Targeted Insurance Solutions is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Insurance Advisernet Australia Pty Ltd. AFSL No. 240549. Corporate Authorised Representative No. 441426. Visit the Insurance Advisernet website

Targeted Insurance Solutions is a Corporate Authorised Representative of Insurance Advisernet Australia Pty Ltd. AFSL No. 240549. Corporate Authorised Representative No. 441426. Visit the Insurance Advisernet website

Head Above Water: Why Every Australian Business Needs to Know its Flood Risk

Australia may be affectionately known as ‘the sunburnt country’. But flooding remains an annual reality in virtually every state and territory. As we’ve seen recently in, floods continue to be one of the most devastating insurance events experienced by both home and business owners. If you don’t know your current flood risk, the time to do something about it is…immediately.

From the early 1800s the vast majority of Australia’s largest cities and towns were established on floodplains, directly adjacent to major river systems. As our population has grown, so has the number of businesses at the mercy of our creeks and rivers.

Without the right type of insurance in place, recovering from a major flooding event could be financially crippling.

Know the Risk

Basic geography (not to mention history) tells us some regions are far more flood prone than others. But as many business owners have learned the hard way over the years, the risk isn’t always as clear as you might think.

To assess the flood risk in your area, do some digging. Check for flood maps, council reports, SES data and speak with locals who’ve been in the area for many years. Collectively you’ll be able to get a far better sense of what may or may not happen in the future. But be careful. With weather events becoming more extreme and less predictable, the fact your area hasn’t flooded before is no guarantee for the future.

Know the Facts

When it comes to floods, there are plenty of misconceptions floating around (excuse the pun). There are also different types of flooding events that could directly affect your ability to make
a successful insurance claim. Some things to remember include:

  • Flooding can happen at any time of year, even in the middle of a drought
  • Just because you’re in a hilly area doesn’t mean you won’t experience flooding
  • Even if your property isn’t flooded, you could still become isolated by floodwaters
  • Rising creeks and rivers are a common cause of flooding, but so are things like blocked drains during periods of heavy or sustained rain – and that can happen anywhere
  • When creeks and rivers burst their banks, flood waters can impact properties many kilometres away
  • Flood damage caused by rising waters is often treated very differently by insurers to damage
  • caused by rainfall and storms.

What Should You Do in a Flood?

Preparation, including having the right type of insurance, is vital to protect your business. But if you ever find yourself in the middle of a flood, what should you do? The first thing is…don’t panic.
Listen to your local authorities and heed all safety warnings. Other preparation tips from the
Bureau of Meteorology include:

  • Prepare basic supplies including a first aid kit, torch, battery-operated portable radio, spare batteries/chargers and gloves
  • Move valuable items to a high place, remaining aware of the load bearing limits of upper floors
  • and ceilings
  • Protect valuable machinery and equipment that can’t be relocated with waterproof covers or
  • sandbags
  • Relocate dangerous chemicals and/or place them in waterproof containers to avoid contaminating flood waters
  • Tie down loose items like timber, drums, gas bottles and tools to prevent them from being swept away
  • Close off your main gas valve
  • Remove all electrical fuses and if you have a circuit breaker panel board, switch each circuit breaker to the OFF position.

Flooding can be a hugely disruptive, highly expensive and deceptively complex insurance risk.
To better understand your flood exposure or discuss the suitability of your current policies, please don’t hesitate to call us.

Management Liability

If you have a small to medium sized private company, you could be protected by a policy that covers claims from a wide range of management liabilities, such as; directors and officers liability, company reimbursement, company liability and employment practice liability.

Directors of Australian companies are liable for compensation, fines and costs of claims filed against them. For this reason directors need to ensure they transfer their personal liability to the company and get covered by adequate Directors and Officers (D&O) Insurance. Directors and Officers Insurance protects directors and senior staff from any claims made against them or their actions in their position.

Insurance Advisernet can organise a Management Liability quote for you with the following features:

  • Directors & Officers Liability
  • Corporate Legal Liability (Entity Cover)
  • Employment Practice Liability
  • Employee Dishonesty
  • Statutory Liability
  • Kidnap & Extortion
  • Fidelity

Due to high media publicity and campaigns made public by things such as social media, there has
been a rise in class actions as well as the impression that these actions are seemingly acceptable.

The exorbitant cost for company’s to defend such claims is a drain on the economy and diverts
attention from businesses’ main income generating activities.

To find out more, contact our friendly team to discuss your options.

Disclaimer

Q&A – 5 ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR INSURANCE ADVISER

As your dedicated insurance specialist, we’re here to answer all of your questions – big or small. However, over the years we’ve found certain questions really hold the key to helping our clients unlock maximum value from their relationship with us.

If you haven’t asked us these for a while – or perhaps ever – now is the time!

  1. How can I customise my business insurance to ensure I’m only paying for the things I want and need?
  2. Would it be smarter – and possibly cheaper – to combine all my insurance needs under one policy?
  3. What things am I not covered for by my current policies?
  4. What steps can I take to prevent my premiums from going up year after year?
  5. How do I find the right balance between insurance and risk management strategies for my business?

To learn the answers to this and more, contact us today.

Insurance Landscape September 2021

General Insurance Premium Pricing – September 2021 – Outlook for 2021/22

As your dedicated insurance representative, we’re constantly monitoring the insurance market to better understand and assess the trends with potential to affect your business. With this in mind, we wanted to share a summary of our updated market assessment on the factors currently impacting insurance pricing in Australia.
The recently released APRA (Australian Prudential Regulation Authority) quarterly report shows relatively consistent industry profitability for the 12 months to June 2021. Industry profitability improved only marginally to $1B, up from $0.95B the year before for the same period.

Pricing & Capacity

The impact of flattening investment returns remains significant. We will continue to see capacity and product supply weakened, meaning premium rates will most likely continue to trend upwards. Whilst pricing has been the primary lever used by Insurers over the past 24 months, capacity is becoming an increasing concern, with some Insurers withdrawing from what were previously considered ‘vanilla’ risks. We anticipate cover for some industries and locations will remain unattainable until more profitable levels return.

After a year of average increases (8-10% for Commercial and 15%+ for large Property assets), the APRA statistics indicate premiums will continue to rise in the vicinity of 8%-12% for the next 12 months.

Other Market Forces

Below are some of the other key factors impacting the insurance market.

Low Interest Rates

Historically low interest rates continue to place pressure on Insurers’ returns. Whilst interest rates and investment returns remain flat, claims reserves need to be ‘topped up’.

AU$

The AU$ has reduced from around US77cents (March 2021) to now hovering around US74cents (September 2021). This has seen the continuation of claims cost inflation remaining higher than the general rate of inflation across the Australian economy. The impact will be higher costs for materials or equipment imported as part of a claims settlement.

Looking to the future

The Insurance Industry, we believe, is at 10 o’clock on the Insurance Clock. How long it remains there largely depends on the frequency and severity of future catastrophic events. It’s clear, without corrective action, the Industry cannot sustain continual year-on-year catastrophic events whilst still providing cover for ‘usual’ loss events. We subsequently believe average premium increases will remain in the range of 8%-12%. The exact figures will be influenced by industry sector, geographic location, prior claims experience and approach to risk management.

Structural change and cost cycles are part of every industry. The Insurance Clock is a useful tool to represent where Insurance rates are right now and where they’re likely to be heading in the future.

With this hard market cycle, we anticipate:

✓ Period of higher premiums

✓ Getting insurance coverage could become more difficult and harder to negotiate terms

✓ Insurers reducing capacity with some risks or industry groups (e.g. recycling, financial services, directors/officers insurance)

✓ Higher excesses

✓ Focus on risk management and mitigation processes

✓ More time and additional information required to place insurance.

It’s crucial we continue to work together to maintain policy terms and conditions, even with prices on the increase. After all, as our experience consistently shows, price is ultimately forgotten when an insurable loss happens.

Property Sums Insured

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) estimates some 83% of Properties are underinsured. This quote was prior to the Pandemic, since then rebuilding costs have increased dramatically:

• Quantity Surveyors now estimate costs to rebuild buildings has increased by more than 10%, across some areas of Australia, in just the last six months. This is due to construction times being extended and a result of continuing material shortages and labour scarcity.

As your Advisers we believe Property Asset values need to be reviewed on a regular basis to ensure your adequately insured. Having incorrect Insured value could see any claim been adjusted due to underinsurance. Having a professional valuation will prevent this. As your Adviser I can arrange access to professional quantity surveyors that can accurately confirm building rebuild costs for both commercial and domestic buildings. Should you have any questions, or would like to arrange a valuation, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We’ll be very happy to help.