Welcome to the December-January edition of Insurance Insight.

With the festive season over and summer holidays in full swing, many will be taking some well-earned R&R. If you are off on holiday, are you planning on putting up a sign in your front yard advertising the dates that you are going away? No? That would be madness wouldn’t it? But are you going to post some holiday snaps and details on your Facebook page? If your privacy settings are not right, then there’s no difference between your social post and an advertising poster on your door.  We have some tips to help you protect your possessions – and safeguard your insurance cover – in the age of social media and the need to ‘share’. 

As we move through summer, the temperature rises – as does the risk of bushfire. Although the bushfire season has only just begun, there have been devastating fires across New South Wales and Queensland, near Darwin and in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. And as the season progresses, many other parts of the country will also brace for fires. In this edition we encourage property owners – residential and commercial – to prepare for the threat that is just around the corner.

The Royal Commission into the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry concluded at the end of November. While the Hayne Royal Commission revealed the major failings of some in the industry, it also showed many do the right thing by their clients. Part of being able to work in the best interests of our clients, is by helping you understand the risks you face in your business dealings and along your path to financial freedom – we then work with you to find ways to address those risks and help you to prosper. In our Financial Planning column we take a look at how understanding your risk appetite impacts your investments.

We also share a tale about a table and how having EBM on their side enabled one of our South-West clients to turn a disaster into a triumph (who would think that a barrel of black peppercorns was akin to gunpowder…). This was just one of the claims we helped our clients successfully negotiate throughout 2018 – and we will be there in 2019 and beyond to advocate for you and manage the claims process so you can get back to business too. 

We welcome your feedback and invite you to contact us to explore the risks unique to you and your business and find cost-effective and appropriate insurance solutions to mitigate those risks. 

Ward Dedman, Managing Director (Group Operations)
Steve Sparkes, Managing Director (Corporate Broking)





wish you were here


Sharing on social media could be putting
your property at risk.  




make like a scout


There is a heightened risk of bushfire across

much of the country this summer. Are you prepared?





financial planning


Investing for their long-term financial future is an

economic imperative for many,

but understanding your risk appetite is the

first step to success.



tale of a table


When a custom-designed table went up in flames on-route

to the Maldives, it could have spelt disaster

for Bennetts Timber Services



news and events


Inaugural conference to benefit our clients





37% of all Australian data breaches due to human error
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner was notified of 245 data breaches affecting personal information between July and September 2018, the latest report revealed. While 57 per cent of incidents were caused by malicious or criminal attack, 37 per cent resulted from human error (up from 36 per cent in the previous quarter). Of the 92 breaches due to human error, 48 occurred when personal information was sent to the wrong recipient by email (29), mail (13), fax (2) or other means (4). In this quarter, data breaches involving unauthorised disclosure as a result of a failure to redact personal information impacted an average of 633 individuals per breach. Failures to use the ‘blind carbon copy’ (BCC) function when sending group emails impacted an average of 494 individuals per data breach. 

Working visa rules relaxed for farm workers
Visitors on working holidays that take up seasonal and farm work will be able to stay in Australia longer under an Australian Government plan to help farmers fill job shortages. Pacific islanders taking up seasonal work will be able to stay three months more and the age limit for working holiday visas for some countries will be lifted to 35. Backpackers will no longer have to leave jobs every six months and will be able to triple the length of their stay if they do agricultural work.

Government to fast-track SME tax cuts
In October, the Morrison Government announced it plans to fast-track the next round of tax cuts for small and medium-sized businesses, and intends to have them fully implemented five years early. The rate for companies with a turnover up to $50 million has been lowered from 30 to 27.5 per cent, and was scheduled to bottom out at 25 per cent by 2026-27. Under the proposed plan the rate would fall to 26 per cent in 2021, and 25 per cent the following year.

APEC looks to boost insurance regimes
Following the recent string of earthquakes and extreme weather events, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation finance ministers are looking to improve their insurance regimes and disaster risk financing. They aim to strengthen disaster risk insurance programs to provide an additional layer of financial defence for public assets – taking into account ways to raise risk-informed decision making, implementation of insurance schemes and investment in disaster resilience.

Queenslanders complacent about cyclone risks
Research conducted by Suncorp and James Cook University has revealed 90 per cent of Queenslanders believe the risk of damage from a Category 1-2 cyclone was very low to somewhat low, while a further 45 per cent believed damage from a Category 3-4 cyclone was also very low to somewhat low. This is despite recent cyclones causing severe wind damage in several areas. The insurer’s data also showed nine out of 10 cyclone-related claims can be avoided with proper preparation. 

AFCA launches
On 1 November 2018, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority commenced operation, providing free, fast and legally-binding financial complaint resolutions for consumers and small businesses. AFCA replaces three dispute resolution bodies – Credit & Investments Ombudsman, Financial Ombudsman Service Australia, and Superannuation Complaints Tribunal – and has significantly higher financial thresholds, meaning it can handle many more disputes than previous schemes.

Parents refinancing, delaying retirement
According to the 2018 Generational Property Ladder Survey, 65 per cent of parents are dipping into their own retirement funds to help their kids buy a home. It was also found 29 per cent of respondents would delay retirement to give their kids financial assistance and 10 per cent were willing to refinance to free up cash for their offspring. While 35 per cent would consider offering an interest free loan, going guarantor for the kids’ home loan was also becoming more popular. 

ARPC undertakes cyber-terrorism risk study
The Australian Reinsurance Pool Corporation (in collaboration with UK-based Cambridge Centre for Risk Studies and France-based Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) is undertaking a 12-month study on the threat of cyber-terrorism in Australia, including the nature and cost of physical damage to commercial property. Business insurance policies and the ARPC scheme currently exclude coverage for acts of cyber terrorism which affect commercial and high-value residential property. The study will identify and explore current and prospective threats, plausible scenarios, and the practicalities of extending insurance coverage to include cyber terrorism in Australia.

Top 3 global business risks revealed
CNA Hardy’s Risk and Confidence Survey has revealed that only 59 per cent of business executives worldwide are confident about the ability of their business to grow and prosper. The figure for Asia-Pacific was 53 per cent. Economic (22 per cent), cyber (19 per cent) and technology (14 per cent) were cited as the top three business risks.

ATO scrutinises shares
The Australian Tax Office has announced it has put five million Australians on a priority list as part of a monitoring program for share transactions. The ATO now holds more than 500 million records of share data, and will prioritise share transactions under its data matching program by scrutinising share data from ASIC and comparing it to information reported in tax returns and other ATO records to identify taxpayers who have not properly reported the sale or transfer of shares as income or capital gains in their income tax returns.




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