Latest News

1. Storm damage

Beautiful one day, stormy the next – Australian weather can do anything at any moment, and homes and properties can suffer.

Storms can bring strong winds, rain, lightning, hail, snow, dust or flash flooding. This can cause damage to windows, overflowing stormwater drains, erosion and landslides, falling trees and branches, or electrical surges.

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The insurance text books will tell you that insurance contracts fall under the legal doctrine of “utmost good faith”. In fact some will still use the Latin phrase uberrimae fidei. This means that all parties to an insurance contract must deal in good faith, making a full declaration of all material facts in the insurance proposal.

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A leading figure in the field of cyber insurance has warned brokers about an emerging area of risk, saying exposure is set to explode within the next few years.

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An elderly couple have been arrested by Strike Force Ravens after a morning raid in their home in Hinchinbrook, south-west Sydney for allegedly defrauding the compulsory third-party (CTP) insurance scheme.

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Welcome to the gig economy. Subcontracting, outsourcing and freelancing are becoming ever more common as both workers and businesses chase flexibility. But having non-employees regularly work for you can open you up to a whole new range of liabilities.

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Allianz Australia has urged vehicle owners to better protect their cars and valuables against theft, following new data which revealed that many Australians continue to leave the safety of their prized possessions up to chance.

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Rogue nation states and cybercriminals are looking to disrupt business operations, make money, or spy on targets across organisations and critical infrastructure, according to a new report by consulting firm Accenture.

In particular, the report named five “key threats” that are influencing the cyber risk landscape:

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A lack of understanding around what insurance jargon refers to could cost you dearly. Here are some industry terms and concepts you should be clear about before signing anything.

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You've got your tools, you've got your ute, you've got your ABN. You're all set, right? Not so fast. It's important to cover your back, too – here’s a guide to what insurance you’ll need and when.

Most tradies like to run their own race. And fair enough. If you wanted someone looking over your shoulder 24/7, you would have taken a desk job.

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"To think that this is coming in historically, the coldest month of the year for Australia, and not the height of summer, is a wake up call that this risk is ever present. Those living in bush fire prone areas need to have a carefully considered and documented evacuation plan and of course, full insurance coverage." - Allan Manning

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Brokers have their work cut out for them as new findings revealed that less than half of Australians understand what their car insurance covers.

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An innovative insurance company has sent staff to Bali this week in an attempt to help its Australian customers who may have been affected by the Mt Agung volcano eruption.

TravelCard – dubbed the world’s first real-time travel insurer – sent two team members to Denpasar to assist policyholders and their travelling companions.

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To be more cyber resilient, organisations not only need to have the ability to assess cyber risk and have a protection plan, they must also be able to quickly – and successfully – recover and respond in the event of a cyber incident.

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A 71-year-old man from Western Australia set off with his wife for a once-in-a-lifetime holiday – only to end up with the biggest claim his insurance company, InsureandGo, saw in 2017.

Jeffrey Yates's 50th wedding anniversary trip with his wife didn't turn out as expected when a series of illnesses struck him while in Italy, racking him a massive $223,255 claim.

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A senior underwriter has urged brokers to further educate their clients on cyber risk, saying criminals are still having alarming success with traditional methodology.

Speaking at a webinar earlier this week, Gerry Power – Emergence’s national head of sales – told the 1,100 attendees that hacking was involved in 48% of breaches, while malicious software was to blame for 30%.

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Yet another study is proving the value of travel insurance after research found an overnight hospital stay in some locales can cost more than a trip to a luxury hotel.

Recent analyses of World Health Organisation data revealed that Australian travellers may have to shell out as much as $3,500 for a night in hospital in certain countries.

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This year, we further explored the claims experience by asking SMEs, who had made a claim, what percentage of total losses did their claim cover. 

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Equipment breakdown cover may not be new on the market but it remains misunderstood and underutilised.

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When you’re a business owner, making sure your insurance policies protect your assets and your business are important and are often forgotten. There are times where the success or failure of your business can rest on whether or not you have the right insurance in place. 

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As a small business owner it's important to protect your business against unforseen events such as loss or damage to assets and revenue, legal claims and injury to employees.

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A couple who blew up their investment property in Adelaide to claim insurance money, causing an explosion have been sentenced to six years in jail.

Krzysztof and Sarah Kuchar were found guilty of arson at a District Court trial last year.

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With all of the risks that have the potential to derail a business, having a strong risk management plan in place can often mean the difference between a business surviving and folding should any of these risks come to fruition.

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 When you’re put in a position of having to make a claim on your insurance, it can be traumatic. It’s not the claims process itself that is traumatic — in fact, making a claim is usually quite simple — but whatever event has happened to make you need to make an insurance claim is typically unpleasant and can often carry with it significant emotion and stress.

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Australian insurance brokers are among the finest in the world says NIBA Broker of the Year 2016, Dale Hansen of Austbrokers Coast to Coast. He says, “Having spoken to professionals in Canada and New York as well as London where I go a couple of times a year, I am constantly told that some of the finest brokerages and work in risk management in the world comes from Australia.”

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Tasmania continues to face rental housing shortage – an issue made worse by damages to rental properties that not only discourage people from investing in housing, but also drive up insurance premiums.

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Very exciting to announce our Genesis Financial Services website! If you're interested in learning more about what a Financial Services adviser can do for you head over to www.genesisfin.com.au and read all about our team and how they can help you.

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A year ago, tropical cyclone Debbie, a category-four system with gusts of more than 250km/hr, battered parts of north Queensland on Mar. 28, resulting in a damage bill of more than $1.7bn.

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The number of vehicles stolen last year declined 7% to 52,858, according to the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council.

The improvement was driven by a 15% fall in short-term “heavy and other vehicle” thefts.

By state, NSW motor vehicle thefts increased 3% to 12,216, ACT rose 41% to 1321, Victoria declined 22% to 15,332 and Queensland increased 10% to 11,125.

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A Brisbane-based insurer has revealed which times road users are more likely to get injured in a motor vehicle accident in Queensland.

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Insurer QBE has launched the only dedicated school fee insurance product in Australia.

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Insurers may remain cautious about the opportunities brought about through cyber insurance but 2018 could be a boom year for the industry, a report has suggested.

This year’s 2017 General Insurance Barometer, released by J.P Morgan and Taylor Fry, surveyed insurers, brokers and reinsurers about the challenges and opportunities brought about by the advent of cyber.

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Mandatory breach notification is officially in force in Australia, a move that could impact both the insurance industry and its clients.

The notification legislation, which came into force today, could see individuals face penalties of up to $360,000 with organisations potentially on the hook for up to $1.8 million.

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“A tough period for insurance markets,” was how RSA group chief executive Stephen Hester described the year when announcing the international insurer’s group results for 2017. However, the firm has still managed to set a new company record for its combined ratio – albeit its performance on its home turf of the UK, was less pleasing for the firm.

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The number of reported fraud incidents in Australia plummeted 40% last year, declining for the first time in several years, according to a KPMG Forensic report.

There were 155 reported frauds with a value of $482 million from October 2016 to last November, compared with 259 worth $823 million in the previous year, the group’s Fraud Barometer shows.

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The ramifications of cyber hacks are about to increase dramatically.

From Thursday 22 February, Australia’s notifiable data breaches (NDB) scheme  comes into force.

The scheme requires notification of unauthorised access to, disclosure of, or loss of information likely to result in serious harm.

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There are questions surrounding liability that remain unanswered when it comes to driverless cars, an expert has said.

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Severe storms that hit parts of regional Victoria and Melbourne on December 19 caused insured losses of $378 million.

The Insurance Council of Australia declared a catastrophe after large hailstones and heavy rain caused vehicle and other property damage, and localised flooding.

There have been more than 49,000 domestic claims and 6000 commercial claims.

 

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Small business owners and managers might not consider themselves prime targets for cyber attacks.

 

They may assume big companies have more information to steal and more profits to siphon off, so they’re targeted most often by criminals online. In reality, the opposite is often true.

 

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The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has declared a catastrophe as a result of damage from Tropical Cyclone Debbie, which powered across the coast of Queensland near Airlie Beach..

The Category 4 cyclone bought gusts of up to 262 kmh on Hamilton Island before it battered the mainland with destructive winds and heavy rains.

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The record-breaking heatwave that hit parts of eastern Australia earlier this month was made twice as likely by climate change, according to researchers.

At its peak on February 11, temperatures soared to 47 degrees in Richmond, 50km northwest of Sydney.

NSW was the hottest place on Earth, and almost 100 bushfires raged across the state.

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Festive Season

12-12-2016

Office Closure over Christmas & New Year

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Non-compliant restraints for air-conditioning, telecommunications and other fittings likely caused damage to commercial buildings in Wellington during this month’s Kaikoura earthquake, according to the Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ).

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Australian businesses are underinsured compared with their US and UK counterparts, a new report from Swiss Re says.

Last year $US12.1 billion ($15.99 billion) of commercial insurance premium was written in Australia, making it the ninth-largest commercial insurance market in the world.

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Ride-sharing services such as Uber are legal in Queensland after a range of reforms began rolling out last week.

New regulations include identification signage rules, annual safety inspections and driver authorisations for taxis and ride-sharing services. All ride-booking vehicles must have compulsory third party (CTP) insurance.

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It is becoming increasingly difficult to detect a phishing - or fraudulent - email. But here are several things that may give a fraudster away.
 

What they’re asking us to do

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QBE has defended its decision to deny an NRL player’s claim for a “career-ending injury” that has been highlighted by media during the past week, saying the injury that forced Parramatta Eels player Anthony Watmough into retirement was due to a pre-existing condition.

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All aspects of the general insurance industry are expected to be transformed over the next few years – but perhaps none more so than claims.

A new report from Ernst & Young (EY) details just how much change we can expect, and what form it will take.

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Travel insurers do not usually cover losses caused by army coups, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) says.

It has urged Australian tourists affected by the failed military uprising in Turkey to check their policies.

“Each travel insurer has different terms and conditions,” CEO Rob Whelan said.

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We’ve often heard of people insuring body parts that are considered to be exceptional. Some athletes like David Beckham insure their feet, some entertainers insure their voices, others like J’Lo insure… other parts. But now, thanks to the wonderfully weird world that is the Guinness Book of Records there may be a new body part worth insuring.

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The TV advertisements for British department store John Lewis have gained a reputation even outside the UK for shamelessly pulling on the heartstrings of viewers – and the latest one to promote its home insurance arm is no different.

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The Melbourne-based Consumer Action Law Centre has started a campaign to help consumers seek refunds for dud add-on insurance policies and warranties.

It says consumers may have been duped into buying at least $70 million of consumer credit insurance (CCI), and the figure is higher when gap insurance and used car extended warranties are included.

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Insurance fraud clearly needs to be tackled. After all, who wants to pay more in premiums to subsidise swindlers?

But, according to a new Financial Rights Legal Centre report, claims investigations have gone too far, with innocent consumers treated as criminals and subjected to bullying and harassment during gruelling interviews.

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Bushfires are an indelible part of the Australian environment.

For indigenous people they have been a constant and vital feature of life for up to 65,000 years. Aborigines used fire to “care for country” – reducing fuel levels and encouraging the growth of grasslands, making for better hunting, easier passage and safer communities.

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A Georgia insurance agency is making waves thanks to its owner’s requirement that all employees “enjoy and use the right to bear arms.”

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Suncorp has announced that customers in North Queensland will receive premium reductions of up to 20% for strengthening their homes against cyclones.

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Travel insurance sales for trips to Latin America have surged, a top provider says, as travellers consider scrapping planned trips to avoid the rapidly spreading Zika virus.

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The sheer magnitude of rainfall, not man-made features, caused the floods in the Lockyer Valley in southeast Queensland that killed 12 people and destroyed more than 50 homes, a commission of inquiry has found.

The inquiry was investigating whether a breach at a local quarry or railway line embankments in Grantham exacerbated the flooding on January 10 2011.

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The rapid growth of ride-sharing services such as Uber amid an inadequate legal framework has created a gap in insurance cover, IAG says.

It has called for “regulatory clarity” to let insurers develop products for the sector.

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We’ve seen the dashcam footage of people throwing themselves in front of cars in Russia in order to cash in on a driver’s car insurance.

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The Federal Government has announced the launch of a new guide designed to keep small businesses protected from the emerging threat of cyber risk.

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According to one car insurance analyst, the advent of safer vehicles – and eventually even driverless cars – will be so disrupting to the transportation sector, it could eliminate the need for car insurance altogether.

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Corporate Travel

02-09-2015

Did you know...

SME's often rely on free travel insurance cover under their credit card in lieu of buying a Corporate Travel policy. Whilst most brokers and clients understand that a Corporate Travel policy offers broader cover than the credit card insurance, did you know that:

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Insurers may soon use therapeutic robots to collect data on people 24 hours a day, according to CommInsure EM Insurance Risk Research Aamer Fattah.

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As new research shows, a lack of understanding leaves many people dicing with financial disaster, money experts say

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The current El Nino is growing faster than the record event of 1997/98, according to the latest statistics.

The Bureau of Meteorology says weakened or reversed trade winds have caused further warming in the tropical Pacific, with all key monitored areas more than one degree above average for 10 successive weeks.

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In a move that some consider to be an automotive “game changer,” many cars and trucks have recently undergone major redesigns replacing steel body panels with a new material: aluminium. But the trend that was once heralded as the future of motor vehicles could spell an uncertain fate for the insurance industry.
 

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A cyber breach that allows hackers to take control of a moving vehicle has been demonstrated in an alarming new investigation.

Conducted by tech magazine Wired.com, the shocking footage shows the moment a car travelling on a busy freeway is high-jacked by hackers who remotely access the vehicle via its on-board wi-fi system.


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A global leader in risk consultancy has warned companies of the dangers of internal cyber risk.

While many assume that cyber risk falls under an external threat from outside hackers, Control Risks have warned that danger can lurk within any organisation.

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On a recent episode of the UK program Mock the Week, a British-Canadian comedian responded to the prompt “Lines You Wouldn’t Hear in a Sci-Fi Movie” with: “The dinosaurs are killing everyone. Why do we keep reopening this park? Who keeps giving us public liability insurance?”

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With the end of financial year just around the corner, NIBA have issued a warning to businesses that now is the time to update their insurance arrangements.

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In Coles Supermarkets Australia Pty Ltd v Bright [2015] NSWCA 17, the Court of Appeal revisited what plaintiffs need to prove in order to be successful in slip and fall liability claims.

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Insurance cover for the commercial use of unmanned aerial systems, usually referred to as drones, will become more easily available in Australia as numbers of the machines grow, LMI MD Allan Manning says.

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Each year the Fair Work Commission carries out an annual minimum wage review. The 2015 annual wage review was announced on 2 June 2015, with the new minimum wage rates taking effect as of the first full pay period on, or after 1 July 2015.

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ASIC has welcomed improvements made by credit card providers surrounding the travel insurance provided with certain cards.

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Total insurance claims for catastrophes which have hit Australia since last November have now reached $3.42 billion, according to the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).
 

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The findings are enough to make former Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson blow a gasket but a study by UK insurance company Privilege into the driving habits of both sexes has found that women are better drivers than men.

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It may well be illegal across Australia but ride-sharing is now a common practice across the country and around the world.

Uber leads the way here while other apps take a share of the market in other countries, but one thing is for certain; ride-sharing is not going away.

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The boom in internet accommodation sites like Airbnb has led to more Australians opening their doors to people we don’t know. But what if something goes wrong? Check out what happens after strangers check-in.
 

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The ALS/MND ice-bucket challenge swept the world at the end of 2014 and helped raise millions of dollars for charity, however one hapless participant could face a six figure legal bill or time in jail.

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The amount of claims and insured losses continues to rise following the storms which hit parts of New South Wales earlier this week.

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Back strains accounted for one in five serious-injury workers’ compensation claims over the past decade, according to research by Konekt.

Product Manager Nicholas Ward says the number of claims is decreasing and average time lost due to back strains halved between 2000/01 and 2010/11.


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The number of short-term vehicle thefts hit a record low last year, the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council (NMVTRC) says.

Some 31,523 passenger and light commercial vehicles were reported stolen, down 6% on 2013, the insurance industry-backed group’s figures show.


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A surge in claims from businesses following Cyclone Marcia last month has taken insured losses to $403.6 million from 29,565 claims, according to the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA).

The figure is up from an estimated $130.5 million from 17,400 claims on March 4.

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The jewellery fair in Hong Kong has been targeted by thieves who reportedly swapped ‘fake’ diamonds with real stones just hours after the event’s official opening.
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