The adage that ‘the only constant is change’ can feel very real when it comes to Australia’s political landscape and our weather system. As is with every Government in power, policy and initiatives can have a flow-on effect to business insurance, and the recent change of Government has brought some changes warmly welcomed by the insurance industry.
Of course, this could ultimately result in changes to your industry, business insurance
needs, existing policies or premiums
— read on to understand more about how your business insurance could be changing.
What impact will the Labor Government have on commercial insurance?
The last few years have genuinely tested Australia’s resilience when it comes to natural disasters and the disruption they cause to Aussies’ homes and businesses. Throughout the election campaign, the Labor Party committed to helping improve the resilience of communities, households and businesses through increased investment via the Disaster Ready Fund. The $200 million fund could potentially be co-funded by states and territories to raise the fund to $400 million.
The Disaster Ready Fund intends to help curb the impacts of natural disasters on buildings, infrastructure, and communities by funding prevention projects such as improvements to telecommunications, fire breaks, evacuations centres, sea walls, flood levees and cyclone shelters. Perhaps one of the critical impacts this will have on Australia’s businesses in terms of insurance is helping to reduce increases in insurance premiums for companies operating in disaster-prone regions.
Businesses in Brisbane need no reminder of the devastating impacts of flooding, not just to commercial property and business premises, but the overall interruption to their business it has. As experienced insurance brokers in Brisbane, we’ve seen first-hand the devastation of extreme weather events on our local businesses and industries. Insurers are understandably on the front line after severe weather events, with many local businesses having needed to make claims
on their insurance policies for property damage
and business interruption
. This invites increased insurance focus to our locale and could see an additional premium increase to existing or new business insurance policies.
The Insurance Council’s policy proposal
In line with the current Government’s commitment to better preparing Australia for natural disasters is the Insurance Council of Australia’s (ICA)’s policy proposals, collectively called the ‘Building a More Resilient Australia’ initiative. The ICA recognised various factors influencing the insurance market in Australia and the impact they were having on Aussies’ homes and businesses. Many of the objectives in their policy proposals align with the Government’s focus on resilience and, if put into force, could drastically change the Australian insurance market.
In particular, the following proposals could affect commercial insurance in Australia:
Changes to the National Construction Code (NCC) and building standards
To mitigate the risks that extreme weather has on homes and small businesses, the ICA proposes that the NCC consider building durability and resilience of properties. The three mandatory core objectives the code is currently built upon don’t include this consideration. If this change were to go into force, it could revolutionise the business insurance space, particularly in Construction
Removing State taxes and charges
Everyone is feeling rising costs, but if you’re in business, you’re probably no stranger to Government taxes and charges adding to the cost of your business insurance premiums. These can hit your bottom line, particularly if you’re running a small business. The ICA is proposing that Government incentivise our states and territories to get rid of the charges they impose on specific insurances, which will help improve the financial situation of many businesses across the country.
Managing Cyber Risks
Regardless of which industry you’re operating in, the digital age means you rely more on technology and online activity to provide your products or services than ever before. Cyber risk is an ever-increasing threat, which is why cyber business insurance
is becoming one of the most rapidly sought-after business insurance products. Public and product liability, and cover for property damage, are highly visible to many business owners, but cyber risk is often invisible. With such an increase in interconnectivity between companies, businesses, and clients, there is a heightened potential for breaches of data or malicious acts.
Due to the increased maliciousness and sophistication of cyber attacks, cyber insurance is constantly evolving. As such, insurance premiums on cyber insurance are rising. The ICA proposes that the Government establish a forum for all stakeholders across insurance, technology and Government to collaborate and establish policy settings to help manage system risk. They’re also proposing that Government agencies should look to develop minimum security requirements as well as third-party software certifications to help reduce every Aussie business’ vulnerability to cyber attacks.
Finally, part of their cyber risk proposal is to collaborate with the insurance industry as a whole to improve the reporting on data related incidents by businesses. In turn, this collaboration would assist insurers in identifying opportunities for enhanced risk mitigation for their customers and help keep the rising costs of a cyber insurance policy down.
How insurance brokers can help navigate change on the horizon
Insurance options for businesses and companies are vast, almost as vast as the twists and turns expected on the insurance horizon. An organisation’s individual objectives are understood best by an insurance broker, who can provide guidance and advice in selecting the most appropriate policies.
A local insurance broker is often best positioned to understand the unique risks that your business faces. Whether you’re concerned with personal injury on a job site, workers compensation claims made against your small business, cyber coverage, public liability insurance or products liability insurance, an insurance broker is experienced in understanding your business insurance needs and financial situation.
Hunter Broking Group are business insurance specialists
At Hunter Broking Group
, we are Brisbane based insurance brokers who provide exceptional service and insurance brokerage. Our team intimately understand the risks to Queensland businesses and can offer a range of solutions that far exceed simply selecting the right insurance policy.
We do more than just ensure you have comprehensive cover; we seek to implement a coverage framework to help protect you now and into the future. Our service includes claims management so that you can confidently make a claim, knowing that you have business insurance specialists by your side every step of the way.
Let us help protect you across uncertain insurance terrain — whether you need products liability
cover, professional indemnity insuranc
e or risk advice regarding your business activities, we can help! Get the advice you need to keep one step ahead of changes that could affect your cover, or request a quote, today!