News Matrix Insurance Group

Month: March 2020

Serving up a Schooner of the Best Insurance Plan for the Hospitality Industry
Serving up a Schooner of the Best Insurance Plan for the Hospitality Industry

Posted on March 18, 2020 | by | Posted in Insurance

Few insurance brokerages in Perth are as dynamic and reliable as Matrix Insurance. Based in Perth, WA, the insurance firm caters to clients across Australia and its co-founder/managing director, Oliver Whittingham, knows that a personalized service is key to meeting their client’s needs. An integral part of Matrix’s business is providing general insurance advice for small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). By having access to more insurers and underwriters in this market, means that Matrix is in a prime position to find the right policies with a competitive premium.

Aside from serving their SME client base, Matrix also collaborates with a unique audience that entails an interesting story. The brokerage also works with hotels and pubs to meet their insurance requirements. But instead of connecting with establishments in popular beach spots or CBDs, Matrix caters to clients in rural and regional parts of Australia, with most establishments boasting a rich history.

The question is, how did Whittingham and Matrix get into brokering for the hospitality industry? He shares that his previous work experience led to his fascination. “While working in London for five years, one of my key areas of focus was the late-night leisure industry; nightclubs, bars, taverns and venues. I really enjoyed the buzz of the hospitality industry and it was an area of insurance I could really relate to.”

Upon returning to Australia in 2008, Whittingham observed that the insurance for hospitality establishments, especially the smaller ones in regional places, needed major improvements. He explained, “It was obvious there wasn’t enough choice for publicans, and they felt that the big corporates didn’t really ‘get’ their business and that cover wasn’t tailored to their specific business needs. Protecting these hotels to ensure they’re covered correctly is very rewarding – they’re part of the fabric of our great Australian culture.”

And indeed they are. The Australian pub has no equal, serving as both a rowdy watering hole and an enjoyable meeting place. Essentially, it’s become the living room that all Aussies are welcome to. It’s these reasons that Matrix and Whittingham are keen to deliver the industry’s insurance requirements at a very high quality.

Whittingham explains the unique insurance challenges of hotels and pubs. Things such as construction, the geographical location of establishments away from resources, those who are located in bushfire-prone areas, building age, subpar building quality and maintenance, and presence of asbestos make it difficult to create a one-size-fits all policy.

He says, “Hotels and pubs such as these certainly do face unique challenges when it comes to insurance. Most hotels and pubs are placed into the Lloyd’s of London market. Each venue is different from one another and each face different challenges, so it demonstrates to Lloyd’s markets that each one needs to be looked at and underwritten on its own merit and risk profile.”

Underinsurance is also a real issue for these establishments. While it’s a challenging topic to discuss with publicans, Whittingham believes that having adequate insurance coverage is very, very important. “It is critical to ensure asset values reflect reasonable replacement values to ensure policies will respond when relied on,” Whittingham explained. “The help of Google maps, satellite imagery and building replacement calculators is significant, but with the rising cost of insurance premiums in the property sector and heavy taxes and emergency levies in some states this presents an ongoing challenge.”

Insurers are closely monitoring at the replacement values of hotels and pubs. Sometimes, they’ll even request for professional building valuations and resist quoting when they feel an establishment is underinsured. One piece of advice publicans should heed is to ensure the replacement value reflects that of the structure they currently have.

Matrix works closely with each of their clients. They’ve gone to meet-ups with hotels and pubs across regional Australia and they’re well aware of each establishment’s rich history. Whittingham said, “Many of the hotels that we insure are over 120 years old and hold many stories and memories – they are a real community hub and meeting place for locals, tourists and passers-by. Many of the older ones hold a Heritage listing, which preserves the look and feel of the hotel and town.

Plenty of Aussies can relate to how somehow the beer taste better the move remote the pub. And for Whittingham, he feels exactly the same. “One thing is for sure, the more remote the pub, the better the beer seems to taste after a long drive. I’m still working on convincing my family and friends that when I’m off on another country pub road trip that I am actually working!”..

A Guide to Managing Insurance Better for Businesses
A Guide to Managing Insurance Better for Businesses

Posted on March 18, 2020 | by | Posted in Insurance

Having insurance is essential for any business. It is not the sexiest of topics, but it’s important for entrepreneurs to know how to manage the risks in the industry they’re in. Few people love insurance. Yes, it’s needed, respected, and appreciated, but most people discuss the stress of making claims and the rising insurance premiums rather than its potential benefit. Some people find themselves under-insured, while others find their insurance broker in Perth a life saviour.

In this article, we’ll be discussing how you can manage your insurance so that when claiming time comes, things will work much more smoothly.

Updating policies

One of the most common mistakes people make is that they don’t review their policies on a regular basis. If your personal and business policies aren’t up to date, then you might encounter a few problems in the future. In terms of reassessing insurance policies, a minimum of once a year will suffice. You don’t want to renew on the same levels each year or stay at the value of your policy. For example, let’s say you bought plenty of new equipment the past year and all of them are worth $7 million which was estimated at $6 million previously.

While it sounds crazy to forget a million dollars, it happens more frequently than you think. People just renew their policies without even thinking about it. If you have insufficient coverage, you won’t be able to claim for your full loss.

Overinsurance is just as real as underinsurance. Occasionally, some people will downsize but forget notifying their insurer. We all hate paying extra for insurance because there’s no real benefit, but sometimes people forget updating the values in their policy and they still have reasonably high values that haven’t been reassessed. 

Whenever there’s a slight change in your business activity, make sure to consult your broker. Even a slight change in your operations can sometimes be enough to breach your policy and you may not even be aware of it.

Protecting your business

There’s more to insurance than just protecting your buildings and equipment. Loss of profit insurance can protect you from losing income while you’re unable to operate. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t have loss of profit insurance or, their cover has been based on their accounting gross profit when it should be their insurance gross profit.

Every business should have this type of policy because in the unfortunate event that your property burns, the insurance company will pay you millions for the physical part you’ve insured. Of course, this doesn’t happen overnight. Usually, it takes three to eight months before it is completely paid. Your lost income is paid weekly or monthly while the claim is being sorted. You can also insure your staff’s payroll and you have the option of insuring only your full-time staff or include your casual staff members as well.

Some businesses tend to protect the full-timers only so as to avoid losing quality staff to the competition. If you have payroll insurance, then you’re good to go. Otherwise, your staff might not wait until you operate again and force them to find another job.

Making claims

Making insurance claims isn’t anyone’s cup of tea. Most of us prefer to rather not make one at all. But at some point, you will have to submit a formal request to your insurance company. But before you do, make sure to compile as much information about your business as possible, especially the physical aspects like buildings, machinery, equipment, stock, and materials. The more information you have, the better.

We strongly suggest keeping backups of receipts and those sorts of things. With cloud storage available, it’s much easier to backup important documents than ever. You don’t need to provide hard copies as most insurance companies are all electric. But you may notice that some of the older companies still use traditional filing cabinets and aren’t as sophisticated with tech as other insurers. It’s still worth going through your papers and scanning them just in case you need them.

When things go haywire

It’s not all the time that insurers are helpful. Whether it’s an honest error or a less-than-ideal staff, claims can sometimes take forever to get sorted or get knocked back for reasons that are seemingly spurious. In times like this though, there is an option available and that is to hire a broker. The benefit here is that a broker has thousands of policies with a particular company to which they can leverage that and say, “you guys need to pay this”. Of course they won’t fuss with losing one client, but if they deal with the broker and they’re not cooperative, they might end up losing business as well as millions of dollars worth of premiums.

Taking the time to manage your insurance will help save you plenty of stress and headaches in the long run. Hopefully with these tips, you can optimize your insurance policies and give you peace of mind while running your business.

Are you properly insured against a bushfire?
Are you properly insured against a bushfire?

Posted on March 02, 2020 | by | Posted in Insurance

Ask any Australian what is on their mind at the moment and the majority will talk about one thing: Bushfires.

The bushfire crisis that has ravaged the east coast for the past few months has affected all of us. We’ve seen footage of the devastation, we’ve heard the statistics of buildings, homes, businesses and lives being lot; and we all are left with the one burning question – what if it were me.

Bushfires are a real and regular threat across Australia, and unfortunately, many people find that once the flames are out and the dust has settled, they are left with nothing. Which is why it’s so important to ensure your insurance policies – both personal and business – include bushfire coverage.

The bushfires in Australia’s east has resulted in the loss of more than 2100 homes, and of course all the belongings within them. Farms are in ruins and livestock are lost. Businesses are unable to open due to towns being evacuated. Supplies are being cut off from being delivered due to roads being unsafe. All in all, it’s a disaster that unfortunately many businesses may not be able to recover from.

If a bushfire threatened your home or business, are you suitably insured?

If you live in an area that is at risk of bushfires, your Home and Contents insurance policy should have a clause that covers bushfire damage. A Business Insurance Policy will cover your business for damage or total loss of property (the premises your business is located in), however if you own and run a business, it’s important to check whether your Australian Business Insurance Policy covers everything you’d need if you were caught in a bushfire crisis. 

For complete peace of mind in the light of recent bushfires, business owners should consider an Industrial Special Risks policy, which goes over and above the standard Business Insurance Policy, and is particularly suitable for larger organisations with diverse operations.

Industrial Special Risks Insurance (ISR) provides property damage and business interruption cover for businesses. Industrial Special Risks insurance protects against a wide range of events such as fire, storm, earthquake, malicious and accidental damage. Therefore in a and will cover items including:

  • Loss or damage to physical assets such as buildings, contents, plant and equipment, and stock.
  • Business Interruption loss from physical damage to the building or contents. 
  • Coverage in the event of failure of public utilities (power, gas or water outages).
  • Coverage if access is prevented – for example if the road is blocked off preventing customers or suppliers to get access to your business.
  • Costs associated with removal of debris.

Matrix Insurance is supporting NSW Rural Fire Service

Like all Australians, the team at Matrix Insurance have been affected by the news of bushfires and the destruction they have caused. As such, we are supporting the NSW Rural Fire Service and encourage others to donate also. Donations are still being received through this link:

If you would like to speak to an insurance specialist for your own peace of mind, give Matrix a call today.

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