Ensure business is smooth sailing in even the roughest seas
As a small e-commerce business, if your goods were lost at sea or damaged en-route while being shipped, could you afford to replace them? We explore the risks, benefits and protections required when outsourcing shipping.
With the next generation of digital natives rising up as a shopping force, the demand for an instant online shopping experience is bigger than ever.
By the end of 2017 online shopping in Australia accounted for 8 percent of total traditional retail sales with a growth of 19.2% from the previous year. Australia Post’s Inside Australian Online Shopping report predicts that by 2020, one in 10 items will be bought online. 48% of consumers say they shop on a mobile device at least once a week according to the Telstra Small Business Intelligence Report.
With customers expecting speed and convenience from providers, small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) have to consider how best to ship orders, and how to protect goods at all stages of fulfilment.
Your options as an SME
Handling your order fulfilment in-house is the cheapest option but it takes time you might not have to spare.
Alternatively, you could dropship, which means you have products advertised on your website that you don’t actually have in stock. When customers order these products, the orders go straight to a third-party supplier who ships them directly to the customers.
The risk here is that you’ll be accountable for safe delivery in whatever timeframe you stipulate, relying on the third-party to honour your promise. You also have to trust that orders are insured if goods are damaged or destroyed; or make sure you have your own insurance in place.
The third option: 100% outsourcing
You may choose to work with a logistics company that handles all of your warehousing and fulfilment. There are many in the market who can pick, pack and ship your orders, and you’ll get the benefit of leveraging their buying power on packaging and shipping costs.
It’s rare that they’ll cover you for major losses though. They might actually specify you need to organise a certain level of commercial insurance at your end.
In June 2018, 81 shipping containers fell off a cargo ship travelling along the coast of New South Wales, spilling debris for kilometres. It’s perhaps a dramatic example, but if there was an accident en-route and your goods were damaged beyond repair, could you afford to replace them?
When you’re working with suppliers, warehouses, or distributors you need to read and understand your contracts to figure out where you’re covered by their insurance, and where you aren’t.
If you’re shipping inventory in large batches you may need to look at additional “transit” or “inland marine” insurance to cover goods transported over land, or “ocean marine” insurance for sea and air transportation. Or a combination thereof.
It can be a good idea to get an expert to look at your business from the get-go to identify your exposures, and tailor-make a policy for you. There are brokers who specialise in commercial insurance; find one who’s worked with companies in a similar line of business.
Then if you do engage a third party for fulfilment and shipping, your broker can point out gaps in your existing coverage and recommend how to manage the risk.
For a relatively small outlay, you can pass that considerable risk onto an insurer and eliminate at least one worry as an SME owner.
Find a broker to suit your needs here.
The Safe Work Australia Act 2008 was established to protect workplace safety and health. One of the provisions of the legislation was a worker’s compensation requirement. The law was passed by the federal government, but territories were responsible for setting the coverage requirements.
Every business must have workers compensation insurance for employees. Businesses don’t generally need to purchase insurance for independent contractors, except in South Australia. However, some exceptions apply.
The insurance must offer a wide range of coverage for employees that could be injured while working. However, there are some nuances that they may not need to be covered for. Employers must provide coverage for employees travelling to and from work in NSW, Queensland, South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory. Work-related travel and onsite breaks must always be covered in every territory. Breaks taken offsite must also be covered in every territory except South Australia and Tasmania.
Standard compensation requirements
Compensation requirements vary slightly between jurisdictions. Every territory except Tasmania requires worker’s compensation to cover overtime.
The entitlements for regular work are tiered to the duration of the benefits. For the first 13 weeks, compensation is between 85% and 100% of typical weekly wages. The only states that don’t guarantee 100% coverage are NSW, Victoria, and Queensland.
There are some other entitlements that must be provided under Safe Work Australia. Here is a summary.
The worker’s compensation scheme must cover compensation for incidents leading to permanent impairment. In NSW, employers must provide coverage of $577 050 for injuries on or after August 5, 2015. They must provide coverage of $220 000 for injuries prior to this date. An additional 5% is added to the award if the injury involves back impairment. The coverage requirements for other territories are listed below:
- Queensland – $314 920.00
- Victoria– $589 650.00
- Western Australia – $221 891.00
- South Australia – $361 476
- Tasmania – $343 009.95
- Northern Territory – $314 808.00
- Australian Capital Territory – $211 952.00
Medical and hospital
Every compensation scheme must also provide coverage for medical and hospital care. Most territories don’t have monetary limits on care, but coverage for non-serious conditions is limited to one year in Tasmania and South Australia. Victoria ceases medical and hospital treatment 52 weeks after premiums are discontinued.
Every territory also has penalties for uninsured employers. Here is a summary:
- NSW: 500 penalty units or up to six months imprisonment, or both
- Queensland: The full cost of payments to the worker with 50% of the penalty and the cost of unpaid premiums
- Western Australia: liability for all damages, $5,000 in fines per worker, statutory fines, legal costs, up to five years of unpaid premiums and an additional penalty if workers are still uninsured after the date of conviction
- South Australia: Liability for all debt if ReturnToWorkSA must make payments to workers
- Tasmania: Liability for damages and any fines assigned by the court
- Northern Territory: Liability for all damages and requirement to pay back premiums at the highest possible rate set by the insurer
Penalties are severe to discourage employers from failing to pay for insurance.
Every case is unique. If you need specialist advice on what coverage you need then contact a trusted insurance advisor in your area. Find insurance brokers.
These days, people Google everything. You do it, your friends and family do it and your clients, well they do it too. People literally Google everything.
So as an Insurance Broker, how are you staying on top of the changes in the Google algorithm (how Google determines what to return when people search for things) and how are you keeping up with and ahead of your competitors? The team at Advisr can help you navigate the complexity of Google, optimise your profiles and develop great customer-focused content to attract the right customers.
What people Google
People Google everything. In regards to Googling for Insurance and Insurance brokers, people Google lots of different things that can loosely be grouped together into four key groups. These four key groups influence how we think and it is why Advisr is structured the way it is, to ensure you maximise your reach with customers across all their search intentions. So what are these four key groups.
People Google your name
Yes, that is right, customers Google your name to find out what it is like to work with you (customer reviews) and to be influenced into whether on not they should take action and reach out and connect. So have you Googled yourself lately and seen what comes back? Your customers are Googling you, so you’d better be thinking about improving what they are able to see.
People Google your company name
The name on the door matters. Customers want to find and connect with your company and to find your contact details, they Google you. So making sure that they find the correct details such as your office location, phone number and email contact details is essential. To ensure you have this sorted, you need to optimise your online company profiles across multiple online providers such as Google Business, Yellow Pages and Advisr.
People Google by insurance type
Customers search for insurance by the name of the insurance type. Whether it is at the start of their educational journey or at the pointy end where the purchase is imminent. Customers go looking for very specific information that matches their search enquiries and provides insights for them to consider. If you want to know specifically what people are searching for and how this is changing over time, you can use a tool from Google called Google Trends. At Advisr, we match our categories and insurance lines to the trends we see in the market, enabling us to create a rich customer experience centred around deep customer insights on very specific topics.
The insurance categories on Advisr have been determined based on analysis and input from tools like Google Trends. So making sure your Advisr profile has you listed in the right categories that align with your skills, experience and expertise is critical.
People Google by location
Or to put this in a more customer-centric way, customers search for insurance brokers in their location. You might happen to be in or be available to service that location. Customers do search for insurance brokers near them. So at Advisr, we have pages that match the location-based query customers are using to search for you.
Why your profile is important both now and in the future
As you progress your career, your personal brand and reputation matter more and more. Starting today on building and cultivating your online reputation is a smart move. The benefits will come. We believe that you need to take ownership of your reputation (online specifically) and determine how you want to be presented. Your Advisr profile should be a key part of your strategy.
Why your staff and employees need profiles
As a brokerage leader, the reputations of your staff are critical to your business’s success. Customers ultimately deal with your staff and so ensuring that your staff have good online reputations is part of modern business value creation. Your business is its people.
If you’d like to talk further about why an Advisr profile helps you dominate in Google, please reach out and get in touch with the team.
How do I start?
Posting your content on Advisr is a great way to drive new business by showing the world your expertise. We will help to share it online with potential customers and others in the insurance industry. You can share your Advisr Post on your LinkedIn, website and in emails, and send it to potential new customers to establish trust in your knowledge.
Choosing a topic
What are you an expert in? If you specialise in a certain type of insurance then focus on an aspect of that. Is there a change in how that type of insurance is offered? Consider what is timely and newsworthy – could you link your topic with something that will be happening soon in your readers lives, to maximise the chances of them wanting to read it? One example is insurance considerations for small businesses in the lead-up to party season. Are they fully covered and how can they minimise risks of being liable for any mishaps? (you can’t use that idea though because we’re publishing an article all about that on Advisr soon ;))
It helps to sketch out your initial structure in headings that represent each key paragraph or point, then expand and explain each point in more detail for your reader afterwards. Deciding a logical structure that naturally flows through to prompt the reader to contact you is easier to do at the beginning.
Add relevant subheaders to help the reader who scan-reads, and to set the context of each section.
Tone and language
While keeping the tone professional, positive and polite goes without saying, you can tailor the tone and language to your own personality and personal style. Do you like to have a laugh and joke with your clients? You can inject that into your article by writing as you’d speak. Like to tell stories to illustrate your points? Again, something to include in your article. Do you want it to be fun, lighthearted or urgent and serious? It all depends on your personal style, and the topic you’re writing about.
Use language that’s simple and easy to understand. Consider whether a ten year old could read and understand it. That’s the benchmark copywriters use.
Get someone new to look over your content at least once before you publish. When you’ve been editing and writing for a while you sometimes can’t see the wood for the trees and miss errors and mistakes, punctuation or typos. Check, check and check again. Also ask them to ensure it is clear, and makes easy reading.
Adding your content to Advisr
This bit is super easy – just follow the instructions below:
- Log in – using your email or username and password
- My content – click into ‘my content’
- Add content – copy and paste the text from your content
- Image – ensure you choose an image that is high enough quality and not blurry. If you know how to resize it, the size should be: 800 x 400 px If you don’t know how to resize it, just click the button below the screen and the Advisr team can do it for you once you’ve submitted it.
- Category – select the insurance category that aligns with the content you have added.
- Save – Your article is automatically saved every 5 seconds. So if you want to go back and edit your article again before submitting click ‘save’
- Save and send – Your article goes to the Advisr editorial team to review and then publish. You’ll be notified once your content has been published.
Need help creating content?
If you have an idea for an article but don’t have the time or writing skills to write it, we can help! Advisr ghostwrites articles for professionals just like you. And if you sign up for a premium profile we will write your first article for free using our expert copywriters. Just get in touch and let us know the topic you’d like to focus on.
The importance of a good quality professional photo can’t be underplayed. Potential customers often see you for the first time online, and first impressions count! Having a good profile photo on professional websites (such as your company website, Advisr profile, LinkedIn and Yellow Pages) helps people to identify you when you meet, puts a face behind the name so people can picture you, and adds trust and credibility.
Simply having a profile photo on a professional network results in up to 21x more profile views and 9x more connection requests. (according to LinkedIn Statistics)
Are you an insurance broker?
If you don’t yet have an Advisr profile, or your profile is incomplete then log in and udpate it today – be sure to add a professional profile photo.
The tips below will help you decide whether it’s time for a new profile picture, and give some examples of the type of photos to avoid.
1. Wear professional clothes
It goes without saying that you should plan the day before and wear something professional and smart. This all depends on your own personal brand of course – if your usual sense of style is bright and funky then go for that, otherwise neutral colours are an easy bet.
2. Hair and makeup
Make sure your face isn’t shiny. If you wear makeup make sure you don’t overdo it, unless you’re in the fashion industry! Wearing your hair as it usually is will mean people are more likely to recognise you. And of course, make sure it’s neat and brushed. Avoid excessive jewellery if you wear it as it can be distracting.
3. Use a high resolution photo
Nothing shouts unprofessional like a blurry pixelated photo. Make sure you choose one that’s crisp and clear. Ideally well-lit and professionally shot.
4. No sunglasses or a hats
Remember that people need to be able to recognise you when they meet you, so seeing your eyes and whole face is important.
5. Professional not social setting
Steer clear of pictures from weddings, nights out or holidays! You might love that photo of you, but remember, it’s not professional.
6. Positioning is important
Make sure you’re facing the camera. Professional photographers will often get you to position your body slightly to one side, but with your face facing forward.
7. Lighting should be direct, bright and consistent
Avoid taking your photo in low lighting or where the light casts strong shadows on your face. Shadows can make it difficult to see your face clearly and don’t look professional.
In today’s climate of mistrust in the insurance industry it’s more important than ever to ensure your online profile photos look professional, friendly and trustworthy. People buy from people and build trust with those they recognise.
If you’re an insurance broker, make sure your Advisr profile includes your friendly, professional inviting face:
It seems everywhere you turn people are talking about the dangers posed by online criminals. From an insurance perspective, you may have heard of cyber liability insurance.
I wanted to provide you more background to further remind business owners it really can happen to you – just think how many spam emails you get – and that cyber insurance products provide much more support than just money.
Recent newspaper headlines of a property transaction intercepted by hackers – with $250,000 stolen – make for unsettling reading. In the small business world, it should be setting off alarm bells, as the theft took place allegedly whilst under the conveyancers’ management. In all of our lives, more frequent and sophisticated cyber scams remind us constantly to heighten our vigilance. In small business, cybercrime is also on the rise, and they are often easy targets with lax security.
Cyber criminals continue to have success, with statistics from the global Verizon Data Breach Investigation Report (DBIR), compiled after Verizon investigated more than 50,000 claims, show hacking was involved in 48% of breaches and malicious software in 30% of breaches. Errors caused 17% of breaches and 12% were from company insiders. Ransomware made up 39% of claims. Cyber criminals commonly use a mixture of methods, for example, phishing (disguising as a trustworthy entity) to obtain access to insert malware, with 15% of staff still clicking on phishing emails.
For small businesses, complacency can be the enemy, with many businesses not able to imagine how cyber security might affect them. The complexity of the risk often leads to brushing it over, only thinking that losing data or files is the biggest risk.
That in itself is enough, but loss of client data, financial information, theft, inability to trade and loss of reputation and trust are events that can have devastating consequences for small business. These risks are as real and serious as a physical break-in. Prevention is better than a cure, with the cost of cyber event remediation likely to increase markedly now that Australia’s notifiable data breaches (NDB) scheme is in place.
A few recent case studies are worthy reminders of the reality of cybercrime and benefits insurance can provide:
- A regional Queensland boat dealer suffered a ransomware attack which was “a new breed” of encryption not previously seen. With IT assistance, files were restored from back-ups, no ransom was paid, and there was no business interruption because the dealer was operational again within 24 hours.
- An accountancy firm was hacked after a patch was not installed and 10,000 records were affected. The insured did not know personal information was stored in its website. Notification to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) and affected clients was required under the NDB scheme and costs covered by insurance.
- A large advisory firm’s phones were hacked (phreaking) via decoding a simple password and expensive international calls made. The Cyber Insurance policy covered the additional phone costs and IT experts to install better firewalls.
All small businesses should have at least a basic plan in place. The Australian Government provides a good starting point – https://www.business.gov.au/risk-management/cyber-security/keep-your-business-safe-from-cyber-threats
What most organisations don’t realise is that most Cyber Insurance policies give 24/7/365 access to an incident response team of experts who understand the importance of immediately mitigating potential threats to businesses. Insurers can also manage reporting data breaches to OAIC, subsequent regulatory investigations, and costs associated with communicating data breaches to affected individuals.
A cyber insurance policy should be part of every successful business’s risk management framework. Cyber insurance is not the first line of defence; it is designed to protect a business when it’s IT security, policies and procedures fail to stop an attack.
A well-negotiated Cyber Insurance Protection package, typically starts from only around $1,000, giving clients financial support and incident response expertise to recover from adverse events, including ransomware attacks, point-of-sale intrusions, denial-of-service attacks and cyber espionage.
For further information and a quote for your business contact Byron McPherson at CPRS Insurance on 0488 080 065 or email email@example.com.
Note: Information provided by Byron McPherson CPRS Insurance in this article is for general informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional advice. All information contained in the blog is provided in good faith, however, we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information provided in this site.
Byron McPherson, CPRS Insurance
Byron McPherson is a successful Melbourne-based Insurance Broker with CPRS Insurance. Advisr spoke to Byron about his experience being a Professional Indemnity insurance specialist and his insights into being a customer-focussed insurance broker who goes that extra mile.
What do you love about being an insurance broker?
I really love working with my clients and prospects to come up with practical insurance solutions to address their concerns, that help them to run their businesses effectively without having to worry about risks.
What insurance lines are your core areas of expertise? Core areas you service?
I specialise in Professional Indemnity insurance products for anyone who gives independent advice for a fee. Currently, a number of professions are struggling to find cost effective Professional Indemnity insurance. Over many years I have built up strong insurer relationships around the world, these relationships enable me to provide various solutions many other brokers are unable to. I also offer a range of general insurance product options to ensure the clients are fully covered.
What is the most unusual request you’ve had?
Only the other day I had a prospect approach me for Professional Indemnity insurance for a digital diagnostics consultant! I did have to look up what this entailed, as I did think I had heard of just about every profession, but this was new….
Who knew there’s so much we can learn from machines! For those who want to know, simply put, digital diagnostics is the technology that will make it possible to deliver a remote diagnosis, particularly in the medical sector.
What makes an ideal client and why?
Right now, I’m seeing two types of client in particular asking for my help. Firstly, people who are jumping out of paid employment and contracting back to large corporations. These contractors, no matter what field, often need to have Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance in place as part of the contract. Secondly, professional services organisations that have just found out their insurance renewal terms have changed dramatically.
When have you gone above and beyond for a client?
One of my clients was applying for a specific AFSL (Australian Financial Services License) and needed quite a number of wording customisations to cover the unusual financial services they were offering. This involved numerous meetings and emails with their compliance lawyers to get the cover exactly right first time for the application with ASIC. If their initial application had been rejected, it would have likely led to a 6 month delay in being able to kick their business off.
Why should someone consider using an Insurance Broker?
These insurances are complex products and clients have complex evolving needs which are best managed by a professional insurance broker. It really is the best way to get the best possible result.
What areas of insurance should people be aware of over the next 12 mths?
The insurance cycle is most certainly changing and insurers are looking to pass on the increased costs of claims in virtually all insurance classes, especially Professional Indemnity. A professional and competent insurance broker will work closely with you to mitigate these increases, by presenting your risk profile in the most positive light to the insurance market.
If you have any questions about Professional Indemnity insurance then feel free to reach out to Byron McPherson.
Professional Indemnity is a hot topic in insurance circles and businesses need to pay attention. A number of insurers have stopped providing the insurance, changed their small print and significantly raised prices.
Here are 5 things you need to know:
1) PI – does not mean Magnum PI!
In insurance it means Professional Indemnity and its designed to cover financial damage caused from negligence, error or omission, misstatement or misrepresentation arising out of a professional service. Public liability insurance does not cover any advice you give – it covers physical damage.
2) Who needs it?
Anyone selling their skills and specialist knowledge based on their qualifications or historic experience. For example, consultants, designers, engineers, IT services, intermediaries and advisors.
3) Its more than insurance for your mistakes
It can also defend you should your client accuse you of a mistake (even if its unfounded), cover you for accidentally releasing confidential information, saying something deemed defamatory and the unintentional use of third party images.
4) You are still liable even if you didn’t charge for the advice
It doesn’t matter whether you charge a fee or offer some friendly free advice. Professionals owe clients a duty of care and if something bad happens, there could be a claim.
5) Watch out if you are in design and construction.
Some insurers are changing policy exclusions. These could lead to you be liable for cladding claims from work you’ve done in the past 15 years!
Connect with Penny Collins today to learn more.
Call us at Capital Mutual Insurance Brokers and we will walk you through what all this means for you and help you every step of the way.
Unintended consequences of Royal Commission creates an insurance ‘Perfect Storm’ for financial service advice firms
The Royal Commission into banking and financial services misconduct has savaged the reputation of the financial advice sector. It is not just brand image that is suffering. Any firm directly involved in the provision of financial services advice to the big banks or industry superannuation funds under contract will be in for a rude surprise when their annual Professional Indemnity Insurance rolls around for renewal.
I have spent most of my career providing insurance solutions to professional people. We are currently seeing a perfect storm for financial advice firms. Virtually all the specialised insurance underwriters in this space are withdrawing their capacity or sitting on the sidelines in direct response to the intense media scrutiny of the more shocking examples of misconduct being aired at the recent Royal Commission hearings.
Fortunately, I have been able to work closely with my longstanding insurance partners and clients to help them work through this difficult period. In addition to drawing on long standing underwriter relationships, I am working with my clients to:
· Ensure that their comprehensive renewal proposals are submitted to underwriters well in advance
· Any additional information is put together in a well-considered manner
This helps pre-empt any concerns that may arise, during what have become delicate and rigorous renewal negotiations.
If renewing your insurance is proving a challenge, message me and I will help you find a solution.
Connect with Byron today to learn more.