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How can a business Insurance Broker save you money?

The common misconception with insurance brokers is that using a broker costs more than finding a business insurance policy yourself. However, using an insurance broker for your business insurance often costs less. Some people do not have the time or resources necessary to research competitive premiums and rates which leads to them choosing a policy and coverage that isn’t right for their business.

Business insurance brokers are specially trained to find the right policy for their customers while avoiding unnecessary claims. Centrewest are business insurance brokers in Perth who read and understand the fine print so that you don’t miss critical information.

Business insurance brokers can relay important information regarding your business to the insurer and can also thoroughly explain your policy to you. Once you have selected a policy with your broker and then need to make a claim, your broker will liaise with the insurer on your behalf.

While saving you from making costly mistakes, business insurance brokers can give you peace of mind that all your bases are covered. Centrewest cross-check policies and can answer queries to put your mind at ease.

Life can be unpredictable and there is always the possibility that something could go wrong for your business. Business liability insurance can help protect you and your business against the financial risk of being found liable under certain circumstances. When it comes to business liability insurance, Centrewest Insurance Brokers have the knowledge and expert advice to assist you with claims. Time is money, using an insurance broker for your business insurance means that your time can be better spent on your business.

The business insurance brokers at Centrewest are skilled professionals who know the ins and outs of the insurance industry. They have experience in negotiations and can do the hard work for you so you can get on with running your business. As qualified insurance brokers, their expert advice and knowledge will greatly impact your business when it comes to finding the right cover at the right price for your business. For more information on how Centrewest Insurance Brokers can save you time and money, contact us today.

As important as anything though, is that Centrewest Insurance Brokers acts for you the client, not the insurer. So when it comes to negotiating premiums, coverage and claims, we will act in your best interests.

Are Direct Insurers OK?

If budget is your only objective then yes. But keep in mind some of the exclusions which apply to direct insurers for home, motor and business insurance. A few examples are:

Home Insurance – some insurers don’t cover damage resulting from a structural defect, even if you could not have known, or if a fire results from leaving the iron on. Your liability insurance may not cover any liability from a children’s party or liability from any sporting activity, including jogging or bicycle riding. It also may not have accidental damage cover included, so if you drop that expensive vase or drop your TV, you won’t be covered.

At Centrewest Insurance Brokers, we encourage our clients to go the extra step and buy a Steadfast approved product which includes full accidental damage. This includes cover for up to $10,000 cover for any one item, and even insures contents and valuables away from the home, including overseas.

Motor Insurance – exclusions may apply to driver restrictions, your car may not be covered for theft if it is unlocked and the repairer choice is often limited.

Business Insurance – you don’t get advice for your business, just advice based on that insurers product. So you won’t be able to find out how to appropriately insure your property or liability. If you have contracts that have insurance requirements, the direct insurer almost certainly won’t be able to help you.

What is Cyber Insurance and why would I need it?

As our online presence for our personal and business activities continue to grow, so do the threats against us. Cyber theft and cyber fraud, industrial espionage, insider attacks, extortion and hacking are significantly on the rise across the world and Australia.

The motivation behind such attacks are as diverse and varied as the groups who commit them. Criminal gangs, disgruntled ex-employees, political focused hackers or hackers who want to cause damage for their own amusement.

Some examples of common losses and disturbances are:

  • Hackers lock down your business website or customers data. They then request payment to unlock that data. Of course, if you pay, they will ask for more. If your data is not backed up, you have a serious problem on your hands.
  • Hackers gain access to bank records and alter the BSB and Account numbers so that when a payment is made the funds are sent to an unknown source.
  • Hackers gain access to your client files. Recent changes in the Privacy Act means that you are more responsible than ever for your customers or clients personal data. Should the theft of personal data occur and you are found to have insufficient computer security, fines can be imposed. Not to mention the significant IT costs associated with such an event.

Of course, prevention is better than cure, so we strongly recommend you back up files and ensure these are not left on site, consider other software options for backup, change passwords regularly, immediately lock out former employees and consult with IT professionals to ensure all firewalls and security are up to date and active. Practice risk management with your systems, don’t leave this to chance.

Even with all these protocols the threat to your system is still very real and all businesses, large and small, are clearly under threat of attack. These criminals are constantly trying to find new ways to damage you and your business.

We strongly recommend you consider Cyber Liability Insurance. There is a broad range of cover available which can include Business Interruption for your losses, E-Theft of funds, E-Threat or extortion, Privacy Notification, Crisis and Reward expenses. These cover expenses incurred by you and your business for your own costs.

Then there are the other party costs such as Disclosure Liability of third party information stolen, infringement of trademark or copyright, Reputational Liability, Liability resulting from system security failures that harm a third party system, Defence Costs for defending a claim by a government or regulatory agency.

The threat to your business is real. A combination of risk management and the correct insurance product will significantly reduce any potential losses or costs.

We urge you to talk to your Centrewest Account Manager to find out more information and to see the right product for you and your business.

Can the insurance cover change to suit me?

Yes. We often have clients who take on new projects or business lines, for example, a client may be a diesel fitter and decides to do marine work or, a client may decide to start importing their product directly. When that happens we liaise with the insurer to ensure you are covered for the new risk exposure.

Centrewest Insurance brokers can achieve this as we have the experience and people who are equipped to think quickly.

How are my insurances affected if I import products?

This affects the Products Liability aspect of your liability insurance. Under Australian legislation the importer is deemed the manufacturer, therefore the risk exposure ends with you if your product causes injury or damage. The insurer may try to recover against the importer, but this is not always possible as laws in other nations may not work in your favour.

Why is travel insurance so important?

When you travel overseas you take on risks that you would not otherwise have. For instance, Medicare and your private health insurance won’t cover you when you are overseas. The benefits they pay will only come into effect when you return to Australia. Overseas medical expenses can be frighteningly expensive, and usually you are required to pay at the time of treatment. Travel insurers usually have hotlines that can deal with emergencies. In addition, they will pay lost baggage, stolen money, personal liability, missed connections etc.

Cover often even applies for trips within Australia. That way if you break a leg on the snowfields and need a medivac, require extra room on the plane back, or you miss a connecting flight, you will get the help you need.

Exclusions do apply. For example, many covers exclude any treatment for pre-existing conditions. Many corporate travel insurances are more generous in accepting the risk for these exclusions. Some cover exclude injury resulting from alcohol intake or motorcycles.

Centrewest has access to Australia’s leading travel insurers. Whether your trip is a one-off to Bali, a Mediterranean cruise, or frequent business trips, we can provide a policy that suits you or your business.

What is under-insurance or average and how does it affect me?

Many property insurances have an under-insurance or average clause. This clause effectively puts into writing that you are sharing the risk with the insurer, and any claims are paid on a proportional basis. It is a somewhat ancient clause dating back to the 16th century.

An example of how this can effect you:

  • Amount of Insurance $1,000,000
  • Replacement Value $2,000,000
  • The co-insurance is 80%
  • Required Amount of Insurance $1,600,000
  • The loss is $250,000

(Amount of Insurance / Required Amount of Insurance) x The Loss = Amount of Claim

($1,000,000 / $1,600,000) x $250,000 = $156,250

The insurer pays $156,250

You pay $93,750

In other words, your claim is reduced by the same proportion that you are under-insured.

The clause applies to many forms of property, including home insurance, business interruption and marine insurances.
For Centrewest Insurance Brokers clients, the under-insurance clause will not apply to their home and contents insurance.

So how do you overcome this clause?

For buildings, contents and stock we recommend utilizing the services of a Quantity Surveyor or Valuer. This will ensure that you receive a report that shows the actual replacement value of your property. Alternatively for buildings, we have access to a calculator to assist you. We will need to know the size of your building, the standard of construction, the amount of car-parking and driveway space etc.

Visit our homepage to calculate the estimated replacement cost of your home and contents.

For Business Interruption, send us your latest profit and loss or even your Business Activity Statement (BAS). We will then run the figures through our calculator and discuss the Indemnity Period you believe is adequate for your business.

Why you should review the insurance and indemnity clauses of a contract?

Many contracts have clauses that require you to have insurance such as Public Liability, Professional Indemnity, Workers’ Compensation etc.

By sending us a copy of the contract we can ensure that any clauses contained in the contract can be complied with. Some examples are:

Workers’ Compensation – a Principals Indemnity endorsement may be required whereby your insurer agrees to waive the rights of recovery for any claims. So if one of your employees is injured and they take legal action against the Principal, your insurer agrees to pick up the cost. Additional premiums will apply. If you fail to arrange the endorsement, your insurer may decline your claim and you will hold the risk.

Public Liability – again, a Principals Indemnity clause may be applied whereby your insurer accepts the vicarious liability of the Principal and treats the Principal as a named insured. Your policy needs to be correctly noted.

Professional Indemnity – if you are giving advice or consulting, then you may require this cover. Some contracts don’t have a requirement for you to have this. Don’t be fooled, this will not prevent the Principal, their insurer or solicitor from taking action against you in the event of a loss that they perceive to be your responsibility.

Indemnity or Hold Harmless Clauses – many contracts have terms such as these. It is absolutely vital that these are referred to us and your solicitor. The clause could effectively void any insurance that you have arranged and need to be dealt with. We have access to consultants who can assist you by providing the appropriate advice on how to make these clauses more equitable.

If in doubt, send us the contract, it is all part of the service at Centrewest Insurance Brokers.

What is Management Liability?

Management Liability is a class of insurance that will cover our clients for various risks that relate to the operation of your business.

It does not cover Public Liability or Professional Indemnity as they relate to the risk of your businesses day to day activities.

Most of the Management Liability insurances we deal cover the following:

Directors and Officers Liability – the actions taken by Directors and Officers may mean they become personally liable for business decisions. So if there is action taken against them for infringement of copyright or insolvency of the business, defense costs are offered by the insurers. In the case of insolvency, only defense costs are included, not any actual recovery of costs. It is important that we are provided with annual financials to ensure the cover is extended.

Employment Practices Liability – Indemnifies for action taken by employees for unfair dismissal, racial or sexual discrimination, bullying or harassment. It won’t cover underpaid wages.

Crime – put simply, embezzlement of company funds. In some cases will indemnify for stolen stock or equipment by an employee.

Statutory Liability – if a workplace accident occurs and WorkSafe prosecute you, or your employees, the cover will provide defense costs and payment of fines and penalties. The same applies to other prosecutions by environmental and employment authorities.

Tax Audit – will pay the expenses incurred by your accountant from an ATO audit. Some insurers also cover payroll tax audits and other state government liabilities. It will not cover any unpaid taxes.

The cover generally only applies to Pty Ltd companies, although some insurers can grant cover for the Employment Practices Liability, Statutory Liability, Tax Audit and Crime cover as an extension of a business package for sole traders and partnerships.

What is Professional Indemnity?

This isn’t to be confused with Public Liability. This class of insurance covers professionals for their liability from the advice or designs they provide to their clients.

So accountants, engineers, architects, IT and all other professionals have an exposure. Don’t be fooled by the fact your customers have not asked you to have this insurance. If they suffer a loss, they, their insurers or solicitors may take action to recover their costs.

We have seen many instances of an otherwise innocent business paying significant amounts for the defense of a claim. The costs can be significant and it isn’t unusual to see the legal costs relating to such a claim exceed the actual damage caused. For most industries this is a relatively easy product to source. It can also open up opportunities that have not existed previously when you show your customers you have this cover.