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What’s the Difference Between Public Liability Insurance and General Liability Insurance?
What’s the Difference Between Public Liability Insurance and General Liability Insurance?

Posted on December 23, 2020 | by Alex | Posted in Uncategorized

When it comes to choosing liability insurance, business owners usually have two options to select from; public liability insurance and general liability insurance. Liability coverage is a special form of business insurance that’s intended to cover any legal responsibilities the policyholder may have during an incident or event.

Both types of liability insurance have their own advantages. But the question is, how do you choose the right one for your needs? In this article, we’ll be discussing the differences between public liability insurance and general liability insurance so that you can make an informed decision.

What is public liability insurance? (PLI)

Public liability insurance is a type of insurance that’s designed for businesses who interact with members of the general public. Think of it as the starting point of insurance coverage for businesses that are retail or public-access oriented. Basically, PLI protects the policyholder against claims of property damage or personal injury by a third as a result of their business operations.

For example, if a customer were to slip while inside your business premises or their property were damaged while you’re conducting business, they may take legal action against you for their loss. This is where public liability insurance comes in. Depending on the policy you choose, PLI can cover incidents that occur in your workplace and other locations as well.

Keep in mind that public liability insurance only covers claims made by third parties, meaning that claims made by your staff or investors are excluded. If you work with clients and customers in public spaces, it’s vital to protect your business against potential claims. Hence, it’s imperative that you should familiarise yourself with all the exclusions that are not covered by PLI policies to ensure you’re getting adequate coverage for your business.

If you want more comprehensive insurance coverage, then you will have to look into general liability insurance which we’ll go over down below.

What is general liability insurance?

General liability insurance provides business owners with coverage for property damage or personal injury suffered during the course of business operations. GLI also covers medical expenses and attorney fees that may arise during an incident. The advantage of GLI over PLI is the wider scope of incidents and events it covers, hence the name.

Acquiring a general liability insurance policy is perfect for large-scale businesses that need additional insurance coverage, including protection of its assets in case of a catastrophic incident whereas public liability only covers liabilities stemming from public claims.

Do keep in mind that general public insurance does not cover everything. For instance, professional liability and worker’s compensation aren’t covered with GLI, meaning you’ll need to acquire additional insurance to cover liabilities from employee injuries and negligence claims.

One limiting factor of GLI is the price. GLI is more expensive than PLI due to the more comprehensive coverage. This makes the extensive policies of general liability insurance more suited for larger businesses since most SMEs may find it quite out of their pocket.

Comparing PLI vs. GLI

Like with most types of insurance policies, there are strengths and weaknesses associated with PLI and GLI. PLI policies provide a minimum amount of liability coverage such as liabilities against public claims of accidents, negligence, and injury. Because of this, the PLI policies tend to be more on the economic side.

While that’s all well and good, a PLI may end up leaving coverage gaps in the event that an employee, vendor, or investor is involved as it does only protects against claims from the public. Any expenses exceeding the coverage in the policy are shouldered by the business owner.

In comparison to GLI which is more comprehensive in nature, you can feel more confident that your business is protected from a wide range of financial threats. While GLI policies may be out of reach for SMEs, they do provide a superior level of coverage that established businesses can take advantage of.

Ensuring the assets of your company are covered against liabilities stemming from third-party claims is a crucial part of your business. Considering that these claims can be very expensive, paying them from your own pocket can significantly affect your bottom line.

Learn more from expert professionals

Public liability insurance and general liability insurance are two of the most common types of insurance that can protect you from huge financial losses. In order to determine which insurance is right for you, you need to know the risks your company is exposed to and the differences between policies.

This is why you want to hear expert advice from professionals like Matrix Insurance to help you make an informed decision. Insurance for businesses can be quite complex and it can feel overwhelming at times. By working with Matrix Insurance, you can feel confident that your business has sufficient coverage without breaking the bank.

To learn more about PLI and GLI, feel free to contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you!

Reasons Why Your Business Should Have Cyber Insurance
Reasons Why Your Business Should Have Cyber Insurance

Posted on October 28, 2020 | by alex | Posted in Uncategorized

Most SME owners think that cybercrime isn’t really much of a concern for their business. After all, why would hackers bother with small companies when they can attack larger targets like Google or eBay? Unfortunately, cybercriminals take an equal-opportunity with their approach. While they’re certainly capable of targeting large corporations, they also realise that big companies invest more on cybersecurity. This means they’d much prefer targeting multiple small businesses and extort $1,000 from them rather than hacking a big company’s mainframe in hopes of stealing $1 million.

It’s the cyberattacks like WannaCry and Petya that gained mainstream media attention for devastating government departments and multinationals. But it appears that tech-savvy crooks that prey on SMEs aren’t generating headlines which makes it even more concerning for business owners in general. This makes cyber liability insurance more important than ever as it safeguards businesses from unwanted costs due to cyber attacks.

In this article, we’ll be going over some compelling reasons why you should have cyber insurance and why it’s a good investment for your business.

What is cybercrime?

Cybercrime is any criminal act that targets a computer, mainframe, or any networked device for malicious intent.These acts are conducted by cybercriminals who range from rogue individuals to organised hack groups. They use all kinds of malware to steal data, money, and even cause damage to important files.

According to Microsoft, the global costs of damages brought by cybercrime amounts to US$500 billion (A$660 billion) annually and around 20% of those figures are from SMEs. While it can be difficult to obtain accurate data (not all businesses want to admit they’ve been hacked), it’s estimated that more than ¼ of cyberattacks are targeted towards the small businesses.

To make matters worse, the number of cyberattacks have increased exponentially in recent years. It’s estimated that around 4,000 ransomware attacks occur each day and 230,000 new malware samples are produced.

Cyber crime involves the following activities:

  • Identity theft
  • Cyber stalking
  • Use of malware
  • Use of viruses
  • Computer and network hacking
  • Online scams
  • Phishing scams
  • Fraud
  • Information theft
  • Extortion

Basically anyone who uses a device connected to the internet (whether it be a computer or a smartphone) can potentially be a victim of cybercrime if not careful with their browsing/internet activities.

What happens if my security is breached?

The two types of cyber attacks SME owners need to be aware of are data breaches and ransomwares. A data breach involves stealing data like addresses and bank account details from a customer or the staff. This data is then used for crimes like fraud, extortion, and identitify theft.. In the case of a ransomware attack, files get encrypted and locked up. This can disrupt business operations and cut down the flow of revenue. To regain access to the files, the business owner will have to pay a ransom (around $1,000) for the hackers to decrypt them.

Back in the day, SMEs that failed to protect any sensitive data only had to worry about suffering reputational and legal consequences in case the data breach got leaked. But in February of 2018, the Federal Government introduced the Notifiable Data Breach (NDB) scheme in Australia. The NDB scheme requires organisations and businesses to notify individuals affected by data breaches that are likely to result in serious harm.

Anyone that fails to comply with the NDB scheme can expect to pay hefty fines that can reach over $2 million AUD. Of course, complying with the scheme can result in customers filing legal claims at businesses that weren’t able to protect their data. At the very least, customers with this kind of experience will not be inclined to trust that business in the future which can greatly affect their public perception.

But I’m using a firewall. Do I still need cyber insurance?

Firewalls work great at protecting computers from cyber attacks by shielding the network from maliciou software and unnecessary traffic. To further minimise the risk of cyber attacks, we recommend following some value-based security tips like the ones listed below:

  • Installing reputable anti-virus programs
  • Having secure data back-ups
  • Firewall technology
  • Data encryption
  • Introducing and enforcing sensible policies around the use of equipment (especially BYOD gear) such as smartphones and laptops

But even if you’re using a firewall (and followed the aforementione security tips), they don’t guaranteed 100% protection against cyber attacks. If major banks and multinational tech companies can fall victim to cyberattacks, anyone can.

What does cyber security cover?

The good news is that while you can’t fully eliminate the threats of cyber attacks, you can insure your business against the costs associated with it. This is where cyber insurance comes in. Cyber insurance covers you for expenses relating to the following cyber attacks:

  • Interrupted business
  • Hiring negotiators and paying a ransom
  • Recovering or replacing records or data
  • Liability and loss of third-party data
  • Defence of legal claims
  • Copyright infringement 
  • Misuse of intellectual property online
  • Crisis management and monitoring
  • Prevention of further attacks

SMEs are susceptible to internet-based risks and the effects can prove devastating if you don’t have adequate insurance in place. With cyber insurance, you can feel confident knowing that your businesses is protected in case the unthinkable occurs. For more information on cyber insurance, feel free to contact us today and let us help you obtain the right policies for your needs.

What is Motor Trade Insurance and Who Needs It?
What is Motor Trade Insurance and Who Needs It?

Posted on June 19, 2020 | by | Posted in Uncategorized

If you own a business that involves interacting with client vehicles, then you’ll need a special type of insurance to protect you against unforeseen accidents. This insurance is known as motor trade insurance and is commonly used in business such as breakdown recovery firms, second-hand car dealerships, and even valet parking services. Like with most types of covers, it’s worth doing a bit of research before buying a policy so you can acquire the right deal that best fits your needs. This article will discuss what motor trade insurance is all about and which businesses should have this type of insurance.

What is motor trade insurance?

Motor trade insurance is designed to provide cover for businesses who operate in the motor trade industry. This includes mobile mechanics, valets, body shops, vehicle recovery agents, and more. Such businesses face inherent risks with their day-to-day operations which means they need special insurance policies to shield them from financial loss.

So how does motor trade insurance differ from private car insurance? The latter is meant to cover you when driving your own car (or someone else’s) for business/private use while the former applies to those who work with multiple vehicles (including customer cars). Because you and your staff are working on several different vehicles, it would be tremendous work just to update the insurer for each car being covered by private car insurance only.

Who needs motor trade insurance?

Whether you’re buying, selling, fixing, or just interacting with your client’s cars in general, you most likely need motor trade insurance. This type of insurance is a must for businesses such as:

  • Full-time and part-time motor traders
  • Mechanics
  • Car sales
  • Body shops
  • Tyre and exhaust fittings
  • Car valet services
  • Vehicle recovery agents

Keep in mind that motor trade insurance doesn’t just apply to companies only. If for example, you’re a self-employed individual who has responsibilities for other people’s vehicles, then it’s important that you have the right policy in place to protect yourself against financial losses. It may be possible that the customer’s policies may cover that of other drivers albeit on a third-party basis instead of a comprehensive one. It’s a common feature seen on motor trade insurance in the past, but it’s less likely the case nowadays.

If you’re unsure whether or not your business needs motor trade insurance, then we recommend discussing everything with your insurer to obtain the correct advice.

What does motor trade insurance cover?

Motor trade insurance policies are usually tailored according to the specific needs of businesses. This makes it crucial to think about the risks and activities you want to be insured from so you don’t end up paying for cover you don’t really need. Some of the most common covers by motor trade insurance are:

  • Road risk insurance – If you drive vehicles out on the public road, then you most definitely need road risk cover. Think of examples like taking cars out to check faults or delivering vehicles to buyers. If your business doesn’t involve driving vehicles as part of its operations, then you can opt for parts-only cover. Like with most motor insurance, you can choose comprehensive, third-party, or third-party, fire and theft cover.
  • Employer’s liability insurance – This cover protects you from claims made by your staff. Regardless of whether or not your employees are driving vehicles, it’s important that you have this cover in place since it’s a legal requirement in many countries.
  • Public liability insurance – This cover protects you and your staff from claims made by customers or the general public.
  • Product liability insurance – This cover protects your business when fitting new parts to a customer’s vehicle and the part is defective in nature.
  • Material damage covers – This covers any vehicles and equipment your company owns (e.g. unsold vehicles) and insures them. This type of insurance may see increases in value during peak registration periods.
  • Combined motor trade insurance – A more comprehensive type of policy that covers you from road risks as well as your equipment and premises. Oftentimes picking up this cover is much cheaper than getting several separate policies, but it’s best to check first if it includes relevant parts of your business to a certain extent.
  • Extra drivers – It’s vital for your business that your trade policy covers all of your staff. Opting for an “any driver” policy will only cost you more than limiting cover to a select few employees or naming any insured drivers on the policy.
  • Vehicle types – If your business needs insurance cover for your staff when driving vehicles such as vans, cars, and other large vehicles, it’s likely to be very expensive. Check if your policy covers you and your staff only for the vehicles you drive so you don’t end up paying extra.

If you are a motor trader and you’re looking for the right insurance for your business, it’s important that you speak with the experts for professional advice. Feel free to contact Matrix Insurance today and we’ll attend to your needs at your earliest convenience.

Everything you Need to Know About the Insurance Council of Australia
Everything you Need to Know About the Insurance Council of Australia

Posted on June 19, 2020 | by | Posted in Uncategorized

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) is the country’s representative body for the general insurance industry. Members of this organisation claim to represent around 95% of written premiums across general insurers in the private sector. According to the Australian Prudential Regulation Statistics, the general insurance industry generated an annual GWP of $49.5 billion and an asset total of $128.3 billion back in September of 2019. Australia employs approximately 60,000 staff members and hands over $155.1 million worth of claims each day (on average).

Members of the ICA offer a multitude of insurance products ranging from individually purchased items like travel insurance and home insurance to those purchased by businesses like professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance. The Insurance Council of Australia was established back on July 1, 1975, with the goal of influencing the general public regarding insurance protection and security in an ethical and professional manner.

The organisation includes insurance and reinsurance companies, agencies and intermediaries from public and private sectors, and Lloyd’s underwriters. A Chief Executive Officer oversees the entire organisation and is responsible for the Board of Directors chosen by member companies. An executive team provides support to the ICA by managing a series of divisions and maintaining committee structure 

Aside from representing its members, the Insurance Council of Australia also develops industry positions and handles issues through industry forums, consumer management services, public affairs, and government lobby, all of which are heavily backed by extensive research and technical resources. Some key information about the ICA are:

  • Type of company: Representative body
  • Area of expertise: General insurance
  • Headquartered in: Sydney, New South Wales
  • Staff Members: 11-50

Key people in the ICA (2020)

Rob Whelan, CEO and Executive Director

After a successful career as a senior manager in both the insurance and banking sectors, Rob Whelan joined the Insurance Council of Australia on March 22, 2010. His experience and expertise consist of managing corporate affairs in major insurers such as Suncorp and AAMI. Whelan also has a deep background in general business management with companies like Colonial Mutual, Legal & General, and AMP.

With his proven track record and relevant experience in stakeholder management, Whelan is a big part of ICA and is a driving force in delivering positive results for the organisation as a whole.

Andrew Hall, incoming Executive Director and CEO

Andrew Hall is the incoming Executive Director and CEO of the Insurance Council of Australia after serving as Executive General Manager for Corporate Affairs in Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Hall brings tremendous amounts of expertise in the corporate affairs profession as well as governance in both corporate and non-profit industries.

Hall’s professional career dates back to his journalist days in New South Wales back in 1994. He then moved to Canberra two years later and worked in federal politics for a decade as a ministerial media advisor. 

John Anning, Head of Regulation Policy

John Anning is the head of the Regulation Policy Directorate and was appointed in April of 2007. Anning brings a wealth of experience in the field of regulatory compliance, public policy, and corporate/government relations. Anning previously worked as a General Manager for the Financial Planning Association where his roles encompassed technical and strategic advice on public policy matters and regulations.

Anning also held senior management roles in both government and corporate affairs like the Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Telstra.

Fiona Cameron, Head of Consumer Operations

Appointed as Head of Consumer Operations in July of 2017, Cameron has previously served as Senior Manager Government and Industry Relations for ICA and has worked for the organisation since January of 2010. Her role is to develop and implement the organisation’s policies in relation to the General Insurance Code of Practice, the Consumer Liaison Forum, and state/federal statutory schemes.

Cameron also held senior roles in consumer relations, policies, research, regulation, and law across a wide spectrum of industries. Prior to those roles, she’s also worked for the NSW Attorney General’s Department, NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet, and the previous Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union.

Objectives of the organisation

The Insurance Council of Australia has stated that its main objectives are to:

  • Represent the interest of the members regarding domestic and international issues
  • Represent the general insurance industry to both the government and the community
  • Anticipate and assist the industry to meet the needs of its consumers and the community
  • Enhance the industry’s image
  • Promote community awareness regarding the roles and benefits of insurance
  • Encourage improved service standards across the insurance industry along with better self-regulation
  • Promote the provision of private-sector insurance services
  • Manage the resources of the organisation effectively and efficiently

Aside from representing the general insurance industry, the ICA works in tandem with all government levels to educate the public about natural disasters such as bushfires, floods, and cyclones. They participate in several different programs to help mitigate the effects of extreme weather. Such programs include the ICA Data Globe, Property Resilience Exposure Program (PREP), North Queensland engineering inspections, and the National Flood Information Database. Upon visiting the ICA’s website, the general public can access tons of helpful information about insurance, how to make claims, finding the right insurer, and more.

It is imperative to work with an insurance broker in Perth that works in line with ICA and its guidelines to ensure you are getting the correct advice.

A Guide to Conducting a Business Impact Analysis
A Guide to Conducting a Business Impact Analysis

Posted on May 28, 2020 | by | Posted in Uncategorized

Great businesses know how to weather rough storms and it’s through Business Impact Analysis (BIA) that they can prepare for unforeseen events. In essence, a BIA is a systematic process that outlines the impacts of disruption in business functions to establish sound recovery methods. Think of BIA as another arrow in your quiver in the quest of battling risks. No matter how smooth the business is operating, the risks are always on the horizon and it’s the well-prepared businesses that are able to mitigate them efficiently. This guide is intended to cover the basics of a Business Impact Analysis so that businesses can develop effective recovery strategies to use in the face of emergency situations.

Assumptions in BIA

In general, a Business Impact Analysis operates under two key assumptions:

  1.  A successful organisation depends on the continued operations of each of its critical business functions.
  2. Some business functions take precedence over others, and will likely require larger fund allocations when a possible disruption occurs.

For example, we can assume that the operation of a company’s production line depends on the functions of the Human Resources department. If the HR were to fail in the recruitment of workers, the production will decrease. The same thing applies to the financial department where production will suffer when they fail to purchase materials or unable to process salary payments.

The possible loss scenarios for each company will vary and this instance, conducting a risk assessment will help identify those scenarios. From there, the company can perform BIA to better manage such risks for improved recovery planning.

How to conduct BIA in 5 steps

Step 1: Establish the scope of your BIA

The first step in conducting a BIA is to map out your organisation’s critical business functions. If you operate a large company, it may not be necessary to include every function in your BIA. What you should do is identify which parts of your business are the most important and focus on those instead. We recommend keeping your scope as small and manageable as possible. For large organisations, this means keeping your review on the top 10 most significant units or departments.

After identifying the departments, you want to select the right people to interview. These individuals should be doing hands-on work and are likely to have the most knowledge about your company’s critical functions and vulnerabilities. From there, set up a timeline for finalising your BIA. This will keep everything on schedule and help you with the next two steps.

Step 2: Determining the value of the BIA

When conducting a BIA, it’s important that you and your organisation understands the need for business continuity planning. However, not all of your staff may understand the value of BIA specifically so after you’ve established the scope, make a detailed presentation to your management team. This helps everyone realise the amount of investment that goes into the BIA process that will stem from all the hard work and information gathering you and your team have put up.

Step 3: Preparing for the BIA interviews

The next step is to schedule the BIA interview according to the timeline you’ve set up. Allow for at least 2 hours to interview the individuals whom you’ve chosen to highlight your company’s most important functions. Ask them about the processes they handle and the potential impacts it can have on the business should a disruption occur.

Before interviewing, try gathering as much information as possible on the sector you’ll be reviewing like a general overview of the processes, the number of people who work in it, and so on. This streamlines the whole interview process and saves you plenty of time in completing the BIA.

Step 4: Host BIA meetings

Hosting a BIA meeting allows you to ask a series of questions from your management team that will help formulate your company’s recovery strategies should a critical function go down. To do this, you’ll need to ask the following questions:

  • What business functions are crucial to maintaining continuous operations?
  • What are the potential ramifications if these functions were to be disrupted?
  • How long can these functions be disrupted before the losses start to creep in?
  • Where do these business functions rank in terms of your business?

You want to recap all the answers to these questions with your management team to ensure all information is accurate.

Step 5: Preparing a report

The final step in a BIA is to review all of the data you’ve gathered and evaluate if all the critical functions were highlighted correctly. Compile all of the information into a single report and make sure to include the following:

  • Overview of the entire BIA process
  • Rankings of the most important business functions
  • Additional findings that are worth mentioning
  • Proposed recovery strategies should a business function be disrupted
  • Action plan to address top-priority business functions
  • Conclusion

Once the report is complete, host a final BIA meeting with your management team and review the entire BIA as a whole. Use this as an opportunity to raise questions and open up a recommendations board to ensure everyone is on the same boat. Having a general consensus is key to executing the proposed recovery strategies and mitigate potential risks in the future.

Conducting a Business Impact Analysis is incredibly useful for any company to ensure continuous operations. By following this guide, you’ll be able to create a systematic process that eliminates arbitrary decision making in times of business disruptions.

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