Protect Duty legislation (Martyn’s Law) and what this could mean for businesses

Terrorism risk in 2021 and Protect Duty legislation (Martyn’s Law)

The threat from terrorism has not diminished and whilst the level set by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre and MI5 remains ‘Substantial’ (having only reduced from Severe earlier in February) – businesses simply can’t afford to ignore this continued risk as they emerge from enforced lockdown periods.

Many sectors have felt the financial impact of the pandemic, indeed the threat from terrorism is another exposure that could carry significant financial consequences for businesses, albeit at a more localised level. It is therefore critical that brokers ensure that adequate and responsive terrorism insurance is in place for their clients, but this is only part of the consideration.

With the ongoing public consultation around Martyn’s Law, which will ultimately become known as Protect Duty legislation, the obligations of many business owners could dramatically shift.
The legislation requires that premises and processes are adequately secure to prevent avoidable loss of life, through undertaking counter-terrorism risk assessments, and ensuring effective plans are put in place.

Risk managers and security experts believe that the introduction of Protect Duty legislation could be have a similar impact to that GDPR had with data security and data handling, so it’s important to start to think about the potential requirements for businesses now.

NMU’s Terrorism Underwriting Manager, Gary Barlow talks to Insurance Age editor, Sian Barton about the changing terrorism threat landscape in the UK and how the business is adapting to the evolving threat and the ongoing debate around Martyn’s law for the 2021 Products Edition.

Risk management solutions from NMU

A fit-for-purpose insurance policy only forms part of our package as an insurer. For this reason, we are partnering with BSI (British Standards Institution) to ensure that our brokers and clients have access to dedicated terrorism risk prevention guidance, so they are ultimately able to fulfil their obligations to comply with the anticipated legislation that will follow.

Commenting on the legislation consultation, David Fairnie, Principle Consultant – Supply Chain Security and Resilience at BSI, said that “the Protect Duty legislation would place responsibility on owners or operators of venues, or public places, to consider terror threats and methodologies, assess the impact attacks could have on them and put in place plans to mitigate these risks.

“Publicly accessible locations would be split into sectors including health, education, retail, leisure, faiths zones and individual sites.

“The primary intention behind the proposed Protect Duty legislation is that owners and operators of publicly accessible locations will be required to consider and take forward appropriate and proportionate protective security measures.”

When considering the broad spectrum of sectors that the government state will be included in the legislation, this has the potential to impact on the decisions and actions of many businesses, particularly when you consider that they will all need to:

  • engage with freely available counter-terrorism advice and training;
  • conduct vulnerability assessments of their operating places and spaces;
  • mitigate the risks and vulnerabilities identified in these assessments;
  • develop and implement a counter-terrorism plan

Contact us

For more information about our Risk Control services or Terrorism & Sabotage Insurance for commercial Businesses, Property Owners and Commercial Fleet Operators, contact our team here.

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