Contingency Insurance

Why Your Business Should Consider Contingency Insurance

There are several types of Contingency Insurance available to cover a range of unpredictable circumstances that may affect your planned business activities.  These are:

  • Cancellation & Abandonment
  • Pluvius
  • Prize Indemnity

The following describes a bit more about the types of Contingency Insurance that may be necessary for your business.

Cancelation and Abandonment

Event organisers, promoters and sponsors incur expenses prior to an event for deposits and upfront costs.  They cannot afford for an unpredictable event beyond their control to cause the event to be postponed, cancelled or relocated. However, there are a number of situations that can result in this happening, from adverse weather, to physical damage to the venue or issues with access to the venue, non-appearance of artists or speakers, failure of electrical supply, strikes and late arrival of essential items.

Cancelation and Abandonment Insurance may cover organisers, promoters, sponsors and venue owners for costs & expenses as well as loss of profit, as a result of an unpredictable event.  Events that can be covered include:

  • Indoor and Outdoor Sporting Events
  • Conferences, Exhibitions and Trade Fairs
  • Concerts and Festivals
  • Charity Gala Evenings, Dinners and Balls
  • Theatre, Opera or Ballet Productions
  • Public Speaking Events
  • Open Days and Fetes
  • Publicity Launches
  • Corporate Events
  • Film and Commercial Production

Pluvius Insurance Cover

Pluvius Insurance Cover (names after the Roman god of Rain) is a specific type of cover, where the insured is paid an agreed amount should a specified amount of rainfall at their event. More rain means less spectators and lower ticket sales.

For Pluvius Insurance cover to kick in, the event doesn’t necessarily need to be cancelled, however rainfall must exceed tolerance.

Prize Indemnity

Prize Indemnity Insurance cover is when the insured is indemnified for the value of a prize in their promotion or competition.  Competitions that may be covered include prize Draws and Skill Contests.

  • Prize draws: Competitions drawn at random, such as envelope picks and wheel spins.
  • Skill contests: Competitions that involve a level of skill in order to win, such as a golf hole-in-one or a shot at goal in soccer.

It’s important to be aware that specific State Legislation may require licenses according to the value of the prize.  Furthermore, for compliance purposes it may be necessary for a 3rd party to supervise the competition.

If your business has an important event coming up, Contingency Insurance may be a worthwhile consideration.  Speak to us about your options.

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.

Business Interruption Insurance

Business Interruption Insurance: A Comprehensive Guide

Most business owners understand the importance of business insurance when it comes to repairing damage or replacing equipment.  However, natural disasters and vandalism can not only harm your business, but can make it almost impossible to get back to normal operations – often for an extended period of time.

The owners, shareholders, and other financiers of your business expect an ongoing income in order to cover financing costs, business operation costs, and an acceptable level of profit. As such, profit and ongoing expenses including payroll, management and financing costs should be insured. The type of insurance that covers these kind of events is called Business Interruption Insurance.

Without Business Interruption Insurance, your company may not survive in the event of a loss, however:

Three out of every four businesses don’t have business interruption insurance.

Having protection in place to keep your operation financially stable in the event that it is unable to resume business as usual is vital.  A recent report published by CGU further highlighted the importance of Business Interruption Insurance in a recent campaign with the following statistics:

  • 1 in 4 small businesses would not survive if they had to close their doors for 3 months
  • 38% of small businesses would shut down if they experienced a business interruption during a busy period in the year
  • 1 in 7 businesses experienced a shortfall in income because of a business interruption in the last 12 months

The campaign aimed to educate CGU staff and brokers about Business Interruption Insurance with a series of informational webinars.  The webinar series focused on why business owners need Business Interruption Insurance and the most common Business Interruption Incidents.

Why Business Owners Need Business Interruption Insurance?

Business Interruption insurance is designed to protect the money or income you may lose when your business operations are interrupted and you are unable to operate as normal. This can be as a result of a natural disaster, or even something simple like a power outage.

The following Infographic from CGU explains in a bit more detail the benefits of securing a comprehensive Business Interruption Insurance policy.

Business Interruption Insurance

The Most Common Business Interruption Incidents

Certain incidents are more likely to result in a Business Interruption claim. CGU outlines the following as the most common incidents to result in a Business Interruption claim.

Business Interruption Claim

Some of these are out of the business owner’s control, however there are certain events that you can, and should, take steps to prevent.  While you can’t control the weather or malicious damage caused by others, there are a number of risk management strategies that your business can employ to reduce the risk of theft, fire, burst pipes and accidental damage.

If you have any queries about the above, or would like more information on Business Interruption Insurance feel free to contact us.

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.

Business Interruption Insurance

Australian Businesses Suffering in the Wake of Cyclone Debbie

Hitting Australia’s Eastern Coast at the end of March, Cyclone Debbie ripped roofs from houses, destroyed power lines, knocked trees onto major roads and flooded houses, gardens and roads across Queensland and New South Wales.  While emergency workers were quick to respond, the cyclone caused severe damage, and was declared a “catastrophe” on the 28th of March by the Insurance Council of Australia.

The full extent of the damage is yet to be seen, and thousands of claims are still expected to be lodged with insurance companies in the coming weeks.  Less than a week after the catastrophe, the Insurance Council of Australia reported that 19,600 claims had already been lodged, amounting to $224 million.

Spokesman for the Insurance Council, Campbell Fuller stated “Claims are flowing in from many, many places – all the way from Bowen and the Proserpine region through to the Gold Coast.”  He continued that most of the damage was caused by ‘wind-driven rain’, and that many properties that look relatively untouched from the outside have suffered significant damage to the interior.

The clean up operation continues, with many home and business owners left to rebuild, repair or replace their property.  Property damage claims, such as replacing broken tiles, smashed windows and ruined carpets, are the most common claims incurred as a result of wild weather.  Protecting your business property against the destructive effects caused by the forces of nature is essential.  A Property Insurance policy can protect your assets and minimise the financial impact on your business in these circumstances.  Property Insurance can cover many property types, as well as valuable business assets such.

While Property Insurance may help with costs incurred as a result of severe weather conditions, it’s important to get back on your feet as quickly as possible.  As part of the PSC Connect Network, clients have access to Johns Lyng Emergency Response, an organisation that offers urgent property repairs and services to mitigate further damage.  The services that they can offer include Emergency Plumbing & Electrical Works, Temporary Fencing, Glass Shuttering and Replacement, Protective Tarping, Demolition and Removal of Debris, Tree Removal, Carpet Restoration, Heater Extraction and Drying, and Emergency Fire Clean.

We can recommend the most appropriate cover to fully protect your business and assets. Speak to us for more information on Property Insurance, or our Johns Lyng Emergency Response offering.

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.

Business Fire Safety Tips

Safety Tips for Businesses this Bush Fire Season

Extreme weather events dominated Australia last year, with 2016 recorded as the fourth-warmest year on record, and it’s showing no signs of cooling down in the start of 2017. With this warm dry weather comes another threatening bush fire season. It’s important that any business based close to dense forest, bush, grassland or the coast is prepared for bushfires.

As a business owner, it is your responsibility to be aware of the threat of bushfire in your area and ensure you keep your business and employees safe at all times. The key to surviving a bushfire season is to be prepared. Ansvar Insurance published a helpful guide, which detailed bushfire plans for the fire season. They warned that fire preparedness is a shared responsibility, and issued the following safety tips for businesses.

  • Clear rubbish, long grass and other materials that may be prone to catching fire from your premises. This ‘circle of safety’ should extend at least a 20 metre radius around your buildings and properties.
  • Ensure all gutters are cleaned regularly and install metal gutter guards.
  • Make sure any flammable fuels and chemicals are stored away from the main premises, for example in an enclosed, fire-proof shed a few metres away from the building.
  • Install sarking behind weatherboards and beneath existing roofing for extra protection. Sarking helps regulate your building temperature, whilst providing protection from hot or cold weather.
  • Ensure your premises are bush fire ready by using toughened or laminated safety glass and installing metal flyscreens to doors and windows.

It’s also important to check your insurance policy to make sure you are adequately covered if disaster strikes. By checking your insurance policy now and better understanding your legal rights, you could save a lot of heartache and financial stress down the track.

Insured businesses should check their policies and ask themselves:

  • Am I up to date with my payments?
  • Does the sum insured on my building cover the total rebuild cost?
  • Do I know where my policy is?
  • Does my policy really cover what I think it covers?
  • What can’t I claim for under the policy?
  • Are there maximum amounts or limits I can claim?

If you are unsure about any of these questions, you should contact your insurance broker who can help to ensure you are adequately protected.

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.

Cyber Insurance

Why Cyber Insurance Is Vital for Protecting Your Business in 2017

Specialised cyber risk management firm Stroz Friedberg has announced the top cyber threats facing businesses in 2017. Their most recent report “2017 Cybersecurity Predictions,” claims cyber espionage, data integrity attacks, and attacks on Internet of Things (IoT) devices, will be prevalent in 2017.

They warn business owners that cyber attacks are likely to intensify in the coming year as cyber criminals become more advanced and more cunning in exploitive techniques.

The report listed the following as the top cyber risk predictions for 2017:

  • Exploitation of Internet of Things: Cybercriminals will use IoT devices to attack infrastructure. As more people connect more devices to the internet (such as heating/cooling systems and household appliances) cybercriminals have more opportunity to hack these systems. Once they have infiltrated the system, criminals can infect the devices with malicious software, without the knowledge of the owner, and use them as launch points for distributing malware, spam and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
  • Data Integrity Attacks Will Increase: Data sabotage is likely to become a reality in 2017, where criminals try to create confusion and doubt over the accuracy and reliability of information and data, in order to impair decision-making.
  • More Sophisticated Methods of Spear-Phishing: Spear-phishing is a fraudulent act, where criminals send mass emails from a known or trusted sender in order to encourage targeted individuals to reveal confidential information. In 2017, the way criminals spear-phish will become more advanced and more targeted. The report warned that criminals are likely to increase their focus on using human error as an entry point, and will exploit employee weaknesses to enter the business system, known as ‘social engineering’.

The report emphasised the importance of including cyber risk management as a key part of any business’ risk management strategy this year, describing this as “a critical part of doing business” in 2017.

Cyber attacks are likely to intensify significantly in the coming year, and it’s important that your business is protected. Speak to your insurance advisor about how Cyber Insurance may be of benefit to your business.

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.

Business Insurance

Don’t Wait Till Disaster Strikes! Make Sure You Have Adequate Insurance Now

A state-wide blackout that crippled South Australia in September last year cost industry in the area over $367 million. According to a study recently released by Business SA, many of the affected businesses in the area did not have Business Interruption Insurance. Of those that did, more than half were not adequately covered for all of the losses incurred as a result of the unexpected outage. The report estimated that the blackout cost each business affected around $5,000.

Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence. In many cases, price-focused small business owners have to keep their costs down and as a result may not buy insurance at all or may only have cover in place for certain losses such as fire, theft, flood or vandalism. However, it’s important to bear in mind that these disasters will not only harm your business’ physical assets, but may also make it difficult to continue operations for an extended period of time. In fact, in the event of serious property damage, it’s not uncommon for the Business Interruption component of a claim to be greater than the cost of repairing the physical property damage.

Business Interruption Insurance covers lost income when a company cannot operate, after an insured event has affected them. While your Business Insurance may cover the costs of repairing or replacing important business assets, the process of doing so can take some time. In the period of time between the disaster striking and getting your business back on its feet, you may find your operations are restricted or completely unable to function, which in turn, is likely to cause a loss of profit. Depending on how badly your property has been damaged, you may lose cash flow and fall behind on bills, or you may have to pay staff extra wages as they work overtime to get the business back on track.

Business Interruption cover makes is possible to stay afloat while your business returns to full operating ability by covering costs such as paying your staff, taking care of debts and covering other costs associated with getting your business back on track.

A successful business depends on more than just a physical location and tangible assets. It’s important to ensure you are fully protected for these additional costs, so that you’re not left out of pocket if disaster strikes. Speak to your insurance adviser for more information on fully protecting your business.

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.

life insurance

The Downside of Including Life Insurance in your SMSF

For many Self Managed Superannuation Funds, Life Insurance cover can be included for members of the fund.  It is common for an SMSF to include the option for Life insurance cover, certain types of Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) cover, and Standard Income Protection insurance.

It is important to note however, that there are downsides to sourcing Life Insurance through your SMSF.  First and foremost, SMSF Life Insurance plans can come with limited levels of coverage and very narrow definitions of what is covered.  This means that members can find themselves underinsured.

Here are some other issues to consider regarding the drawbacks of including Life Insurance in your SMSF.

  1. Tax Considerations– Tax is payable on some Life insurance and TPD benefits. If your children are over the age of 18 and intended beneficiaries of an insurance policy, it may be better to hold the policy in your personal name, rather than super to ensure they receive the full payment that they are entitled to.
  2. Access to Your Payout– A disability income insurance policy that is held in a SMSF may be entitled to a claim, however it can be difficult to get access to the money, and income payments can be stuck in the super account until you are a lot older or very unwell. Consider keeping disability income insurance policies in your name; the premiums are also tax-deductible to you.
  3. Your Type of Work – Total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance provides coverage if you were to become unable to work again due to a serious accident or illness. Depending on your occupation, it can be difficult to be successful in a claim. Many SMSF life insurance options offer “any occupation” coverage for TPD. The drawback here is that with “any occupation” coverage, if you can be employed to do a role, including something other than your specified occupation, you will likely not be successful in a claim.
  1. Super Contributions – If you hold insurance in super, it’s important to remember that unless you are topping up your super to offset the premiums being paid for the insurances, you are cutting yourself out of investment returns and reducing your long-term super balance.

Life insurance is an extremely important product that ensures yourself and your family can maintain your standard of living long into the future.  However navigating the complex insurance market to find the right policy for you can be difficult and confusing.  We have relationships with experience life insurance professionals who can help you source the policy that is right for your situation and your needs.

PSC Connect has a separate Life Insurance division: Connect Life, which is run by Jason Garde.

Connect Life Pty Ltd is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Certus Life Pty Ltd (AFSL 467443) ABN 99 169 526 363

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.

 

cyber insurance

Top Concerns for Today’s Business Owner

Leading international insurer Zurich has recently released their third annual global SME survey, revealing cybercrime, reputational damage and impact of competition to be the top concerns for today’s business owner.

The report surveyed 2,600 C-suite executives and managers in SMEs across 13 countries in Europe, the Americas, and Asia Pacific.  It determined that concerns about cybercrime have tripled since 2013, from 4 per cent to 11 per cent, while concerns about reputational damage, have almost doubled, from 8 per cent to 14 per cent.  Both of these perceived risks featured on the first survey was in 2013, but have clearly continued to dominate the list of business concerns.

With effective risk management strategies and appropriate insurance in place, it is possible to reduce these risks to your business.

Protecting Your Business From Cybercrime

The fear of being victim of a cyber attack is not unfounded.  The Threat Intelligence Brief report [Webroot, 2016] found Australia to be a lucrative market for cybercriminals.  The report found Australian-based cyber threats, including malicious IP addresses, suspicious URLs and phishing sites, more than doubled in 2015.  Cybercriminals target a range of businesses, often preying on SMEs that hold personal or sensitive information such as customer credit card information or employee bank details etc.

As a business owner you must be vigilant. There are certain steps you can take to minimise the risk of being the next victim of a cyber attack, such as defining internal cyber security measures, being extremely careful with sensitive information, and having a data breach response plan in place. A comprehensive insurance policy is also necessary for helping to protect your assets and your business against considerable financial loss.  Cyber Insurance can cover the key issues that your business may face in relation to using and protecting data and utilising digital media and communications.

Protecting Your Business Reputation

As a business owner, you know the importance of your company’s reputation.  Businesses with strong reputations attract better people, are perceived as providing more value, and have more loyal customers who are willing to buy broader ranges of products and services. Businesses with stronger reputations tend to be more successful, so protecting that reputation is understandably a huge concern for business owners.

There are a huge number of potential incidents that can negatively affect your business’ reputation. Health and safety incidents to product recalls; quality control errors; business and service interruptions; financial losses; ethical violations; allegations over business practice; and facing legal action from a third party are all examples of the risks that can affect businesses.

The slightest unintentional error can quickly escalate into a major incident, which damages your reputation, costs you resources and affects your bottom line.  In order to reduce the likelihood of this happening, it is vital to effectively manage your business risk. Your insurance broker can offer risk management advice and help to ensure your company is equipped with the necessary resources to mitigate the effects of a reputational risk crisis. Your broker will speak to you about the specific risks that your business is exposed to, and help you put in place a comprehensive insurance plan that addresses all of these risks.  By ensuring you have the right insurance in place, you will be able to get your business back up and running again as quickly as possible.

Contact me to find out more about effectively protecting your business from cyber and reputational risk.

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 disputes

Insurance Disputes on the Rise: You Need Your Insurance Broker More Than Ever

According to a recent report issued by the Financial Ombudsman Service, insurance disputes have rapidly increased in the last financial year; returning to the highs seen in 2011-12 when several natural disasters struck the country.

General Insurance Lead Ombudsman John Price said that this increase is a result of a combination of factors including a lack of resourcing on the part of insurers which has lead to an increase in the out-sourcing of complaints handling.  Social media also appeared to be raising awareness about complaints processes, which is likely to increase the number people coming forward, he added.  Furthermore, the FOS introduced shorter timeframes for resolving disputes and insurers were struggling to meet those deadlines.

With this rise in claim disputes, it’s clear that claims are a contentious issue for insurers and consumers alike.  As such, the importance of using an insurance broker has become clearer than ever. Using an insurance broker should make you less likely to have a dispute. Additionally, with an insurance broker acting on your behalf, for many clients it also makes the entire claims process a lot less of a headache. Here are just some of the ways that your insurance broker can be of assistance for your business in the face of a claim:

  • Sourcing the Right Cover: According to the Financial Ombudsman Service, disputes most often arise as a result of failure to obtain the appropriate insurance coverage. With the advice of an insurance broker, you are more likely to be comprehensively covered.  This means that in the event you do have to make a claim, issues are less likely to arise.
  • Dealing with the Claim: After a disaster has impacted your business, your list of things to do is never-ending. Your insurance broker can deal with the claim on your behalf, and communicate with the insurer to ensure it is dealt with as efficiently and effectively as possible. Insurance brokers often have pre-existing relationships with insurers, which means they know how to get the best outcome and resolve any issues that may arise.
  • Reducing Likelihood of Future Claim: Your insurance broker will regularly review your business and your insurance policy to ensure you have the most appropriate cover in place going forward. They will provide a risk assessment of your business to determine any areas where you could minimise risk and reduce your likelihood of a claim.

As your insurance broker, we’re here for you and ready to help whether you have a claim or not.  Don’t hesitate to get in touch for further information or risk management advice.

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.

Drone Law

Drone Law Updates: What it Means for Business

The regulations concerning the commercial use of drones have been relaxed as of the 29th of September 2016.  With these more relaxed rules now in place, it’s important that businesses operating (or considering operating) drones are aware of the risks associated with these devises so that they can plan their risk management strategy accordingly.

The use of remotely piloted aircraft (RPA), or drones, in business has grown considerably in recent years.  In Australia, there are currently an estimated 700 registered commercial drone operators spanning industries including property, tourism, insurance, mining, engineering, marketing, entertainment and sports.  This “booming” drone industry is what prompted the CASA to reconsider regulations for commercial users.

Previous regulations required that operators hold both a Remote Operators Certificate and a Controllers Certificate as well as obtain a number of legal approvals.  In an attempt to reduce the cost and legal requirements around the use of certain types of drones, the updated CASA regulations mean people remotely piloting drones weighing under two kilograms will no longer need a remote pilot licence or a range of other approvals. This has made the use of drones much more accessible for business owners across Australia.  While this an exciting opportunity for businesses, it is important to be aware of the risks associated with drone use.

Drone Use Risk Minimisation

An RPA, or drone, is defined as an aircraft which attracts liability risk under the Damage by Aircraft Act.  The Damage by Aircraft Act was put in place to facilitate the recovery of damages for third parties that have suffered injury, loss, damage or destruction as a result of the aircraft itself or by objects or people on board an aircraft in flight.  When it comes to drone use, this means that if you have an accident and a third party property is damaged or a person is injured, it is likely to result in serious costs for your business.

If you are regularly operating a drone, or considering using one in your business it is important to understand the liability that you are taking on.  While you no longer need certain certifications to legally fly your drone, it makes sense to get these anyway.  Not only will these certifications help you to pilot your drone more effectively and as such minimize the risk to your business, but often you may require certifications in order to obtain a suitable insurance policy.

Obtaining relevant insurance cover is vital in protecting your business.  The most appropriate policy for your business will depend on your own circumstances, however you should ensure that your assets and third party liability are appropriately covered.  Some policies will extend to cover road transit whilst in the care of the insured, and may also include optional ground risks cover, which may be appropriate for your business. Your insurance broker can help you navigate the insurance market and find the most appropriate policy for your business’ drone use.

If you’re using or thinking of using drones in your business, contact us for more information on protecting your business under these new regulations.

This article is not intended to be legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Queries regarding legislation should be forwarded to your legal counsel.

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.