institute, an exclusive and valuable merit, demonstrating a professional commitment to delivering high quality knowledge, advice and ethical practice. There are less than 100 independent insurance brokers in the UK with this status and only 6 in Scotland out of a total market of 2,000 brokers.

Edward Bruce, Managing Director of Bruce Stevenson says “2011 is a significant milestone for Bruce Stevenson. It marks 30 years since we were founded 1981.These 30 years have seen momentous changes in the insurance industry as well as within our organisation. The insurance world has undergone massive and fundamental rationalisation presenting a number of challenges and regulation under the FSA. In response, we have embraced the changes while building our company through organic growth and the acquisition of smaller firms who have complimented our strengths and culture.

Bruce Stevenson has grown from a staff of 12 and a turnover of £3m to over 70 generating £16m, operating in Edinburgh and Glasgow to service clients throughout the UK. Despite this expansion our fundamental principles of maintaining independence and setting ourselves apart from our rivals by maintaining the highest standards of service and professionalism have not changed at all.

We have developed a number of bespoke and guaranteed insurance solutions, working with a large panel of insurers, (subject to meeting our rating criteria) .Where possible, we will perform roles which have traditionally been carried out by Insurers, such as underwriting and claims settlement, in order to speed up the process and remove duplication. We have strengthened our expertise by recruiting specialists in their fields, from within and outside the insurance industry.

We do not rest on our laurels but rather recognise this anniversary, and all that has been achieved, as indicative of how much we need to continue working to maintain our envied position in the market. We are in good health to face this challenge, and our position as arguably the number one UK Insurance Broker in one of the fastest growing sectors, renewable energy, is neatly symbolic of our position: embracing change, identifying opportunities and adapting for the future, in the best interest of our clients.”

Bruce Stevenson Appointed to Advise Ofgem on Offshore Wind Development

Edinburgh Insurance Broker Bruce Stevenson Risk Management (BSRM) has check site seo
been appointed to work with Ofgem as part of the UK Governments support for offshore wind generation.

BSRM have been selected, with Grant Thornton UK LLP, to advise on the tender process appointing Offshore Transmission Owners (OFTO).The initial 15 month contract will focus on the insurance provisions for the bidders of the 3 Tranche A projects in Lincs (250MW £311m), Gwynt- y-Mor (576MW £306 m) and London Array (630MW £476m).

BSRM are a leading renewable energy insurance broker based in Edinburgh, but also with locations in Glasgow and London. The contract will further enhance their reputation and standing in the sector.

The three offshore projects will connect RWE’s 576MW Gwynt -y – Mor project located of the north coast of Wales; Centrica’s 250MW Lincs project sited of Skegness Lincolnshire and Eon, Dong and Masdars 630MW London Array in the Thames Estuary. All three projects will feature 3.6MW wind turbines supplied by Siemens Energy.

Ofgem are expected to plan out a further tender process for the following three projects in Humber Gateway, West of Duddon Sands and Race Bank in 2012.

The completion of the tender round will play crucial role for the government to meet renewable energy targets, sourcing 15 % of all energy from renewable sources by 2020.To meet these targets it is estimated that £20 billion in investment will be required in offshore electricity transmission infrastructure. This will provide connections for offshore wind farms at all stages of development from planning to operation.

Derek Skinner Director of Renewables at Bruce Stevenson Risk Management commented:

“Offshore wind is a massive new sector, and we are delighted to be supporting Ofgem in this latest chapter in the development of renewable electricity in the UK.

This reinforces BSRM as one of the leading insurance and risk consultancies in renewables in the UK, and builds on our expertise and reputation in onshore wind and hydro, where we have a significant share of the market.

“We look forward to working with Grant Thornton and Ofgem in supporting the development of the Offshore Renewable Sector.”

Bruce Stevenson bridges insurance gap with renewable energy expert

Gary BrattA Scottish-based insurance firm is to bridge a major gap in the insurance market by taking on a renewable energy expert.

Insurance solutions Bruce Stevenson Risk Management Ltd (BSRM) has announced that Gary Bratt 33, an engineer in renewable technology is to boost the company’s place at the forefront of insurance services in Scotland by providing a service dedicated to the renewable energy market. Gary, from Helensburgh in Argyll and Bute, has had extensive Scottish and European experience in the fields of semiconductor and laser engineering before undertaking a postgraduate master’s degree in Renewable Energy Systems and the Environment at the University of Strathclyde in 2009.

According to Gary “I am able to add another dimension of understanding of renewable projects and their associated risks from an engineering perspective. This allows Bruce Stevenson to make a more rounded and informed evaluation of insurance requirements.”

As the Scottish Government has renewable energy targets which aim to supply 80 per cent of Scotland energy from green sources by 2020, there is a growing market niche for expertise in renewable energy sources. Derek Skinner, Renewable Energy Director at BSRM said: “Bringing someone with the expertise of Gary to Bruce Stevenson Risk Management will strengthen our offering to our clients, developers and professional bodies we work closely with. It is vital that we understand the technologies being introduced to the UK Renewables sector to make these insurable and bankable. Our role is to understand the risks associated with developing renewable projects and finding Insurance solutions.”

News of an expert in this field is welcomed at a time when 41 applications for energy projects across hydro, onshore wind, biomass and clean technologies have been submitted to the Scottish energy consent and employment unit. At present Scotland holds the largest wind farm in Europe with 140 wind turbines at Whitelee farm and further consent granted for a 48 wind turbine farm at Fallago Rig in the Scottish borders.

Bruce Stevenson Ltd is a leading insurance broker in the UK insurance and financial services with expertise in renewable energy: private clients: property and business markets.