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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.

How the Changing Lockout Laws in Sydney Will Affect Insurance
How the Changing Lockout Laws in Sydney Will Affect Insurance

Posted on January 29, 2020 | by | Posted in Uncategorized

January 14, 2020 marked the day the lockout laws were lifted from Sydney CBD entertainment precinct. Aside from Kings Cross which is still locked out, the rest of the city will finally revert back to its original liquor laws. This means that patrons are allowed to enter venues past the 1:30 a.m. lockout time, with drinks served after 3 a.m. (with the correct license). Back in 2014, the lockout laws were introduced by the government of New South Wales back in hopes of controlling alcohol-infused violence after two fatal attacks happened within the area.

Critics say that revellers started migrating south towards Newton and brought potential trouble along with them. This has left CBD’s once vibrant nightlife into a dry, boring state. However, after almost 6 six years since the laws were introduced, the NSW government has decided to lift it up, much to the delight of both tourists and locals (with the exception of emergency service staff and medical professionals). The question is, will the changing of the lockout laws impact insurance underwriting in affected areas?

Director of Matrix Insurance Group Oliver Whittingham talked to Insurance Business and explained that the multi-sided nature of hospital insurance demonstrates the forthcoming insurance changes for venues in Sydney that were once locked out. He said “Hospitality insurance is a varied field – you have everything from cafes and caterers all the way up to bars and nightclubs,” said Whittingham. “It’s never too much of an issue getting cover for restaurants and cafes – where the issues are regarding insurance is within the late-night leisure zone.”

There are a couple of attributes that are closely inspected when underwriting an insurance risk for nightclubs and bars. Some of these factors include opening hours of the establishment, complete history of abiding to relevant laws, strength of security, and employees undergoing training for Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA). It is important to fully understand your options when it comes to nightclub and bar insurance throughout Australia.

Whittingham believes that underwriters for hospitality insurance will do their due diligence in ensuring the respectability of the establishment, even going as far as scoping out the venue on different social media platforms. He said “Underwriters will look at it on a case-to-case basis. They will even look at the square meterage of the dance floor, for example”.

Meanwhile, Mark Polglase, chief underwriting officer at Blue Zebra Insurance’s SME division, discussed with Insurance Business that questions about the establishment will be raised first before acquiring a broader picture of the venue. He said, “The more information you can gain from these questions, the more confident you are in then providing a quote.”

According to Polglase, the CBD has undergone significant improvements in regards to responsible alcohol service and consumption, thus warranting the lift of the lockout laws. With this, people can confidently assume that establishments are doing something right which could benefit insurance underwriting in a positive manner. He stated “Clearly there has been a reverse and there is now a confidence there that the pattern or the cycle of activity has been broken. I guess time will tell if the bar has been raised, pardon the pun, in terms of making sure that these venues and the environments around them are now much safer.”

Now that the lockout laws have been lifted, does that mean that we’ll see a dramatic change in how insurance is underwritten for venues and business within the area? Not necessarily. It’s hard to provide a definitive answer because of the layered nature of hospitality insurance and the contradictory consequences of the laws.

Despite the changing lockout laws, the attributes of establishments and businesses in question are likely to remain the same and this holds true for bars and late night restaurants.The capacity of the establishment, the installation of CCTV cameras, having contracted security, and adequately trained staff will stay the same; all of which are closely inspected when underwriting hospitality insurance.

While patrons are more likely to enter venues at later hours with increased alcohol levels, businesses should remain steadfast and implement contingency plans to ensure their operations stay unaffected. As safety measures continue to improve in Sydney’s CBD entertainment precinct, it should translate into more favourable insurance writing. Only time will if lifting the lockout laws will correlate to reduced drunk violence, which is a huge deal in terms of how hospitality insurance is underwritten for businesses within the area.

Personal vs. Commercial motor Insurance: What’s the Difference?
Personal vs. Commercial motor Insurance: What’s the Difference?

Posted on January 22, 2020 | by | Posted in Uncategorized

If you own a business within the motor trade industry, it can be difficult to differentiate what’s considered a personal vehicle versus a commercial vehicle. Often times, business owners and employees use their own vehicles to transport customers, deliver goods, and move equipment. The question is, should these multipurpose vehicles be covered by personal motor insurance? Or should they be covered by commercial motor insurance?
To find out the answer, we’ll take a closer look at these two types of motor trade insurance in Perth and help you understand the difference between them.

What is personal motor insurance?

As the name implies, personal motor insurance is only meant to cover accidents that occur when using your vehicle for personal reasons. Some examples include going to and from work, doing travel unrelated to your job, and even just going to the grocery store. In general, the policies insure the vehicle owner as well as their family members.

For sole proprietors, the liability coverage from a personal motor insurance is usually more than enough to protect you from financial losses. If you occasionally use your vehicle for business-related purposes, the insurer can customise your policy to include business uses. Just make sure to ask the insurer to confirm if you can have this type of flexibility for your personal motor insurance.

This type of motor insurance (which can be modified to a certain extent) is usually less expensive than a commercial motor insurance and is only recommended for people who use their vehicles for ride-sharing services or seasonal/part-time work.

What is commercial motor insurance?

Commercial motor insurance is meant to cover accidents that occur when you (or your employee) are using a vehicle for business-related purposes. This includes transporting clients, goods, making deliveries, and more. Typically, a commercial motor insurance insures all of the employees in your business along with additional insured parties, meaning that every employee with a valid driver’s license can operate a business vehicle.

If you or your employees use a vehicle regularly to perform these tasks, then commercial motor insurance is probably the best insurance for you.

  • Drive clients as part of a ride-sharing service (Uber)
  • Deliver goods to clients
  • Perform business-related services that require the use of a vehicle
  • Haul heavy loads (such as work equipment and machinery)
  • Towing a trailer used for your business

One thing you should be aware of is the commercial insurance requirements when operating heavy-duty vehicles. Since heavy-duty vehicles are larger, they can potentially cause more damage during an accident. Due to the higher liability risks, commercial vehicles that weigh more than five tons (or hauls one-ton loads) need special insurance coverage. Some examples of heavy-duty vehicles include semi-trucks, cement mixers, tow trucks, and mini-buses.

If you operate a business that uses heavy-duty vehicles on a regular basis, you should definitely opt for commercial motor insurance. In most cases, the liability limit will be high enough to cover for the extreme damages that heavy-duty vehicles can cause.

So, what’s the difference between personal and commercial motor insurance?

While both policies pay for repairs, medical bills, and such, the main difference between personal motor insurance and commercial motor insurance is the coverage amount. A business will always have more liability risks compared to an individual, meaning their liability limit will be higher as well. Commercial motor insurance can cover higher claims, a wide variety of vehicle types, and in some cases, deal with more complicated legal issues that personal motor insurance can’t.

Here are a few ways commercial motor insurance can protect your business:

  • Higher liability limits (up to $2 million)
  • Hired vehicle coverage
  • Non-owned vehicle coverage
  • Equipment used with and/or attached to the vehicle
  • Loading and unloading exposure
  • Property and liability trailer exposure

How much does commercial motor insurance cost?

There are a number of factors that determine the cost of commercial motor insurance. These factors are:

  • Vehicle price – Vehicles with higher MSRP usually cost more to insure than lower-priced ones.
  • Vehicle type – Heavy duty vehicles can add up to the cost of commercial motor insurance significantly compared to smaller, lighter vehicles.
  • Number of vehicles to ensure – The more vehicles you need to insure, the higher the price of the insurance will be.
  • Vehicle purpose – If the vehicles are constantly in use/transit, the cost for commercial motor insurance will go up. 
  • Coverage amount – This means the amount of coverage your business needs to fully insure all of your operating vehicles.
  • Risks – The insurance company will do a thorough background check on all the drivers. If they have a bad driving record, the cost of the insurance will go up.

As you can see, commercial motor insurance is far more complex than personal motor insurance. Again, the main reason for this is because businesses have much higher liability risks as opposed to a single person driving their own vehicle. Use this article to make an informed decision about the right motor insurance for your needs or alternatively speak with Matrix Insurance today who are a leading motor insurance company helping people throughout all of Australia.

Talking Insurance: Is your business suitably covered for the Festive season?
Talking Insurance: Is your business suitably covered for the Festive season?

Posted on December 23, 2019 | by | Posted in Uncategorized

For some businesses, the Festive season is their busiest time of year. For others, it’s welcome downtime. Whatever your situation is, it’s important to consider this question: Am I suitably insured for the Festive Season?

Business Insurance

If your business is gearing up ready for the busiest time of the year, you’ll want to be reassured that your Business Insurance covers all your needs.

If your business relies on physical stock, this time of year will no doubt see you ordering more stock to supply demand. It’s a good idea to make sure that you have adequate Business Insurance cover while you have more stock on hand. 

Having enough cash on hand is another issue to consider during these busy weeks. If you are dealing with high volumes of cash; you may need to consider insuring the cash also. Money cover is part of a Business Insurance pack and helps protect money belonging to your business that may be lost, stolen or damaged whilst in your custody, on your business premises, or in transit to or from your premises. 

Depending on the type of business you operate, you may require additional staff to assist with the increase in business. Update your Business Insurance to cover the needs of extra staff during the holiday period. 

Public Liability Insurance

During the summer months and the Festive season, many businesses see an increase of people visiting their premises.

In this instance, Public Liability Insurance should be at the forefront of your mind because the last thing you want is to end the year with an expensive liability claim. Public Liability Insurance is designed to protect your business from any risks which may arise from claims by a third party for accidental injury, loss or damage to their property. 

However, even for businesses who may not be frequented by the public, another consideration this time of year is being suitably insured for the office Christmas party!

The work Christmas party is a great chance for co-workers to come together and celebrate all of the hard work and achievements made over the past 12 months. But before you invite any external guests, make sure you have an active Public Liability Insurance in place. In fact even if you are hosting your staff Christmas party at an external location, you should consider whether the venue has Public Liability cover in place to cover your employees and invited guests; or if you are required to have your own policy. 

Building and Contents Insurance

It is inevitable that summer time brings potential hazards from bushfires and summer storms. 

If your business is located in a fire-prone area, it is important to make sure you are covered for a fire damage, especially if you own your business premises. This is where your Building and Contents Insurance comes into play. Double check your insurance policy wording to make sure you are covered for bushfires as some waiting periods and conditions may apply. 

In addition, take into consideration the cover for your business during downtime and while you are not there. Unfortunately break-ins do occur and thieves certainly will take advantage of the Festive season. For peace of mind, check your policies for theft are up to date.

Personal Insurance

If you are winding up your business for the year and ready to take a well-earned break, now could be the ideal time to take a personal insurance assessment. We all have personal insurances – car, home and contents, landlord insurance, caravan or motorhome, boat insurance etc. If it’s been a while since you’ve compared policies, consider taking the time this summer break to do some research. 

The team at Matrix Insurance are more than happy to discuss your insurance needs – both business and personal – and tailor packages to suit you. Get in touch with one of the leading insurance brokers in Perth to discuss your needs today!

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