UK Ruling On Business Interruption (BI): Will Australian Businesses Be Impacted?

The fallout from the UK’s High Court business interruption (BI) ruling has been felt across the country – and now Australian insurers are wondering what this could mean for them.

The Financial Conduct Authority’s (UK regulator financial conduct)  ruling has seen a largely favourable outcome for UK businesses that took out BI policies and experienced losses due to the pandemic. If a similar outcome is reached in Australia and local companies start challenging their BI policies, it could cost the insurance sector as much as $1 billion

 

The Current Outlook For Australian Businesses

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) and the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) recently launched a test case, which was focused on Hollard Insurance and has been used to assess different exclusions. The case is seen as urgent in nature and; thus, was pushed forwards to be held by the NSW Supreme Court on 2 October.

The pandemic has significantly impacted those in Australia and beyond. With this in mind, the CEO of Insurance Council of Australia, Andrew Hall, has said he’s glad the test case hearing is progressing as quickly as possible. Recognising the importance of this judgement, involved parties are working to bring a ruling sooner rather than later, giving customers, insurers and regulators greater clarity around pandemic-related claims.

Alex Haslam, principal of the law firm Gilchrist Connell, believes the UK ruling will have very little impact on the outcome reached on Australian shores. The Australian test case is far from that conducted overseas. While it’s concerned with a specific form of infectious disease exclusion, which is included in property insurance policies, the British test case considered the wording in a broader range of policies 

However, not all Australian brokers are concerned about the flow-on impact of the UK’s business interruption ruling. Karen Hardy, principal broker at ACME Insurance Brokers, believes that clients understand general exclusions relating to infectious diseases aren’t specific to a certain disease and, rather, are intended to be all-encompassing blanket exclusions. She hasn’t had any clients pursue claims and doesn’t expect this to change anytime soon.

Business interruption insurance has been largely debated since the beginning of the pandemic. In the months and years ahead, it would be realistic to expect adjustments to BI and other insurance policy wordings in many Australian insurance firms.

For more information, or if this article has brought up any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your insurance advisor.

Disclaimer

Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.

The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.

How To Target New Markets In A Recession As A Small Business

For many small businesses, it has undeniably been a testing year. With the coronavirus pandemic sweeping across the globe and disrupting typical operations, SMEs have had to overcome a plethora of new challenges. This considered, there are still opportunities for businesses to maintain their viability and plan for future success.

By developing an enhanced understanding of any problems with their business’ product or service, owners can refine their offering/s and target audience to improve the appeal of their offering. This is central in effectively marketing to prospects, as you can pinpoint certain pain points and, respectively, create targeted campaigns that convincingly show how you can solve them. 

 

Pursuing A Growth Strategy As A Small Business

Barker St., an online coffee marketplace and subscription service, is one small business that has managed to thrive in the midst of the global pandemic. This is largely because of their initial response. Rather than panicking when lockdown was becoming increasingly probable, they developed a strategic plan.

First and foremost, they invested in marketing, which drove brilliant digital results for their business. During the pandemic, 65 per cent of their revenue came from organic Google searches, while the remaining 35 per cent was from targeted paid online efforts, including Google ads and Facebook and Instagram retargeting campaigns.

Retargeting campaigns were a crucial component of their strategy. Whenever a user visited the Barker St. website or searched for similar products, they would start seeing targeted ads from the small business. This was used to capture their initial interest and, ultimately, to drive more conversions from promising leads.

When it came to their Google ads, Barker St. split their budget between promoting their marketplace and subscription service. In doing this, they could test which campaigns were more successful and; thus, which specific areas to invest in more than others.

Barker St. also diversified their offering, helping them appeal to a broader audience. Rather than purely selling coffee beans as they had in the past, they launched a new range of capsules and drip bags. Moreover, they welcomed customer feedback and, because of this, increased their number of roasters.

When pursuing a growth strategy, small businesses need to carefully consider whether their insurance policies are still sufficient. If you’re expanding your business, speak with your insurance advisor to ensure any new initiatives are covered under liability and other business insurance.

 

The importance of conducting research

In a rapidly evolving market, completing sufficient research to becoming familiar with changing conditions is imperative for businesses. It can help them understand different customer preferences and, respectively, cater to their audience’s expectations and needs.

When it comes to market research, there are various routes small businesses can take, including:

  • Appointing a market research company;
  • Getting feedback directly from members of the target market, such as on social media or with competitions or polls;
  • Asking existing clients you know and trust for honest feedback;
  • Looking at research completed by others, such as census data and industry trend reports;
  • Requesting benchmarking industry reports from your accountant.

By leveraging this data, your small business can work to identify and capitalise on growth opportunities and/or ways to further refine your offering. Regardless of your circumstances, it can be well worth investing in pursuing ongoing learning and development. 

In challenging circumstances, many small businesses find it beneficial to concentrate on what they can do better than their competitors, pushing this area of their business. By doing this, they can often drive growth – even when the market is far from ideal.

For more information, or if this article has brought up any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your insurance advisor.

Disclaimer

Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.

The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.

How Increased Natural Hazard Risk Is Impacting Insurance

Across Australia, the frequency and severity of natural hazards has continued to escalate in recent times. As this risk escalates, much of the nation is beginning to question how prepared we are to effectively manage the fallout of such disasters.

A Royal Commission hearing in September brought about suggestions that, when it comes to making natural hazard policy changes, now is the time to act. While the need for climate action has been brewing for some years, it’s now apparent that we have all but surpassed the tipping point.

The completed report from the royal commission is due to be released in late October. It’s expected to detail recommendations relating to numerous key factors involved in improving the nation’s current anticipatory capacity and recovery framework, including decision-making and accountability.

 

Natural Hazard Key Areas Of Concern

A key focus of this hearing, which was spread over four months, was reviewing public policy regarding resilience. In particular, this is an issue when it comes to emergency management, with Mark Crosweller, former head of the National Resilience Taskforce, stating that there does need to be some structural amendments to existing policies.

Improving the current knowledge base and data capabilities for managing natural hazard information is critical in making such findings more accessible and informing decisions and future planning. However, doing this will involve an enormous amount of time and work. This is largely because the data needs to be contemporary and, in many instances, recent and accurate data isn’t readily available. Further, certain information is yet to even exist, such as a national bushfire risk map, making its creation all the more difficult.

The frequency and extremity of many natural disasters is rapidly increasing. Over the last 20 years, parts of Sydney and areas north of Newcastle and near Wollongong have seen more large and giant hailstorms than previously anticipated. Such giant hail events have been so significant that they destroyed motor vehicles in affected locations, causing many to be written off.

IAG has also identified “connected extremes” and, this summer, some experts expect that, in addition to the ongoing pandemic, Australians will need to grapple with a major tropical cyclone. 

 

The Impact On Insurance

With the intensity and risk of natural disasters continues to rise across the country, the number of claims is increasing, and insurance prices are getting higher. As more relevant data becomes available to insurers, areas of high risk can be identified, and they can continue to provide premiums suitable for varying environments and circumstances.

For more information, or if this article has brought up any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your insurance advisor.

Disclaimer

Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.

The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.

Insurance Cover & Working from Home

Insurance Cover & Working from Home

In the midst of these uncertain times, flexibility in business has become all the more important, with many employees now working remotely. Even before COVID-19, many individuals were seeking more flexible working options, given technological advances and a desire for a greater work-life balance. 

As a business owner, you’ve likely noticed this progression and; thus, may have already started looking into ways you can integrate improved remote working capabilities in the long-term. However, while such practice can be incredibly beneficial, understanding the risks that can be inherent of flexible working conditions is also imperative. 

This means being aware of and prepared to manage the potential challenges of different work arrangements, doing your best to ensure:

  • Employees are both physically and emotionally healthy;
  • Staff members who work from who are in a role where it’s appropriate and feasible for them to do so;
  • You understand how various flexible work options may impact your existing insurance cover.

If you’re still becoming familiar with the concept of flexible working and considering whether or not this approach is for your organisation – this article is for you.

The Reasons Why Employers Opt For Flexible Working Arrangements

First and foremost, in Australia, unless an employer has reasonable grounds to deny their request, there are certain people who have the right to seek out flexible work options. 

To satisfy the requirements; under fair work arrangements, an employee must have been working with the same company for 12 months, while also satisfying any of the following:

  • They are a carer;
  • They are 55 or older;
  • They have a disability;
  • They are a parent or are responsible for the care of a child of a certain age range;
  • They are a victim of or caring for an immediate family member who is a victim of domestic or family violence.

However, even if your business isn’t legally obligated to allow certain employees to work flexibly, you may still benefit from introducing such initiatives. While, at first, this may feel counter-intuitive, in that you’re essentially giving staff members the freedom to work unsupervised, this approach can achieve exceptional results for not only the employee but also the employer. Generally speaking, staff who work from home are more productive and, beyond this, the flexibility of their role can help boost morale, making them less likely to quit.

Through offering your employees the option to work flexibly, you can actively demonstrate your confidence in them and their capabilities. This, in conjunction with your receptiveness to their ever-changing needs, can help you establish strong professional relationships built on trust and, with more satisfied staff members, comes greater loyalty.

While there are some scenarios that may make flexible working difficult for certain employees, there may be the option to strike a happy medium. For instance, if a staff member’s role relies heavily on teamwork and; thus, will be made unnecessarily difficult if they’re not in the office, working from home on a full-time basis simply won’t be feasible. However, in catering to your employee’s needs; without introducing an approach that isn’t viable for your business in the long-term, you could consider giving them the option to work from home one or more days a week instead.

Insurance Considerations

If any of your employees work remotely, there are numerous insurance considerations you will need to take into account, including:

  • Injury to an employee: even if employees aren’t working on your premises, your business is still responsible for providing them with a safe work environment. Thus, you need to ensure that staff members are covered under your workers’ compensation insurance if they sustain a physical or psychological injury while working from home.
  • Injury to a customer: if your employees who work from home come in contact with customers, it’s important to make sure your public liability insurance accounts for this and that; thus, you have the appropriate level of cover.
  • Safety of property and equipment

For more information, or if this article has brought up any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your insurance advisor.

Disclaimer

Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.

The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.

Managing Business Costs During Challenging Times

Managing Business Costs During Challenging Times

For many Australian businesses, recent months have been particularly challenging, which has, consequently, placed additional strain on their finances. 

In response to this, many of those doing it tough are now looking for ways to cut back and; thus, preserve the ongoing viability of their company. However, while such action may be tempting, getting swept up in indiscriminately slashing costs can be incredibly harmful to a business’ ongoing prosperity.

Before hastily making decisions under pressure, considering their long-term implications is imperative. There are various ways to cut back on costs; however, some can be a false economy and, over time, may actually leave you worse off. 

By carefully assessing how best to cut costs given your business’ circumstances, you can survive these challenging times, all the while positioning your organisation for future success.

Focus on ‘Right-Sizing’

When navigating the current climate, rather than eliminating expenses left right and centre, consider using a less aggressive approach.

When organisations experience a downturn, one of the first places they often look to cut costs is their workforce. However, once business starts to take back off, those who’ve made a number of staff redundant risk being left without the manpower to regain momentum. Furthermore, down the line, hiring and training new staff can add additional cost barriers for businesses trying to get back on their feet.

With this in mind, instead of ruthlessly reducing workforce costs, you may consider applying a 60/40 approach. This is where current staff completes 60 per cent of work, while an itinerant workforce conducts the remaining 40 per cent. With this model, existing employees focus on the business’ day-to-day operations, with other capable individuals being brought in on an as-needed basis.

Also, if business is relatively quiet, it can be a good time to encourage staff to take some of the leave they’ve accrued. This can, in many circumstances, create a win-win situation, whereby your employees get to enjoy some time off when there’s far less going on than usual.

Beyond this, by staying up-to-date on government initiatives, such as the JobKeeper scheme, you can gain any financial support you’re entitled to.

Asset Management

If you’ve accumulated a large number of assets, some of which aren’t completely necessary, now could be the time to repurpose, sell or retire them.

By assessing whether certain physical assets are helping your business achieve profit and/or achieve your organisational goals, you can eliminate unnecessary additional costs weighing on your already tight finances.

Expense Management

Reconsidering and taking charge of your expenses is another way to manage costs for effectively during tough times. However, when doing this, you want to ensure you’re not cutting back to the point where your company struggle to complete profitable work.

When it comes to insurance, for instance, you don’t want to be cutting corners, especially at such a high-risk time. Alternatively, you want to be making sure you’re getting the most out of your insurance, choosing reputable insurers that you can rely on. This means that, if the unprecedented does occur, your claim will be processed as efficiently as possible, so you can get back to business sooner.

However, in some other areas of business, such as your supply chain, you may be able to negotiate lower prices and the like for a certain period of time. This can help lighten the load in the short-term, giving you the means to bounce back once normal economic conditions return.

For more information, or if this article has brought up any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your insurance advisor.

Disclaimer

Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.

The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.

What Your Business Needs to Do To Ensure a Safe Workplace for Returning to Work

What Your Business Needs to Do To Ensure a Safe Workplace for Returning to Work

When conducting day-to-day operations in the workplace, everything doesn’t always go to plan. While companies can introduce extensive measures for managing risks, this doesn’t guarantee exemption from accidents, which can still happen along the line.

While it can be good to recognise that ‘accidents happen’, this doesn’t grant you a free pass to be laid back when it comes to workplace safety. Minimising the likelihood of your employees experiencing work-related injury or illness still ought to be of the utmost importance, with accidents of this nature costing the Australian economy some $61.8 billion.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, risks threatening the wellbeing of employees in the workplace have only been amplified. While it’s still imperative that organisations continue to satisfy their usual safety rules and obligations; as per government legislation, they’re now in the position where more thorough measures likely need to be introduced as well. Thus, seeking out reputable pandemic-specific resources is vital in remaining informed on and in compliance with guidelines.

Many organisations are supporting their staff members in working remotely, as to reduce and, ultimately, contain, community transmission. As an employer, you’re expected to:

  • Maintain daily communication with workers;
  • Provide employees with reasonable assistance in alleviating risks and setting up their home workplace;
  • Ensure employees have a reliable point of contact for discussing any concerns that arise;
  • Put together a comprehensive plan for managing the current climate, which takes into account:
    • Physical activities
    • Work environment
    • Communication
    • Work practices
    • Mental health

Managing Risks and Making Workplace Safety a Priority

As detailed in government legislation, Australian businesses are not only responsible for preserving the safety of their staff members, but also anyone who visits their workplace. This means that, when minimising hazards, you need to keep the wellbeing of your customers, contractors and the like in mind as well.

In doing this, to get your business on track, there are four key steps you can take:

  1. Identify Hazards: consider which specific aspects of your workplace have the potential to cause harm.
  2. Assess Risks: understand what types of harm your identified risks pose, the seriousness of this harm, how to eliminate these risks and the level of urgency in doing so.
  3. Control Risks: determine processes for minimising or mitigating risks.
  4. Review Control Measures: monitor the effectiveness of your strategies for managing risks and continue to make improvements as required.

In addition to this, by introducing well-developed crisis management and business continuity plans, when unprecedented events do occur, you’ll be better equipped to manage their repercussions.

Reporting an Incident

If an event occurs at your workplace that results in serious injury or illness, this must be immediately reported to your state’s relevant regulator.

In cases where it’s a close call but, at the end of the day, no one was seriously harmed, it’s imperative that the incident is still reported appropriately. While it may be tempting to stay quiet about near misses, this can expose your business to hefty fines and, more importantly, can be detrimental to the safety of your staff members.

By reporting issues as they arise, your organisation can recognise risks that aren’t being addressed sufficiently. Through doing this, you have the opportunity to introduce new, more effective measures for minimising or alleviating risks of this nature in future. 

Making a Claim

Once you’ve reported an issue, depending on your circumstances, you may be in the position to make an insurance claim, such as to assist you in making a compensation payment.

The vast majority of Australian employers are legally obligated to take out workers’ compensation insurance; thus, this is a proactive measure you will need to make a priority. If an incident does occur, worker’s compensation insurance can help your business remain financially viable while you pay the wages or medical bills of an injured or unwell employee.

For more information, or if this article has brought up any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your insurance advisor.

Disclaimer

Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.

The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.

The Consequences of Policy Cancellation

The Consequences of Policy Cancellation

In past months, the business environment has changed drastically, with the coronavirus pandemic causing widespread stress, devastation and uncertainty.

For many individuals, the unfamiliar events unfolding across the globe have left them wondering whether or not various types of insurance are still worthwhile. Their business’ circumstances are likely far from the reality they once knew, so they may no longer need the same cover they once sought out – right?

Whether it’s Fire and Property insurance, Business Interruption insurance, Public Liability insurance or the like, experts have strongly suggested against discontinuing your cover in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak.

While policy cancellation may be tempting, it can be incredibly harmful to your business’ ongoing viability, especially when many organisations are already under immense financial pressure.

In the following article, we’ll be breaking down why staying covered is so important, and discussing some of the key types of insurance individuals are questioning as of late.

Fire & Property Insurance

Many workplaces are currently unoccupied, with employees working remotely to aid in the containment of coronavirus in the community.

Your business may be closed, but this doesn’t mean that the risks your premises are subject to vanish. Unprecedented events can still occur, leaving you exposed to significant financial hardship, which may be all the more challenging to deal with in the current climate.

Even if your workplace isn’t as heavily trafficked as usual, fires, burst pipes, storms, burglaries, and the like can all still happen. Before cancelling your insurance policy, it’s important to consider how your business would cope and, ultimately, if you would have the means to survive this crisis, under such additional stress.

Public Liability Insurance

Similarly to the above, there is no saying that just because the environment within which you’re operating now has changed, you will no longer be at risk of being found liable for a certain occurrence.

If an unforeseen event happens, for instance, a pipe bursting and flooding a neighbour’s property or fire damaging the building you rent, this can end up being incredibly costly if you don’t have Public Liability insurance. 

In such cases, you’d need to defend your business, which, in of itself, can be a relatively expensive process. Beyond this, if your defence is unsuccessful and you’re found to be liable for the damages, many businesses would not have the means to recover from such financial strain.

It’s also worth taking into consideration that, in many cases, such as a fire that causes notable damage to property, the repair won’t happen overnight. This means that, if the impacted business is uninsured for such occurrence, they’ll need to cover the cost of repair, while also losing a significant portion of their future profit during the reparation process.

With this in mind, remaining insured in these uncertain times is essential in preserving the long-term viability of your organisation and helping you stay on track for future success in the event of the unexpected.

 

For more information, or if this article has brought up any insurance queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your insurance broker.

Disclaimer

Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.

The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.

The Road out for Businesses: Preparing for a Post-Pandemic World

The Road out for Businesses: Preparing for a Post-Pandemic World

Managing the fallout from COVID-19 has become an incredibly daunting prospect for many Australian businesses, proving to be an undeniably challenging task.

With the economy plummeting, new pressures are emerging, bringing about an array of obstacles organisations must now overcome if they wish to maintain the ongoing viability of their operations. 

Across Australia, unemployment is mounting, with 2.16 million individuals out of work and accumulating less disposable income than they once would. With this in mind, economic recession and uncertainty have seen the collapse of buyer demand. Businesses are also facing: 

  • Significant regulatory modifications
  • Supply chain interruptions
  • Health and safety workplace implications

Implementing improvements and adjustments on an ‘as required’ basis or, in other words, in response to issues as they arise, will not be sufficient for organisations looking to survive the pandemic. By laying the groundwork now, introducing strong policies and procedures for managing the ever-changing business environment, companies can prepare for a prosperous future.

What To Be On The Lookout For

For many, business at the moment is relatively slow – so it’s the perfect time to start planning for the weeks and months to come.

Devising an updated organisational strategy will be crucial as, unsurprisingly; it likely won’t be ‘business as usual’ for some time. However, once restrictions do start being lifted, your business needs to be in the position to quickly, efficiently and effectively implement a clear plan-of-action; otherwise, you risk jeopardising your future success.

So, what should you be on the lookout for when transitioning out of strict COVID-19 restrictions?

When you’re looking ahead and preparing for the road out, taking the following points into consideration is absolutely crucial:

  • Is your business adequately staffed?
  • What will your business’ operations, workforce and the like look like post-pandemic?
  • How will staff members return to the workplace? This process may be staggered, as opposed to bringing back all employees at once. If this is the case, which team members will return, and in what order?
  • Are you prepared for some employees, for instance, those who are immune-compromised, choose to continue working remotely for some time?
  • If your premises have been unoccupied for a prolonged period of time, have they received the appropriate upkeep? Are they in a suitable state for employees to return to the workplace, in that they comply with relevant health and safety regulations?

By tackling challenges head-on and taking sufficient measures to secure the future of your business now, you’ll be giving your company a fighting chance at surviving the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

For more information, or if this article has brought up any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your insurance broker.

Disclaimer

Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.

The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.

Risk & Liability Post-Pandemic: How Will Employees be Impacted?

Risk & Liability Post-Pandemic: How Will Employees be Impacted?

The rapid spread of COVID-19 across the globe has brought about an array of distinct risks, which, in many cases, individuals haven’t ever had to consider before.

The day-to-day life of Australians has changed drastically in just a matter of weeks, with their professional and personal lives straying far from what they once were. 

Where possible, employees are now working remotely, which has, thus far, helped to contain community transmission of COVID-19. However, in the weeks and months to come, it’s expected that restrictions will slowly start to lift, with many employers welcoming staff’s staged return to the office or worksites.

While we’re undeniably taking commendable steps in the right direction, if individuals fail to manage the risks posed by COVID-19 sufficiently, future outbreaks will become all the more probable. With this in mind, employers inhibit a crucial role in preventing infections, both now and during the integration of their employees back into the workplace. 

How Will The Workplace Be Different?

Just as prior to COVID-19, employers have a legal obligation to adequately manage health and safety risks on their premises. However, the guidelines and regulations with which they must comply have changed and, in many cases, it’s to be expected that workplace processes will become far stricter, if they haven’t already.

It’s well known that coronavirus is highly infectious; thus, there are numerous, reasonably practical steps employers ought to be taking to keep their staff members safe. Beyond this, considerations also need to be made for dealing with third parties, such as customers and bystanders, who may be interacting with staff or attending worksites, offices and the like.

As an employee, contractor or volunteer, your work life will inevitably change upon your return to the workplace, with employers introducing systems for:

  • Ensuring staff members maintain the appropriate levels of hygiene;
  • Ensuring all staff abide by physical distancing requirements;
  • Managing and responding to infections or suspected cases appropriately.

While these new processes may seem rigorous and inconvenient, such action is absolutely paramount in keeping employees, as well as the greater community, safe during these uncertain times.

 

For more information, or if this article has brought up any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your insurance broker.

Disclaimer

Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.

The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.

Your Guide to Cyber Security During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Your Guide to Cyber Security During the COVID-19 Pandemic

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, 88% of Australian businesses have now either encouraged or required their staff members to work remotely.

While this is, of course, an essential measure to take in containing the spread of COVID-19, such arrangements can have numerous concerning security implications for organisations. 

In many cases, individual’s devices aren’t equipped with the appropriate technology to keep data safe for the duration of these current flexible working arrangements. This has, inevitably, left staff members particularly exposed to the threat of security breaches, with cybercriminals attempting to take advantage of these compromised situations.

Malware infections, unauthorised access, insecure devices and failed data security systems can be incredibly damaging to a business’ ongoing feasibility and, ultimately, their longevity. The confidential information of your employees, customers and business may be at risk, so it’s important to take swift action now as to avoid otherwise preventable breaches in the weeks and months to come.

Don’t leave your business susceptible to cyber attacks. There are various practical steps that can be taken to help keep remote access to your business’ networks secure.

 

Keeping Your Business’ Information Safe

In an effort to keep Australian businesses protected in the current climate, the Australian Government have shared a number of actionable, proactive tactics for enforcing reliable cyber security practices.

In summary, these include:

  • Reviewing and refining your business’ existing continuity plans and procedures.
  • Making sure that your security systems have been updated as required.
  • Preparing for the higher demand on remote access technologies by increasing your cyber security measures. Before rolling out any changes, make sure to conduct any appropriate tests.
  • Ensuring that, if you use a remote desktop client, it’s secure.
  • Checking that the laptops, phones and other work devices your staff members will be using are secure.
  • For access to systems, such as cloud services, introducing multi-factor authentication processes.
  • Providing staff and stakeholders with any relevant information and/or training to ensure they’re well equipped to follow the expected cyber security practices.
  • Considering other ways to minimise the risk of data breaches, such as ensuring staff have effective physical security measures in place, especially if they’re working with particularly sensitive information.

 

For any insurance queries this article may have raised, please do not hesitate to get in touch with your insurance advisor or broker.

 

Disclaimer

Conditions apply for each policy and the information expected from you for a policy to trigger. Coverage may differ based on specific clauses in individual policies. Please ask your broker to explain the additional benefits and exclusions pertaining to your policy.

The information provided is general advice only and does not take account of your personal circumstances or needs. Please refer to our financial services guide which contains details of our services and how we are remunerated.