Why use an insurance broker?

This is a question that I am asked often as an insurance broker, along with “what do you do?” People wonder, are brokers just there to get the Insurer’s commission regardless of the client’s needs?

My answer to this is simple – as a professional broker I am here to serve my clients, I want to understand every aspect of your business and develop a program that fits your needs and budget. Above all, I want to make sure that my clients are comfortable with the cover they have taken, the risks that they are willing to take on themselves and to ensure that the overall process is as simple as possible.

It’s all about trust and assurance

At the end of the day, you only receive a piece of paper. You have to trust my ability as a broker to determine that a particular policy will fit your needs and ensure you are not left exposed in the event of claim. One of my main roles is to ensure that if an unfortunate incident occurs that your claims process is as smooth as possible and you are back to the same position prior to the loss.

Our main role as brokers is to be an advocate for our clients and deal with all the technical aspects of insurance so that our clients can get on with running their businesses safe in the knowledge that their insurance needs are covered.

Insurance is complex so a broker ensures you’re properly covered

Insurance can be complex – with endorsements, conditions and exclusions that unless you are aware of all the differences and products that are available in the market you can get caught out quite easily and take out a policy that does not meet your needs. The end result of this could be that in the event of a claim, your claims are declined and you have paid out premiums for nothing.

I look at it in the same way as my taxes – I can do them myself online but I would prefer to involve a tax professional to do them for me. This ensures I haven’t missed anything and I know that I can ask them questions about the process and they have my best interests at heart and will make sure I receive the maximum return based on my individual circumstances.

The difference between brokers and agents

There is a difference between brokers and agents as follows:

Brokers work for the clients and are not employed directly by any one Insurer. Our job is to ensure that the client receives the best cover at an affordable price regardless of Insurer chosen. We also determine if the Insurer is reputable and the likelihood of claims being paid.

Agents work directly for one Insurer; they will not approach any other Insurer for quotations and it is questionable if your policy will be tailored to your specific needs. For example Elders is owned and underwritten solely by QBE and Wesfarmers is owned and underwritten solely by IAG (CGU).

Can you afford to rebuild your property?

The single greatest asset that many of us will own is our home, but how much thought has been placed into the current values? Are you adequately insured and will you be able to rebuild your property to the same standard as it was previously if the worst happened?

Some of the costs that need to be considered are:

  • Local building codes and regulations—have they been updated, do you need to add additional fire measures to your property, will you need to change the building materials?
  • The current replacement cost of your property (excluding land), taking into account any escalation in costs that may occur due to a catastrophe. Builders tend to increase their labour rates when a catastrophe occurs and the cost of building materials also escalates due to the number of properties that need rebuilding which puts pressure on the manufacturers and the ability to source materials.

Some policies do include an “escalation clause” to cover some of these costs

  •  The cost to remove all the debris from the site and re-level to start again. Consider any hazardous materials that are on site that will need specialist removal.
  •  Have you included sheds, outdoor structures, pools and outbuildings in your sum insured?
  •  The majority of policies have an underinsurance clause which determines how close you need to be to the correct replacement sum insured of your property. Generally this is between 10 and 20%, meaning that if you underinsure by more than this “buffer” you will be penalised in a claim. Please refer to your Product Disclosure Statement or Broker for more information on this.

Did you know that after the Blue Mountains fires many people were not able to rebuild their properties due to underinsurance? This was caused mainly by a change in council regulations which has left a number of insured people more than $200,000 out of pocket.

What should you do?

Yearly:

Check with your local council that the building regulations have not changed. Ask the council if you are in a flood or fire prone area.

Every 1-3 years:

Obtain a valuation on your property or at least speak to a builder about current rebuilding costs.

Some calculators that may assist:

http://www.lmigroup.com/RiskCoach/Calculators/BuildingCalculator.aspx?access=adroit

http://understandinsurance.com.au/calculators

Top ten cyber insurance queries

most searched cyber insurance queries

Top 10 most searched Cyber Insurance queries

Cyber insurance is a hot topic currently, as you probably know. If you are looking for inspiration on content to write, then read on.

We trawled through the most frequently searched cyber insurance queries in Google so you don’t have to! We chose the most relevant queries to insurance brokers in Australia to help you plan an article to write on this relatively new and hotly searched topic.

1. When do you need cyber insurance

2. What is cyber insurance and why do you need it

3. Where to buy cyber insurance

4. What is cyber liability insurance

5. What cyber insurance doesn’t cover

6. What is cyber insurance Australia

7. Which cyber insurance

8. Who needs cyber insurance

9. Is cyber insurance worth it

10. Why cyber insurance is important

If you’d like to write an article but don’t have the time or copywriting skills, we can help. Advisr has a talented team of specialist copywriters and we welcome fresh new content on the Advisr website, as that’s what our visitors love. Get in touch about how it works.

Also, as a broker, you can view and answer commonly asked and searched insurance questions from the Advisr website.

If you are looking to connect with an insurance broker who specialises in Cyber Insurance, then you can find a cyber insurance broker with Advisr.

 

New protection afoot for the gig economy

Uber’s first steps towards protection for contractors

Traditionally freelancers or independent contractors haven’t had the same protection and benefits as full-time employees.

But Uber has introduced a new injury insurance program for their drivers and delivery riders that paves the way for contractors getting more protections worldwide.

One of the financial benefits of the gig economy for small business owners is you aren’t obliged to offer contractors and freelancers the same protections as you do your full-time or part-time staff.  That includes paying for workers’ compensation insurance.

In an unprecedented move, Uber has introduced free accident insurance to its drivers as of November 2018. This offers a workers’ compensation-like insurance, while maintaining a contractual rather than employee relationship with drivers and riders.

How it works

In Australia, the insurance was developed with Chubb Insurance to ensure it meets Australian law. (Likewise Uber found insurers in other regions to help develop the product there.)

UberEats and UberX drivers and delivery partners are covered by the policy once they accept a ride or delivery request via the app and for 15 minutes after the job is over (but not between deliveries or trips).

It covers those driving a car, riding a bike or motorbike or walking and they’re entitled to daily payments of up to $150 a day for 30 days if they’re temporarily (medically) unfit to work, capped at $4500.

If drivers suffer fractured bones caused by an accident during a trip, they may be entitled to a lump sum of up to $2,000, or in the case of disability or death, a payment of up to $400,000.

An income supplement of $1,500 is also available for bodily injury.

What it might mean in the future

The multi-million dollar program is the first step in Uber’s mission to establish employee-style benefits for contractors. In the longer-term, Uber want to work with governments and business to develop a new framework to support people in the booming 21st-century model of independent working.

This new framework is something that has been discussed in Europe, where governments are acknowledging that increasing numbers of contract workers are missing out on social protections such as pregnancy, childcare and housing benefits.

Uber is also pushing to get governments to reform laws that currently force Uber to classify their contractors as employees if they were to give them further benefits.

The Australian Financial Review reported the French government has already passed laws allowing new work platforms like Uber to draft their own social charters, which would mean certain benefits don’t necessarily indicate an “employment” relationship – as long as the platform takes on “social responsibility” which might include contributions to vocational training.

It’s a timely issue given the Fair Work Commission and Australian Tax Office’s recent determination that gig workers at Foodora were not independent contractors but employees. That meant drivers were entitled to protections under the Fair Work Act, which included a $15,000 payout to one driver for unfair dismissal.

So far Uber isn’t covered by the same ruling as Foodora because its contractual arrangements are different.

The future for “giggers”

How long it will take before workers in the gig economy get sick leave, workers comp and holiday pay is unknown. Yet as the gig economy grows, the need for regulation around social protections for “platform” workers will become more pressing.

For now, Australian small business employers are only required to cover people on staff through workers compensation.

For more information on what those requirements are, and how much cover you need, contact one of Advisr’s workers comp insurance specialists.

 

What insurance do aerobatics pilots need?

aerobatics insurance

Loop-de-loop with Australia’s aerobatic champs

Whether you’re doing barrel rolls or wingovers, aerobatics is a challenging sport that requires intense mental preparation and puts competitors through some gruelling physical hoops. And while that may sound treacherous, it’s safer than you think – particularly when you have the right cover in place.

Competitor, instructor and former president of the Australian Aerobatics Club (AAC) Grant Piper tells how aerobatics competitions work, and how rigorous training helps minimise the risk of accidents.

It’s not your garden-variety sport – first, you need a pilot’s licence and then you need to hire a specific aerobatic-capable plane, or buy one, which can cost up to $600,000.

Then, as Grant Piper explains, competitors need to invest in hours of training at an aerobatics school to work their way up through five grades.

Passing each step of training and assessment means you can fly lower and lower to the ground. Entry-level competitors aren’t allowed below 3,000 feet; at the next level, you can come down to 1,500 feet. That continues until you’re at the highest level – ‘unlimited’, where you can fly as low as 100 feet above the ground.

As Piper says, “it takes people years to progress”.

But the thrill of executing these often complicated manoeuvres – and the challenge of designing your own sequences based on compulsory “figures”, has attracted pilots from all over the world and all manner of backgrounds – from airlines and the military, to builders, plumbers, tilers, doctors, lawyers and farmers.

What they all have in common is passion for a sport that has you nose diving and climbing vertically at breakneck speeds. You’re flying precisely-angled lines, loops and figure eights, doing stall turns, hanging upside down and performing 360-degree rolls and spins in all manner of hectic-looking, yet highly-disciplined combinations. Manoeuvres include the “shark’s tooth”, “humpty bump”, “full positive flick” and “P loop”.

What you’re up against

Judging in aerobatics is similar to ice skating, gymnastics or diving Piper says. “You perform in front of a panel of judges who each score you out of 10 for each figure, then those scores are averaged to come up with a final tally.”

When competitors get up to the higher levels, they’re undergoing quite a bit of physical and mental stress. “It’s hot, it’s noisy, the aircraft is going between 100 and 300 kilometres per hour,” says Piper.  

There’s also g-force to contend with. The only way to build your tolerance is through training regimes. “It’s all just conditioning in the aeroplane – match fitness,” Piper says.

For added pressure, you have to fly your sequence of manoeuvres in an “aerobatic box” which is a defined kilometre square of air space. Within that box, you might have strong winds that you have to counter to stay in front of the judges.

“It’s like ice skating but the ice is moving down the river and you have to keep skating upriver to stay in front of the judges; every flight is different so it becomes a real mental test,” he says.

Safety and risk minimisation for competitors

Because all pilots have to go through training to pass every grade, there’s an automatic level of supervision and monitoring as trainers watch every flight, continuously assessing the pilot’s physical and mental capabilities. Coaches critique pilots as they fly via radio, with peers also watching and having input. Dangerous flying can lead to instant disqualification.

As a result, accidents are rare. Piper says there have never been any fatalities in Australian aerobatics competition, nor is he aware of any accidents.

This is in contrast to the low-height stunt flying seen in airshows which carries far more risk.

Insurance for aerobatics

Aviation insurance attaches to the aircraft rather than the pilot. Piper says that to be covered in your general aviation insurance policy, aerobatics has to be listed as an approved activity. If you compete, you have to pay a little bit more on top of that.

Airshow is a separate listing and will normally attract a higher premium again, he says.

One day Piper would like to see a policy that better reflects the safe history of aerobatics competitions and varies according to the amount of hours the plane is in use, like some modern car insurance policies.

While barrel rolls may not be your thing, aviation insurance goes well beyond covering competitive pilots to even protect aircrafts for farming purposes.

Aviation insurance policies can cover all kinds of aircraft from gliders and helicopters to turbine engine aircraft. They also cover a variety of uses, from private/pleasure and business, to rental or charter (ferrying cargo or customers) and if you include them specifically in your policy, uses such as mustering, agricultural spraying, powerline inspection or firefighting.

 

To get advice about coverage under aviation insurance policies, it’s best to speak to a broker with experience in the field.

 

3 of the best new Australian restaurant fit-outs

3 fabulous new restaurant fit outs worth protecting

In some restaurants, the design of the space is as big a drawcard as the food and the service. We look at three unique and Insta-worthy fitouts that add another level of flavour to the dining experience.

 

  1. Ishizuka, Melbourne

 

Named for Japanese chef Tomotaka Ishizuka, this exclusive 16-seater is located in a basement on Melbourne’s Bourke Street. Its menu features seasonally-driven, “Kaiseki” haute cuisine served as a 10 to 12-course degustation, priced at $215 per person. With complex, subtle dishes made of luxe ingredients (e.g., Beluga caviar topped with tofu) and served with great ceremony, Good Food calls it an “adventure in Japanese tastes”.

 

Fitout-wise it’s an adventure too. The first thing reviewers note is what an ordeal it is to even find the place. Fortunately, when you do actually get through the door you enter a stunning, sparse cave with roughly-textured concrete columns sculpted to look like trees, foliage overhead casting magical shadows and a huge floor-to-ceiling fabric lantern/room divider. It’s an experience that one reviewer likened to entering “the lair of the world’s most stylish troll”.

 

Architects Russell & George have captured the other-worldly feel of the food in their interior, describing it as “bold, unusual, controversial, thought-provoking yet in complete balance – just like Kaiseki.”

 

  1. Fonda Bondi, Bondi Beach

 

People go to Fonda Bondi for tacos, colourful salads, poke bowls and tostadas washed down with a range of signature cocktails. They also go for the whole dialled-down Mexicana experience of the space, a “narrative” that starts in the bustling bar at the front, continues through the intimate booth seating in the middle out to the banquette seating in the rear “sanctuary”.

 

Interior designers Studio Esteta have used a mix of colours inside to create a humble, at-home feel that echoes the brand’s motto “mi casa, su casa”. Powder blue paint and terrazzo reflect Bondi Beach; earthy shades of terrazzo, leather and wood give the Mexican feels; topped off with shades of green through the potted cacti, and yet more (green) terrazzo.

 

Custom rattan screens, pendant lights, sconces and tables set against textured walls reinforce the fun, fresh, youthfulness of the brand, its casual service model and its hip location. In fact, the designers talk of how their terrazzo resembles “aerial views of Bondi beach with people scattered along the shores”.

 

  1. Ban Ban, Adelaide

 

Bringing crunchy Korean fried chicken and beer to Adelaide since July 2018 is Ban Ban, which means “half-half” – confusing, since a serving in their restaurant is actually a whole chicken in 14 pieces. The idea is that you can order half with one sauce and/or seasoning, and the other half with a different combination to try a variety of tastes. The chicken is dipped in Ban Ban’s house-made batter, made from more than 15 ingredients.

The K-Pop inspired interior is the work of Adelaide-based Genesin Studio and it’s all about the tiling: handmade tiles from the Netherlands on the benches, table tops and room dividers.

 

Diners sit shoulder to shoulder on communal bench seats. Baby blue tiling sits with the mint green of the stools and the pastel pink shades of the tableware. Lighting is a mixture of downlights and playful neons.

 

Principal of Genesin, Studio Ryan Genesin says, “The food’s quite fun and colourful, and I think that’s the joy of it, is that the food sings, and we’re kind of platforming the food and creating a space to display it.”

 

Whether it’s handmade tiles, bespoke furniture or a shiny new kitchen, these kinds of fitouts are a sizeable investment that as a restaurant-owner you need to protect – whether from fire, storm damage, theft or any number of other risks. For advice on getting the right cover for a hospitality business, contact a restaurant insurance specialist through Advisr.

 

LinkedIn: a trusted source for small businesses

Why LinkedIn isn’t just a professional network to post jobs

More than just an HR landing page, LinkedIn is a way for your small-to-medium business (SMB) to drive business results, increase brand awareness and educate potential customers about your products and services; all on a platform SMBs trust more than any other social media.

It’s a big number: 500 million professionals on LinkedIn globally.

More importantly, recent insights published by LinkedIn show it’s the most-used social platform for Australian SMBs when they’re looking to grow, find business partners and drive leads. In fact, LinkedIn says it’s the number one social network for lead generation. That’s on top of its capacity for connecting with and recruiting new talent.

Where LinkedIn really comes into its own is as a targeted, accessible, high-touch marketing tool.

Filter by job function, seniority, company name, geography, industry and more. Or by interest – through a member’s LinkedIn groups, fields of study or skills they self identify. Or you can reach people by segment, whether that’s “opinion leaders” or “business travelers”. For that reason, LinkedIn is also an obvious platform for launching account-based marketing campaigns.

Your business can use LinkedIn in a number of ways. After setting up a Company page, you can create LinkedIn Groups, publish articles or updates, do business development, promote your brand, products or blog, and grow traffic to your website.

LinkedIn is more trusted than other social networks

It’s not just the data, the networking and the free real estate that make LinkedIn attractive.

Findings from the Business Insider Intelligence Digital Trust report 2018 reveal that LinkedIn is the most trusted platform (for the second year in a row), based on how users’ information is protected and how safe the environment feels for users to create and engage with content.

LinkedIn users were seen to be well behaved, more selective and mindful about engagement, with content on LinkedIn viewed as being of a higher quality compared to other platforms.

A lot of that comes from the simple fact that people go on LinkedIn for business purposes, unlike many users of say, Facebook.

It works the other way too

1.5 million Australian LinkedIn members are employed by SMBs and 520,000 of those are classed as “decision makers”. So LinkedIn is a good way to market to the decision makers in your SMB.

LinkedIn insights show that 46% of those SMBs surveyed believed professional social networks such as LinkedIn influenced their awareness and selection of products/services for their company, second only to word of mouth at 68%.

When it comes to providing content through LinkedIn, Entrepreneurship, leadership, productivity and technology are the four content areas that SMBs are engaging with most frequently.

Social media just gets stronger

There’s no sign that our love of social media is in decline.

Hootsuite and We Are Social’s 2018 Global Digital Report showed there are 17 million active social media users in Australia, up 6% since January 2017.

Across the spectrum of social sites, LinkedIn’s insights report that 78% of people created and shared content through social media to enhance company reputation, and 70% did it to generate leads. 58% used social media to distribute product or service information.

Social media is now a must-have communication tool for a majority of businesses. For small business targeting other businesses, LinkedIn is a no-brainer – if you’re prepared to build connections and work those connections like a pro.

For more insights to help grow and protect your business, visit our blog.

 

5G is Coming: Know the Risks and Opportunities

The 5G network offers many opportunities for small businesses, but be sure to consider the steps to take to manage the risks

The 5th generation of wireless broadband is set to beam directly into the palms of our hands over the next two years, and with it comes both new opportunities and risks for small businesses.

Just a few decades ago it was perfectly acceptable to drive while using a mobile phone.

In fact, that was how Australia’s very first mobile phone call was made on the ‘007’ network in 1981 – a game-changer for businesses around the nation.

What we didn’t know back then, however, was that using a mobile phone while driving increases the risk of crashing by 400%.

So if new technologies bring both new opportunities and new risks, what should we be on the lookout for ahead of next year’s 5G network rollout?


What is 5G?


The 5G network is the fifth generation of cellular mobile communications, following 4G (LTE/WiMax), 3G (UMTS), 2G (GSM) and 1G (analog).

One Australian telecommunications company tips the 5G network will be 20x faster than 4G, and will also be able to handle many more connected devices.


It’s coming soon, too. Both Telstra and Optus are both planning to commence 5G services in 2019.

In the meantime, here are some of the benefits businesses can look forward to.

Crystal clear communications: The faster network will allow businesses to communicate with customers, fellow colleagues and recruitment candidates over high-resolution video with potentially an unnoticeable 1 millisecond lag, compared to 30-40 milliseconds on 4G.

Bulk files on-the-go: Businesses that regularly send and receive large files will now be able to access them anywhere – not just at the office or home where there’s an NBN connection.

The sky’s the limit: While the shift to the cloud is already underway, 5G technology will accelerate it. With data able to flow back and forth over the internet more quickly, expect even more business data to be stored on remote servers.

Rise of the IoT: With 5G, the Internet of Things (IoT) is predicted to explode. Worldwide the number of devices connected to the internet is expected to grow from 11 billion to 20.5 billion, or even 50 billion. Either way, more of your business will be interconnected via the internet than ever before.

Improved analytics: IoT devices will access and provide real-time analytics data anywhere within mobile tower range. For example, a winery might have an IoT device that measures soil moisture. This could then be relayed to an irrigation IoT device that automatically activates once certain parameters are met.

NBN backup: With many pockets of the NBN still unreliable – or not even connected – many small businesses will now have a reliable back-up internet option to ensure their operations don’t crash if there’s an outage.


Cybersecurity implications


Here’s a worrying stat: 70% of the most commonly used IoT devices contain vulnerabilities, according to Hewlett-Packard.

As such, Ernst & Young (EY) says businesses will need to undertake a comprehensive strategic approach to cybersecurity in the years ahead.

“The IoT will increasingly rely on cloud computing, and smart devices with sensors built in, along with thousands (if not millions) of applications to support them,” an EY report says.

“The problem is that the truly integrated environments needed to support this connected technology do not exist, and cloud computing is in need of serious improvement, especially in terms of security.”

On top of more access points for cyber criminals to hack, EY says other major risks include a blurring of organisational IT boundaries and responsibilities, and an increased risk that employees connect mobile apps with malware to the business network.


Keep your eyes on the road ahead


The cybersecurity risks facing small businesses are not only real – they’re about to become a whole lot more complicated.

To ensure your business is protected against the changing online landscape that the impending 5G mobile network and IoT boom will herald, team up with a professional insurance broker to help protect against your cyber exposures with an appropriate Cyber Insurance product.

After all, you don’t want to spend years building your business around technology, only for it to be crippled by the pace of technological change itself.

 

Find a broker to suit your needs here.

 

 

3 Steps To Minimize The Impact Of A Hard Insurance Market

The insurance market can at times, be a tough nut to crack, especially when it fluctuates from a soft insurance market to a hard one. When the hard market drops, we see insurers tighten underwriting criteria, coverages become more difficult to secure, premiums aren’t as easy to negotiate on and coverage when it isn’t expensive, can become completely unavailable.

Preparation is the key to success, and while you can prepare yourself for some rate increases in the next few years, it’s often better to take a more proactive approach.

The following three steps will help you minimize the impact of those stringent insurance rating criteria.

1 – Understand the Importance of an Insurance Broker during a hard market

Following advice will only get you so far if you don’t understand why you’re doing what you’re doing. Insurance brokers during a hard market will become your saving grace. Their role is to fight your battles and continuously source competitive services to suit your needs.

In a hard market, it can feel like an insurer is attempting to block your every step with their stringent standards, so having an insurance broker that understands the changes and is prepared to seek out the best result for your business, can ensure your policy will be tailored to your needs and remove the burden from your own shoulders.

This not only makes the process smoother but allows you to focus on your business and do the job you know how to do best, saving you time and frustration.

2 – Develop a good relationship with your insurance broker

Teamwork makes the dream work and a great relationship with your insurance broker will only result in the best outcomes for your business. An insurance broker can only work to the best of their ability if they understand what you want and are hoping to achieve. If either you or your broker aren’t on the same page, it might be best to try another book.

Make sure that your insurance broker understands the impact of the hard market on your business and that they understand your actual business, the industry and its potential risks. A hard insurance market brings new clients to brokers, so take advantage of the competitive arena and make sure your broker has proven their capability to you, above all the rest.

With the right broker and a trustworthy partnership, you will be guaranteed to receive the best price, coverage and policy to secure your business’ future.

3 – Prepare the business for increased insurance costs

 “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” ― Benjamin Franklin

Being aware of the potential for increased insurance costs isn’t the same as actually preparing for the occasion. Insurers need to be proactive and commence their renewal process early to ensure the best outcomes. Present risks in the best light and allow adequate time to address any surprises or consider strategies which may mitigate premium increases, such as increased deductibles.

It can often become a shock when the market turns and many find themselves mentally unprepared for the sudden shift. Pre-emptive action is better than reaction, so prepare your business early.

It’s understandable to start sweating at the mention of insurance premiums on the rise, but there’s plenty to start considering, planning and actioning now to prepare your business for the worst. Taking an active and strategic approach to managing your company’s risks and insurance claims will minimize the impact of a hard insurance market, so it’s best to start sooner rather than later.

I offer a 30-minute business review session. During that session I provide my advice on if and how I can help you minimize the impact of a hard insurance market. To find out more email me at brett@thiedemaninsurance.com.au or phone 0401 109 324.

The changing face of SME: Is your insurance up to date?

I was working with a small business recently who were looking to add a new insurance plan to cover a new expansion to their business. However, when asked it became clear their cover all insurance plan that they had bought online 3 years earlier, was outdated and left a key part of their business uninsured.

They were insured, but they were underinsured. If you have significantly under-insured your business, your insurer may have the right to pay only part of any loss because you’ve insured for only part of what it’s worth.

Insurance isn’t something that you can set and forget if your business changes. Whether it’s to add more staff, change your business location, or add a new service to your business it needs to be updated. However, not only do businesses change, but government legislation and policy are also regularly updated, as are the insurance plans on offer.

In the past few years the percentage of businesses that bought their insurance online has risen from 20% to 27%. While it may be convenient and cheap for the busy company owner, it may not be the best option in the long run.

Buying online only offers you a handful of policies which may not cover you completely, like a raincoat with holes in it. You are mostly covered, but there are still holes where the water can come in and leave you unprotected. These holes can come from not fully understanding what you need to protect your business, or missing little details that may seem unimportant but are actually vital.

Taking out insurance can be confusing at the best of times and can often cause you to over insure, under insure or ignore your insurance altogether. However, utilising a professional insurance broker to help you evaluate and choose your coverage plan can help you keep track of the changes in your business and insurance needs. As a broker, we can help navigate the changing landscape by:

1 – Keeping in touch with industries. Like everything else the SME industry is always changing, new policies come out regularly as does new legislation and regulations. Keeping our finger on the pulse keeps us in the know and allows us to provide the most up to date policy options for your company.

2 – Changes to the claiming process. It’s something we hope we never have to do, but making a claim from your insurance is inevitable in some cases. It’s not always as simple as just contacting your insurer though, as some companies have quite a few hoops that they make you jump through before they approve your claim. Even for those who have had to make a claim before, companies can change their claiming process at any time, making the process difficult. Buying insurance through a broker means that you get the most up-to-date information on the claiming process for each company, saving you time and money in the claims process.

3 – Business changes. Businesses are constantly changing, services and locations change, staff members come and go causing the business to grow and shrink with them. Your insurance cover, however, stays static and may leave your business unprotected if it’s not updated to reflect your business. A broker can help you find the best policy for your new circumstances making it easy to keep your policy up to date and your business protected.

As a business grows and changes so do their insurance needs, what met those needs last year, or even 6 months ago, may just not fit anymore. Be sure to keep an eye on your insurance and update it yearly to make sure you are completely covered. Utilise a broker when looking for a new policy because they ask the right questions to make sure that your insurance is the best possible fit for you.

Brett Thiedeman is the Director at Thiedeman Insurance Solution. He can provide advice on what insurance will provide you with the best cover for your business and your budget. Contact Brett Thiedeman today.