Tough insurance market prompts Bovis to convene discussion group

Large construction companies need an international forum where they can discuss the tough insurance market, industry giant Bovis Lend Lease has said.

Bovis group risk manager Mike Bartlett has approached a number of companies in a bid to set up a worldwide discussion group.

"We've been thinking for quite a while now that construction companies around the world should share their problems, benchmark, discuss best practice in risk management and the best ways to transfer risk," he said.

"It's early days, but we've already had some interest."

Bartlett said there were about 15 international companies of the same size as Bovis, including Amec, Skanska, and Turner and Jacobs. "They'd need to be large multinationals with a substantial interest in construction," he said.

Bartlett said a forum was needed in the current difficult insurance market.

"If nothing else, we'd get an understanding that we had a sensible approach, because it's easy to become disquieted, wondering if your way is the right way," he said.

"The way insurance is going at the moment, costing more and more every year, if we all address the issues in the same way, we can go back to the insurers knowing we've taken the common stance."

Airmic operates a UK construction interest group, chaired by Kevin Goodwin of Taylor Woodrow.

Airmic chief executive David Gamble said the group, which met every quarter, was the first interest group Airmic had established.

"It's been running since 1964 and has only had four chairmen in that time," he said.

"It's extremely lively and has the legendary Peter McBrien, the former Airmic chairman, as a long-time member."

Gamble said the group often lobbied the government on construction issues.